Google Analytics is the perfect platform for a brand-new startup. It gives you all of the basic metrics that help you monitor site traffic, identify your target demographics and more. And it’s free! For now, this is all we need, though we’ll eventually need a more sophisticated platform. We’re going to wait to see what our exact needs are first, before jumping into a tool that will most definitely require some manpower behind it.
Google’s Hangouts is totally sufficient for us right now. We use it just to chat with each other when we need a quick response, and we’re cognizant of clogging inboxes with unnecessary emails. We’ve heard rumors of this new tool called Slack, which a few people seem to enjoy a little, but we haven’t put it to use yet.
We use this for both benefits and payroll. It gets the job done and they’ve been able to answer any questions for us. It’s true, the interface isn’t amazing, but how much time do we actually spend on the site? Very little. So that hasn’t really impacted our experience. Their benefits are great, which makes this a worthwhile platform for us.
We loved using InVision as we were building our site. It was awesome to be able to visualize the designs we had been hashing out with our developers, and InVision makes it really easy to comment in line and communicate with others.
Yes, it’s old school, but it’s been reliable for us and another good option for international calls. They seem to have updated the interface recently, so at least it’s prettier to look at…
GitHub is our primary platform for communicating with our developer. We report any issues or enhancements we want to see on the site, and we can easily see what’s being worked on, new issues posted and issues that have been closed. There are a lot of features here that we haven’t even touched, but for what we use it for, GitHub has been great.
Google Apps…Let’s call this “Stacklist Headquarters.” We use Google Drive for everything—from email to file sharing to project management. Most of our projects can be easily tackled in a Google Sheet. The file-sharing options are easy and intuitive, and we haven’t encountered any issues with storage limits yet. For now, we’ve yet to come across a good argument for NOT using Google for almost everything.
We use Trello for some of our project management needs and listing out requirements. But to be honest, when things just need to get done, we often just jump in and do it—with some help from our good friend Google. But Trello came in really handy when we were preparing for launch; we had a list of all the tasks we needed to accomplish, with columns for “to dos,” “in progress” and “done.” We continue to add new boards as new projects come up that require detailed planning. It’s also really useful as a receptacle for random ideas we’ve had and want to revisit in the future.
Right now, we’re focusing our social media efforts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. We’ve been looking for a great tool for being able to schedule posts in advance, and that will give us some actionable metrics. To be honest, we’ve been underwhelmed with tools in this area, but we’ve settled for now on Hootsuite, which we like more than others because of its customizable dashboard that lets you see all of your content streams in one place. It’s frustrating that you have to pay extra for the reports, but for now we’re making do with it.