coworkers in a video meeting
From note trackers that ensure no information gets lost to software that makes video calling easy, there are several tools that make business operations more efficient. — Getty Images/svetikd

When you run a business, there's a lot that needs to get done on a daily basis. From managing your employees to balancing the books, you’re faced with an endless stream of responsibilities to keep the business running.

Luckily, in the digital age, there are many programs and tools to help you keep track of your tasks and make your workflow and processes more efficient. Below, we lay out seven different types of essential tech tools and how they can take some of the stress out of running a business.

Accounting software

Accounting software programs offer more than just a way to track income and expenses. Most include a variety of tools that allow you to handle all of your financial tasks, like invoicing, paying vendors and creating expense reports. Some can even help you file your taxes and share documents with your accountant to streamline.

Examples: Expensify, Quickbooks, Concur

Note-taking applications

Using note-taking applications lets you document both your personal and professional tasks across your devices. You can write them out, set reminders and mark them as complete when they're done. These tools are also great for jotting down quick ideas.

Examples: Wunderlist, Evernote

Cloud storage platforms

A cloud storage system makes your files accessible to all your employees, no matter where they're located. Some platforms are collaborative, allowing your team to directly edit files in real time together via the cloud.

Examples: Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud

[Read: The Pros and Cons of Cloud Storage]

Social media management tools

If your business has a social media presence (as it should!), using a management and scheduling tool can save you valuable time in running those accounts. These platforms can help you keep track of all your social media accounts in one place, as well as provide you with useful analytics data about your posts' engagement and followers.

Examples: Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social

Email marketing software

One of the best ways to promote your business and their campaigns is to use an email marketing tool. These applications will send and keep track of the emails sent, as well as give statistics and analytics on how they’re doing.

Examples: MailChimp, HubSpot, Campaigner

[Read: Email Marketing Guide for New Businesses]

In the age of remote work, it's likely that not all of your employees are in the same space every day.

Time tracker

Time is money, as they say, and with these tools you can keep track of how you and your employees are using their time. These applications keep you focused and on pace, as well as show how your time is being used.

Examples: Toggl, Time Doctor

Video conferencing software

In the age of remote work, it's likely that not all of your employees are in the same space every day. A video conferencing program can easily connect you face-to-face with your team, vendors or customers for more productive meetings.

Examples: ClickMeeting, Cisco Webex, Skype, Zoom

[Read: Choosing the Best Video Conferencing Service for Your Business]

Project management software

In a small business environment, everyone is doing a little bit of everything. With a robust project management tool, you can send out assignments and deadlines, stay up-to-date on employees' tasks and review completed assignments.

Examples: Asana, Trello, Monday

Customer service tools

With an online customer service platform, you’ll be able to reach out to clients to address their needs quickly. These tools allow you set up an online ticket system to handle issues, manage your response to customer inquiries on social media and let them schedule appointments.

Examples: Zendesk, Freshdesk

Which tools are right for my business?

Before you invest in a tech tool, remember to assess your business needs and do sufficient research, including demos or trials (if offered), reading product reviews and asking trusted peers for recommendations.

Keep in mind, while there are free versions of many of these apps, using a paid solution with all available features and options may be better for you in the long run as your business scales up.

No matter which tools you decide to use, using them can improve your team's productivity, optimize your workload and ultimately reduce your stress.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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