Talking About our Faves: 5 Business Apps We Absolutely Love & How We Use Them

Talking About our Faves: 5 Business Apps We Absolutely Love & How We Use Them

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Talking About our Faves: 5 Business Apps We Absolutely Love & How We Use Them

Paymo

Today is a big day. We are opening Dexter’s laboratory just for you. We are revealing that dirty little inside secrets you always wanted to know. Which are the apps that keep 123ContactForm going each day?

(Just an inside leak: rumors are that our all-time favorite app, beside 123ContactForm itself, is DotA. Some of us are still struggling to quit that one for sleep’s sake. But let’s pretend you haven’t heard this.)

Some of the businesses out there have custom made complicated management systems. Here at 123ContactForm we prefer to rely on fellow web services that are easy to integrate in our existing framework and don’t require weeks of training for the new people who join our team. 123ContactForm has a lot to thank to these five apps below. They ease our teamwork, help us get organized and prevent any type of malicious event that could affect our overall performance.

Time tracking – Paymo

Paymo

Well, I’m the one who gets to the office late many mornings, embarrassingly more of them than I can count. And usually before I put my church finger up, someone comes with the reply: “relax, we have Paymo!” Maybe you haven’t grasped the true beauty of this saying, so I’m going to put it in other words: we treasure flexibility; it’s not the end of the world if someone has to miss from office for personal reasons, it can happen to anyone. We are aware that we can always catch up on working hours when we are available, even from home, and we gladly do so. This attitude just fosters confidence and keenness inside our team. And Paymo is there to keep track of all our performance.

With our main company account on Paymo we can create and assign daily tasks for each team member. The built-in desktop widget of Paymo that we have all installed records the time we dedicate to each task. If you go out for a lunch break and forget to turn the timer off, it’s no problem: it stops automatically on the delay you set. You can always see the big picture and monitor the time you spent on a monthly basis with each of the daily activities. All in all, this tool is simple and robust, and we love it.

Task managing – Asana

 

This is a hidden gem that we are happy to have discovered (thanks to Florin, our CEO, who is constantly combing the web for cool new tools to use). Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and his colleague Justin Rosenstein did a great job when they left the social network to create Asana. Florin, who is on a Mac, particularly enjoys the keyboard shortcuts that Asana displays right at the bottom of the main window. Little goes a long way.

Asana gives us all the features we’ve been seeking in a professional task management system, without burdening us with too much complexity – after all, we mean to spend time on the tasks themselves rather than on the process of writing them down. It’s intuitive and accessible. We can build and organize groups, create assignees and followers for each task, and everyone involved receives email notifications over the open projects. And to be said: we don’t mind the grey looks of Asana’s interface. They just make our office look brighter!

Website downtime monitoring – Monitive

 

People host their forms on our server, so the web service has to be 100% functional at all times. Period. Temporary discontinuance occurs on rare occasions when the server load is high, but it usually doesn’t affect the user experience; we are the first to be aware of problems and we strive to fix them within minutes since they occur. How do we do it?

We have our secret weapon: Monitive, an app that does the system scan for us and sends alerts whenever there is a temporary downtime with our service around the world. Besides website monitoring, we also do checks upon our MySQL database. Our reports come clean most of the time, but still we made a habit out of checking their history once per week to see if minor incidents have occurred. By now, you probably realized that we highly trust Monitive.

Docs sharing, chat – the Google suite

 

Where would we be without Google? Gosh, I don’t know…

All our company addresses redirect to Gmail, we chat with the team using GTalk, we share our documents on Google Drive. We have used these services from the start, as they have pretty good pricing plans for businesses. It’s become a natural cycle for us to begin days with Google and end them on Google too. For the marketing team, the Analytics and Webmaster Tools make indispensable and constant reads. We like what we see there; however, there is always room for improvement, isn’t it?

Live customer service – Help on Click

 

Help on Click

Have you met our live chat operators yet? They are Nico and Peter, our cool colleagues who silently accompany your tour on 123ContactForm and are ready to answer any of the questions you may have, if you type them in the little blue stroked box from the bottom left side of the screen. If you looked close at this box (I mean really close) you probably noticed the link saying “Powered by Help on Click”.

We indeed like Help on Click for three main reasons: 1. It allows for numerous conversations to take place at the same time without any technical glitch; 2. Our support team can email or print the transcripts of the conversations and do all kind of wicked things with them – such as posting them on the Blog, as you may see here; 3. Of course, it’s blue.

Have you used these apps too? We would love to hear your thoughts on your own favorites.

3 Comments

  1. Angelo says:

    Nice list of Apps!
    I especially like time tracking tools. I’m working from home and yes, the huge thing I love about it is FLEXIBILITY. This kind of tool just makes sure that we stay motivated and we’d still be productive no matter what.
    The time tracking software our company is using is “Time Doctor.” It’s pretty accurate, very reliable and more importantly, it helps us focus on work.

  2. Nicole says:

    Thanks for sharing about these new apps, good to know!!

  3. shilpi says:

    I would suggest Replicon’s hassle free cloud based timesheet http://www.replicon.com

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