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Grasshopper is everywhere

Original Article

5 Handy Online Tools To Streamline Your Business

I’m always on the look out for new tools and resources to ensure I waste less time, become more efficient and make sure my money stretches further.

The thing is there’s a plethora of them out there and new companies springing up every day with cool services or products to help you run your business better.

This can all get a little overwhelming, and if you’re like me you’ve probably signed up to several of these in the hope that they will transform your life and then never logged in again.

I’ve just published the Ultimate Toolkit for Evolutionary Entrepreneurs to combat this problem. I designed it to be a handy reference guide and one stop resource for streamlining your business and saving you time and money.

I’ve cut through the technical jargon and demystified the online tools to just offer up the two best online tool choices for each critical area of business: one free (or as good as) and one paid tool. Here is just a peak at tools I feature in it.


With a tagline of “The Virtual Phone System Designed for Entrepreneurs” how could you not love Grasshopper.

Grasshopper was started by two entrepreneurs back in 2003 who wanted a simple way to sound professional and stay connected no matter where they were.

They couldn’t find a solution with all the benefits and featured they needed that was affordable so they created Grasshopper, where you have complete control of the experience you give your callers.

You can set up multiple extensions. You can adjust voicemail greetings based on time of day. You can have your voicemail transcribed and sent to you. It’s also been proven that having your phone number on every page of your website increases sales (ok so not set stas but trust me it does).

I really like is that they have no long term contracts, and prices start at just $24 a month which is so affordable. I’m excited to support Grasshopper to support you. If you click here you’ll get $10 off.


When I discovered Dropbox last year I was thrilled. Now I could host files on their secure server and access them anytime online, from any computer or even my mobile. What’s more the software syncs my files online and across my laptops (yes I have more than one).

Put your files into your Dropbox on one computer, and they’ll be instantly available on any of your other computers that you’ve installed Dropbox on (Windows, Mac and Linux too!).

For example I could upload my eBook to the public folder on Dropbox and grab the link it gave me so that I could paste that into my blog and anyone could download it.

I also posted some of my PR shots up there and then just sent the link to any media who needed it. But I can also keep files just for me in my private folder. It’s super handy and you can store up to 2GB for free. Check it out here


This service takes DropBox one step further. It’s a cloud content management system that helps businesses share information and collaborate on projects online. The basic platform is free and is monetized by upselling advanced features, increased storage and additional security.

In just a few short years, Box.net has grown tremendously, the company now has more than 4 million users so they’re obviously providing a handy service.

Not only is it a cloud file server, you can also manage file transfers and track them, manage all your docs and media in one place, manage projects around your content and securely manage files. Plus they integrate directly with Google Apps – sweet. Click here to find out more.


If you’re anything like me you probably have a gazillion ideas a day and if you could capture them all you’d be a genius. Well you actually can. SpeakWrite allows you to speak your mind and then turn it into written word for you. Just like dictating to someone, you get on the phone and say what you want to say.

SpeakWrite transcribes your message and emails it back to you, typically within 2 hours. The charge? 1.25 cents a word for general, non-legal work. That’s $1.25 for every 100 words. So if I calculate the words in this article so far it would have cost $12. When you start thinking about how much your time is worth it’s really cheap.

I can think of multiple uses for this service especially if you write a lot, or produce a lot of information content, or if you’re travelling a lot and have downtime on the road.

There’s also software that can do this for you. If you have an iPhone you can download Dragon Dictation and it does the same thing (although it doesn’t recognize my Kiwi accent so well!). Look at what they offer here.


It’s a collaborative mindmapping tool that you can use to set up complex campaigns, todo tasks, map out websites (and track progress), visually delegate tasks, map out marketing/sales/fulfillment strategy, and a handful of other things.

My marketing savvy friend believes it’s the best tool he’s ever used for visually organizing complex things (and collaborating on them with others).

He’s tried project management software (celoxis, MS Project Manager), task management (Basecamp, Manymoon, paper), collaborative tools (Google docs, Google wave) and none of these compare. Cost is $9 per month. Check it out here http://www.mindmeister.com

Have you used any of these? Want to comment on your experiences – go ahead below. Make sure you check out Ultimate Toolkit for Evolutionary Entrepreneurs too.