Small and medium sized businesses are hurting from rising costs, more than they were 12 months ago, reports MYOB and we’re also hearing it directly from them. What are they doing about it? They’re looking for digital solutions to improve productivity.

Fuel costs, utilities, and interest rates are causing strife, but small to medium startups (any business less than 2 years old) are hopeful about the coming year, and we are too.

The research shows that in the last 12 months, more of those startups are looking to productivity tools to boost productivity right from the start. That resourcefulness, says MYOB CEO Paul Robson, is part of what’s making those small to medium optimistic, strong, and feeling more positive about the year ahead.

The Coax team couldn’t agree more. We see and feel the hurt that is affecting small to medium businesses we talk to, and we know how much the right tool can help. So, we decided to do a roundup of some of our own productivity boosts to help out at a time when community matters most.

Here’s our recommendations to help boost your productivity (in no particular order!)

Canva

Web, macOS, Windows, iOS and Android

A homegrown Australian solution to expensive Photoshop fees that we love for it’s templates to get those creative juices going and added features like presentations and even handling data for graphs with a focus on simple, beautiful graphics for all.

Allio

Web, Android, and iOS is coming soon.

Our friends over at Allio have created a job management software for modern service businesses that allows you to create quotes, track time and costs, and manage invoicing on one easy platform. It’s an amazing job and task management tool that’s sure to help small businesses manage costs from quotes to invoicing and all that happens in between.

Roam

Web (for visitors), macOs, Windows, iOS and Android.

The Coax team is a very hybrid team and we love our remote work. We use Roam, a platform we learned about from other startups in the business. Roam is a virtual office space where you can see a layout of a virtual office, everyones offices and meeting spaces. We love it for our creative/chill out zones to cowork with offices. We’re a communication platform, so access to impromptu chats is really important to us. We also love that Roam is a startup too!

PandaDoc

Web, iOS and Android

We recently discovered PandaDoc because it has a “Send to Canva” feature, which means if you design a document in Canva, you can send it to PandaDoc to make it easier for clients to sign documents, see if they’ve opened it, and make any amendments in the app.

Coax

Web, iOS and Android

Listen, it’s not a shameless plug, we really use it every day. We manage to provide customer service to our own users from within Coax. We send photos, documents, and links, and they can chat with us via email, Facebook, text, and more.

Maccy

macOS

This is a gem of a little app, and pay what you can ($0-$10 at the time of writing). Maccy is cool because it saves all your copied items. Which means, if you need to copy a link to a customer and a phone number to a coworker, you don’t have to get them twice, copy them both and then use Maccy to send

1Password

Web, macOS, Windows, iOS, Android

With the amount of data breaches we’ve had in Australia, I think a password manager like 1Password should really be on all small businesses radar. It’s a dangerous world out there, and we have to protect ourselves. Our team uses 1Password, we have a team vault where the team shares passwords, and then each team member has their own password vault.

A little note about the next three apps. We use a really cool app subscription service called SetApp for macOS and iOS. It provides access to a growing collection of software from different developers for a fixed monthly fee, so if you subscribe to SetApp, you get all these apps below included and many more.

TextSniper

macOS (available on SetApp)

This is a cool tool, it allows you to grab text from images, PDFs, and websites by “snipping” the text and copying it to your keyboard. It’s great in meetings, to get copy from websites to include in proposals, or even to get emails from hard-to-select places.

CleanShot

macOS (available on SetApp)

In a similar vein to TextSniper, CleanShot is a powerful screenshot tool. It can store data in the cloud, save your screenshots either to a link or to your computer, and keep them from cluttering your desktop (we know, it’s happened to the best of us).

SparkMail

macOS, Windows, Android, iOS (available on SetApp)

We love SparkMail for it’s inbox zero philosophy. Instead of sitting with 12,000 unread emails, SparkMail categories them into type (person, newsletter, notification) and allows you to clear them off in bulk. Some of our team are super obsessed with clearing and love this app.