Every modern business relies on tech tools to collaborate, make data transfers, perform data analysis, control inventory levels, and much, much more! However, many tools cost an arm and a leg, which can put smaller, new businesses at a disadvantage compared to their larger and more established competitors.
Fortunately, there are plenty of free tech tools you can use to bolster your organization, get new customers, and drive conversions without having to spend any of your limited budgets. If you’ve never heard of such tools or don’t know where to start your search, read on; we’ll break down nine of the best free tech tools you should use throughout 2022 and beyond.
Slack quickly became more popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s been a stellar internal communication app for years. “Slack allows you and your employees or coworkers to communicate quickly and easily without having to send endless and ongoing email chains,” says Gabriel de la Serna, CEO, and Founder of Onpost.
Slack further allows you to create different channels so you can speak privately to clients or individual coworkers, or discuss specific projects. Every business can take advantage of a free communication plan that includes 5 GB of file storage. Plus, it comes with an inbuilt voice and video call software; how useful is that?
You can also pay for even more file storage and expanded capabilities, making Slack a great choice for growing businesses that will use more comprehensive software once they earn a bit of cash.
Canva is a top free app if you must create marketing or social media graphics for your blog posts, social media posts, or online advertisements. Max Schwartzapfel, CMO of Fighting For You says, “In a nutshell, Canva is a free online graphic design tool that includes over 100 distinct design types and over 250,000 free design templates.” You can make anything you need for your marketing campaigns on Canva, ranging from PPC or pay-per-click ads to social media posts to digital announcement posters and much more.
The free version of this software allows you to collaborate on projects and add different team members, so it could be a great choice for your marketing department as well. “All team members on Canva can add comments to projects, resolve suggestions, and even assign tasks from a unified dashboard,” says Karden Rabin, Co-Founder of CFS School.
All in all, this is the best free marketing graphic tech tool available in 2022. You can further upgrade Canva for more features and more templates once your business makes some money.
Then there’s Wave: a top-tier and free accounting software choice. Many other accounting software options are quite pricey, especially when you consider the cost of hiring a dedicated accountant.
Michael Fischer, Founder of Elite HRT says, “If you run your own business or only have a few employees, Wave is perfect since odds are you do your books as well.” This free-to-use software lets you track your income, expenses, and other financial metrics while also generating comprehensive financial statements.
Wave’s dashboard allows you to monitor how your business is doing from a financial standpoint, plus use free unlimited invoicing. You can even set up recurring payments for customers, which is a perfect feature for businesses that rely on invoice payments from their clients rather than from product sales.
GoToMeeting is an excellent choice if you foresee making lots of video calls in the future. If you have remote or hybrid remote and in-office team members, GoToMeeting will allow you to host meetings for free and easily at that.
With GoToMeeting, you can schedule meetings that last for up to 40 minutes long and that can include up to three separate participants. This isn’t as many as you can schedule with other paid video conferencing apps, but it’s still an excellent feature suite given the $0 price tag.
GoToMeeting further allows you to share your screen with other meeting participants and send links from a simple comment board. Team members participating in meetings can ask questions using the same chat box. “Once you upgrade to one of GoToMeeting’s paid plans, you can enjoy added functionality like larger meetings, screen graphics, video meeting recordings, and much more.,” says Omid Semino, CEO and Founder of Diamond Mansion.
Hootsuite is the go-to free social media marketing app. “Put simply, HootSuite allows you to schedule social media posts so you don’t have to sit at your desk and manually press the “post” button every time you need to put up a new announcement or blog link,” says Marilyn Zubak, Marketing Lead at Snif.
More importantly, HootSuite lets you actively monitor all of your social media accounts, such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Rather than having to keep these tabs open all the time, you can simply use HootSuite to monitor your ad campaign progress, the user follows, and other metrics.
Hootsuite’s free plan is admittedly a bit limited, as you can only connect to two separate social media accounts, and you can only schedule up to five posts per month. Still, this is a good way to get started with social media marketing if you run your business by yourself or have a very small enterprise. You can, of course, upgrade your HootSuite for more scheduled posts and social media account linking in the future without losing any of your settings or progress so far.
Wrike is a free project management software app oftentimes used by major companies such as Airbnb, Google, and Lyft. While those companies use the paid plan, Wrike’s free plan is also worthwhile. It’s perfect if your business only has 1-5 employees or users.
The free plan comes with features ranging from task and subtask management to spreadsheet views for important data to an interactive board where you and your coworkers can collaborate on important projects. “Wrike is accessible on desktop computers, through a mobile app, or an online browser, so it’s easy to use anywhere in the world,” says Kyle Clements, CEO of Quipli.
Once you boot up Wrike, you’ll be able to view an interactive project board and use a spreadsheet view to see things from a new perspective. More importantly, Wrike offers exceptional file storage integrations with Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive.
IFTTT or “if this, then that” is a great free workflow app. It lets you set up custom workflows so your apps and programs work together, enabling greater workplace efficiency. The free plan lets you connect with over 700 different apps ranging from Evernote to Dropbox to Twitter and more.
“Since there is zero coding knowledge required, it’s perfect for business owners who aren’t very tech-savvy,” says Dakota McDaniels, Chief Product Officer of Pluto. Sign up for the free plan and you can connect up to five different apps at once.
While this doesn’t let you take advantage of the hundreds of connectible apps, it’s still a good place to start.
Who could forget Dropbox: a free and helpful tool for many small businesses? This cloud-based storage system lets you save important business files on the cloud, rather than keeping them on a physical hard drive. Then, even if you lose your hard drive, your critical business files will still be safe and secure, protected by Dropbox’s excellent security.
“Dropbox is also useful since it allows any employees in your organization to access the same files from their computers,” says Rachel Roff, Founder, and CEO of Urban Skin Rx. “You don’t have to manually email critical files to employees; they can simply access the same server and collaborate on projects remotely.”
With the free plan, you get up to 2 GB of cloud storage. Should you need more storage, you can always upgrade to a paid plan in the future.
Last but not least is Google Calendar: an excellent (and free) time management and scheduling tech tool. This tool lets you both create and edit events on an intuitive, easily navigable calendar grid. Not only can you check out or edit events on this calendar grid, but so can your employees who have access to the same calendars.
Google Calendar is further useful since it includes frequent reminders for meetings, client needs, project deadlines, and much more. If you have a meeting or event that will pop up in the future, you can create a recurring event and save yourself some time by not having to schedule the same event each day, week, month, or quarter. Google Calendar can be integrated into your laptop, phone, or a compatible smartwatch.
Ian Heyman, Founder of MDP says, “In many ways, Google Calendar is perfect for small business owners or freelance entrepreneurs as it’s free for all personal use and just requires a Google account.”
Ultimately, these tech tools are great solutions for a variety of business needs and operations, ranging from remote work project collaboration to customer satisfaction insurance to data-gathering and more. Consider trying each of these free tech tools shortly and keeping your favorites. Remember, many of these tools start free, but offer paid versions with even more quality features you can take advantage of as your business budget expands!