THE BLOG
05/02/2016 01:35 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The 10 Top Online Tools to Make Your Business Life Better (Really)

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Image source: PhotoDune

We've all been there: cloud-based software products should make our lives and work easier, right? But inevitably a "one-step solution" turns into a time-consuming headache thanks to confusing onboarding, continually app hiccups, or the inability to customize the tool to meet our needs.

We spend 85 percent of the time on our smartphones using apps, but it's the same five apps that are in heavy rotation. From apps to cloud-based tools, we're reluctant to try new products- even when it comes to apps designed to maximize your business productivity. Who needs to go through the hassle of onboarding and integrating the app into your daily behavior only to realize it doesn't truly meet your needs?

Let's take the guesswork out of what works and what doesn't. These are 10 of the best apps to keep hassles to a minimum and streamline business that works:

Boomerang

Schedule and space your emails, so you don't inconvenience and inundate your friends, co-workers, and, most important, bosses. Boomerang allows you to write all your emails at once and then control when recipients receive them.

Box

Box is a platform to facilitate file sharing, but it goes much deeper than that. You can customize the interface to integrate with partners such as Salesforce, Microsoft Office, and Google Docs. Plus, you can link up with EchoSign for contracts. Monitor file access and manage administration settings so you have peace of mind that your business assets have been securely stored exactly where they need to be.

Calendly

Simple concept, perfect execution. Still spending hours doing your scheduling through ping-ponging emails? Put an end to the madness with your very own administrative assistant software. Calendly integrates with your calendar via a user-friendly dashboard that automatically shows vendors, teammates, clients, or friends your schedule availability. They pick any open time that works for them, you confirm it, and boom: meetings and calls scheduled with minimal back-and-forth hassle!

Attendify

Managing the logistics of a large conference event can be a nightmare. Who has time to answer attendees' scheduling questions? Attendify is a one-stop solution that empowers attendees to manage their schedules with real-time conference itineraries and helpful convention center maps. Platforms for event enterprise management can be costly, but Attendify lets you customize features, including sponsorship, for next to nothing. Plus, Attendify's tool set makes managing communication logistics with attendees a breeze.

LastPass

You can't do anything online these days without a password. But with experts urging folks to regularly change their passwords (and to use different random passwords for every account), it's no surprise most of us can't keep track of which password goes to which site. Worse, it seems like every time we turn around a new website has been hacked and sensitive data released. Play it safe with LastPass, an easy-to-use password manager that securely stores and updates passwords.

Intraboom

Are you a team manager or small business owner? Then you know first-hand how frustrating it can be to schedule small groups of employees. You don't need (and may not be able to afford) expensive enterprise scheduling software. But you do need a scheduling solution that eliminates any run-around. Your solution: Intraboom. With Intraboom, you can reach team members with just a few clicks, swipes, and taps to schedule all your shifts with ease.

ContentMarketer.io

What good is a blog if no one reads it? Even a blog with outstanding content still needs an audience, or it's all your great content is just going to waste. This app automates the promotion and distribution, pinging every influencer in your post and helping your content get listed elsewhere.

Themeforest

Why reinvent the wheel each time you need a website, do a presentation or have to come up with a design? Using existing themes to guide you is the smart way to get a head start on any project needing a good layout. Themeforest will do that for you, leaving you free to concentrate on creating outstanding content that connects with your customers' needs.

UberConference

Long ID and PIN numbers are the bane of conference calls. UberConference gives you a dedicated PIN-less conference line that you can control from a Web dashboard or a mobile device. You also can monitor whoever is speaking to prevent sticky interruptions, plus you can quickly view who is next on the line.

LeadPages

This app makes it a breeze to manufacture landing pages that will integrate with a lot of other software applications to let you do email marketing platforms and conference call tools. You can set up a webinar registration landing page, offer download pages, and launch a professional marketing campaign -- all in less than ten minutes. You don't worry about technology or design; LeadPages does all that for you.

Bonus: BestIDTheftCompanys

More than one in five Americans were victims of identity theft or attempted identity theft last year, according to a new report from the American Institute of CPAs. Behind the curtain, BIDTC leverages experts in the personal security industry to research and create their reviews. Rather than seeking out and lambasting the worst agencies, they've strived to praise and bring to light the best identity theft protection companies in the industry, helping small business owners make smart, secure choices.

Bottom line:

Do you have a favorite online tool that I missed? Tell me what you love (or loathe) and share your productivity tips in the comments below.