5 SaaS tools startups can’t live without

5 SaaS tools

It’s always fascinating to see how the discussions among startup founders and teams around what SaaS tools to use can take longer, and be more heated, than the discussions about the actual business. 

The truth is that, while you spend time testing and evaluating all the different SaaS tools out there, it’s very easy to get distracted and lose sight of what’s important – to grow your business.

We, at onetool, are certainly guilty of this. We’re always comparing, discussing, and arguing about new SaaS tools and how they can improve all business-related tasks. Although we do have a good excuse for it since onetool is a SaaS app store and knowing everything about these products is part of our business.

As a startup, and especially as obsessed SaaS tools know-it-alls, we believe that there are a handful of must-have tools that are vital to successfully run small business and we’d like to share them with you. We hope our suggestions will release some of your team’s “SaaS research” stress.

You can access all of the tools listed in this blog for 14 days free when you sign up to onetool here. Joining onetool is easy and free of charge.

ClickUp is a versatile project management tool. It has replaced many of the tools we used to easily get a centralized view of everything we are working on and stay organized. It is the backbone of our teams. All of our projects, goals, backlog, and timelines related to engineering, marketing, partnership, and sales live here.

A highly-customizable tool

You can structure ClickUp anyway you want to match the needs of a specific team or project. 

Our dev team is using ClickUp’s Agile Project Management template to organize their sprints and backlog. The different task views (eight to be precise) allow them to see their tasks as a list, a kanban board, a Gantt chart, or even a calendar. 

They’ve also been working with the mind map view to easily map the flow of our app sign up process and quickly create tasks based on the part of the process that needs improvement.

All teams can easily collaborate

Another cool ClickUp feature our teams like is the Task Dependencies, which give us a complete overview of everything that needs to be done as a company to complete a project, so we can collaborate seamlessly.  

For example, let’s say that our engineers are working on a product and they need some data from the business team before it can be launched. With ClickUp, we can create a task called “Product release” and make it dependent on the completion of a task called “Provide Data”, so that the business team knows they must complete their task before the dev team can release the product.

Create, save, and share your teams’ knowledge

In its effort to cover all things related to project management, in order to replace as many tools as possible, ClickUp has come up with a feature called Docs. It lets its users create and store useful information within a specific list in a space, allowing other team members to access it easily. 

At onetool, we use this feature so often that I’m actually using it to write this blog post.

ClickUp’s Docs, together with the Chat Room feature, have reduced the back-and-forth between multiple tools, such as GDocs and GChat, among our team members.

Other great features

  • Standups: Allows our teams to have stand ups within each project.
  • Goals: Help us keep track of our monthly and quarterly goals for all partnerships and sales.

2. Vectera (Video Meetings)

We consider Vectera to be a hidden gem that we found early on in our SaaS-discovery journey, back when onetool started, and it has really changed the way we hold meetings internally and externally. 

Previously, we were using Zoom just like everyone else. We thought it was the best video meetings tool out there until we found Vectera, which gave us features that we didn’t think were possible before.

Easily upload and share files

The biggest game-changer for us was the ability to upload files in the meeting room and collaborate on them (marking, highlighting, writing etc.) as we were holding the meeting. That meant we no longer had to share our screens to go over a document together.

Use the whiteboard for real-time collaboration

Vectera’s whiteboard feature is outstanding. As with the files you upload, the whiteboard allows you to collaborate with the meeting’s participants (internal and external) as you hold the meeting! But in this case, you can do so on a blank page. 

Imagine our surprise when we found out that we could easily write ideas down as we were having our meeting, and have other team members add to them using different fonts, color markers, lines, circles, etc. Just like a real, physical whiteboard. It’s pure magic!

The best of all is that you can save your work after the meeting’s over and continue where you left off on the next meeting.

Easy appointment scheduling and dedicated meeting rooms

The two features in Vectera that convinced us to completely switch over from Zoom are: 

  • Integrated Scheduling: Gives us the ability to use one tool (Vectera) to schedule and conduct meetings, instead of two tools (Zoom and Calendly). 
    We simply share a link with our prospect to schedule a meeting with us and Vectera automatically blocks the time from our calendars and instantly creates a dedicated meeting room for our meeting.

  • Persistent Meeting Rooms: Lets us keep all uploaded files, whiteboard notes, and chat messages shared during a meeting in the meeting room, which we can access and used over and over again when we have a meeting with the same person.

3. Pipedrive (CRM & Pipeline Management)

Funnels that are easy-to-setup and easy-to-use

One of the best features about Pipedrive is the ability to set up automations throughout our pipelines.

For example, whenever we move a prospect to the “Negotiations” stage in our partnerships pipeline, we send out an automated email from our CEO and automated tasks assign each prospect to a member of our dev team to continue with the next steps in the process. This, of course, has saved us a ton of time.

Automations everywhere

One of the best features about Pipedrive is the ability to set up automations throughout our pipelines.

For example, whenever we move a prospect to the “Negotiations” stage in our partnerships pipeline, we send out an automated email from our CEO and automated tasks assign each prospect to a member of our dev team to continue with the next steps in the process. This, of course, has saved us a ton of time.

Gmail integration

Pipedrive’s Gmail integration has also been a huge time saver because the only thing you have to do to create a new deal is click on the Pipedrive button. This will automatically create a new contact and a new deal in Pipedrive, and will transfer all the relevant contact data that it can find in Gmail, such as the contact’s email, name, company name, etc.

4. Docsketch (e-Signatures)

If we had to choose only one SaaS tool based on its simplicity and ease-of-use, it would be Docsketch. This is our go-to eSignature tool to create, sign, manage, and store contracts for our partners and customers. 

It’s one of those tools where you get 90% of its functionality in just 3-4 clicks. 

Want to create a new contract? Click one button, choose one of the pre-made templates or upload your own, assign signees, and send it over for signature. 

Want to get approval for your contract before you send it to your prospect? Click on Docsketch’s option to send a contract as a “Sales Document” and you are done. No fanfare, no BS. Straight simple.

5. StoryXpress (Video Recordings)

“Asynchronous communication” and “remote work” are the buzzwords of 2020, and for a good reason.

As a team that started off semi-remotely, our internal communication is something that we’ve been trying to figure out since day 1, and StoryXpress has helped tremendously with it.

Use it internally

Instead of writing long comments, messages, or paragraphs, we simply record a short video of our screen or webcam and send it over to our team. Something that would take you 15 minutes to write and 5 minutes for everyone to read, can instead take you 3 minutes to record and 2 minutes for everyone to watch.

The only thing that you have to do is click on StoryXpress’s Chrome extension, hit record, and voila! You begin recording. Once you’re done, StoryXpress gives you a unique link that you can share with all your viewers.

Use it externally

Apart from the overall use of the tool that has been super helpful for us internally, we also use it externally for a lot of different things. StoryXpress has let us record product demos, how-to videos when we assign tasks to freelancers, and video responses to our investors.

Make notes as you record

The cool thing about StoryXpress is that while recording, you can also draw and highlight certain areas of the screen to get your point across and point the viewer of the video in the right direction.

Conclusion

With more than 70,000 SaaS tools out there, it’s really easy to waste a lot of time and brain power discovering, testing, and managing different tools. This is the exact problem that gave birth to one tool. 

The truth is that your team members or employees do not want to use 500 different tools for all types of tasks, which is why it’s important to:

  1. find tools that solve more than one problem (like scheduling and video meetings, for example), 
  2. are easy to use and don’t don’t require a long onboarding process, and
  3. are able to collaborate with each other to help you automate as many tedious tasks as possible. 

You can access all of the tools listed in this blog for 14 days free when you sign up to onetool here. Joining onetool is easy and free of charge.