Start with this list of 15 Applications No Online Business Can Live Without on Freelance Folder this morning. Some are obvious–Google Analytics, for example, and Basecamp–and some I’ve never heard of, but want to.
Add four more:
16. Email Center Pro
As soon as you have a second person–let alone three, five or 10–working with you, your e-mail takes a nosedive toward chaos. Email Center Pro adds management, accountability and collaboration to your existing e-mail. Assign e-mails, coordinate responses, speak as a company with a single e-mail voice but manage with visibility in the back office. Email Center Pro doesn’t replace your e-mail server; it works with it. (Disclosure: published by my company, Palo Alto Software).
The list of 15 starts with WordPress, which is appropriate. I like WordPress and use it a lot. But TypePad belongs on this list as well. It’s a reasonable alternative to WordPress for blogging. I use it for my Planning Startups Stories blog. Last time I looked, so did Seth Godin, Robert Sutton and many other major-league bloggers.
18. Windows Live Writer or MarsEdit
OK, neither of these is actually online. The real zing of blog post editing software is being able to work in the same interface for multiple blogs, and switching from one to another. I use both Mac and Windows at different times almost every day. The Windows Live Writer, a freebie by Microsoft, is the best I’ve tried. MarsEdit for the Mac is pretty good, too; it switches from blog to blog as does Live Writer; and if you’re on the Mac, Live Writer is irrelevant anyhow.
19. Instant Messenger
Instant communication. I use mostly Yahoo! Messenger because my team standardized on that one a couple of years ago. There are four or five main standards and several online apps that combine them. A lot of people like Meebo, which links to several of the major instant messengers. I’ve also used and liked Trillian. Here’s a link to a Lifehacker post from a year ago called the Five Best Instant Messengers.
And I’m stopping here, with 19. Sure, I could make this 20 by adding something obvious like Google Docs, but let it be 19.