50+ Free & Cheap Internet Tools for Designers, Social Entrepreneurs, Innovators & Startups

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LIFEHACKs_TOP_TOOLS

A list of services to help you be awesome.

Check out this list of online resources which can give you jumpstarts and shortcuts to gain quick momentum for your project or social venture.

Simple Website Tools:

  • WordPress – highly customisable content management system, with themes, plugins and much more.
  • Weebly – click & drag website builder which is also mobile friendly.
  • Strikingly – one page website builder with several themes and analytics built in.
  • Square Space – a less customisable, but easy to use website builder with e-commerce capabilities.

Simple Landing Page Tools:

  • Launchrock – build a landing page with social shareability built in. Free.
  • Lead Pages – billing themselves as the world’s easiest landing page builder, these are mobile friendly
  • Lander – Create and A/B test beautiful landing pages for your online marketing campaigns using an easy step-by-step process.
  • Unbounce – A/B testing for your landing pages
  • KickoffLabs – Lead generating landing pages, opt-in forms, and launch pages for everyone.

Communication 

  • Gmail – email, short and sweet.
  • Twitter – short form social communication (can be used as SMS / email / web / mobile)
  • Facebook – social networking
  • Mailchimp – email newsletters and marketing
  • Slack – team communication

Collaboration Tools:

  • Loomio – group decision making, done better.
  • Cobudget – group budgeting, done better.
  • Google Docs – taking Microsoft Office into c21st through real-time shared document editing
  • Google Drive – shared documents across devices and people
  • Dropbox – share documents across devices and people
  • Kumu – map concepts and networks, embed rich media
  • InvisionApp – design and prototyping collaboration made easy
  • Wipster – collaborative video editing

Graphic Design, Image Editing & Infographics:

  • Canva – use existing templates to create custom social media & poster graphics
  • Tailor Brands – build a customised brand and logo automatically and download for free, or pay for full packages
  • Pixlr Express / Editor – a simplified ‘photoshop in the cloud’
  • Pixelmator – a cheaper alternative to Photoshop
  • Affinity Designer – a cheaper alternative to Illustrator
  • Tackk – longer than a tweet, shorter than a blog – visual media made easy
  • Bitstrips – cartoon yourself and your friends
  • Piktochart – easy infographic builder with themes and more
  • Infogr.am – simple infographics with built in spreadsheets for visualisation
  • FontStruct – design your own typefaces + turn them into workable fonts

Video, Animation & Presentation

  • VideoScribe – create animated ‘hand drawn’ videos with ease
  • Powtoon – free animated video creator
  • Videolicious – web & mobile app for splicing videos together from your smartphone
  • LapseIt – timelapse videos from your smartphone
  • Prezi – animated presentations (can be used to create videos with screen capture)
  • Haiku Deck – visual presentations made easy

Web/Mobile App Communication Tools:

  • Intercom.io – Integrate into your website or webapp and communicate directly with your customers.
  • Twilio – Integrate and send SMS from your app
  • Mandrill – Integrate and send emails from your app

MVP App & Prototype Builders:

  • Stamplay – new kid on the block which helps you tie together SaaS products to build a functional app to help you validate your ideas.
  • Marvel – a way to turn your design files into clickable web / mobile prototypes.
  • Hoist Apps – a Kiwi outfit making it possible for you to build web apps without worrying about the back end (billing, user management, data etc)
  • POP – a way to Prototype on Paper, then turn the sketches into working digital prototypes.
  • Marvel App – Prototyping made simple
  • Codiqa – HTML5 Apps

Game Design:

  • Gamefroot – design and development platform based in NZ
  • PixelPress – draw your own platform game

Selling Online

  • Gumroad – helping you sell or giveaway digital media (like ebooks) online
  • WooCommerce – an e-commerce plugin for WordPress
  • Shopify – e-commerce focused websites
  • CDbaby – sell your music online
  • VHX – host your video content online and charge for it

Social Media Analytics

  • SumAll – free analytics package which produces visual reports on a range of platforms

Event Signups, Communication & Ticketing:

Domain Registration:

  • POP.co – domain registration, hosting and Google Apps all set up in 5 minutes
  • iWantMyName – domain registration based out of NZ

Task Management:

  • Trello – visual ‘card’ interface, great for collaboration
  • Asana – to do lists on steroids
  • Wunderlist – collaborative to do listing

Surveys & Online Forms:

  • Google Forms – forms, plain and simple
  • Typeform – turn ugly forms into a beautiful app-like interface
  • Qualaroo – embed a widget to gain customer insights
  • Delighted – customer feedback based on NPS
  • GetFeedback – visual surveys done well

Research & Inspiration:

  • LifeStack – our tech-wellbeing inspiration board

 

What are we missing? What should we add? Tell us in the comments!

7 thoughts on “50+ Free & Cheap Internet Tools for Designers, Social Entrepreneurs, Innovators & Startups

  1. For websites I use Wix. It’s extremely easy to use. You can drag and drop functionally on to the page, double click on text to edit it … and it’s got a lot of investment behind it so it gets even better daily.

    1. Nice, thanks Jennifer! Wix and Weebly are very similar aren’t they ~ is there many differences you know of?

  2. Leanstack is a great tool for building your business model canvas onlind – you can tag customer groups and have multiple versions going at once. There is also a tool for testing your business model.

    1. Agree! We used to use LeanStack a lot as a team actually, but recently moved to a hack together of Trello + Google Drive. Missing the visual interface, but we found there weren’t enough spots for experiments for us – we run a lot!

      It feels like a whole extra blog post ~ tools for business modelling. What other suggestions do you have?

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