Question

How many SaaS tools do you collaborate across on a daily basis?

When I used to work at a large company I remember my work being spread across GitHub, Google Drive, Slack, Datadog, Figma and Dropbox, in that order. I pay close attention to my workflows and I noticed myself repeating a lot of annoying workflows to get to the files and information I needed.

I've observed and talked to dozens of folks about the SaaS tools they use on a daily basis; especially if their work depends on collaborating across many SaaS tools. Most acknowledge that the additional work of looking for files, information and updates is a frustrating side-effect of SaaS dependant work and easily claim they can spend upwards of 20 minutes a day in aggregate just looking for information across their tools. However, I never see a consistent approach people take to solving this problem for themselves.

I would love to hear about how many core tools you work across every day; and if/what you do to keep your daily work organized when you're collaborating across several tools?

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miraiontoast's avatar
3 months ago

Far too many, probably. On a daily basis:

Wiki/project management: Notion
Project management: Asana
Storage: Google Drive
Design: Figma, Sketch
CRM: Salesforce
ESP: ActiveCampaign
Data viz: Mode, Tableau
Data analytics: Google Analytics, Segment
Customer support: Intercom
Eng management: Jira

And probably a ton more I'm forgetting.

To answer your question about "looking for information across their tools" -- a couple things I've seen work well together is:

  1. Enforce a wiki for references. We use Notion here, but Stripe has Home (https://stripe.com/blog/stripe-home) which I find super cool.
  2. A couple of friends use go/links at their companies. Also a good way to have single, human-readable references. It's easier for me to remember go/salesq3 than fight with Google Drive's search bar.
  3. Audit your stack at least once a year. We do this twice a year. Very often we realize some tools can be rolled into one. A big part of us buying Salesforce was being able to deprecate 3-4 different SaaS products.
6 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @miraiontoast )
3 months ago

Stripe Home looks really nice; almost amazed they haven’t spun that out as a separate product.

Zapier has an in-house tool called Async for collaboration. It’s basically an internal blog plus stats dashboard, and was originally based on WordPress P2 before being rebuilt internally. Basecamp’s check-ins feature seem like a stab in that direction too.

There’s absolutely a space for more internal dashboard+communication tools like that, especially as remote work’s become more normalized.

3 points
udara's avatar
@udara (replying to @maguay )
3 months ago

Indeed! Stripe home is an elegant solution for part of the problem. I've seen several large companies have similar internal tools for at least the wiki + project tracking and people directory portions. Shopify has a similar internal solution that's a lot more feature-rich and deeply integrated outwards. However, I'm yet to see a good service that centralizes data from external tools as much as replacing the functionality with custom tools.

Something interesting I've seen is that these custom tools have a lot of culture-specific terminology and features like rewards and badges built into them. It makes me believe these tools are custom for a good reason, even though you can just as easily get setup on just any forum x wiki x community tool for the same features.

4 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @udara )
3 months ago

That's a great point on internal tools reflecting culture. Might be where no-code app builders make the most sense, by giving a set of tools to remix into new tools that fit the way teams work best.

This also is a huge reason why there are so many project management apps, CRMs, and so on—each reflects the needs of the team that built it, and thus finds customers who fit the same profile (or, in the case of tools like Salesforce, they win by being so customizable that they can fit whatever workflow you need).

1 point
mattgunnin's avatar
3 months ago

At Esports One we actively use 8-10 tools, with the focus being around knowledge sharing and project management.

As a daily Product Hunt user, I’m always looking for the newest apps and tools that can optimize workflow and the spread of information. Notion + Monday are what we’ve come back to time and time again, while also spreading in Coda and Slack over MT.

Was also one of the early users of Clew and are testing it with Command E as well as FYI.

6 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @mattgunnin )
3 months ago

How are Clew versus Command E in your usage so far?

1 point
mattgunnin's avatar
@mattgunnin (replying to @maguay )
3 months ago

Clew doesnt seem to have the integrations yet. I'd still put FYI over the two for the time being.

2 points
udara's avatar
@udara (replying to @mattgunnin )
3 months ago

Yea I'd agree with that!

We've been a little too slow on the integrations because we try to aim for deep integrations with a focus on security and privacy when we handle external data. But we're learning and speeding up; hoping to launch a bunch more soon. :)

4 points
maguay's avatar
3 months ago

At Capiche now, with a 4 person team, we’re using 8 apps for collaboration including:

  • Slack for chat
  • Zoom for video calls
  • Notion for notes, planning, tasks... a bit of everything
  • GitHub for code
  • Figma for design
  • Google Drive for files (more for long term storage; we tend to share files in Slack then store the hard copy in Drive)
  • Google Docs for collaborative editing
  • Amplitude for data counts, I guess

G Suite Gmail almost counts too, since we have a Google Groups-powered team email for support emails that just sends the same email to all of our accounts. And then HR tools should almost count, and if you count random tools we individually use and occasionally share like whiteboarding apps, you’d easily hit a dozen. Then we each have local software we’re using and ... yeah. It adds up.

Since we tend to share everything in Slack and/or Notion, I typically search there when looking for something. Have tried Command E as well for unified search, but it doesn’t cover everything we’re using yet.

5 points
udara's avatar
@udara (replying to @maguay )
3 months ago

We started off with using just Notion for documents at Clew, my co-founder and I literally made a pact to consolidate on Notion; but two months later we're spread across Google Docs and Dropbox files for various situations - mostly when sharing with external stakeholders and collaborative editing since it just so well done and accessible on Google docs.

3 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @udara )
3 months ago

Yeah, it's tough to keep everything in one place. I still prefer editing longform content in Google Docs for suggested edits. The only trick I've used that helps a bit is to add a Notion note with a link to the Google Doc and enough detail to be able to find it via search again easily.

1 point
Superfection's avatar
3 months ago

(Clew looks really smart, I'm looking forward to giving it a spin)

"SaaS tools do you collaborate across on a daily basis?" Short answer: 15, as the founder of a 13 person startup. But there's more collaborative SaaS tools the team uses that I don't... if you count those, about 24.

And at Unitonomy, we are focused on a similar problem: how to better connect people and connect knowledge workers to knowledge across their fragmented tools and systems. Our answer is GetCommit.com. GetCommit rescues colleagues by providing a seamless knowledge transfer system that sits across the tools the org already use. If Clew is about finding files, GetCommit is about finding nuggets of knowledge and information.

4 points
siddxxvii's avatar
3 months ago

I use plenty of SaaS tools, i use them to try and compare but on day to day basis I use the following:

Storage: Google Drive
Notes and projects: Notion
CRM: Hubspot
Task management: Clickup, trello
Customer Interactions: Zendesk, Loom
Email: Spark

Some additional ones are Jira, ticktick, bear.
And yes I have used Clew as well Command E for multitasking, switching and finding things easier and faster, but if i be honest i still go back to Chrome bookmarks for faster access, or navigate to my dock where i have these apps click away.

4 points
optemization's avatar
3 months ago

I'm solo and I use:

  1. PM/CRM/Wiki: Notion
  2. Storage: Dropbox
  3. Contracts & Invoicing: and.co
  4. Time tracking: Harvest
  5. Automation: Zapier
  6. Chat: Slack
  7. Email Marketing: ConvertKit
  8. Websites: Unicorn Platform
  9. Help desk: Crisp
  10. Forms: Paperform.co
  11. Calls: Zoom
  12. Calendar: Fantastical
  13. Passwords: 1Password
  14. Databases: Airtable
4 points
udara's avatar
@udara (replying to @optemization )
3 months ago

That's pretty interesting! I've actually never heard of some of there tools! Harvest and and.co look super useful for freelancing.

1 point
awwstn's avatar
3 months ago

A few weeks ago I kept track of every app I interacted with in a 24 hour period. Here’s the list:

Ahrefs
Amazon
Amplitude
Brave
Carta
Cleanshot
Chrome
Crowdcast
CustomerIO
Doordash
Double
Figma
Gcal
Github
Gmail
GA
Gusto
iMessage
Instagram
Mini Metro
Notion
Overcast
Ring
Riverside FM
Roam
Safari
Slack
Spotify
Superhuman
Twitter
Zoom

4 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @awwstn )
3 months ago

What's Double? Only one on this list I don't think I'd heard of yet.

1 point
udara's avatar
@udara (replying to @awwstn )
3 months ago

Any thoughts on Roam > Obsidian?

1 point
awwstn's avatar
@awwstn (replying to @udara )
3 months ago

@udara I haven't used Obsidian, but I think it looks really cool. Have you used it?

1 point
udara's avatar
@udara (replying to @awwstn )
3 months ago

I haven't used Roam so this isn't an educated comparison. But, the primary sell was that it works over local markdown files and it's free. I've used so many note-taking tools over the years and text files have outlasted some of the tools I use - so I actually love that it's just markdown with some backlinks.

I have it set to a local directory and I use Git to back up the notes occasionally. I don't think the app itself is as feature-rich as Roam; but I'd say they've got the basics of "networked note-taking" down and I use it almost every day.

1 point
damianesteban's avatar
3 months ago

I signed up for Clew the other day, it looks promising. One tool that I've used recently is Command E which saves me a tremendous amount of time during my day.

3 points
RichWanden's avatar
3 months ago

Everything we use is a SaaS platform....... We host nothing on premise.
GSuite (GMail, Google Docs etc.; Google Drive)
Slack
Hubspot
Jira; Confluence
Expensify
Lots of others that our marketing team uses but not sure what these platforms are.....

2 points
rishi's avatar
3 months ago

Slack
Google Docs
Github
Google Drive
Zoom
Hubspot

For a small startup, anything that comes for free is good. :)

1 point
DudaBardavid's avatar
a month ago

Although we try to use as few as possible, still quite a lot:

  • G Suite for email, chat, call, files, (Gmail, Google Chat, Google Meet, Google Drive, Docs)
  • Workflows: DragApp (for customer support, customer onboarding, sales CRM, etc)
  • Analytics: Tableau, Google analytics
  • Productivity: Calendly, loom
  • Email marketing: Active Campaign
  • Live chat and knowledge base: Crisp Chat
1 point
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