Question

What software did you start using on your own, then convinced your company to adopt?

Some of the tools people complain about most are ones that you don’t get to pick, things like issue trackers and content management systems that would be incredibly hard to replace.

Then there are the lighter tools, the personal to-do list apps and note taking software and email clients that people love talking about. They’re easy to switch—and something you get to pick in your workplace. You can try them on your own, and if they work well, others in the company may start using them as well.

What software have you started using on your own, loved, and then evangelized throughout your company?

Share
Asmithtx's avatar
9 months ago

I came into an IT company full of Microsoft and Cisco fans. We were running 2 on-premise phone systems (caused by a merger) - Cisco and a proprietary system. We needed to be on 1 system. Everyone wanted to try out Teams/Skype for Business but I knew RingCentral would work. I was overruled initially but once they found out Teams wouldn't work (which I told them, but they didn't listen), they gave me the go-ahead to 'try' RingCentral. Of course it worked out of the box and I implemented it myself (I'm the finance guy, not IT). We've been running it successfully ever since.

Still can't convince them to get off Quickbooks Desktop and move to Quickbooks Online though...

4 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @Asmithtx )
8 months ago

That's a great story, thanks for sharing! Sometimes things have to almost fail before people are willing to try the alternative.

QuickBooks is an interesting one, where I still see it recommended over competitors, but the divide is between older desktop versions and the newer online ones. Microsoft did a good job bridging the gap there with Office since documents sync through OneDrive the same if you're using desktop or web apps, only with slightly fewer collaboration features. What's the main thing your team is missing by sticking with QuickBooks Desktop?

1 point
Asmithtx's avatar
@Asmithtx (replying to @maguay )
8 months ago

On premise software is just horrible. I’m too old (40) to be dealing with upgrades and installs that don’t always work. Or on-premise sync tools with QB that don’t always work, or Remote Desktop connections that are just horrible no matter what app you’re trying to use. I’d be a happy man if I didn’t have to deal with on premise software ever again.

The only reason to go with the on premise version of QB is because it has features the online version doesn’t have yet.

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @Asmithtx )
8 months ago

Makes sense! Native non-syncing apps still make sense for individually directed tasks (writing, design, etc can fit, depending on your workflow, especially at the earlier stages of outlining, sketching, and so on), but for anything where collaboration is central and more than one person needs the data, hosted makes far more sense.

Is QB online close to desktop feature parity now?

1 point
Asmithtx's avatar
@Asmithtx (replying to @maguay )
8 months ago

Yes, agree there are places where on premise software makes sense, just not in collaboration of any kind.

It takes years to recreate the features of an on premise system that’s been developed for 30 years or more. I think for back office accounting the online version of QB is fine, but for heavy inventory needs (distribution and manufacturing) QB online still has a ways to go.

2 points
maguay's avatar
8 months ago

Notion.

This may be cheating as I picked it for our team early on, when we didn't have a team notes, intranet, or project management app yet. But in my previous team, the company used Quip for shared documents—and I'd used Notion on my own and in smaller teams, so I thought it would be a better option. So when I had the chance to pick a shared notes app, I double-checked versus the competition to make sure it still seemed like the right choice, and then got the team to use it.

And it seems like it's been a good choice so far. We use Notion for everything from notes and brainstorming to project management, research gathering, and more.

2 points
abbybarsky's avatar
5 months ago

I love this question!

At my old company (more mature start-up), we switched from Campaign Monitor to HubSpot for our email needs, so when I joined a new start-up I recommended HubSpot for email and CRM. I don't love it by any means, but for the purpose of just getting started, I knew i'd be able to get it up and running fast, having gone through pretty robust training with HubSpot in my former role.

If we weren't using Loom already I would've brought that over too. It's great for communication for external clients or customers, since they can watch it at any time and it adds both a visual and human element to explaining or showing something.

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @abbybarsky )
5 months ago

@abbybarsky Neat, thanks for sharing your story! What made HubSpot better than Campaign Monitor for your email workflow?

Loom is great for recording quick videos—I've recently started using it to make quick support-focused videos. Just wish it had a setting to turn your camera off by default, as I just want to record the screen.

1 point
abbybarsky's avatar
@abbybarsky (replying to @maguay )
5 months ago

HubSpot was not only less expensive (49% savings per email), but had more capabilities in terms of A/B testing, personalization, and creating better looking emails. Plus Campaign Monitor was very clunky and slow to use!

I had a good Loom fail – I was sending my former teammate instructions on how to do something in HubSpot, but forgot to turn my mic on, so it was just a floating lip sync head and a recorded screen 🤦‍♀️

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @abbybarsky )
5 months ago

That's incredible—wouldn't have expected HubSpot would work out cheaper.

Ha yikes. Anything with video is almost asking for the occasional weird fail!

2 points
bigal123's avatar
5 months ago

Ahrefs. From reading their content to trying out the tool, was easily hands down the best tool for doing SEO research.

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @bigal123 )
5 months ago

That's a great one! I started using it in one team, then have convinced every team I've joined since to use it as well. Still haven't found anything better.

1 point
evilsizor's avatar
8 months ago

GQueues. Everything you need with a task manager (to include full Google calendar integration for time-blocking) and nothing that you don't.

Fully customizable and GTD-ready.

I've been using it since 2012.

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @evilsizor )
8 months ago

Oh very cool. That looks like a pro version of Google Tasks.

1 point
evilsizor's avatar
@evilsizor (replying to @maguay )
8 months ago

That's a neat way to look at it. 🤓👍

1 point
How do you find new software to use?

The market is bursting with new software, a lot of new products are launching every day. A few months ago I posted on Capiche about my SaaS idea. Your feedback is priceless and helped us to change...

The community for power users.