A few weeks ago, I was talking to a friend who was recently promoted to a C-level position at his company.
Part of his new role was to help his, sales, marketing, and IT teams be more efficient.
The question he asked was:
“How do you guys run a successful technology business at Trajectory IQ with only 6 staff, while simultaneously supporting several enterprise companies and hundreds of thousands of users?”
I tried to list all the products we’re using, but I realized that it’s a pretty lengthy list. Here are the tools we’re using (hopefully this is helpful).
Slack — like most companies, we’re on the Slack train. It’s become our communications hub and most of the products I list below are directly integrated into their own Slack channels. It’s like mission control.
Outlook — this is legacy from a few years ago but overall it’s easy to add and remove employees. It has the added benefit of cloud based Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) if our team needs to use it.
Spark — personally, I use Spark as my Mac mail client instead of Apple mail. It has the added benefit of exporting emails to Trello cards (I’ll discuss Trello below).
join.me — simple conference call/ screensharing software. We use join.me exclusively with our external partners and sales prospects. It’s cost effective, pretty reliable, and lets us record calls for future review.
Grasshopper — this was a lifesaver when I found it 3 years ago. Grasshopper is a virtual phone system that allowed me to select a toll free number and set up forwarding to our team members direct line based on sales, support, etc.
MailChimp — we use Mailchimp to collect email newsletter signups and to send out our quarterly newsletter.
Hootsuite — we use Hootsuite to manage and distribute our social media posts and relevant info about the company
Medium — we created this publication to help organize our thoughts and if you’re reading this, you know how awesome Medium is.
Drift — one of the WordPress plugins we’re testing to communicate with potential customers on our website.
Sumo — another one of the WordPress plugins we’re testing, Sumo will be used primarily to help with lead generation.
Productivity and Project Management
Harvest — this has been a staple of the company for a few years now. We use Harvest for employee time tracking.
Trello — a few years ago we switched from Basecamp to Trello simply because we needed a more “checklist-style” application that fit the way the team works. We use Trello to track all of our project tasks including marketing and sales where it acts like a simple CRM.
Elegantt — this is a Trello Chrome extension that allows us to automatically generate Gantt charts directly from Trello. As a former Project Manager, I’m a fan of Elegantt.
Marker.io — a new addition to our Trajectory IQ QA/ Testing phase, Marker.io allows our team to take screenshots of testing issues, annotate them, and post them directly to Trello. It has the added benefit of capturing info like browser type, screen size, OS, etc.
Typeform — plain and simple, Typeform is awesome. These are the most elegant forms you can create and their templates are really well designed. You can try out the Typeform we created to collect Trajectory IQ feedback.
Zendesk — we’ve been using Zendesk for over 5 years now and it’s tightly integrated help support feature means that we can triage all support tickets that come in from Trajectory IQ. We also created TIQ.Ninja using Zendesk to provide support for our customers.
Administration and Human Resources
Quickbooks — we use the online version of quickbooks to manage our invoicing and to generate reports for our Venture Capital board.
Dryrun — giving a shout out to a friend, and local developer, who developed Dryrun. It’s a really cool tool that helps with cash flow forecasts.
Recruitee — this was nothing short of magic when I first found it. We use Recruitee to post jobs and because it’s integrated with Indeed, Glassdoor, etc. When we publish a job posting, we get immediate results.
Adobe Creative Cloud — like most other companies on the planet we use Adobe CC. In all honesty, I hope we can punt it someday because it’s expensive and their insistence on charging Canadian companies in US dollars is ridiculous (you can choose to pay in Kuwaiti dollars but not Canadian?!)
Sketch — we can see a day when Sketch will become our primary design tool. We’re using it to setup all of our Trajectory IQ boilerplates and it’s extremely useful and cost effective (unlike Adobe products).
InvisionApp — another applicaiton we’ve been using for years, Invision makes is super simple for us to demo design prototypes to our clients that feel like the real thing. It has the added benefit of integrating directly with Sketch so that our devs can get the design elements just right during build.
iStock — we have a monthly subscription with iStock so that we can support all clients who require extra images for their projects.
IT Related — Infrastructure, etc.
Gather Content — we decided against one dedicated CMS a few years ago, instead we opted to use Gather Content for our internal teams and our clients to author and edit content. Gather Content rules, and you should definitely check it out.
Amazon Web Services — Trajectory IQ is powered by AWS cloud hosting. We use a wide varitey of Amazon products like Route 53 to support the release of our TIQ modules.
MongoDB/ Atlas — we use a cloud hosted MongoDB instance as our TIQ database.
OKTA — if you can afford it, OKTA is a life saver. Without it, we would be trying to accomplish enterprise user management through a login portal that we designed and built. OKTA single handedly saves us hundreds of hours a year in development work.
Heroku — for infrastructure management.
GitHub — we use GitHub as our developer platform for code source control and version control management.
GitKraken — our devs use a variety of tools to interface with GitHub but one of note is GitKraken which integrates directly into GitHub.
Postman — we use postman to manage our TIQ API environment.
The Wrap Up
It’s pretty crazy to see how many tools we use and hopefully you’ll find some of these useful. If you have any suggestions for some other products we should check out, let me know in the comments below.
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