10 Essential Tools Your Startup Can’t Live Without

User-friendly apps that have made our life a whole lot easier at The Happy Startup School, and will also help you find team flow

1. Slack

Branded as the email killer and the fastest company ever to reach a $1bn valuation, Slack is a tool that has allowed us to allow for remote working without it impacting our productivity. As well as our own team channel, we also have a Slack channel for the happy startup community and our online course Home School. Tip: Get all team members to download the mobile app to get into the habit of using it.


2. Medium

Medium isn’t just a blogging or publishing platform, it’s a powerful network. We switched our blog from Wordpress to Medium because we found we get more traffic and write better. People can discover your content more easily on Medium than your own site, and online publishers are always on there looking for great content. Tip: Start a Medium publication and invite guest writers to boost your influence


3. Squarespace

Squarespace is a website design tool created by designers. It’s so easy to use, affordable and has the benefit of less features than platforms like WordPress. This is a good thing – if you looking to get a beautiful website up in little time, less is more. Tip: Start with a one page website to get your vision into the world (get royalty free stock images via Unsplash).


4. Typeform

We’re big fans of Typeform at HSS. Not only does it allow you to collect feedback forms or survey information, you can actually use it to create a simple one page website where you can collect valuable information from your customers. We use Typeform to manage program applications, collect profile information from community members, build quizzes and collect competition entries. Tip: Customise colours and add images to your Typeform to give it some personality.


5. Trello

Trello is a lifesaver for us. We use it to log ideas, plan projects, keep track of program applicants and make lists. Some people prefer tools like Evernote and to-do list apps, but we’re hooked on Trello. It’s so easy to use, works seamlessly across devices and has some great plug-ins that allow you to integrate with other apps. Tip: Upgrade to Trello Gold for advanced features.

6. Stripe

We started to create our own online courses just over 2 years ago and Stripe allowed us to take online payments with ease, meaning we now are able to grow our revenues online and some much-need passive income. Tip: You can also take recurring payments from Stripe by using Chargebee.


7. Mailchimp

Mailchimp is great for startups as it is free for a mailing list of up to 2000 subscribers. We have a lot more folks than that on our list now but we’ve found it a great tool for communicating with our audience, as well as being able to create email automations for online courses and even acting as a CRM. Tip: Use their A/B testing tool to see which campaigns perform best.


8. Google Docs

The day of using Microsoft Word are long gone. Using Google Docs for documents, spreadsheets and slides has been a game-changer for us. Work collaboratively on the same document without the need to send files, add comments and track versions. Yes it has less features than Word or Excel but that’s a good thing. Tip: Use Google Forms as a free alternative to Typeform to collect information from your customers and get a graphic report of the results.


9. Calendly

We’ve experimented with various scheduling apps but have found that Calendly is the best (in our opinion). Avoid email ping pong to arrange meetings and send people your available times using your own calendly url. Block out certain days and times to ensure you only schedule calls when you want.


10. Zoom

We do a lot of video calls, webinars and podcasts and have found that Zoom is the best all-round tool. It’s more stable than the others, has great features to encourage interactivity and allows you to record sessions easily. Tip: Connect it to Facebook to broadcast as a Facebook live as well as on Zoom.

At The Happy Startup School you’ll find learning, tools and community to help you bring your ideas to life and make shift happen.

Designer, coach, entrepreneur. Co-founder The Happy Startup School.

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