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This article was published on June 7, 2010

5 must-have apps for new businesses

5 must-have apps for new businesses
Brad McCarty
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Brad McCarty

A music and tech junkie who calls Nashville home, Brad is the Director TNW Academy. You can follow him on Twitter @BradMcCarty. A music and tech junkie who calls Nashville home, Brad is the Director TNW Academy. You can follow him on Twitter @BradMcCarty.

I have a lot of friends and colleagues who are either starting new ventures for the first time, or they are the serial entrepreneur type.  Invariably, since I started editing the Apps channel here on TNW, I’ve started getting questions.  The top one, from this group, is “what can I use to get more organized?”

With that said, here are 5 apps that I wouldn’t open the door without having in place.  We’ll cover organization, but a few other areas as well.

Tom’s Planner

I had the chance to dig deep into Tom’s Planner this past week, and I’ve been playing with it ever since.  Whether your office is physical or virtual, 2 employees or 200, Tom’s Planner is project management software that you absolutely should not be without.


Let’s face it, Skype is ubiquitous.  For us here at TNW, we simply wouldn’t run as well without it.  Not only does it offer dirt cheap, high quality calling, it’s also a fully featured chat and file transfer client.  Regardless of your office setup, Skype is a must-have in every office and on every mobile phone.

Oh, and there’s also the forthcoming multi-user video chat.  Welcome to the new version of the office meeting.

Gmail for Business

Say what you will about the old standby of Microsoft Exchange, but it’s simply a pain in the tail.  It’s not worthy of the financial overhead that it requires, whether you’re hosting your own or contracting someone to do it for you.

Use Gmail for Business.  It’s simple, it works and it’s every bit as capable.  If you’re starting your business on any other email platform, it’s only a matter of time until you’ll change your mind.  Oh, while you’re there, check out the entire suite of Google Apps for Business.  You can thank me later.


I’m working on a full write-up on Kohive, at the moment.  You’ll hear more about it in a couple of hours.  But in the mean time, here’s what you need to know:  Kohive gives you a cloud-based desktop environment where you can pick and choose people to work in your project, or “hive”.

There are a wealth of applications, as well as more coming soon once the Kohive API goes public.  For now, I can’t imagine a single project that couldn’t be done easier and better with the assistance of Kohive.

Word of warning: Kohive is still in its infancy, so proceed with an open mind.


OK, so this might sound a bit absurd, but hear me out.  When it comes to business today, customers want clear communication, and you had best make it easy.   As many businesses are finding out, Twitter is exactly the answer that both sides have been looking for.

Of course you can run Twitter from the browser, complete with searches and all sorts of other goodies.  But if you really want to make your customer service via Twitter shine, then you need to be keeping better tabs on things.  That’s where TweetDeck is invaluable.

Between having multiple columns, custom searches, Facebook (and others) integration and media integration, there is no better choice for keeping in touch.  While many people relegate TweetDeck to the social-media power user, I think there’s an untapped market for the app within startup businesses.

So that rounds it out.  What are your must-have choices?  I’m sure I’ve missed thousands of potentials, so take me to school!