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8/12/2010
07:59 PM
Jake Widman
Jake Widman
Slideshows

Top 15 Google Apps For Business

The Google Apps Marketplace is a gold mine for businesses offering dozens, if not hundreds, of generally inexpensive, cloud-based software solutions for everything from project planning to invoicing. Here are 15 of the best.




SlideRocket lets you import presentations from Google or Microsoft PowerPoint or create them right within the program, and then access them from any PC, Mac, or Linux computers. You can add audio and share presentations with your Google Contacts. It also includes analytics for measuring audience engagement.

Cost: free.

To take advantage of the Google Apps Marketplace offerings, you need to sign up for a standard, education or Premier Edition ($50 per user account annually) account. You also need to establish a domain name for your business -- it can be a new one, or you can register an existing domain. With Premier Edition, once you establish your account, you get 25 GB per account of Gmail storage plus 1 GB per user of Google Docs storage and 10 GB plus 500 MB per user of Google Sites storage. And with Premier Edition, your business can download and install apps for everything from planning a project to creating an invoice. They not only work as independent solutions, they often interact with the native Google applications from Google calendar to Gmail and more.

Further reading: 12 Essential Android Apps For SMBs


Smartsheet Project Management can import a spreadsheet and turn it into a list of tasks and subtasks. A single click creates a Gantt chart or calendar showing due dates and progress.

Cost: from $9.95/month for one sheet creator and 10 sheets up to $149.95/month for 25 creators and 1,000 sheets.

Further reading: 12 Essential Android Apps For SMBs


Every business needs to process images sometimes, whether to tweak a logo, resize or crop a photo for web use, or mark up images for review. Aviary provides a suite of media editing products, including an image editor, vector editor, and even an audio editor.

Cost: free.

Further reading: 12 Essential Android Apps For SMBs


Creating a mind map -- a visual representation of concepts and how they relate -- is an effective way to organize the results of a brainstorming session. Mindmeister gives your team a tool for sketching and sharing their ideas and plans.

Cost: $9/user/month or $90/user/year.

Further reading: 12 Essential Android Apps For SMBs


Once you have your tasks planned out, it's time to assign responsibilities for them. GQueues integrates with your Google Calendar and lets you set up recurring tasks and collaborate with your coworkers to keep everyone on the same page.

Cost: $25/user/year for up to 25 users, $10/user/year after that.

Further reading: 12 Essential Android Apps For SMBs


Bantam Live provides an activity stream with updates on your team's progress. The CRM features let everyone share an address book and contact details and add notes on conversations.

Cost: from $19/month for one user to $140/month for unlimited users.

Further reading: 12 Essential Android Apps For SMBs


For managing multiple distributed teams, Socialwok provides a central area for posting information and ideas, accessible via the web or mobile devices. It also includes private feeds so that separate teams and outside contacts can just see the updates relevant to them.

Cost: free.

Further reading: 12 Essential Android Apps For SMBs


OffiSync is an add-in to Microsoft Office 2003, 2007, and 2010; it adds a toolbar in the Office applications that lets you save Office files to Google Docs in their native formats. You can then use the real-time collaborative features of Google Docs within the Office programs.

Cost: Free.

Further reading: 12 Essential Android Apps For SMBs


Want to sync other kinds of files through Google Docs? Turn to Syncplicity, which lets you upload everything from PDFs to videos (and Office files too, of course). Syncplicity encrypts the files and supports custom permissions settings and policy controls.

Cost: $45/month for 3 users; extra users $15/user/month.

Further reading: 12 Essential Android Apps For SMBs


TextFlow provides side-by-side comparison of the differences between multiple Word documents and makes it easy to review and accept or reject changes.

Cost: free for up to 10 saves/month, or $29/user/year. (A "user" is the person who does the comparing, not all the editors).

Further reading: 12 Essential Android Apps For SMBs


Creately provides templates for creating flowcharts, org charts, process diagrams, and most other common business graphics. You can also share the projects with your team or clients, use notes to comment, and retain a version history.

Cost: $9.95/month for one project creator and unlimited collaborators; $8/user/month for multiple project creators.

Further reading: 12 Essential Android Apps For SMBs


VerticalResponse lets you design and manage HTML email campaigns to your Google contacts or an imported mailing list and track the results in real time. The program manages the bouncebacks and unsubscribe requests so you don't become an unwanted spammer.

Cost: from $10/month for up to 500 recipients, plus pay-as-you-go options.

Further reading: 12 Essential Android Apps For SMBs


FreshBooks lets your team track their time online or via an iPhone app,. It creates invoices with your company's logo and sends them via e-mail or, for an extra fee, by regular mail.

Cost: From free for up to three clients, up to $80/month including automatic billing.

Further reading: 12 Essential Android Apps For SMBs


Expensify lets you import expenses from a credit card or bank account, and log expenses and capture receipts with mobile apps. It can export expenses to Quickbooks, and managers can reimburse by credit card or direct deposit.

Cost: free for creating and submitting reports, $5/submitter/month to approve reports.

Further reading: 12 Essential Android Apps For SMBs


Working with Google Apps can create its own management and administrative tasks. PowerPanel lets you administer your Google apps domain, such as setting up users and groups and forcing password resets. It also extends the Shared Contacts feature with additional fields.

Cost: $8/user/year.

Further reading: 12 Essential Android Apps For SMBs

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