Favourite Core Business Tools

Business tools we use in the Cookie Web office

Business tools we use in the Cookie Web office

Just thought we’d share a little love on the core business tools we throughout the day in the Cookie Web office. Not doubt you’ve heard of most of them – but these are our core tools that help us through the day at Cookie Web. And they are all internet based – except for one! What about you? What tools do you use throughout the day in your business? Please let us know in the comments box below!


pc | smartphone | free+pro

Skype – how we love it and use it – all day long! Orla and I work from home regularly and Skype is invaluable for keeping in touch with one other. We use both the video for longer chats and the text feature for quick messages. We also use Skype for business calls both video and voice. It’s possible to set up voice mail and “real” phone numbers too. Indispensable!


Google how we love thee, let us count the ways…. Google apps are mostly very easy to use – all you need to get started is a gmail account. If you are using it for business I’d recommend setting up a new gmail account so you’re not mixing business and pleasure.

1. Gmail

pc | smartphone | free

My personal choice for business email is gmail or Google Apps gmail. The search is brilliant and I love the no-frills layout and the fact I have the rest of Google tools in easy reach (Calendar, Google Docs/Drive, etc.) Orla’s favourite is Thunderbird which is similar in style to Outlook but is free and made by Open Source heroes Mozilla. That being said she switches back to gmail to perform any serious searches! Also you can choose lovely backgrounds to brighten up your day 🙂

2. Google Drive / Docs

pc | smartphone | free

“Drive” is the new Google Docs. Google Docs are essentially Docs / Spreadsheets / Presentations etc. that can be created, edited and shared online. Extremely handy for sharing and working off the same docs in different offices – our weekly schedule spreadsheet is perfect example.

3. Calendar

pc | smartphone | free

Google Calendar is super handy for our office – we use it to schedule appointments and keep an eye on each other’s schedules. You can create multiple calendars too – for instance we have a “Content” calendar that we use to remind us when to update our blogs, Facebook etc. A must have for anyone keeping to a content marketing strategy!

4. Zoho Books

pc | smartphone | free + pro

Zoho is part of the Google Apps suite – and we have a lot of use for the good online accounting system which is very easy to use and has a great interface. It’s not a fully featured accounting system but for us, at the moment, it’s fine. In fact we’ve switched back to it twice!! Most accounting software is so bloody awful to use that we’d rather stick with this and suffer with lack of VAT reporting. However Zoho are constantly updating and upgrading so lots of features are coming on board quickly enough. There are more products in the Zoho suite that we like too like the Projects and CRM tools.

Drop Box

pc | smartphone | free+pro

Dropbox is a “Cloud” storage system. Essentially it allows your files (within the Dropbox folder) to be accessed anywhere that you have Dropbox installed or via the Dropbox website. For instance you can install Dropbox on your work laptop, home pc and your smart phone and all your files within the Dropbox folder will be accessible from each device. Also you can share a particular folder with another Dropbox user. And it’s pro feature that allows you to retrieve old version of files has been a real life saver for us on a few occasions. It’s a brilliant tool for a small office where staff work in the office and at home. Check out Dropbox →


pc | smartphone | free

A program that stores your passwords – God I love this one!! As you might imagine we have about 3 million logins and passwords and they all need to be stored securely. This is fully encrypted and allows you to add/store/retreive logins and passwords quickly. If you are still using notepad to store your passwords you’re just asking for trouble – download KeyPass and put it to good use! I’d recommend going for the Professional Edition: download it here or check out the website for more information (you want the KeyPass Installer EXE for Windows). I think it’s possible to get it for Mac too.


pc | free+pro

Thanks to Maryrose for reminding me of this one. Powwownow is a brilliant conference call tool that costs just the price of a local call (there are other paid plans). It’s perfect for conference calls with people who don’t have Skype set up or for calls where technical glitches (happens sometimes on Skype) are out of the question. Check out Powwownow.ie. Also it’s apparently very good for webinars (online presentations and screensharing to a large audience).

What are your favourite business tools? Which programs and apps can’t you live without? Please leave us a comment below…


4 Responses to “Favourite Core Business Tools”

  1. maryrose

    Love all of the above (must check out the pw one) – but you forgot Basecamp? Are you guys not using it anymore?
    I also like powwownow for webinars.

  2. Heidi Jermyn

    Hello Maryrose! Thank you for responding. I did forget about Powwownow – it’s excellent for webinars and conference calls involving people who don’t have Skype. I’m going to add that in.

    Actually I am not a huge fan of Basecamp anymore and it’s a bit more expensive. I prefer Projects from Zoho which we’ve used for the last couple of years – they recently revamped their user interface and I find it really easy to use and manage our crew on it.

  3. Rob Acton

    Yammer!! It’s like Facebook for business. I can’t recommend it enough. Also Hubspot makes me smile.