My Essential Non-dev Tools

Apart from the dev tools for crafting a software product , there are a number of tools I think are essential for bootstrap startups like myself, even in the very early days.

Before I get started however, I want to say a big thank you to the developers, managers, volunteers and software companies responsible for producing the software listed in this post. Not that I expect any of them to read this any time soon, but I do want to express my appreciation nonetheless.

They have provided me with great tools to bootstrap my startup – there’s never been a better time to start your own company, the opportunity is there. But also they provide inspiration by way of the products themselves, in their usefulness, collaborative nature, creative pricing models and simplicity of design.

Some of these products are consumer-facing but are breaking into the enterprise also.  In my opinion, product selection in the enterprise is becoming more subversive and consumer aligned. This can only be a positive, and I see it as the way forward.

Here is what I’m using (in no particular order):


and to bring it all together

Most of these tools if you know them, you will recognise as not only great tools but all with a collaborative aspect to them, making them ideal for sharing ideas between startup founders and early team members. In addition, up until now I’ve been able to get by using the free versions of each. I have made myself a promise that when the revenue starts coming in that I will either purchase the premium licences or volunteer decent payments (for the likes of Synergy who rely on donations and are doing absolutely sterling work).

If you haven’t heard of any of these tools, and even if you’re not creating a product, check them out.  I can honestly recommend every last one of them.

I may revisit this post from time to time to revise this list, but these are a good snapshot of what I’m using at the moment. What (non-dev) tools do you consider essential?

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