Hot new tools for small business organization
March 22, 2018 11:05 PM   Subscribe

Are there any? A small business organizer app? Something that syncs with a web site? (Evernote?) Documentation tracking? Best scanner app, and a way to scan directly to Google Drive or ? Your brilliant solutions?

Trying to help a one-woman show organize her 100% location-independent company of a few staff plus a dozen consultants (spread across several states). Her CPA specializes in small business and I think has under control all of the financial end of things, though she should organize her copies of those things in conjunction with whatever we're doing. We've gathered resources from local chamber, extension and small biz development groups, plus federal, state, county and city regulations, and we have a wealth of info re what documentation we should have on hand, various permit/registrations, blahdeblah. We've got a good start in terms of what we need. But how to organize it all is the question.

First the paper part. Sure she has lots of files and folders, but what about that fat folder she should grab in case of fire? Can that just be a flexible file folder with a band around it? A fire box? What do you suggest, and what is the absolute most critical to have, given that she'll have electronic versions of everything too?

And then the digital part. There are files and files for this two-year-old company and it's time to sort through it all. Are there any slick and simple digital tools designed to organize such documentation? I think I should scan everything so there's an electronic record, and I'm wondering what is perfect for this sort of thing. App + web site, accessible from anywhere with a connection sounds about right, but with serious organizational ability and super user-friendly. Also, it must be shareable with me, and perhaps another trusted soul in case of emergency.

Is there something designed for documentation tracking, maybe integrated with Google Calendar to manage renewal dates? Is there a Google app or a Chrome plugin, perhaps? Any tips on how this all should be organized?

Tools on hand at the moment:
-She's all Apple and GSuite, same as me.
-My current default at the rare times I need a scanner is the Genius Scan app on my iPhone; we have no other kind of scanner and I think the phone should be adequate. I imagine snapping photo/pdfs of everything and would like to do it directly into whatever tool we use.
-I've used the free Evernote for years to organize some personal things, like favorite camping destinations, recipes and art projects. I can definitely see applying it to this project. If you use it, do you have specific ideas you can share for best practices?
posted by AnOrigamiLife to Work & Money (6 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Jeeze I saw this and for a split second, thought it was a shill post setup! (I know you're not doing that, just to be clear.)

Yes, there is a new thing that replaces lots of other things, including evernote: Notion.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:09 AM on March 23, 2018 [3 favorites]

The quickest route to scanning it in is probably the Drive app itself: the + icon has a Scan button that goes straight to OCR'd PDF in your drive
posted by scruss at 12:21 AM on March 23, 2018

Airtable, Quip, Notion, shared Evernote.
posted by arimathea at 5:03 AM on March 23, 2018

Even though I'm at a huge organization, we often have to cobble together our own productivity solutions because central IT is still partying like it's 1998. We use Airtable, Slack, and I've just been looking at thing called Obie for institutional knowledge/internal wiki that is queryable from Slack.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:32 AM on March 23, 2018

I hadn’t realized scanning directly into Drive was an option—until I saw scruss’ suggestion and then remembered the Drive app! I’m really liking that idea. Though heading now to check out Notion and the others. Quip i recognize as something big from the Salesforce world, but don’t know anything about it (maybe I should, because I wear a SF hat too). Thanks for the ideas, and feel free to also share your favorite use cases!

[and no shill post, just giving an example!]
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 7:51 AM on March 23, 2018

It seems like scanning into Drive is Android only. This page says, "You can’t scan documents with Google Drive on iPhone and iPad." I checked my own iPhone Drive app and found that the + icon does not have a scan option behind it.
posted by soelo at 12:04 PM on March 30, 2018

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