In the last 5 years, I have worked with over 20+ Saas companies throughout the globe. Working as a consultant with solopreneurs to medium businesses I have observed a pattern. They all love two things: being super productive and free stuff.
There are many advantages of using Saas such as: lower upfront costs, easy to access, flexibility and the ability to scale and access your data from any place at any time. There are many SaaS available on the internet. This article will look into some Free SaaS tools that businesses may find useful when starting their business.
Here is the list of my favourite (almost)free saas tools that are also loved worldwide. You might know some of them but I am pretty sure you will find some hidden gems in there
- Free Productivity Tools
- Free Engineering Tools
- Free Operation Tools
- Free Design Tools
- Free Sales Tools
- Free Marketing Tools
- Hidden Gems
Free Productivity Tools
- Slack - Slack is an online collaboration tool which is used for team collaboration and communication. It is free to use up to 10 users and you can also choose from different paid plans depending on your needs. It offers many features such as message history, voice and video calls, screen sharing, file sharing and more. You can also use third party apps with slack which makes it even more powerful.
- Asana - Asana is a collaboration tool used for managing projects and tasks. Its features include task management, project management, time tracking and reporting among others. The best part about Asana is that it is free for teams of up to 15 users. After that you are charged $8 per user per month
- Notion - Notion is a modern workspace that brings together everything you need to work effectively. It allows you to organize your files, notes, updates and discussions in one place. It has a simple interface and it is easy to learn how to use it. It comes with several features such as document storage, task management and it also allows you to create and customize dashboards for your team.
- Google Meet - Google meet is a video conference tool that is developed by Google. It is a free service that allows you to conduct video conferences with up to 3 participants. This tool is available on any device that has a browser and web connection.
- Zapier - Zapier is a great tool for automating workflows across apps. You can connect multiple tools such as Gmail, Mailchimp, Google Drive and many more through Zapier. Once you connect the tools you can create automated workflows that are triggered based on events or actions. The best part about Zapier is that the app is free to use with limited access to their automation platform and premium plans start at $15 per month.
- Calendly - Calendly is a free scheduling tool that can be used to organize meetings or appointments. It allows users to schedule the time of a meeting with the receivers of the email according to their availability in a calendar view. The best part about this app is that it is available for both Android and iOs devices.
- Google Jamboard - Google Jamboard is a great tool for teams that do a lot of collaboration on spreadsheets and documents. It is an interactive whiteboard that allows teams to collaborate on documents in real-time and make quick decisions during meetings. The best part about this app is that it is free and available on any device that has a Chrome browser or Chromebox or Chromebase.
Free Engineering Tools
- AWS Ec2 - AWS EC2 (Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud) is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. AWS EC2 is a web service that runs on a large number of servers, called instances, and allows users to run software on the servers. The AWS EC2 is like a virtual server that you can use to run your software, such as web apps or databases.
- Stripe - Stripe is a payment processing company that gives software developers an easy and reliable way to accept payments over the internet. Stripe builds on top of the existing payment infrastructure, so it's more secure and easier to use than traditional merchant accounts. Since Stripe enables you to collect money for your products or services, it's a good idea to get started as soon as possible.
- Github - GitHub is the best place to build software together with friends, co-workers, classmates, and complete strangers. Over 10 million people use GitHub to build amazing things together. With the collaborative features of GitHub.com, our desktop and mobile apps, and GitHub Enterprise, it has never been easier for individuals and teams to write better code, faster.
- Bitbucket - Bitbucket offers free private repositories for up to 5 users. Beyond this limit, Bitbucket offers a range of paid plans for small teams and enterprises that can scale up as your development needs grow. Bitbucket is designed with your team's workflow in mind. You can create a new branch for every new feature or bug fix. And you can pull code from any other branch in one click without having to coordinate with anyone else.
- Cloudflare - CloudFlare speeds up and protects millions of websites, APIs, SaaS services, and other properties connected to the Internet. CloudFlare sits between your visitors and your origin server, acting as a man-in-the-middle and ensuring that your website loads fast even if it doesn't have the best connectivity or servers in the world.
- Gitbook - Gitbook is an open source platform that transforms documents into interactive books with beautiful hyperlinks, working code snippets, spellchecker, themes and more.Easily create books that look great on mobile devices like tablets and phones by using our responsive authoring tool
- Google Cloud console - Google Cloud is a new offering from Google that delivers a unified set of capabilities for managing infrastructure across Google Compute Engine, Google Cloud Storage, and Google Cloud Datastore.
- AWS S3 - Amazon S3 (Amazon Simple Storage Service) is a highly scalable, fast, distributed object storage web service that provides developers and businesses with secure, durable and inexpensive data storage. With Amazon S3, you can offload the administrative burdens of operating and scaling storage to AWS. You pay only for the storage you actually use. There is no minimum fee and no setup cost.
- Airtable - Airtable is the easiest way for anyone to create their own database. Airtable is made for everyone: small teams, big companies, and everything in between. And because creating is as easy as using, anyone can become a power user once they've tried it out.
- Wordpress - WordPress powers more than 25% of the web and there is no sign of that slowing down soon. As an open source platform, WordPress has been under constant development since its launch in 2003 and it has one of the largest active developer communities on the web. It's also incredibly extensible via the thousands of plugins available on the official WordPress repository and thousands more on other repositories like CodeCanyon.
- StackShare - StackShare makes it easy to find the best software for your dev team by connecting engineers with real-time insights from millions of data points across thousands of apps.
- Sentry - Sentry is the easiest way to monitor and improve the stability of your web applications. Sentry is an open-source platform for error tracking that provides detailed reports with all the information needed to quickly identify and fix bugs. Sentry allows you to easily monitor exceptions, errors, and performance issues in real time
- Firebase - Firebase is a mobile and web application development platform provided by Google. It was originally developed as part of the Google App Engine, but was later moved to its own proprietary platform. It have pre built tools that can help with authentication, real time database, file storage, crash analtics, etc.
- MongoDB Atlas - MongoDB Atlas is a cloud-hosted database service, a fully managed platform that runs in the cloud and allows developers to set up, operate, and scale their MongoDB deployments quickly and easily. Atlas makes it easy to set up secure clusters, provision additional capacity, manage users, back up data, and more—all through a simple browser interface.
- ELK - Elasticsearch, Logstash & Kibana or collectively known as ELK Stack is a combination of three open source projects that are all based on the Java programming language and released under Apache 2 Licence. ELK Stack is used for log analytics and is made up of three main components: Elasticsearch which is used for search & analytics, Logstash which is used for log collection & management, Kibana which is used for visualising logs & time-based analytics.
- Postman - Postman lets you view, create and test http requests on any device, platform or language. You can use Postman to test and document your APIs faster than with any other tool before. Postman supports popular web languages like JS, Python, PHP and Java.
Free Operation Tools
- G Suite - G Suite is Google's fully featured suite of business apps that helps teams collaborate, communicate and work together. The suite includes Gmail, drive, calendar, sheets, slides, hangouts, and more
- Google Docs - Google Docs is a document-editing software that allows users to create documents online, share them and edit them from anywhere with a web browser and Internet connection. Google Docs can be used to create a wide variety of documents including resumes, brochures, flyers and more.
- Drift - Drift is a marketing automation tool that makes it easy for companies to collect customer information when they contact you for support and then use that data to deliver automated messages and campaigns based on the conversation.
- DataStudio - DataStudio is a cloud-based data visualization tool that helps users analyze, manage and share visualizations in one place. It enables users to access their data in a spreadsheet or database and then add charts, tables and maps to build an interactive and shareable report with their own branding.
- Google Analytics - Google Analytics is a web traffic analysis service that allows users to track their website visitors and analyze their data. It provides users with information about their website visitors such as the number of visitors, where they come from and what they are interested in. It also allows users to track customer behaviour such as how long they spend on the site, which pages they visit and what they do on the site
- Tawk.to - Tawk.to is a social messaging service that allows users to have real-time conversations across multiple devices and platforms. Tawk.to allows users to send messages to individuals or groups of people at once and communicate with them in real time by typing in a chat window or by using video chat services such as Skype or Google Hangouts.
- Typeform - Typeform is an online survey software that lets users create quizzes, surveys, forms and polls to collect information through their website or mobile app at no cost. The surveys can be created with or without the use of templates and once they are finished they can be embedded into websites using HTML code or shared on social media networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
- DocuSign - DocuSign is an electronic signature service that provides users with the ability to sign documents from anywhere at any time. Users simply have to enter their email address and password in order to create a document online which will then be sent to them in the email as an attachment. They can then open the attachment and sign it electronically with their mouse or finger on their touch screen device. After they have signed it they can either store it back on their device or download it as a PDF. The documents are then sent back to the sender immediately.
- Fiverr - Fiverr is an online marketplace where people offer services for $5 per task. These tasks include graphic design work, voiceovers, website creation and other services. Fiverr also has an App Store where users can download apps made by other Fiverr users. Users can earn money on Fiverr by completing tasks (such as writing blog posts or creating logos) or by offering services (for example designing logos). Fiverr takes 10% of all completed jobs as a fee.
- Freshdesk - Freshdesk is customer support software that allows businesses to handle customer inquiries through email, phone calls or social media channels in one place. Freshdesk allows businesses to automate their customer support by integrating with existing applications such as Salesforce, MailChimp, Google Analytics and Zendesk among others. Freshdesk also comes with its own native apps for iPhone and Android which allows businesses to handle customer inquiries from anywhere at any time.
Free Design Tools
- Canva - Canva is a web-based design tool for graphic designers, bloggers and social media marketers. It allows users to generate high-quality designs from an array of templates in a variety of categories, including blog posts, presentations, flyers, Facebook covers and more. The intuitive interface makes Canva the go-to software for anyone who wants to create visually appealing and shareable graphics.
- Unsplash - Unsplash is a website that offers free stock photos under Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. You can use any of these photos for personal or commercial use.
- Pixbay - Pixbay is also a great free stock photo resource. It provides free photos that are released to the public domain, which means you can use them in any way you like, even commercially. Each photo has a corresponding backlink to the photographer, who will appreciate the exposure.
- Figma - Figma is an all-inclusive platform that enables users to design, prototype, iterate and test interactive interfaces without friction. It is an all-in-one design tool that provides design and prototyping capabilities, which allows users to do almost everything from scratch with no other software required. It has a unique language for designing and prototyping called Figma Code, which allows users to code with simple drag-and-drop actions instead of typing lines of code. This eliminates any learning curve for those who are not familiar with coding languages.
- Invision - Invision is a web-based app that allows users to create prototypes and interactions for their app or website without coding or programming knowledge. Users can import files from Photoshop and Sketch, translate designs into interactive prototypes and share them with clients and colleagues for feedback through comments and suggestions before they are built into the final product. It is excellent for both freelancers and teams who want to create wireframes, user flows and high-fidelity prototypes quickly and easily.
- Marvel - Marvel is an application that allows users to create, collaborate and share their design ideas in real time. The app allows users to upload, create and share any kind of visual content they want. They can also create real-time projects and work with other designers, developers or anyone else in the company. The app comes with a built-in image editor that allows users to add text, shapes, filters and more to their designs.
- Tailwind - Tailwind is a social media analytics and management tool that helps users reach their target audience and measure the impact of their content. It has a visual scheduling tool that allows users to schedule posts and track performance. Users can also view detailed analytics about their posts so they can see which posts performed well and which ones didn’t. Tailwind is a great tool for social media managers who need to keep track of their posts and easily schedule them in advance.
- icons8 - icons8 offers a library of free icons and other design resources by seasoned designers, including mockups, templates, and fonts. Every icon is available in multiple formats such as SVG, EPS, PNG, AI and PSD, which makes it easy to integrate into any project. Users can download single icons or complete icon packs depending on their needs.
- Flaticon - Flaticon offers free vectors, illustrations and stock photos. The library includes over 813,000 free stock photos and icons categorized into over 10,000 sets. Users can download vector files for print or web use such as AI, EPS, SVG, CDR and PDF. Flaticon’s website is easy to use and makes searching for icons simple because of the “Find Icons” feature. It also has several helpful tutorials that teach how to use the website effectively and efficiently when searching for specific icons or stock photos.
Free Sales Tools
- hunter.io - Hunter is a sales tool that helps sales teams find the right contacts and with whom they should be speaking. They have a powerful search engine that allows you to search for people on LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter and other networks. You can also search for companies, products and technologies that you are interested in. The software pulls people's contact information from the various networks and integrates it into one database. It has a powerful search engine that allows you to search for people on Linkedin, Google+, Twitter and other networks. You can also search for companies, products and technologies that you are interested in.
- Zoho CRM - Zoho CRM is an easy-to-use, affordable Customer Relationship Management software that helps you stay organized and connected to your customers. It has features such as lead management, email marketing, contact management, customer service, sales forecasting and reporting. You can also manage projects, tasks, accounts and create invoices. It has a mobile app that can be accessed from any smartphone or tablet (iOS or Android). It is fast, simple and affordable.
- G2 - G2 allows you to track reviews and feedback of other SaaS tools online. This is a great place to find product gaps in the market and keep track of customer feedback for your competitors as well as for your product. It is trusted by millions of people and a better G2 rating directly affect sales
- Crunchbase - Crunchbase is a database of technology companies, people and investors. It aggregates information about private companies, startups, apps, software and websites. It allows you to research companies with detailed profiles and contact information such as job openings, investor information and news. Crunchbase is used by investors to keep track of their portfolio, market trends, company news and competitors. It provides you with actionable insights that can help you make better investment decisions.
- Linkedin - As the largest professional network on the internet, LinkedIn is a great tool to find people and companies. The search option allows you to find people based on their name, company, location and industry. The advanced search option gives you more search options when you're looking for people to connect with or companies to do business with. The Company pages on LinkedIn allows you to research a company's background, competitors and news. You can also find job openings and read about the company's culture
Free Marketing Tools
- MailChimp -MailChimp is a simple and easy to use marketing platform that businesses can use to design, send and track email marketing campaigns. It was founded in 2001 by Ben Chestnut and Dan Kurzius as a way to help their company keep in touch with their customers.MailChimp has over 8 million users and has sent over 200 billion emails. It is the largest email marketing service provider with 42.5% market share of users.MailChimp offers free plans for small business owners who want to send up to 12,000 emails per month. It also offers email hosting, image hosting, and a blog to help businesses make better use of their marketing campaigns.
- Sendinblue - SendinBlue is a cloud-based email and transactional messaging platform for businesses to manage communications. It helps users organize, monitor and analyze their email campaigns, social media profiles and online transactions on a single platform.SendinBlue has over 1 million users globally and more than 4,000 companies have adopted its platform across the world. It is used by over 500 SMBs in France alone such as Agence France Presse (AFP), La Redoute, Les Echos, and Cegid among others.SendinBlue allows users to create customized email templates while monitoring the results of their communication efforts in real time. It also allows users to create landing pages directly from their dashboard, manage customer support teams, schedule messages and track customer engagement on social media pages like Facebook and Twitter among others.
- Ahref Site Audit - Ahref is a tool that allows users to check their website's backlink profile from any device with an internet connection. It shows site owners or bloggers the number of backlinks pointing to their website from other sites and other brands helping you identify the right keywords that would be more likely to rank your website higher on search engines such as Google
- Grammarly - Grammarly is an online grammar checker that corrects writing errors while suggesting improvements in grammar and style when writing in English or other languages including Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Chinese and more than 20 others.
- Hotjar - Hotjar is an analytics tool used by businesses to see how visitors interact with their website by recording their clicks, mouse moves and scrolling behaviour on the site. Hotjar allows users to see how visitors move around their website so they can edit the layout of their websites for better user experience.
- Lumen5 - Lumen5 is a free video editing tool that allows users to create professional videos from photos or videos uploaded from devices such as mobiles or tablets. Lumen5 makes it easy for you to add effects in your videos such as text overlays, image overlays, video overlays among others without requiring any video editing skills or expertise in video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro among others.
- Bitly - Bitly is a link shortener and allows users to collect statistics on the links they share. It is used by businesses to shorten their links, track the traffic their links are getting and most importantly, measure the success of their campaigns.
- Namecheap - Namecheap is an online domain name registrar and web hosting provider that allows users to register domain names, create emails, host websites and many more. It offers affordable web hosting plans for small businesses and individuals
- Buzzsumo - Buzzsumo is a social media analytics tool that helps users discover trending content as well as popular content in any niche topic. It allows you to find influencers in any niche market and then engage them to help promote your business or product
- Gliffy - Gliffy is a web-based diagramming platform that lets you make flowcharts and export them into PNG or JPEG. It is super useful for documentation or to streamline business processes.Gliffy is Free for personal use, if you need to use it for commercial purposes, then you can use the Business plan for $15 per month.
- Startup School by Y Combinator - Startup school by Y Combinator is a free course that is available to anyone interested in learning how to start a startup. The free course helps you understand the steps involved in starting a company and talks about different sections such as: idea generation, risk and validation, founding team, capital and growth. The course includes videos from founders such as: Steve Huffman (reddit), Alexis Ohanian (reddit), Adora Cheung (Hacker News) and many more. You can also subscribe to Startup School on Youtube where you will get weekly videos on startups. The platform also comes with a lot free perks like access to credits for AWS, Notion, etc.
- Angel.co - Angel.co is an investment and hiring platform that connects startups with investors and global talent. It is an easy way for startups to get resources they need to grow and also an easy way for investors to find new companies they want to invest in.
- AppSumo - AppSumo is an online store that sells mainly software and online services at a discounted price. AppSumo offers licenses at 50 to 80% discount compared to market prices. They work with different vendors to get the best deals for their customers. They offer software like WordPress themes, stock images, plugins, design templates and many more
- Namemesh - Namemesh is a simple tool that gives you the ability to create a unique domain for your business or brand name. I personally struggle a lot with finding good domains and Namemesh is my goto platform for generating good domain names and see their availability
- GPT-3 - GPT-3 stands for "Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3" It’s offered as an API by OpenAI. It’s a multipurpose API that generates text based on the input. The model is super intelligent and produces human-like responses. People are using it to generate chatbots, writing blogs and even writing code. It’s a must have tool in your arsenal if you are running a business and have a tech team.
This article has been written with a lot of thought combining my years of experience working in the Saas industry. Each of the above mentioned tools has been personally used by me or one of my clients. Building a Saas company is hard and you need all the help you can get. Hopefully, you found some unique platforms which will help you solve a business problem you have been facing.
I would love to hear your feedback. Feel free to write to me at [email protected] or if you want to hire me for consultation