5 Best UK Payment Gateway Solutions For Small Businesses 2019

Payment gateway solutions are necessary to authorize and direct card payments. Although they usually take a cut of the transaction, they are essential if your website includes transactions.
We’ve got together the best payment gateway options for your businesses, focusing on their encryption capabilities, their accessibility and cost, all tailored to the UK market.
You’re bound to find something that fits your priorities if you check the list below!

#1 CoinCorner Checkout

CoinCorner Checkout
Who suggested this product?
The CoinCorner Checkout was recommended by Molly Spiers from CoinCorner. You can find out more about Molly Spiers here or read their product recommendation below.

CoinCorner Checkout is a new service from CoinCorner that allows UK businesses to accept Bitcoin payments. Merchants receive payouts in GBP (via UK Faster Payments) so there’s no exposure to the Bitcoin price – no price volatility, no risk, no worry! Supported plugins include – WooCommerce, Magento, Opencart, osCommerce, PrestaShop.

#2 BrainTreePayments

BrainTreePayments
Who suggested this product?
The BrainTreePayments was recommended by David White from Best Response Media. You can find out more about David White here or read their product recommendation below.

When you run a small business, you can’t afford losing clients on the last step of the online purchase – the payment. It is also the step where buyers are most cautious. They will abandon the purchase if they see something unusual or can’t pay the way they are used to.

So, when it comes to the payment gateway, play it safe.

I would recommend Braintree, as it can easily be integrated to all significant e-com platforms, and it covers all forms of payment: Paypal, Apple Pay, Google Pay and all standard debit and credit cards.

#3 Stripe

Stripe
Who suggested this product?
The Stripe was recommended by Supratim Dam from CallPage. You can find out more about Supratim Dam here or read their product recommendation below.

If you’re a small business, that operates both globally and locally, with a finite amount of resources, Stripe should be your go-to platform for payment solutions. Stripe is the new standard in online payments, as their website describes. It works like a charm out of the box, and you can get up and running with all the setup in a matter of minutes.

Their tool comes with top-notch features, and they continue to add exciting technologies to make receiving and making payments a breeze. A recent independent study shows that, on average, businesses using Stripe attribute a 6.7% increase in revenue to the Stripe platform. They have no setup or monthly fees, and you pay only what you use for.

#4 Adyen

Adyen
Who suggested this product?
The Adyen was recommended by Ian Wright from Merchant Machine. You can find out more about Ian Wright here or read their product recommendation below.

Adyen’s payment gateway solution is probably one of the most comprehensive out there, although not the best know. They offer a range of services, which can grow along with your business. Everything from basic online payments to recurring billing to integration with other sales channels such as in-person or over the phone. Worth a look if you want options beyond Paypal or Stripe.

#5 PayFlow Pro

PayFlow Pro
Who suggested this product?
The PayFlow Pro was recommended by Shayne Sherman from TechLoris. You can find out more about Shayne Sherman here or read their product recommendation below.

It can be daunting when choosing a payment gateway. Going from deciding to take payments to actually taking them is a pretty large set of steps.

PayFlow Pro, from PayPal, is a great choice for those starting up. It’s well documented, easy to implement, and well supported which is necessary for any gateway these days.


Who contributed to this article?

Molly Spiers from CoinCorner

David White from Best Response Media

Supratim Dam from CallPage

Ian Wright from Merchant Machine

Shayne Sherman from TechLoris




ERP Systems That Small Businesses Will Find Useful 2019

ERP systems help to keep businesses organized and ensure that all business operations are running smoothly. However, small businesses and start-ups may find it difficult to discover systems that are within their budget, useful and efficient. Below are flexible systems that small and new companies will find particularly useful.

#1 NetSuite ERP

NetSuite ERP
Who suggested this product?
The NetSuite ERP was recommended by Sanjay Patoliya from Teclogiq. You can find out more about Sanjay Patoliya here or read their product recommendation below.

NetSuite provides a flexible business solution that is cost-effective and can scale to the needs of a fast-growing company. It is able to streamline front and backend processes and comes with all the necessary tools to help you manage critical areas of your business like accounting, finances, inventory, resource planning, payroll, HCM and more.

NetSuite ERP is a modern, cloud-based ERP platform designed to scale as your business grows. The product is from Oracle which guarantees that you get only the best software from a global leader in business technology solutions. NetSuite’s ERP system is being implemented by more than 16,000 enterprises of various sizes and industries in more than 160 countries, earning for it the title of the world’s most deployed cloud ERP solution.

NetSuite ERP brings you all the tools and modules you need to automate business processes such as accounting, demand planning, manufacturing operations, billing and invoicing, financial management, revenue management, fixed assets, order management, warehouse administration, and inventory management. It provides you full visibility into all functional and operational areas across your the organization through KPIs, business intelligence, and accurate reporting. These are intended to guide you in making well-informed, data-backed decisions.

Small Business Benefits:

  • Business finance made simple through automation and a fast, proven solution.
  • Real-time insights to give you a complete picture of your business.
  • Grow new products, channels, and markets with agile features and capabilities.
  • Get rid of on-premise IT costs with an ERP system that is flexible, scalable, and always current.

#2 Microsoft Dynamics

Microsoft Dynamics
Who suggested this product?
The Microsoft Dynamics was recommended by Syed Ali Hasan from Film Jacket. You can find out more about Syed Ali Hasan here or read their product recommendation below.

If you want to drive rapid growth then try out the Microsoft Dynamic 365 designed to improve the financial system and meet specific business growth. The software comes in five products to support SME’s projects. The best ERP software for medium-sized and small-sized business. Available in different pricing plans.

#3 LOCATE Inventory

LOCATE Inventory
Who suggested this product?
The LOCATE Inventory was recommended by Scott Yoffe from LOCATE Inventory. You can find out more about Scott Yoffe here or read their product recommendation below.

A small startup with 15 employees that launched in early 2017, LOCATE developed a cloud-based order/inventory-management software platform that’s perfect for SMBs looking to remain in the QB and QBO ecosystem and we’ve recently expanded our offerings to integrate with XERO as well. LOCATE is a GREAT tool for SMBs, particularly in the warehouse and e-commerce space.

#4 Odoo

Odoo
Who suggested this product?
The Odoo was recommended by Mihai Corbuleac from StratusPointIT. You can find out more about Mihai Corbuleac here or read their product recommendation below.

What I believe to be a very powerful ERP solution, developed for small businesses, a tool that ensures mobility and functionality without spending a fortune is Odoo. You can easily migrate to Odoo and you can create your own module/s, or hire someone to create one for your business, due to the open source nature of the software.

The company improves the software several times a week and with thousands of prebuilt apps such as a website builder, recruitment automation software, project/sales management, accounting, automated invoicing, marketing tools etc. in their app store, adding major functionality and workflow is quite simple. The open source nature of the code makes it one of the most flexible ERP solutions on the market.


Who contributed to this article?

Sanjay Patoliya from Teclogiq

Syed Ali Hasan from Film Jacket

Scott Yoffe from LOCATE Inventory

Mihai Corbuleac from StratusPointIT




Email Hosting Systems for Small Businesses and Start-Ups 2019

Having a reliable and efficient email hosting service is an essential for any business. However, new businesses on a budget might struggle to find a service that is both useful and affordable. Below are email hosting systems that positively aid your company’s marketing and communication practices without breaking the bank.

#1 G Suite from Google

G Suite from Google
Who suggested this product?
The G Suite from Google was recommended by Jorge Sheffy from Loclweb. You can find out more about Jorge Sheffy here or read their product recommendation below.

G Suite is the best option because it’s extremely dependable and will be around forever. Not only that but it’s more than just email hosting. G Suite is an entire suite of productivity apps and it can all be accessed online from anywhere in the world.

We build websites specifically for local small businesses and in addition to our websties, we only offer our clients the ability for them to sign up for G Suite and have us set up. It’s the only service we feel comfortable delivering to our clients that’s high quality and won’t need any management after we deliver it. It just works.

#2 MixMax

MixMax
Who suggested this product?
The MixMax was recommended by Phil Strazzulla from SelectSoftware. You can find out more about Phil Strazzulla here or read their product recommendation below.

MixMax has amazing time saving functionality built into their solution like templates and automated calendaring. This product also allows you to send mail merge campaigns in plain text format which has higher deliverability and open rates than HTML emails..

#3 Mailchimp

Mailchimp
Who suggested this product?
The Mailchimp was recommended by Yuv Malik from Gradient Designs. You can find out more about Yuv Malik here or read their product recommendation below.

Mailchimp, is the perfect email hosting service, for anybody. The free service comes with 200 spaces for emails. This also comes along with subscriber popups, that you can implant onto your website, it is also perfect to create your own customised newsletter, to go out to all your subscribers. It is a perfect simple user interface that allows you to interact with your customers smoothly and easily.

#4 Zoho Mail

Zoho Mail
Who suggested this product?
The Zoho Mail was recommended by Stacy Clements from Milepost42. You can find out more about Stacy Clements here or read their product recommendation below.

Zoho Mail is an excellent email hosting choice for small business owners. The service is comparable to some more well-known options, such as GSuite and Office365, but at a slightly lower cost for the premium version ($4/user/month as of August 2019).

Zoho also offers a Lite version ($1/user/month) for those just starting out who may need less storage space and don’t require some of the more advanced features. I like the email interface more than any other web-based email interface I’ve used, and Zoho also has a well-designed native mobile app that makes it easy to check emails when you’re on the road. As a security professional, I also like the fact that Zoho Email encrypts email on the servers and also between the server and your device, reducing the possibility of your data being tampered with.

#5 Black beard hosting

Black beard hosting
Who suggested this product?
The Black beard hosting was recommended by Filip Silobod from Honest Marketing Galway. You can find out more about Filip Silobod here or read their product recommendation below.

Black beard hosting has intuitive user interface, you can create a brand new email mailbox in no time and manage its settings. You can forward mails from one mail account to another, create email filters, set up autoresponders and shield your e-mail accounts against spam email messages.

#6 AWeber

AWeber
Who suggested this product?
The AWeber was recommended by Shehraj Singh from Bloggingfire. You can find out more about Shehraj Singh here or read their product recommendation below.

I will suggest AWeber to small business because it didn’t too much costly. Thier plans start from $19/month. And they are providing lots of features then pricing. It’s very reasonable for thier services.

Mainly, I am a fan of AWeber automation. they provide very easy automation set up than any other email marketing tool.

My agency is also using AWeber for thier all business and financial works. Thier support is also very active, they revert back within in few seconds of the message sent.

So, Simply I said, Blindly go for AWeber. Thier service is super awesome.

#7 Bluehost

Bluehost
Who suggested this product?
The Bluehost was recommended by Steve Kurniawan from Nine Peaks media. You can find out more about Steve Kurniawan here or read their product recommendation below.

Bluehost is not only a hosted email provider, but a full-fledged web hosting service which also offer a hosted email service. This is a suitable option for small businesses who are also looking for a web hosting service, especially if the site is WordPress-based. Starting at just $7.99/month/user for 50GB storage, it’s also more affordable than G Suite. It doesn’t offer as many features as G Suite and as many integrations, but it’s cost-efficient and reliable.


Who contributed to this article?

Jorge Sheffy from Loclweb

Phil Strazzulla from SelectSoftware

Yuv Malik from Gradient Designs

Stacy Clements from Milepost42

Filip Silobod from Honest Marketing Galway

Shehraj Singh from Bloggingfire

Steve Kurniawan from Nine Peaks media




The Best CRM Systems for Your Small Business 2019

Maintaining customer relationships is essential to doing good business but can be difficult if you are a small business on a budget. Utilizing excellent features, these systems ensure that the connection between you and your customers is never lost.

#1 LionO360

LionO360
Who suggested this product?
The LionO360 was recommended by Arun Upadhyay from LionO360. You can find out more about Arun Upadhyay here or read their product recommendation below.

LionO360 is the first and only cloud and mobile-based CRM solution on the market designed for SMBs that includes sales automation, warehouse management, customer service management, field representative management, and route management all in one platform.

LionO360 helps SMBs grow their business by converting more sales leads, providing better support for their inside and outside sales teams, and enabling comprehensive inventory management. Through LionO360, companies can automate these critical business processes, boosting team productivity, saving resources, and increasing profits.

It also allows organizations to track the complete sales life-cycle, from onboarding and client visits, to product orders and invoicing. With LionO360 software, all customer contact information and a recording of sales-customer communications are stored in a single place for easy referencing. Sales reps and other users need only to enter a lead’s email address and the system completes the remaining information, such as company name, designation, address, business type, and more.

#2 Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM
Who suggested this product?
The Zoho CRM was recommended by Ricardo Velez from Fundera. You can find out more about Ricardo Velez here or read their product recommendation below.

Zoho provides all the CRM features a small business could want, at multiple pricing tiers (including free). Zoho provides sales and marketing automation, pipeline management, and an analytics suite to draw deeper insights. For small business CRMs, look no further than Zoho.

#3 MailChimp

MailChimp
Who suggested this product?
The MailChimp was recommended by Igor Mitic from Fortunly. You can find out more about Igor Mitic here or read their product recommendation below.

One of the main goals of small businesses is to increase their community. MailChimp simple yet highly effective tool which allows you to send out hundreds of emails at once in just a few steps.

The software comes with pre-made templates that you can choose from to create personalized and professional messages. Plus, it is great for beginners as you can easily navigate the dashboard and start a campaign.

#4 Hubspot CRM

Hubspot CRM
Who suggested this product?
The Hubspot CRM was recommended by Ata Khan from Xoobo. You can find out more about Ata Khan here or read their product recommendation below.

The best CRM out there for small businesses right now, is hands down, Hubspot CRM. For starters, it’s free, yet comes with all the robustness you would find in a standard CRM like Netsuite or Salesforce.

The system comes with 3 standard objects out of the box (contacts, accounts, and opportunities). Each object contains records and a multitude of associated fields that the admin can customize.

Hubspot can create types of users, teams, and workflows for lead routing. Sales folks can track deals and qualify leads, marketing folks can apply attribution, and analytics folks can build reports.

Users can sync their emails and phones with the system (and take calls straight through their computers – completely hands free!). All touches are hard coded to the contact record, and workflows/lists can be generated via any value on any field.

Hubspot syncs with your website, and any other system (think marketing automation, email marketing, etc). It can generate form handlers to collect lead data on your website. And most importantly, the system has access to Hubspot’s main account database which has info on just about every organization out there, so when you input a new company in the system it uses the domain name to auto-populate all kinds of profiling data (such as number of employees, revenue, social properties, logos, etc).

#5 Pipedrive

Pipedrive
Who suggested this product?
The Pipedrive was recommended by Nick Bennett from Growmeo Marketing. You can find out more about Nick Bennett here or read their product recommendation below.

Pipedrive should definitely be a consideration when looking for CRM software. It is quite versatile, helps to automate many processes and works great for a single person or a complete sales team. Having tried several CRM options, I found it relatively easy to setup and the dashboard is very user-friendly. It integrates with many popular softwares and services like Google Calendar, Slack & Mailchimp.

Compared to services like Salesforce, the value is much better in my opinion. You can get started with Pipedrive for less than $20 a month. Pipedrive also has a mobile app, which comes in quite handy.

#6 GreenRope

GreenRope
Who suggested this product?
The GreenRope was recommended by Samya A. France from Ignite Visibility. You can find out more about Samya A. France here or read their product recommendation below.

GreenRope helps you transform your business into greater profitability, efficiency, and growth. On average, GreenRope users save 80% total cost of ownership compared to other CRM and marketing software solutions, while increasing revenue by 75% in 12 months.

With plans ranging from $149 to $699 a month, It gives you full access to all sales, marketing, and operations features, at any subscription level. The all-in-one software allows sales teams to close more deals – faster and easier. Marketing teams have access to omnichannel automation and reporting to supercharge communication, while operations teams have the ability to get all teams on the same page, all the time.

#7 Nutshell

Nutshell
Who suggested this product?
The Nutshell was recommended by Jesse Harrison from HopeTree Legal Funding. You can find out more about Jesse Harrison here or read their product recommendation below.

I have tried many crm systems and the best one has been Nutshell. This crm is geared towards small businesses without sacrificing functionality. In other words, it has all the features that you would expect in an expensive crm that’s geared towards multi-million dollar corporations, while staying affordable at the same time.

The interface is very user-friendly and I needed zero training to figure out how to use it. In addition, there is a free 14-day trial for anyone who wants to try it with no strings attached. It works on all platforms, like desktop, mobile, android, iOS. And the customer service is amazing, available by email, phone, and their online ticketing system.

#8 SharpSpring

SharpSpring
Who suggested this product?
The SharpSpring was recommended by Nicholas Farmen from Spire Digital. You can find out more about Nicholas Farmen here or read their product recommendation below.

The best CRM for small business is SharpSpring. I have used SalesForce, HubSpot, and more, and for a business of less than 100 people, it meets all of our needs.

It features marketing automation, great support experts, and easy integration API capacities. In all, I have been very delighted with my experiences with SharpSpring and I recommend them to many clients.

#9 Ontraport

Ontraport
Who suggested this product?
The Ontraport was recommended by Casey Hill from Bonjoro. You can find out more about Casey Hill here or read their product recommendation below.

Ontraport – Ontraport is an ideal CRM for any small business that is looking for not only an affordable place to organize their relationships, but also an email automation functionality to nurture those contacts. Instead of having to integrate in a handful of systems, Ontraport keeps it basic and streamlined with CRM, lead capture and email automation all under one roof.

#10 Nimble CRM

Nimble CRM
Who suggested this product?
The Nimble CRM was recommended by Eamon Moore from Hikari. You can find out more about Eamon Moore here or read their product recommendation below.

Nimble is an easy-to-use CRM for Office 365 & G Suite that works for you by automatically combining your contacts, communication histories, email inboxes, and calendar appointments and social media connections (including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook) into one unified team relationship manager. It also plugs directly into Outlook and Gmail and has browser extensions to allow you to create new and access existing contacts from anywhere on the web.

#11 Spiro

Spiro
Who suggested this product?
The Spiro was recommended by Adam Honig from Spiro. You can find out more about Adam Honig here or read their product recommendation below.

Spiro is natively built on artificial intelligence and consolidates CRM, sales enablement and telephony into a single solution. Spiro’s proactive relationship management platform leverages AI and machine learning to work in the background, collecting information from calls, texts, emails and more, and dynamically creating contacts, activity lists, and much more.

#12 Regpack

Regpack
Who suggested this product?
The Regpack was recommended by Samantha Avneri from Regpack. You can find out more about Samantha Avneri here or read their product recommendation below.

Regpack is an affordable lead and client management system for small and medium sized businesses. Pricing includes month to month and annual, for flexibility depending on your budget and business model. Key features include statuses, admin comments, triggered emails, and powerful filtering to target the right people in your sales and outreach.

#13 ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign
Who suggested this product?
The ActiveCampaign was recommended by Angel Centeno from Situation. You can find out more about Angel Centeno here or read their product recommendation below.

Small businesses, as well as large ones, benefit from a cost-effective CRM solution that they can easily integrate into their marketing, is scalable, and can seamlessly connect to their websites and digital assets. ActiveCampaign is a CRM solution that fills that slot by providing all three needs and still comes with a very reasonable cost. It’s a great software for a company that’s growing its marketing lists and growing their brand.

#14 Freshsales

Freshsales
Who suggested this product?
The Freshsales was recommended by Sanjay Patoliya from Teclogiq. You can find out more about Sanjay Patoliya here or read their product recommendation below.

Freshsales is the fourth addition in the Freshdesk product lineup and a quality CRM designed for high-velocity teams to keep track of contacts while solving their inquiries. It won our 2017 Great User Experience Award. Satisfied sales teams describe it as the single contact management hub that helps them stay in control of thousands of leads, but provides at the same time a simple and easy-to-navigate interface.

Freshsales was a response to the company’s own necessity to handle multiple aspects of the sales process, and eliminate the need for users to wander around programs to get the job done. At its core, Freshsales has collated all functions of legacy CRM systems but found its own way to optimize sales and prioritize pipeline opportunities. Freshsales was even intended to be a dynamic analytic contributor, which doesn’t only reveal magnificent sales insights but gives companies hints on how to use those to their advantage. That’s how Freshsales came to have all important sales performance capabilities and is used worldwide, in particular by active Freshdesk users.

#15 Agile CRM

Agile CRM
Who suggested this product?
The Agile CRM was recommended by Sanjay Patoliya from Teclogiq. You can find out more about Sanjay Patoliya here or read their product recommendation below.

Agile CRM is an All-in-One CRM with Sales, Marketing and Service automation in a single platform. It has sales tracking, contact management, marketing automation, web analytics, two-way emails, telephony, and helpdesk with a simple, clean and modern interface.

Agile CRM is a robust cloud-based customer relationship management software that integrates core functionalities of sales, marketing, service, and web engagement platforms into a single unified solution.

Trusted by thousands of small to medium businesses across multiple industries, Agile CRM offers a massive set of features including project management, contact management, scheduling, sales and marketing automation, customer service, email tracking, landing pages, and social media marketing to name a few.

With Agile CRM, users have a unified platform that puts all the information as well as people on a single page, streamlining their tasks, enhances communication and collaboration, and greatly improves productivity and output both at individual and collective levels.

#16 Insightly

Insightly
Who suggested this product?
The Insightly was recommended by Sanjay Patoliya from Teclogiq. You can find out more about Sanjay Patoliya here or read their product recommendation below.

Insightly is touted as one of the best online small business CRMs with over 500,000 users worldwide. In general, Insghtly is t’s a cloud-based CRM solution for small business that offers specific, enterprise-level modules for large companies and multi-level organizations.

Among its main features are contact management, pipeline management and task management to help you get clear sales visibility, an overview of your business, track your deliverables to customers, improve customer communication, collaboration within the organization and increase productivity and efficiency. The CRM has an iOS, Kindle, and Android mobile platform for on-location flexibility, and it integrates well with popular applications, such as Google Apps & Gmail, Evernotes, MailChimp, Office, and Outlook.

In terms of pricing, Insightly offers a notably flexible scheme with 5 plans developed to meet the needs of all companies. A free plan for startups and small companies are also included.

#17 Keap

Keap
Who suggested this product?
The Keap was recommended by Ronald D’souza from Angel Jackets. You can find out more about Ronald D’souza here or read their product recommendation below.

Keap allows you to organize all your leads, business communication and client information in one place. Moreover it also has templates and automated emails to quickly follow up with leads.

#18 Streak

Streak
Who suggested this product?
The Streak was recommended by John Linden from MirrorCoop. You can find out more about John Linden here or read their product recommendation below.

We use Streak CRM. Streak is good for small businesses because it is relatively inexpensive and very user friendly. It allows you to keep track of multiple aspects of your business such as sales, project management, business development, fundraising, hiring and more, all of which are able to be shared easily between business owners and associates. Streak CRM is built into your Gmail account, so users of Google products will have no problem using this program.


Who contributed to this article?

Arun Upadhyay from LionO360

Ricardo Velez from Fundera

Igor Mitic from Fortunly

Ata Khan from Xoobo

Nick Bennett from Growmeo Marketing

Samya A. France from Ignite Visibility

Jesse Harrison from HopeTree Legal Funding

Nicholas Farmen from Spire Digital

Casey Hill from Bonjoro

Eamon Moore from Hikari

Adam Honig from Spiro

Samantha Avneri from Regpack

Angel Centeno from Situation

Sanjay Patoliya from Teclogiq

Ronald D’souza from Angel Jackets

John Linden from MirrorCoop




7 Convenient Answering Services for Your Small Business 2019

Having an efficient answering service is essential to doing good business. As most small businesses and start-ups have a budget, finding a service that works well and doesn’t break the bank can be difficult. Here are seven services that will help to improve your business and move it forward.

#1 Google Voice

Google Voice
Who suggested this product?
The Google Voice was recommended by Alexandra Bohigian from Enola Labs Software. You can find out more about Alexandra Bohigian here or read their product recommendation below.

For small businesses on a budget, I recommend using Google Voice as a call answering service. Google Voice is cost-effective and has the capabilities to easily screen calls and block unwanted telemarketers.

I set it up so that when I answer our business phone, I know who exactly is calling and can decide to speak to them or send them to voicemail. If sent to voicemail, I receive a transcription of the voicemail, via email, making it simple to decide how to move forward and to keep calls organized.

#2 Phone.com Live Receptionist

Phone.com Live Receptionist
Who suggested this product?
The Phone.com Live Receptionist was recommended by Ari Rabban from PHONE.COM. You can find out more about Ari Rabban here or read their product recommendation below.

With Phone.com’s Live Receptionist, small businesses can now have their very own live answering service adding versatility, flexibility, and availability to their company, no matter the size. Phone.com’s US-based professional live receptionists ensure calls will be answered by a real person then guided to wherever you choose such as a voicemail box or a different extension.

The Phone.com brand is synonymous with innovation, which not only reflects year-over-year growth for nine straight years, but also executive leadership’s persona. Having founded the company that made the first ever VoIP phone call, CTO Alon Cohen’s expertise with internet-based telephony is unrivaled.

For small businesses, entrepreneurs and innovative enterprises, Phone.com is a comprehensive cloud-based business phone system that offers enterprise-grade, omnichannel unified communications and collaboration (UCaaS) services without requiring any contract.

Why is Phone.com’s Live Receptionist the top choice for small businesses?

  1. No contract or set-up fees: Plans start at $90 per month.
  2. White glove service: Add a personal, professional touch to your business at affordable rates with a Live Receptionist skilled in the nuances of customer service.
  3. Appointment Scheduling: In addition to answering and directing calls, Phone.com receptionists can schedule meetings and appointments on your behalf, straight into your calendar.
  4. Live Call Answering: Their attendants are available to answer your business calls from Monday to Friday between 8 AM EST to 9 PM EST so you’re covered even if you’re busy or closed.
  5. Keep your Business Spam Free: Bothered by pesky robocalls or solicitors? Phone.com attendants screen inbound calls and only forward those pertinent to a customer’s business.
  6. Telephony Expertise: Phone.com’s award-winning UCaaS platform includes HD voice, video conferencing, team messaging, collaboration, follow-me, CRM integration, IVR, queues, fax, audio conferencing and many other contact features.

Live Receptionist capabilities include:

  • Answering in your company name with a scripted response
  • Taking messages and sending to email or SMS
  • Call forwarding (voicemail, extension, cell phone) and screening
  • Attended Transfer, Cold Transfer, Send to Voicemail
  • Appointment setting using market-leading software from Appointedd
  • Simple call instructions based on client criteria

#3 eReceptionist

eReceptionist
Who suggested this product?
The eReceptionist was recommended by Rory Whelan from eReceptionist. You can find out more about Rory Whelan here or read their product recommendation below.

With eReceptionist you can choose from three different phone plans, all designed with small businesses in mind.

These start from as little as £9.95 per month making this an affordable option for small business owners. As well as providing the obvious benefit of any virtual phone plan – being able to divert your landline number to a mobile – the eReceptionist packages come with various other features including voicemail transcription, multiple call forwarding options and a professional studio recorded greeting.

#4 CallJoy

CallJoy
Who suggested this product?
The CallJoy was recommended by Erika from CallJoy. You can find out more about Erika here or read their product recommendation below.

CallJoy is a cloud-based phone agent that enables small business owners to measure, improve and automate customer service. With CallJoy, SMB owners receive the following for a monthly flat fee of $39:

  • a phone number with a local area code
  • an intelligent virtual voice agent and custom greetings
  • unlimited call recording and conversation transcripts
  • textback functionality
  • spam blocking technology
  • and Google My Business integration

With CallJoy, small businesses can:

  • Gain powerful insights with audio recordings and searchable text transcripts of all connected incoming calls.
  • Make better business decisions with metrics such as peak call times, new vs. returning callers, and conversation topics.
  • Easily direct callers via text message to place an order or schedule an appointment online, increasing sales while freeing up staff.

#5 Davinci

Davinci
Who suggested this product?
The Davinci was recommended by Rishit Shah from TallySchool. You can find out more about Rishit Shah here or read their product recommendation below.

A real live receptionist will answer the calls when you are using this service. It looks highly professional and personal when a live receptionist answers the customer’s calls, hence increasing the brand value.

In addition to that, there is also a toll free number, call forwarding and screening facilities available.

Davinci can also handle appointments, order processing and customer care on premium plans. Bilingual receptionists are also available to take care of your international customers.

#6 Abby Connect

Abby Connect
Who suggested this product?
The Abby Connect was recommended by Andrei Vasilescu from DontPayFull. You can find out more about Andrei Vasilescu here or read their product recommendation below.

Abby Connect is the ideal answering service for any small business that requires a dedicated team of receptionists. This service deploys a team of five professional receptionists for each account who answer inbound calls with personalized greetings. Actually its personalized inbound answering service has made it stand out.

Furthermore, it provides dedicated live call answering, bilingual receptionists, voice mail to email service, unlimited voice mail boxes, customized call transfer music and so many other useful features. Additionally, Abby Connect provides call overflow service to its clients at every price ranges. Hence, Abby Connect is a complete phone answering solution for any small business.

#7 Ruby Receptionists

Ruby Receptionists
Who suggested this product?
The Ruby Receptionists was recommended by John Linden from MirrorCoop. You can find out more about John Linden here or read their product recommendation below.

We’ve used Ruby Receptionists for years and they are excellent.

For one, Ruby Receptionists has a very friendly and courteous staff. For small businesses, return clients are invaluable. Having receptionists always ready to answer clients in a timely and affable manner greatly improves the connection to them.

There are many features, such as weekend coverage, that allow the business owners to relax and know the phone calls are being well handled.


Who contributed to this article?

Alexandra Bohigian from Enola Labs Software

Ari Rabban from PHONE.COM

Rory Whelan from eReceptionist

Erika from CallJoy

Rishit Shah from TallySchool

Andrei Vasilescu from DontPayFull

John Linden from MirrorCoop




6 Best Bookkeeping Programs To Organize Your Small Business

Bookkeeping is incredibly important for clarity, and clarity means you know where you business stands. Instead of using the old-fashioned way, why not try some modern programs? These tools are used by thousands of businesses which rely on the simplicity of use and their versatility.

#1 Xero

Xero
Who suggested this product?
The Xero was recommended by Zach Hendrix from GreenPal. You can find out more about Zach Hendrix here or read their product recommendation below.

We recently changed our small business bookkeeping and accounting software from a desktop based QuickBooks to cloud based Xero.

My number one tip for fellow small business owners to consider when searching for their bookkeeping and accounting software solution is to make sure that the software will integrate and talk to your checking account and credit card account.

This will make sure your books are constantly in sync and also will save you hours of mind numbing data entry every month which is the cause of most small business owners dread for bookkeeping tasks.

Having your data feeds all in sync with your accounting software can directly translate to a better run and tighter business operation.

#2 Wave

Wave
Who suggested this product?
The Wave was recommended by Ian B. from Kredmo. You can find out more about Ian B. here or read their product recommendation below.

Best we found is online software Wave for our bookkeeping and invoicing. It’s fantastic for small businesses or startups. We find it very simple and user-friendly. Above all, it has no monthly fee, so it’s free to use.

#3 NetSuite

NetSuite
Who suggested this product?
The NetSuite was recommended by Saish K from TechK47. You can find out more about Saish K here or read their product recommendation below.

With NetSuite, we can manage our inventory and improve manufacturing efficiencies. The user interface is top notch and simple at the same time. We can even perform complex tasks like revenue recognition management and automate tasks. Some of its extraordinary features include Centralized Vendor Management, Gross Requirements Inquiry, and Integrated Financial Reporting.

#4 Megaventory

Megaventory
Who suggested this product?
The Megaventory was recommended by Ayse Basak Incekas from Megaventory. You can find out more about Ayse Basak Incekas here or read their product recommendation below.

Megaventory gives you a comprehensive solution to record and improve your company workflow. It’s a straightforward way to optimize your procedures and increase your profits.

Megaventory is a business software solution that helps you among other things to record bookkeeping entries of your company by building an automated bridge between your accounting system and the invoices you issue when you make your sales.

It allows you to make a record of the products or services that you sell or buy, list your inventory and track your transactions – and transfer everything automatically to your bookkeeping solution. That way you can avoid doing double data entry and any related mistakes.

#5 Quickbooks

Quickbooks
Who suggested this product?
The Quickbooks was recommended by Simon Keogh from Ablii. You can find out more about Simon Keogh here or read their product recommendation below.

Designed for day to day needs such as bills, invoices, expenses, payroll, and cash flow, the solution is user-friendly. With Quickbooks, small business owners have access to their app marketplace which directly integrates with other technology providers such as Receipt Bank, Expensify, etc.

#6 Freshbooks

Freshbooks
Who suggested this product?
The Freshbooks was recommended by Simon Keogh from Ablii. You can find out more about Simon Keogh here or read their product recommendation below.

Known for their easy-to-use interface, Freshbooks has excellent customer service and support. It’s a cloud-based software that automates invoicing, organizing expenses and tracking time on projects.


Who contributed to this article?

Zach Hendrix from GreenPal

Ian B. from Kredmo

Saish K from TechK47

Ayse Basak Incekas from Megaventory

Simon Keogh from Ablii




The 5 Greatest iPad Apps For Taking Notes

Humans born in the digital age have got a lot, and I mean, a lot of thoughts literally running through their heads 24/7, almost guaranteed during their sleep too. Most people are also familiar with the need to work creatively, be it professionally or as a hobby, they constantly come up with ideas on the fly while doing pretty unrelated stuff.

In the past, you’ll carry with you a stuffy agenda with a pen and start writing down whatever came to mind. Thanks to technology, you’ll only need an Ipad and your fingers. Granted, the built-in notes app has the basic features you need. But it is not even remotely the best thing you could be using to store your potentially million dollars ideas, these are. Check the best note-taking apps for IPad.

#1 Notes4Me

Notes4Me
Who suggested this product?
The Notes4Me was recommended by Diane Hamilton from Binary Formations. You can find out more about Diane Hamilton here or read their product recommendation below.

We’ve gotten really good feedback on our note taking app Notes4Me. It’s designed for short, quick notes to yourself. It’s available for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Mac and syncs using iCloud.

#2 Bear

Bear
Who suggested this product?
The Bear was recommended by Dary Merckens from Gunner Technology. You can find out more about Dary Merckens here or read their product recommendation below.

The reason I love it is because it’s simple and elegant. It’s also got a tremendous array of organizational functions. It’s really a joy to use.

#3 Heuro

Heuro
Who suggested this product?
The Heuro was recommended by Akshay Bansal from Heuro. You can find out more about Akshay Bansal here or read their product recommendation below.

We have all sorts of notes app, from very well designed app like bear to utilities note app like Evernote, But note is the interdependent utility of other activities, right now we have to switch the app to create notes which is very anti cognitive and can Detroit the quality of your instant ideas, And for this reason I want tot suggest an app Heuro, which is a super app and have the one click sticky note feature, which you can drag and drop with the iPad and make note while you consume the information.

#4 Evernote

Evernote
Who suggested this product?
The Evernote was recommended by Jennifer Harder from Jennifer Harder Mortgage Brokers. You can find out more about Jennifer Harder here or read their product recommendation below.

Evernote is an absolute must. There is a free version and then a premium paid upgrade depending on your needs. Not only can you keep your notes, but you can scan documents, make to-do lists, add graphics or pdfs and everything can be organized in albums and with tags for easy searchability.

You can also connect it to your email, and share or collaborate your notes with coworkers or your spouse. It syncs across multiple devices as well so you’re never without something important. Evernote helps me keep my personal and professional life organized and I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it now!

#5 Simplenote

Simplenote
Who suggested this product?
The Simplenote was recommended by Ollie Smith from Energy Seek. You can find out more about Ollie Smith here or read their product recommendation below.

Simplenote app is the best note taking application for iOS on the market. This intuitive application enables you to capture and store plain text notes whilst taking up very little space on your device. Everything is saved in plain text and the highly responsive nature of the software means that you can map, preview and display the text with little delay.

Additionally, the system of tags that is embedded in the program makes recalling important information possible at the push of a button. This is a must have product for both business and personal use alike!


Who contributed to this article?

Diane Hamilton from Binary Formations

Dary Merckens from Gunner Technology

Akshay Bansal from Heuro

Jennifer Harder from Jennifer Harder Mortgage Brokers

Ollie Smith from Energy Seek




The 12 Stealthiest VPNs Available For Mac

Unless you’ve been leaving under a rock, you’ve started to become eeriely aware that something is not right at the moment on the internet. This is so evident on social media sites. Hundreds upon hundreds of totally legally-compliant comments, videos, groups, websites, and even songs are being flagged as NSFW. Their creators have been demonetized from ad revenue, or flat out deleted and banned from the site or even from the web itself by having their domain seized.

What is this? It is called ‘censorship’ and is nothing short of alarmingas the net has been a place where there never been much policing of legal content, and more importantly, legal speech. Due to increasing corporate interests, access to many parts of the internet which people in power unilaterally decided to deem ‘not good’, is in peril.

But who are they to decide that? What makes them think that they can tell you want you are allowed to read and what not? It admittedly sounds very totalitarian and you should not have to put up with it. Defy the status quo and reaffirm your right to see whatever legal content you choose. Start by using the right VPN software for your MAC so you can flip off Big Brother’s tyranny.

 

What is the best VPN for Mac?

#1 Astrill VPN

Astrill VPN
Who suggested this product?
The Astrill VPN was recommended by Greg Heilers from Jolly Content. You can find out more about Greg Heilers here or read their product recommendation below.

This VPN never lets me down. In the rare instance of a down period, they are super responsive to contact form submissions via their website. You can pick from a single device or multi-device plan, as well as from a basic plan to private hosting. I absolutely vote for Astrill VPN.

#2 TunnelBear

TunnelBear
Who suggested this product?
The TunnelBear was recommended by Jennifer Harder from Jennifer Harder Mortgage Brokers. You can find out more about Jennifer Harder here or read their product recommendation below.

I use TunnelBear on my Macbook and iPhone, mostly when I am working while travelling. It’s reasonably priced, easy to install and use. TunnelBear is fast with no buffering when streaming video and they don’t monitor, log or sell your information. Not to mention, the wee bear icon is quite cute. I would highly recommend this to anyone who regularly uses public wifi on the go.

#3 HideMyAss VPN

HideMyAss VPN
Who suggested this product?
The HideMyAss VPN was recommended by Tabby from Just Can’t Settle. You can find out more about Tabby here or read their product recommendation below.

Unlike other VPNs, HideMyAss! (also known as HMA!) doesn’t slow your mac down while you’re using it, and it has a mac-specific app version as well as an iOS app for your phone. With one subscription you can use it on both at the same time.

HMA! also has special servers that can get around blocks on streaming services, even though other major VPN providers have been blocked by sites like Netflix and Hulu. I also find it great for shopping for flight and travel deals internationally – it has servers in almost every country, so you can get region-locked price discounts from pretty much anywhere.

#4 NordVPN

NordVPN
Who suggested this product?
The NordVPN was recommended by Jamie Cambell from GoBestVPN. You can find out more about Jamie Cambell here or read their product recommendation below.

The reasons for it being the best VPN are:

  1. It simply works securely without issues, intuitively and out of the box.
  2. Bypasses censorship in strict countries (Turkey, Russia, China are some examples).
  3. Unblocks Netflix for 5 countries including US Netflix.
  4. Located in Panama, away from any government surveillance.

But the reason why we believe it’s a solid pick for mac is due to the overall user experience.

NordVPN works flawlessly, delivers on features and fits the aesthetic requirements that mac users would want.

Just like most Apple products, there’s very little configuring and testing if things work or not, etc. It simply works and provides a pleasant experience.

#5 PureVPN

PureVPN
Who suggested this product?
The PureVPN was recommended by David Lynch from Payette Forward, Inc.. You can find out more about David Lynch here or read their product recommendation below.

There are a lot of good VPN providers for Mac, but one that stands out to me is PureVPN. Their services cost less than $3 per month and include up to five connected devices. PureVPN also has an app for iOS and Android, so you’ll be able to remain anonymous at home or on-the-go.

PureVPN is based in Hong Kong, so if your plan is to use a VPN to break the law (I don’t recommend that you do!), your risk of getting punished is lower because it’s harder for the United States government to subpoena information from a company in a foreign country.

#6 Hidden 24

Hidden 24
Who suggested this product?
The Hidden 24 was recommended by Afzaal Arshad from Tech Radar. You can find out more about Afzaal Arshad here or read their product recommendation below.

Hidden24 focuses completely on privacy and anonymity, after starting life in 2005 as a reaction to Sweden’s snooping laws.

It now has a UK-based server farm that means you can protect yourself online by connecting to another UK server. It uses the operating system’s own VPN capability so there’s no app to download, and setup is simple thanks to complete, detailed guides.

There are also US servers available to connect to US Netflix, and the service is speedy and stable.

The downside of using the operating system’s own VPN is that you only have the options available to that platform. This means no kill switch to drop connections or kill applications if the VPN tunnel collapses. In testing, the service was stable and fast, however.

We were also told by the company that many other VPN services can offer access points in so many countries because they simply rent cloud services, which are obviously not completely under the control of the provider.

Hidden24 has been built from the ground up to be 100% owned, operated and controlled by Hidden24. The service itself operates from 9 UK data centres, each with an operator class internet connection.

Though head office is in Sweden, which is in the group of 14-eyes countries, Hidden24 claims that they do not log anything. It also doesn’t keep a log of its customers beyond email address and credit card number.

#7 CyberGhost

CyberGhost
Who suggested this product?
The CyberGhost was recommended by Gabe Turner from Security Baron. You can find out more about Gabe Turner here or read their product recommendation below.

After testing and researching many VPNs, we have found that CyberGhost is the best VPN for Mac. It performed incredibly well on our Macbook Air in terms of download speed, upload speed, and latency with differences no more than 15% for each category.

There was a less than 3% difference for download speed and less than 8% difference for upload speed, which is really impressive as I’ve seen slowdowns three times as high. I also tested the VPN for DNS or WebRTC leaks, making sure that my web traffic and real IP address were hidden, and found no leaks while using CyberGhost.

Aside from its stellar performance in my speed and security tests, CyberGhost is based in Romania, out of the jurisdiction of any international surveillance alliances. That means that the company can’t be forced to hand over customer data. Plus, if CyberGhost fails for whatever reason, the kill switch will close your web browser, protecting your traffic. It also allows for Netflix and torrenting, making it a great choice for those who want to stream and download movies, TV, video games, and more

#8 KeepSolid VPN Unlimited

KeepSolid VPN Unlimited
Who suggested this product?
The KeepSolid VPN Unlimited was recommended by Amina Yepisheva from KeepSolid. You can find out more about Amina Yepisheva here or read their product recommendation below.

The app has following advantages:

  • Works in China
  • Allows 5 (and more) simultaneous connections
  • Unblocks US Netflix, Hulu and BBC iPlayer
  • Has reasonable pricing and Lifetime subscription

#9 ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN
Who suggested this product?
The ExpressVPN was recommended by Shawn Newman from VPN Maven. You can find out more about Shawn Newman here or read their product recommendation below.

I’m a digital nomad who travels full-time with a Macbook Pro and this is my go-to VPN to watch Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube TV, and HBO NOW without having to deal with geo-location restrictions. It always works for me no matter where I am in the world.

#10 Pangeo pro

Pangeo pro
Who suggested this product?
The Pangeo pro was recommended by Eyal Katz from MvpGrow . You can find out more about Eyal Katz here or read their product recommendation below.

The reason is that while Pangeo is not a free VPN it is truly a premium VPN for professional use,. They have hundreds of locations to choose and they use verified and secure residential IPs.

#11 Speedify Bonding VPN

Speedify Bonding VPN
Who suggested this product?
The Speedify Bonding VPN was recommended by Cristian Miculi from Connectify. You can find out more about Cristian Miculi here or read their product recommendation below.

With Speedify, you get much more than just a secure online privacy and the ability to unblock restricted content. Speedify uses channel bonding technology to combine 2 or more connections at once on your computer or mobile device. Unlike other VPNs that slow down your connection, with Speedify you will get faster, more stable and secure internet.

#12 SaferVPN

SaferVPN
Who suggested this product?
The SaferVPN was recommended by Shoshana Gold. You can find out more about Shoshana Gold here or read their product recommendation below.

After comparing various VPNs, I have found SaferVPN to have the best connectivity, speed, as well as super easy installation. It’s totally compatible for my Mac and I have found it to be a great, high-quality product at an unbeatable price. I recommend SaferVPN for all Mac and PC users who are looking to work safely and securely, as well as access online entertainment, all over the world.


Who contributed to this article?

Greg Heilers from Jolly Content

Jennifer Harder from Jennifer Harder Mortgage Brokers

Tabby from Just Can’t Settle

Jamie Cambell from GoBestVPN

David Lynch from Payette Forward, Inc.

Afzaal Arshad from Tech Radar

Gabe Turner from Security Baron

Amina Yepisheva from KeepSolid

Shawn Newman from VPN Maven

Eyal Katz from MvpGrow

Cristian Miculi from Connectify

Shoshana Gold




4 Antivirus Programs To Defend Your Mac Computer

There’s always the potential danger you might catch when leaving your house to go experience the real world out there. Just as there’s also a potential danger when navigating the web to observe what’s happening all around. You need to prepare for those dangers.

You don’t need to understand how malware, spyware, and general viruses work to defend yourself from them at all. You just need the correct piece of antivirus software to do that for you. There are numerous offerings out there, but we put forward only the best Antivirus available on the market for MAC computers. Here they are.

#1 Free Antivirus for Mac – from Avira

Free Antivirus for Mac - from Avira
Who suggested this product?
The Free Antivirus for Mac – from Avira was recommended by Rich Mullikin from Mullikin Communications. You can find out more about Rich Mullikin here or read their product recommendation below.

Free Antivirus for Mac is powered by a combination of artificial intelligence, cloud technologies, and Avira’s endpoint antivirus scanner. Avira protects your private data against all types of malware including ransomware, Trojans, and spyware.

#2 MacKeeper

MacKeeper
Who suggested this product?
The MacKeeper was recommended by Marty Rogers from Lead Peep. You can find out more about Marty Rogers here or read their product recommendation below.

I have used MacKeeper since I moved from Windows to a MacBook Pro back in 2015 and I wouldn’t bother with anything else. Keeps me and my business safe, looks great, great name and has all the features you need to feel protected. It’s very affordable, too, which is a real bonus.

#3 BitDefender Antivirus

BitDefender Antivirus
Who suggested this product?
The BitDefender Antivirus was recommended by Kulwant Nagi from BloggingCage. You can find out more about Kulwant Nagi here or read their product recommendation below.

BitDefender antivirus for all my Mac machines (4 machines) since 2014. The protection, security, privacy and speed I get by using this antivirus is way beyond awesomeness.

I have used this same antivirus on my windows machines for more than 8 years.

This antivirus can help your Mac stay secure and don’t disturb your Mac’s performance because of it’s small size.

#4 ESET Endpoint Protection

ESET Endpoint Protection
Who suggested this product?
The ESET Endpoint Protection was recommended by Michael Schenck from Manhattan Tech Support Com, LLC. You can find out more about Michael Schenck here or read their product recommendation below.

For General Protection, I am a big supporter of ESET. I have it running on multiple devices – Mac, PC, Servers, Mobile (android and iOS), and a chromeOS. Its simple to use, has a business management and MSP management format. It utilizes the best in breed detection – both classic definition based hunting and heuristic based methods.

As far as success in cleaning/detecting malware, it keeps up with Malwarebytes without the resource overhead, and as Malwarebytes is often the go-to service for malware cleanup – post breach, ESET isn’t as aggressively targeted by hackers trying to bypass detection. Additionally the versions I’m recommending include additional options like a firewall and network threat detection, and is good as anything else at stopping ransomware.

A complete solution for anyone taking their computer security seriously.


Who contributed to this article?

Rich Mullikin from Mullikin Communications

Marty Rogers from Lead Peep

Kulwant Nagi from BloggingCage

Michael Schenck from Manhattan Tech Support Com, LLC




8 Laptops For Doing Photo Editing Easily Anywhere You Like

You know all those photos of the hot girls you are constantly scrolling the gram to feast your eyes on? Want me to tell you a secret about them? Do you really want to know? Are you absolutely sure!? Okay, here it goes: They are all touched up here and there to “enhance” their looks.

Whoa! Mind-shattering revelation right there. Joking aside, at the heart of the Instagram model/influencer game is nothing more than appearances. And appearances can be manipulated quite easily these days. Beyond the simple Snapchat and IG filters, photoshop and similar software are the real MVPs here.

Be it an always-in-demand skill, photo editing can easily satiate your bank account’s hunger for profits without even being your main hustle. The best part is, high-quality photo editing can now be done from anywhere, once you possess a laptop best suited for the task, a laptop such as one of these listed right here.

#1 Apple MacBook Pro

Apple MacBook Pro
Who suggested this product?
The Apple MacBook Pro was recommended by Melissa Erdelac from MamaGourmand. You can find out more about Melissa Erdelac here or read their product recommendation below.

Four years ago when I launched my food blog I did extensive research on the best laptop for photo and video editing. I was looking for a fast processor that could load and edit photos quickly without bogging down the hard drive. The MacBook Pro 15” won out because of it’s memory drive, the clear hi-resolution screen, and fast processor. With thousands of raw image files and video clips being stored on it, my MacBook Pro is the same fast workhorse now as the day I took it out of the box.

#2 Apple 15 inch MacBook Pro Laptop

Apple 15 inch MacBook Pro Laptop
Who suggested this product?
The Apple 15 inch MacBook Pro Laptop was recommended by Renee Cook from Rhythms + Grace. You can find out more about Renee Cook here or read their product recommendation below.

There are several reasons I’m recommending this specific, older model.

  1. I have the 2013 version of this model with 16GB RAM and 256 GB Solid State Hard Drive and it is FLAWLESS. I plan to use it for several more years. I use my computer all the time for work, and it is ALWAYS fast. (The 16GB ram as opposed to 8GB is what helps the computer work fast. If you want to use your laptop as a photographer, you need it to be fast because the files are so large.)
  2. The retina display is AMAZING, and all professional photo editing software works seamlessly with Apple products.
  3. This 15 inch size is perfect for on-the-go editing. It’s lightweight and portable, but not too small! Plus, you can connect to a cheap large monitor or two if you want to work at home on a bigger screen.
  4. The more recent Macbooks have had a lot of glitches, specifically with their keyboards and touch bar. My husband is a programmer and uses a new Macbook for work. He frequently jokes about trading me for my old one… NO WAY!
  5. It’s cheaper than buying the newer models. Perfect for anyone who wants to save a little money… or rather, a lot. The newest models are almost $1000 more expensive than this one There is a 90 day warranty from some sellers, so if something were to go wrong, you could, of course, return it easily. But, these models have lots of positive reviews!

#3 Razer Blade 15: World’s Smallest 15.6″ Gaming Laptop

Razer Blade 15: World's Smallest 15.6
Who suggested this product?
The Razer Blade 15: World’s Smallest 15.6″ Gaming Laptop was recommended by Brandon Ballweg from ComposeClick. You can find out more about Brandon Ballweg here or read their product recommendation below.

I recently bought a laptop for photo editing and I went with the Razer Blade 15. I got it with an i7 processor (important for processing images quickly and in bulk), a 1060 graphics card (also important) and 16gb of RAM. This setup is very snappy for editing images in Lightroom and Photoshop. I found it to be a big upgrade from my last computer. It also looks great and doubles as a gaming laptop if you like to play video games on the computer.

#4 HP Spectre x360

HP Spectre x360
Who suggested this product?
The HP Spectre x360 was recommended by Jim Costa from Jim Costa Films. You can find out more about Jim Costa here or read their product recommendation below.

You’ll want to max out this laptop to get the most performance out of it. I recommend the Intel Core i7-8750H processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q GPU with 4GB of VRAM, a minimum of 16GB of RAM (more is better) and a solid state drive. The larger the better. The device comes with and HDMI port, a headphone jack, a pair of Thumberbolt 3 ports, a single USB port and a micro SD card slot. There’s two screen sizes available, 13.6” & 15.6”. Both offer 4K resolution, but could be brighter. The laptop also comes with the HP Active Pen. Finally, the battery life is excellent lasting up to 8 hours.

#5 Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630

Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630
Who suggested this product?
The Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 was recommended by Jim Costa from Jim Costa Films. You can find out more about Jim Costa here or read their product recommendation below.

If you prefer a Chromebook, take a look at Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630. Get the 4K model for for the best resolution. The laptop offers number of CPU & other options, but I recommend the top of the line for the most flexibility. Doing so will get you a machine with a Core i5-8250U CPU, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of eMMC flash storage. Coming with flexible hinges, the Chromebook C630 transforms foam laptop to a tablet. The unit has a 15” display and only weighs 4.1 pounds. Inputs include a micro SD port, two USB Type-C ports, a single USB 3.0 port and a headphone/mic combo jack. The battery should last about 6 1/2 hours depending on usage.

#6 Apple 15.4 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

Apple 15.4 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
Who suggested this product?
The Apple 15.4 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar was recommended by Jim Costa from Jim Costa Films. You can find out more about Jim Costa here or read their product recommendation below.

If you’re an Apple lover, take a look at Apple 15.4 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. This is definitely an editing powerhouse for phots and videos. The computer sports a 2880 x 1800 Retina display. The Touch Bar adapts to different apps to provide useful functions.

The system features an 8th Generation 2.9 GHz Intel Core i9 six-core processor, 32GB of 2400 MHz DDR4 onboard memory, a 4TB PCIe-based SSD, four Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C) ports, a Force Touch trackpad, a keyboard with a 3rd generation butterfly mechanism, stereo speakers with double the dynamic range of its predecessor as well as improved bass, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology, and even a 3.5mm headphone jack. The laptop also has a maximum speed boost of 4.8 Ghz, and an AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20 with 4 GB HBM2 VRAM GPU.

#7 Dell XPS 15 9570

Dell XPS 15 9570
Who suggested this product?
The Dell XPS 15 9570 was recommended by Kaitlin Cooper from Kaitlin Cooper Photography. You can find out more about Kaitlin Cooper here or read their product recommendation below.

The Dell XPS 15 is a powerful option for photographers looking to edit on the go. The 4K color display allows you to view your photos in crisp and sharp detail as they fill the InfinityEdge screen, and with the speedy processor plus ample storage space, you’re able to easily run intensive programs such as Lightroom and Photoshop without your laptop slowing down. As an added bonus, this includes a touchscreen, giving you an additional way to edit your photos.

#8 Microsoft Surface Book 2

Microsoft Surface Book 2
Who suggested this product?
The Microsoft Surface Book 2 was recommended by Kaitlin Cooper from Kaitlin Cooper Photography. You can find out more about Kaitlin Cooper here or read their product recommendation below.

With powerful graphics, beautiful color display, and a long battery life, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is an excellent choice for photographers looking to edit on a laptop. While it’s priced a bit closer to that of a MacBook Pro, its detachable design that turns it into a tablet makes it well worth the investment. Along with editing, this makes it simple to bring to client meetings or to use while traveling.


Who contributed to this article?

Melissa Erdelac from MamaGourmand

Renee Cook from Rhythms + Grace

Brandon Ballweg from ComposeClick

Jim Costa from Jim Costa Films

Kaitlin Cooper from Kaitlin Cooper Photography




11 Versatile Video Editing Software Available On Windows

Ever seen an incredibly entertaining piece of video that’s so attractive to looks at you can’t just disengage from it? Chances are it passed through extensive video editing before it was released on the form you currently enjoy it. Be it whatever your favorite Instagram influencer posts or an episode of Game Of Thrones, all of what your eyes are accustomed to was more likely touched up by a video editing software.

If making your own videos look similarly polished as those you see getting the most engagement is what you seek, you are going to need the right tools for the job. While there’s clearly a lot of different options on video editing software out there, and that their performance depends on your hardware’s horsepower also, there’s clearly some superior to others. We present you with only the best of them available for Windows here, check it out.

#1 Filmora9 Video Editor

Filmora9 Video Editor
Who suggested this product?
The Filmora9 Video Editor was recommended by Rahul Kumar Singh from HubsAdda. You can find out more about Rahul Kumar Singh here or read their product recommendation below.

Filmora is a lightweight, easy-to-use video editing software. The program is packed with cutting, cropping, trimming tools, color correction and audio mixer. With Filmora, you can do almost everything to create nice looking videos for uploading to YouTube or other social media platforms. Compare to other professional NLEs like Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut or Vegas Pro, Filmora is more affordable than these programs.

#2 Premiere Pro CC

Premiere Pro CC
Who suggested this product?
The Premiere Pro CC was recommended by Gregory Golinski from YourParkingSpace. You can find out more about Gregory Golinski here or read their product recommendation below.

I recommend Premiere Pro CC because it’s very intuitive to use. I like the fact that Adobe helps you learn how to use their platform with three really good interactive tutorials the first time you launch their software. Even if you’re a seasoned video editor, these tutorials can refresh your memory and learn new features that you hadn’t heard about before.

The other thing I really like is how Premiere Pro CC integrates seamlessly with other Adobe products such as Adobe Photoshop or After Effects. The combined us of these tools can be extremely powerful and help you produce amazing videos.

#3 Camtasia

Camtasia
Who suggested this product?
The Camtasia was recommended by Marci Loehner from My Heavenly Recipes. You can find out more about Marci Loehner here or read their product recommendation below.

I love Camtasia for the ease of the software, but, it is limited in functions. If you are a beginner, I would highly suggest Camtasia! For the more experienced user or someone who has the time to learn, Adobe Premiere Pro has a lot more options and more complex. It’s a little bit of a learning curve, but, once you figure it out, your videos will be amazing and look great!

A tip when it comes to video editing, is if you are creating the same style of video over and over, create a template to make the editing process smoother!

#4 VEGAS Pro 16

VEGAS Pro 16
Who suggested this product?
The VEGAS Pro 16 was recommended by Abe Navas from Emilys Maids. You can find out more about Abe Navas here or read their product recommendation below.

The best alternative if you are looking for a lifetime program. There is no subscription and it’s a powerful program. This one is the best option after Premiere Pro.

#5 FREE – Kdenlive

Kdenlive
Who suggested this product?
The Kdenlive was recommended by Abe Navas from Emilys Maids. You can find out more about Abe Navas here or read their product recommendation below.

This one is the first one that is a good option that is free. It’s buggy sometimes but at a starting price of $0 you can’t ask for a better program. A quick a simple to use editing software that in some years could dominate a big chunk of the market.

#6 FREE – Shotcut

Shotcut
Who suggested this product?
The Shotcut was recommended by Abe Navas from Emilys Maids. You can find out more about Abe Navas here or read their product recommendation below.

Another also free option. Is the less powerful option between all. It’s lightweight and intuitive to use if you used another piece of software.

#7 Adobe Premiere Elements

Adobe Premiere Elements
Who suggested this product?
The Adobe Premiere Elements was recommended by Dary Merckens from Gunner Technology. You can find out more about Dary Merckens here or read their product recommendation below.

The reason I’m recommending Adobe Premiere Elements is two fold:

  1. Adobe makes the best video editing software in the business – it’s used for everything from birthday movies to blockbuster films.
  2. While this is the simplified version, it prepares you to work with the full Adobe Premiere Pro suite if you ever want to use more powerful video editing software.

#8 Cyberlink PowerDirector

Cyberlink PowerDirector
Who suggested this product?
The Cyberlink PowerDirector was recommended by Ron Humes from Post Modern Marketing. You can find out more about Ron Humes here or read their product recommendation below.

There are many important factors to consider when selecting video editing software, such as cost, ease-of-use, speed, quality, online support, and hardware requirements. After many trials and much testing, I found myself gravitating back to CyberLink PowerDirector. I have found this software to be the best video editing software for the money.

While I’m certain there are better solutions for professional studios with no concerns regarding cost and equipment, this software is excellent for creating stunning videos for your family vacations, kid’s activities, YouTube hobby channels, Facebook posts, and smaller professional needs.

#9 HitFilm Pro

HitFilm Pro
Who suggested this product?
The HitFilm Pro was recommended by Jim Costa from Jim Costa Films. You can find out more about Jim Costa here or read their product recommendation below.

This program is one you purchase outright rather than buying an annual or monthly subscription. It’s a video editor & compositor meaning you can cut a movie and apply effects to it. You can change the layout to suit your needs, you can add titles, 3D animations, and supports 8K video. it allows for animation values of tips such as size and opacity, add keyframes, edit audio.

It is best known for its special effects including: green screen color correction, masks, particle simulators and more.

#10 DaVinci Resolve 16

DaVinci Resolve 16
Who suggested this product?
The DaVinci Resolve 16 was recommended by Yaniv Masjedi from Nextiva. You can find out more about Yaniv Masjedi here or read their product recommendation below.

DaVinci Resolve 16 allows for instantaneous switching between editing, colorization, and audio. Plus, it’s great for collaborative teams or independent shops – it’s actually designed to be a collaborative platform between different professionals: VFX artists, sound designers, editors, and more. Pretty cool stuff!

#11 FREE TRIAL – Avid Media Composer 2019

Avid Media Composer 2019
Who suggested this product?
The Avid Media Composer 2019 was recommended by Tanya Roberts from Red Lorry Yellow Lorry. You can find out more about Tanya Roberts here or read their product recommendation below.

Whether they’re a professional editor, freelancer or someone just starting out, Media Composer 2019 is the editing software that meets the needs of every level and inspires creative storytelling.

Media Composer 2019 is available in four models to afford editors at all stages in their careers access to the industry-standard editing software used by top film, TV and broadcast editors.

Media Composer | First is ideal for editors just beginning their journey. It delivers a complete yet streamlined creative toolset for free.

Media Composer is for professional editors and filmmakers who work independently and need advanced editing tools. This subscription version of Media Composer starts at less than $20/month, and offers the complete feature set, with up to 24 video tracks, 64 audio tracks, and unlimited bins. It features a newly refined user interface for more powerful video editing and support for 4K, 8K and HDR, giving independent editors the tools to maximize their creative talent and stay ahead of the competition.

Media Composer | Ultimate empowers creative teams with access to Avid’s unparalleled collaborative capabilities, adds support for shared storage.

Media Composer | Enterprise, introduced in April 2019, is suited to post-production, broadcast, media education and other larger production teams. Media Composer | Enterprise is the industry’s first role-specific video editing and finishing solution. Large production teams now have the ability to customize the interface and tailor workspaces for different job roles, providing end users access only to the tools and functions they need.

With Media Composer 2019, an editor can go from first cut to delivery without ever leaving the application. Aspiring and professional editors, freelancers and journalists will be inspired to work more creatively by taking advantage of a new user experience, a next generation Avid media engine with distributed processing, finishing and delivering capabilities, a customizable role-based user interface for large teams, and so much more.

Media Composer 2019 includes:

  • New User Experience allowing users to work at the speed of creativity with a paneled interface that reduces clutter, reimagined bins to find media faster, and task-based workspaces showing only what the user wants and needs to see.
  • Next Generation Avid Media Engine which puts more power at a user’s fingertips with features, such as native OP1A, support for more video and audio streams, Live Timeline and background rendering, and a distributed processing add-on option to shorten turnaround times and speed up post production.
  • New Finishing and Delivery Workflows enabling users to create and deliver higher-quality content with editing, effects, color, audio, and finishing tools without leaving Media Composer.


Who contributed to this article?

Rahul Kumar Singh from HubsAdda

Gregory Golinski from YourParkingSpace

Marci Loehner from My Heavenly Recipes

Abe Navas from Emilys Maids

Dary Merckens from Gunner Technology

Ron Humes from Post Modern Marketing

Jim Costa from Jim Costa Films

Yaniv Masjedi from Nextiva

Tanya Roberts from Red Lorry Yellow Lorry