A Look at The Tech Stack in Our Startup

SaaS Stack

What keeps an innovative startup ticking over? At Process Street, we’re a huge fan of using the software other SaaS startups put out there in conjunction with the ever-dependable big names.

Here are the 18 SaaS products we use at Process Street, and why we think they’re the best options out there.

Analytics: Mixpanel, Google Analytics & Jetpack

For analytics, we use 3 different products for slightly different purposes.

Mixpanel is for in-app analytics. We use it to track trends, user engagement and sign-ups, getting an overall picture and week-by-week comparisons and helping us reduce churn by noticing patterns.

Google Analytics is our go-to source for tracking conversions and referral traffic. This means we can measure the effectiveness of the content and the promotion separately.

Jetpack is a WordPress plugin that simply tracks the views on pages. The only time we use it is to get a current view of page traffic since Google Analytics can take 24 hours to update, but Jetpack does it instantly.

Project Management: Trello & Basecamp

Trello is used by marketing, development, growth and support teams as the main home for tasks, attachments and status updates. During the employee onboarding process, we add new hires to the team boards and make a personal board for them which contains their first round of tasks and helps them get into the habit of using Trello.

Basecamp is the tool of choice when collaborating with designers. When we had our site redesigned by Koombea, Basecamp was the ideal tool to neatly store resources and collaborate over designs until the iterations were moved into InVision to be prototyped.

Personal Productivity: WorkFlowy & Evernote

WorkFlowy — a tool for taking quick notes — is the best way we’ve found to make both simple notes and complex plans. Project proposals and plans go into WorkFlowy, where it’s easy to structure complex ideas because of the way the app’s designed:

Workflowy 3

Evernote is where we keep everything from rough notes and screenshots to entire blog posts. With its Zapier integration, it also turns into a way to add text to any other app just by tagging the note.

TaskPaper is a fancy text editor disguised as a to-do list app. Anyone who has kept their to-do items in a TextEdit file will like the added functionality, including tags, smart search syntax and projects. Other popular choices include Any.Do, Wunderlist and Todoist.

1Password is a password manager that keeps every password you use safely encrypted in a vault protected by a master password. It lives up to its name because one password is all you have to remember. While Chrome’s ‘remember this password’ feature is good enough, 1Password is usable cross-browser, OS and device.

External Communication: Intercom & Close.io

Intercom is our favorite customer support tool. All of our support conversations and in-app messages to users goes through Intercom. It’s easy to keep up with the tickets, loop in other departments and get notified when high-ticket customers reach out.

Close.io is an awesome CRM. It’s built around search, meaning that you can create complex search queries and narrow down lists of hundreds of thousands to exactly what you’re looking for. We use it for sales and marketing outreach, as well as managing all content communications.

Internal Communication: Slack & Appear.in

While Trello is great for storing and organizing tasks, Slack is our main tool for internal communication. Its IRC-like interface makes it easy to chat with groups and individuals. Plus, the integrations with Slack, Intercom and the other tools we use.

Appear.in is a permanent video chat room, which means you sign up and get a fixed URL your team can pop in and out of at any time. It’s much better for us than Skype, because you don’t need accounts or to initiate/end video calls at all.

Workflow Management: Process Street

Process Street is, of course, the tool we use for workflow automation, business process management, employee onboarding and content promotion.

We break projects down into processes and assign these processes to teams and individuals. As they progress with the project and automate their workflows, we can easily get an overview by just looking at the Process Street dashboard.

Email Marketing: MailChimp

MailChimp is the home for all of our automated and one-off email campaigns. Every blog post email and product update goes through MailChimp, where we can track opens, clicks and trends. For me as a content creator, opens and clicks are a great signal that a topic has resonated with our readership.

Since these readers came into our product and read our content, there are parallels across a few topics, like productivity and processes.

Content Promotion: Mention & Buffer

Mention scours the internet for brand mentions and backlinks, which means that when we’re linked to we get a notification and can then promote the post, both as a ‘thank you’ to the author and to maximize the exposure of a piece we’re being featured in.

When we’re linked or mentioned, we then add the post to Buffer. Buffer lets you tweet the same link across multiple accounts (we have 12 linked up in there) in one click, and queues the posts up so they go out at the best time for your audience to see them.

Content Writing: Google Docs & WordPress

The Process Street blog is built on the perfect blog builder, WordPress. WordPress is ideal for drafting in a visual editor with a preview — much better than working with pure HTML.

For guest posts, or collaborative work, we use Google Docs. In-line comments and suggestions make it great for working with writers as an editor. When you’re done you can copy a sharable link and forward it to the target publication for review. I haven’t found an easier way to collaborate and share articles.

Alternote is an Evernote plugin that makes it bearable for content writing. Since I like to have all of my resources nearby, I can create a unique tag for each blog post, then use the Web Clipper to save sources with that tag. Here’s an example:

Alternote Shot

Data Management: Airtable

There’s probably over 100,000 records in our Airtable database.

Everything from keywords to contacts lives there, and that makes it easy for us to reference and link together everything related to Process Street.

We moved to Airtable after the frustration of managing data with Google Sheets set in. Spreadsheets littered between accounts, with random titles and dodgy permissions were making for a terrible data management experience. With Airtable — especially when you link it up to Zapier — you’ve got a far more efficient user experience.

SEO: Ahrefs, Moz & SEO Spider

Ahrefs an SEO powerhouse. You can use it to research keywords, monitor backlinks, and, what we love most about it — track every keyword a URL is ranking for. When we’re running campaigns to rank specific keywords, like we did with employee onboarding, Ahrefs provides the single best status update on that project within a few seconds of checking.

Moz is a tool we only use for bulk keyword difficulty checks because Ahrefs is the better tool for us. In addition to keyword difficulty, I personally have Mozbar installed for Chrome which lets me quickly check Domain Authority (a rough guide as to how much weight a backlink holds from that domain).

SEO Spider crawls URLs and looks for broken domains. Even with a free account, you can get 500 results from just pasting a domain in. You get to see how many 4xx errors are on that domain, and which links are broken. Then, you can start doing broken link building (as detailed in our marketing processes guide).

File Management: Google Drive

Google Drive is where I keep my Google Docs, graphic assets like SVGs, and upload any large file to share with my team.

Its Trello integration means you can attach any file that’s already inside Drive, saving you from uploading it in multiple places.

To see why we use Google Drive instead of Dropbox, check this comparison.

App Integrations: Zapier

Zapier connects every app I’ve listed here together. Impressive, right? Every app linked together means you can transfer data between them and automate a ton of boring work. For us, it’s a better version of IFTTT because it has more features.

Zapier vs IFTTT infographic

Here are some of my favorite examples, featuring apps like Evernote and OneNote:

Development: JIRA

JIRA is the home of our planned features, user stories, and dastardly bugs. Developers can add, track, prioritize and assign issues to their team, then feed that information to a live Slack channel.

For example, whenever a new feature is pushed to the live server, a Slack channel gets updated with the feature’s new information and we can do a short write-up to announce it and test the feature to hunt bugs.

Originally posted on Abstract Living

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