July 7, 2023

9 Must-have Startup Tools to Add to Your Stack (updated)

Min Zhou
Growth Ops
min read
Jul 7, 2023
must-have startup tools

When it comes to building and growing our businesses, every dollar counts. That's why choosing the right tools is essential to boost productivity and achieve success while keeping costs low.

So, we have compiled a must-have list of the best startup tools to help you work more efficiently and build smarter. These tools have been instrumental in building Trickle, and we highly recommend them for any founder's tech stack.

Whether you're a first-time entrepreneur or an experienced founder always on the lookout for new software, here are some of the top startup tools to add to your tech stack.

9 must-have startup tools

  1. Trickle
  2. Slack
  3. Google Drive
  4. Figma
  5. Canva
  6. Hubspot
  7. Ahrefs
  8. Intercom
  9. Jira

Startup Tools for Productivity

I place productivity tools at the forefront because they play a crucial role in connecting different processes and roles.

Having effective collaboration tools is like breaking down information barriers, ensuring that everyone has access to the information they need and can contribute their valuable insights. It's about creating a seamless flow of information and unleashing the full potential of each individual.

1. Trickle

Trickle is perfect for anyone who often takes lots of screenshots and then has a hard time keeping track of them in messy folders. It makes organizing your screenshots a breeze. Plus, with the power of GPT-4, Trickle turns your images into visual notes. These are not just easy to understand but also simple to search through.

With Trickle, you can:

  • Capture, store, and manage images in one place
  • Receive AI-generated summaries and digests based on each image
  • Query the AI for insights based on uploaded images
  • Extract essential information from diagrams
  • Digitize your handwritten content

Trickle simplifies screenshot organization and enhances accessibility by transforming them into searchable visual notes with the assistance of GPT-4, offering an efficient solution for individuals struggling with cluttered folders.


  • $8 USD/ month billed annually
  • $10 USD/ month billed monthly

2. Slack

Slack - Startup Tool

Slack is a real-time messaging tool designed for seamless communication within teams. It allows every member of your startup to engage in conversations about projects, company updates, and even casual conversations.

With Slack, you can:

  • Integrate with popular file management apps like Google Drive and Dropbox Paper to manage and track documents within Slack.
  • Utilize advanced search modifiers to quickly find specific messages or files.
  • Customize your sidebar for easy channel organization and personalization.
  • Set reminders with the /remind command and integrate Google Calendar for efficient scheduling.
  • Subscribe to RSS feeds within Slack to stay updated on industry news and competitive intelligence.

Slack can enhance collaboration, streamline workflows, and provide efficient tools for effective teamwork, allowing team members to stay aligned and focused on their goals.


  • Free - $0/month
  • Pro - $8.75 USD/month per user
  • Business - $15 USD/month per user

3. Google Drive

Google Drive - Startup Tool

Google Drive is a cloud storage tool for saving, sharing, and collaborating on documents of all types, including Word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, and more.

With Google Drive, you can:

  • Automatically synchronize files across devices for convenient access and sharing.
  • Quickly save web content to Google Drive using the handy Chrome extension.
  • Edit PDF files by converting them into Google Docs for seamless collaboration and editing.
  • Effortlessly store email attachments in Google Drive for improved organization and accessibility.
  • Open and preview compressed files directly in Google Drive using the ZIP Extractor app.

Discover the powerful features of Google Drive that can enhance your workflow, foster collaboration, and optimize file management.


  • 15GB — free
  • 100 GB — $2 USD/month or $20/year
  • 200GB — $3 USD/month or $30/year
  • 2TB — $10 USD/month or $100/year

Startup Tools for Design

Good design is crucial for improving user experience, increasing website conversions, and ensuring brand consistency.

In addition, utilizing the right design tools can bridge the gap between design and development, reducing the need for multiple feedback loops and streamlining the entire process.

4. Figma

Figma - Startup Tool

Figma is a powerful design and prototyping tool for creating websites and mobile apps. You can design and prototype fully-functional digital experiences for different devices and platforms.

With Figma, you can:

  • Work together, present projects, gather feedback, and keep stakeholders informed.
  • Use Figma as a collaborative whiteboard for sketching and iterate from wireframes to high-fidelity mockups.
  • Build and publish interactive prototypes for mobile apps, test directly on smartphones.
  • Establish product design systems online, ensuring everyone has access to the latest version.
  • Utilize Figma's plugin API to create custom plugins or tap into the user community for additional functionalities.

Figma is a powerful and intuitive tool for the entire digital design process. It offers unique collaboration and iteration features for both individuals and teams. Additionally, a wide selection of plugins complements Figma's capabilities, addressing any limitations and enhancing its functionality.


  • Free - $0/month
  • Professional - $15 USD/month per editor
  • Organization - $45 USD/month per editor

5. Canva

Canva - Startup Tool

Canva enables you to effortlessly create a wide range of assets, including captivating social media covers, engaging posts, and eye-catching event invites.

With Canva, you can:

  • Easily transform designs into different shapes or sizes with just one click using the Resize feature.
  • Quickly change the color palette of your design and apply it to all elements with the Change All option.
  • Organize and maintain brand consistency by creating multiple Brand Kits with logos, brand colors, and preferred fonts.
  • Access thousands of pre-designed templates for various purposes, saving time and effort in creating graphics.
  • Remove backgrounds from images directly in Canva using the Background Remover Tool, eliminating the need for external editing software.

Canva empowers everyone to design, regardless of their skill level. You can effortlessly create professional-looking documents and graphics that align with your brand and meet the required specifications.


  • Free - $0/month
  • Pro - $12.99 USD/month for on person
  • Teams - $14.99 USD/month for the first 5 people

Startup Tools for Marketing

When it comes to growing a startup, getting your product in front of people is essential. However, marketing a product is no easy task.

These marketing tools for startups are designed to help you build a solid marketing strategy and measure the effectiveness of your efforts.

6. HubSpot

HubSpot - Startup Tool

Hubspot offers a suite of tools designed for marketing, sales, and customer service. With Hubspot, you can effortlessly create and oversee email campaigns, track conversions, generate insightful reports, and enjoy a host of other valuable functionalities.

With Hubspot, you can:

  • Access the heart of HubSpot, a free CRM that enables better decision-making and collaboration across teams by tracking contact behavior.
  • Easily create customized landing pages without the need for designers or developers.
  • Group contacts based on various criteria to personalize marketing and sales efforts.
  • Automate tasks, such as email sends, list building, and property filling.
  • Connect and manage LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook accounts.

HubSpot Marketing Hub provides marketers of all company sizes with powerful features that improve efficiency, integration, and time management.


  • Professional - $890 USD/month for 2,000 marketing contacts
  • Enterprise - $3.600 USD/month for 10,000 marketing contacts

7. Ahrefs

Ahrefs - Startup Tool

Ahrefs is a SEO tool designed for startups, offering a wide range of functionalities. From conducting keyword research and auditing websites to checking backlinks and monitoring keyword rankings, Ahrefs provides a complete suite of features to enhance your SEO efforts.

With Ahrefs, you can:

  • Find Unlinked Mentions, Broken Backlinks, and Competitor Backlink Data.
  • Get a Pulse on Competitor Backlinks.
  • Monitor your competitor's backlink growth to identify their promotional efforts.
  • Use the Site Explorer tab and enter the URL to analyze organic keyword rankings.
  • Explore related queries and questions to understand user intent and optimize content accordingly.

You can easily find relevant topics and keywords your audience searches for with Ahrefs. Analyzing your competitors' rankings and top pages also provides insights into effective topics for your content.


  • Lite - $99 USD/month
  • Standard - $199 USD/month
  • Advanced - $399 USD/month

Startup Tools for Customer Support

Startups rely heavily on effective communication with leads and customers, making it essential for success. With the help of sales and customer support tools, tracking and managing these interactions becomes easier, streamlining the process for better engagement and management.

8. Intercom

Intercom - Startup Tool

Intercom is a customer conversational tool resembling a CRM. It allows you to initiate and handle conversations with potential leads and existing customers across various channels, including your website, app, social media, and email.

With Intercom, you can:

  • Engage with customers in real-time through a chat widget on your website.
  • Create customized chatbots to answer common questions.
  • Send targeted messages and alerts to users via push notifications.
  • Set up a help center with detailed FAQs, product information, and customization options to provide self-service support.
  • Create interactive tours to guide users through your software or product.


  • Starter - $74 USD/month

Startup Tools for Development

9. Jira

Jira - Startup Tool

Jira is a project management tool that enables efficient tracking and management of multiple projects and deliverables across diverse teams and disciplines.

With Jira, you can:

  • Visualize insights through dashboards and reporting.
  • Track and manage tasks, bugs, and issues.
  • Integrate seamlessly with 3,000+ tools.
  • Utilize an agile framework for project planning, tracking, and management.
  • Plan, track, release, and report on work with roadmaps.
  • Manage user access permissions through role assignments.


  • Free - $0/month
  • Standard - $7.75 USD/month per user
  • Premium - $15.25 USE/month per user

Equip Your Startup with the Right Tools for Growth

While this list doesn't cover every recommended tool for startups, it's a great starting point. the key consideration when choosing any startup tool is how it can benefit your startup. If a tool doesn't save you time or offer valuable insights, don't feel compelled to purchase it.

On that note, we recommend our own tool, Trickle, which can save you significant time and cost to facilitate growth. Feel free to learn more and enjoy a free trail here!

Finally, I would like to give a shoutout to an AI tool called that has been incredibly helpful in reviewing the tool stack mentioned above. Workflos is like an AI-powered search engine for comparing SaaS products, finding the right tools, and giving recommendations based on your needs. It's definitely worth giving it a try.

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