Create a painkiller, not a vitamin

We need painkillers – some of us choose to take vitamins. It’s a good test when working on a new business idea.

This phrase really resonated with me when I first heard it. At any time, there are 1,000s of entrepreneurs beavering away with new businesses but how many of the ideas and concepts that underpin them, will grow to become essential-can’t-do-without-them features of our lives?

In no particular order, here are 10 of my top (painkiller) business products and services. I use them most days and in fact, I used 5 of them in the process of publishing this post!

1. Unsplash – 1000s of beautiful free photos – handy for creating quality marketing materials. There are always new images being added and the price is simply a non-mandatory request to credit the image owner to say “thank you”.

2. Wunderlist – without it, I’m not sure my life would run smoothly. It’s my organisation hub, my to-do lists – for work and social. Whist I haven’t counted, I’d be surprised if I checked it less than 30 times a day. It’s free.

3. GoSquared – an amazing tool to organise, track and segment your data. Particularly useful for a community-led business as it can give a deeper insight into your members. There’s a monthly subscription.

4. Mail Merge with Attachments – it’s an app without any shiny interface, for sending personalised plain text emails to groups from any gmail address. It’s used with Google Sheets.

5. Pixlr – quick photo editing when you’re not a designer. It’s free and easy to use.

6. Buffer – schedule your social media content across the usual platforms, so you can bulk prepare and see it published over the coming week(s). There are both free and paid plans.

7. Dropbox / Google Docs – online storage for your documents to keep them safe and backed up – but also for sharing access with your team. There are both free and paid plans.

8. Tiny Scanner – for when a photo on your phone won’t cut it. Create professional looking scans quickly from your phone. There’s a free version, but to use it properly, there’s a one off upgrade fee of £4.99.

9. Adobe Pro DC – being able to edit PDFs was a game changer for me. It’s not cheap, £15.70 per month, but worth every penny.

10. Mailchimp – this tool allows you to build email templates and manage your email marketing from an interface that’s a pleasure to use. The monthly cost depends on the size of your data list.

Fancy joining our tables? My next dinner is next week and Adrian Griffiths is speaking. Adrian founded Recycling Technologies and will be talking about tackling sustainability through technology. It would be great to meet you or catch up there!


Dine with Adrian Griffiths, Founder of Recycling Technologies > Find out more.


Kate Jackson

TableCrowd Founder




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