Do One Thing Well

One of Google’s early mottos, part of their “10 things” mantra, was that “It’s best to do one thing really, really well.” Our founder drank a lot of Kool-Aid in his ten years at Google, plus it’s just one of the most sensible mantras we’ve heard. That’s why we designed CrankWheel to be a simple tool that does one thing really, really well, namely screen sharing.

As you might guess, we love any useful tool that does one thing really well, not just our own. In that spirit, here are 13 different tools, useful for sales, marketing and general business, all of which do one thing really well, and most of which have a generous free version, just like CrankWheel.

The Tools

a hammer

A hammer: The canonical tool that does one thing really, really well.


With Aircall, it’s easy to set up a telephone system that feels like a big company’s (only with much better service!). You can set up multiple phone numbers in countries across the world, and create workflows when your customers call, for example to play a greeting, route calls round-robin to a list of support personnel, transfer calls between employees, record voice mail and much more. You get a client for your mobile or desktop and the service is very affordable.

Anymail Finder

Anymail Finder is an almost magical tool that lets you find almost anybody’s email address as long as you know their name and the domain name of their company. Super useful, for example if you forgot to get somebody’s contact details who you met at a conference.


If you haven’t heard of Buffer, and you use social media at all (even just for yourself personally), then you need to check out this extremely useful service. Buffer lets you post to all your social media accounts at once, and also lets you schedule posts into the future, so that you can spend an hour or two once a week finding useful things to share, rather than spending some time every day to keep your social media active.


Ca$htags are US-only for now, but they are a super easy way to get paid. Just reserve your Ca$htag which will look like, and post it (or the shorthand $yourname) anywhere you need to collect payments.


Who hasn’t sent ten emails back and forth trying to find a suitable meeting time with someone? Calendly fixes that problem by providing a simple link you can send folks to find an available time slot. It checks your Google or Office 365 calendar, and its built-in working hours schedule, to know when you’re available.


The Charlie app is almost magical. Give it access to your calendar, and it will send you a briefing on the people you are meeting, a little bit before the meeting starts, for example highlighting that they’ve recently been in the news, or that they’re a Red Sox fan.


Have you ever wanted to create engaging content in video form? The production costs can be huge. For example, you might need an explainer video for your startup and might be thinking about contracting with Sandwich Video for $150K or the equivalent in equity. Maybe you could get 80% of the value absolutely for free by using Evertoon, which lets you create 3D animated videos with custom avatars from the comfort of your mobile phone. Plus, it’s tons of fun even if you don’t use it for business.


Do you ever need to remember to follow up with prospects? Or maybe just your colleagues regarding things you’re waiting for from them? Creating calendar entries as reminders can be painful, especially when you are up to dozens of follow-ups at the same time. FollowUpThen makes this as easy as forwarding the email you need to remember to follow up to an email address indicating the delay until you need to follow up, or the time you need to follow up, e.g. [email protected] or [email protected]. The FollowUpThen service will reply at that time to remind you to follow up. Plus, it’s really easy to reschedule followups.


For managing mailing lists and sending out newsletters or drip campaigns, plus taking care of all the regulatory stuff around subscription based lists, the simplest tool we’ve found is MailChimp. Its WYSIWYG email editor is second to none, and its more powerful tools like segmenting and drip campaigns are very easy to use.


Notarize is an online notarization service. It’s US only, but imagine how convenient it is to be able to get a document notarized without having to drive to the nearest shopping center to find a notary?

Start a Fire

You or your company probably use social media to build awareness and create value for your users. What Start a Fire lets you do is to bring traffic back to your own site or articles, when you share third party content. Just use Start a Fire or the handy Chrome extension to create a short link to the content, and a badge will be added saying you recommended the content, with links back to one or more promoted pieces of content of your own.

There are lots of chat apps available that let you offer your visitors the option of chatting to you if they have questions. is a nice one, and its key differentiator is that it’s 100% free; the company that provides it makes money by offering live support agents to its customers, but using them is completely optional.

Do you use Gmail or Google Docs? Have you ever felt the need to run a mail merge to send multiple customers a personalized email based on a shared form, or to create customized versions of documents for different customers? This is what the Mail Merge & Doc Merge Google Sheets add-on lets you do. We use it to customize our white papers and manuals for each of our different customers, and it’s super handy.

In Summary

We love simple tools that do one thing really well, and we’re sure you do too. Hopefully some of the above will be useful for you. What are your favorite simple tools that do one thing really well?