Baaqir Yusuf

Suora's application toolkit

March 4, 2024

Suora’s Application ToolKit

We run a very lean business. This wasn’t always the case, but over the years, we’ve figured out the perfect set of tools we need to keep clients happy and continue to produce at a high level. This curated stack of applications powers every critical aspect of our creative and business operations.

It would’ve saved us a lot of time and money early on if we knew the exact things we needed to get our video business going. That’s why I want to share the tools that have become the foundation of our operations, showcasing not just their utility but the surprising affordability that's allowed us to continue to grow and produce at a high level with minimal friction. I’ll touch on the core functionality of each tool, and how much we exactly pay (whether it’s per month or per year). At the end, I’ll share the total monthly and annual cost that we take on across all of our subscriptions. I think you’ll be positively surprised.

Collaboration and Productivity Tools

Google Workspace*: 

Functionality: A suite of cloud computing, productivity, and collaboration tools, software, and products developed by Google. It includes Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, and more.

Cost: Plans start around $6/user/month for the Business Starter plan, up to $18/user/month for the Business Plus plan. Annual commitments may offer discounts. We use the Google Business Standard plan, which costs $12/user/month and we pay for four users, so it comes out to $48/month.

Month: $48 | Annual: $576


Functionality: An all-in-one database-driven workspace for note-taking, project management, and task management. Notion is INCREDIBLY powerful. The ability to customize your Notion workspace to what best suits your needs has made it a critical component of our business. We use it for project management, task tracking, and note-taking. We’ve spent quite a bit of time developing custom workspace templates to accommodate core business needs – slide in my DMs if you want to copy the template.

Cost: Offers a free Personal plan; the Team plan is about $10 per user/month when billed annually.

Month: $30 | Annual: $360

Zoom Pro:

Functionality: Video conferencing software with meeting and webinar capabilities. Having the pro plan takes any stress away from meetings timing out.

Cost: Pro plan starts at $14.99/month/host, with additional costs for webinar and large meeting features. We pay annually for one account, so it’s a bit cheaper.

Annual: $149.90


Functionality: A cloud collaboration service combining a spreadsheet and database for project management, data tracking, inventory tracking, custom CRM, and a few other very specific use cases. AirTable is highly customizable like Notion, which allows us to build custom-functionality that is ideal for specific business workflows. DM me if you want to peek at our bases and copy them. AirTable is one of the most valuable tools we use.

Cost: Free for basic use; Plus plan at $10/user/month, and Pro plan at $20/user/month, billed annually. We pay $720/annually for three seats.


Functionality: A messaging app for businesses that connects people to the information they need.

Cost: Free for small teams; Standard plan at $6.67/user/month, and Plus plan at $12.50/user/month, billed annually.

Month + Annual: Free.99

Creative and Design Tools

Adobe Creative Cloud*

Functionality: A collection of 20+ desktop and mobile apps and services for photography, design, video, web, UX, and more. We primarily use Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro, Illustrator, Photoshop, Lightroom, and Acrobat.

Cost: Individual plans start at $59.99/month, with specific app subscriptions and business plans varying in price. We have two accounts that we use in total. They need to chill with the price increases though.

Month: $119.98 | Annual: $1439.76


Functionality: A tool for organizing creative projects into beautiful visual boards. It supports notes, images, tasks, and files. We primarily use Milanote for ideation, concepting, and mood boarding, but it’s also helpful for developing flow charts and thought diagrams.

Cost: Free for the basic plan with limited boards; we use the Pro plan which is $9.99/month per user when billed annually.

Month: $9.99 | Annual: $119.88

DaVinci Resolve

Functionality: A professional video editing software, primarily used for Color Correction and Grading.

Cost: Free for the basic version; Studio version is a one-time purchase of $295. We have one studio license.

One-time license fee: $295.00


Functionality: Production management software for video, TV, and film.

Cost: Free limited plan; paid plans start at $29/month, with several tiers depending on features.

Annual: $300.00

Functionality: Video review and collaboration software.

Cost: Starts with a free plan; paid plans begin at $15/user/month with additional features. We use the Pro plan, which costs $156/year (+tax) and covers our needs.

Month: $13 | Annual: $156

Financial and Operational Tools


Functionality: Accounting software for small and medium-sized businesses. Quickbooks makes invoicing, bookkeeping, payroll, and reporting soooo simple for us. It’s a must-have.

Cost: Plans range from $25/month for the Simple Start plan to $180/month for the Advanced plan, but can range up past that if you use it for payroll and reporting. We use Quickbooks Online Essentials and Payroll Premium.

Month: $220 | Annual: $2,640


Functionality: Password management tool for individuals and businesses.

Cost: Personal plans start around $2.49/month; business plans require contacting for pricing. We use the cheapest option.

Month: $2.49 | Annual: $29.88

Marketing and Sales Tools


Functionality: Webflow is a web design and hosting platform that allows users to design, build, and launch responsive websites visually, without writing code. It empowers designers to build professional, custom websites in a completely visual canvas with no coding required.

Cost: Webflow offers a variety of pricing plans. For site plans (hosting only), prices start at $12 per month when billed annually for basic sites. For account plans (for designers who need to build multiple projects), the pricing starts at $16 per month when billed annually. Business plans and higher need custom quotes, especially for more extensive traffic and more significant project needs.

Monthly: $29 | Annual: $348


Functionality: A sales intelligence and engagement platform. Apollo enables us to do thoughtful networking and outbound email marketing with specific customer profiles. It’s been incredibly helpful expanding our footprint and sales efforts for a low cost relative to other tools like it.

Cost: Free starter plan; paid plans require contacting Apollo for pricing. We pay for two professional seats at $99/month.

Monthly: $198.00 | Annual: $2,376

Pitch: Collaborative presentation software.


Functionality: A collaborative presentation software designed for modern teams.

Cost: Free for basic use; Pro versions start at $10/user/month, with custom pricing for larger teams. We have one account that we use.

Month: $10 | Annual: $120


Functionality: Video hosting, sharing, and services platform.

Cost: Plus plan starts at $7/month, with higher tiers for more features and storage. We pay for the starter plan annually, which lets us post up to 60 videos a year on our page.

Annual: $108

Media and Content Creation


Functionality: Stock media service, offering video, images, and audio.

Cost: Subscriptions start around $30/month for unlimited video downloads and vary for other media types.

Annual: $386.10


Functionality: A curated royalty-free music library.

Cost: Music tracks can be licensed individually, starting at around $49 per track.

We pay per track these days.


Functionality: A subscription service offering unlimited downloads of royalty-free music and sound effects.

Cost: Starts at $199/year for the music subscription, with additional costs for sound effects.

Annual: $199

Automation and Integration Tools


Functionality: Online automation tool that connects your favorite apps, such as Gmail, Slack, Mailchimp, and more. We use Zapier to connect apps like AirTable, Slack, and Quickbooks to automate updates between different platforms to keep everyone in the know and make sure nothing gets missed.

Cost: Free for basic; Starter plan at $19.99/month, with higher tiers for more tasks and features. We pay for the Starter plan annually.

Annual: $239.88

Storage and Remote Access


Functionality: Network-attached storage (NAS) products for a variety of data storage and multimedia applications.

Cost: Hardware costs vary widely depending on the model and capacity, starting from around $150 for basic models to over $1,000 for advanced setups. No monthly fees unless opting for additional cloud services.

Month + Annual: Free.99, after setup


Functionality: Jump Desktop is a secure and reliable remote desktop app that lets you connect to any computer, anywhere in the world with incredibly low latency. It offers features like full keyboard support, live previews of all sessions, and supports various protocols like RDP and VNC.

Cost: The cost for individual users is a one-time purchase of approximately $29.99 (for iOS and Android). For businesses, Jump Desktop offers Jump Desktop for Teams, which requires contacting them directly for pricing.

Monthly: $42.88 | Annual: $514.56

AI Tools


Functionality: An advanced version of ChatGPT with priority access to new features and improvements. It’s hard to describe in words how valuable this tool is. Please use it if you don’t.

Cost: Around $20/month, depending on the specific offerings and updates.

Monthly: $20 | Annual: $140


Functionality: An independent research lab exploring new mediums of thought and expanding the imaginative powers of the human species. Midjourney is primarily used by us for text to image generation for mood boarding, concepting, shot listing and storyboarding.

Cost: Membership costs can vary, and specific pricing may need to be checked directly based on your needs.

Month: $8 | Annual: $96

Miscellaneous Tools

Amazon Prime

Functionality: Offers fast free shipping, streaming of movies, TV shows, and music, exclusive shopping deals, and more. Necessary for purchasing things for business use throughout the year.

Cost: Approximately $139/year or $14.99/month.

Month: $14.99 | Annual: $139

One-Time Purchase or Unique Pricing

Spotify Premium

Functionality: Music streaming service with no ads. We usually all have music playing in the background while we’re working. It’s mission-critical.

Cost: Individual plans at $9.99/month, with Duo, Family, and Student plans offering different benefits. 

Monthly: $16.08 | Annual: $192.96

Monthly total cost: $832.99

Annual total cost: $11,201.02

*Asterisks indicate absolute necessity for business operations.

Not bad, eh? We could theoretically scale up to several millions of dollars in revenue with just this set of tools (not there yet). TBD…

Shoutout to the amazing teams of people that created these companies. They have allowed us to make our business better every day. If you have any questions about how we leverage these tools, shoot me a message and I am more than happy to hop on a call to explain / consult. Good luck!

Check out a featured project case study below.

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