As you may or may not be aware that I am a lover of systems, software and all around technology to help us run more time and cost efficient lives. If there’s an easier way to do something via an app, a software, a gadget, or a piece of technology on your computers or phones, I am all for it. I am always on the lookout for something that aids be to be a better human and focus on the things that matter.
Whatever that is for you, we should be using technology not to take over our lives but utilize them as aids in your lives to be better, do better and improve our lives and the world around us.
I also love to say tool and app lean, I do not believe the more the better because then we are just accumulating digital junk same way we have physical junk in our lives. I love to be intentional about what new app I download to my phone. So even better is I’m always on the lookout for tools that can do the work of 2 or 3 apps that I can possibly eliminate from the list.
So here are my main go too tools that I use in the day to day to keep my online business going:
1. Wave Accounting
So first off, let’s talk money. This is a business after all and it’s important not only to track your money and do bookkeeping which sounds pretty boring. But money talk should not be avoided or considered boring because let’s be honest we all want more of it and we need to nurture our relationship with money to see it grow.
So it’s important to use invoicing software to simply be professional and keep track of business coming in. If that is all you use Wave accounting for that is a great start. This is where I started with it. It’s time to ditch manual invoicing in Google Docs or Microsoft Word. Best of all Wave is free to use. And when you are ready to actually start inputting expenses so when it’s tax time or your accountant is ready to file your taxes it makes life that much easier. Now just for your but also your accountant which may also result in a lower bill. Cha-ching! Save yourself some money and time by using Wave Accounting. And they also have two apps for your smartphone. That is Wave Invoicing and Wave Receipts so you can invoice customers and clients on the go and also when you purchase something for you business you can enter expenses on the go.
Oh Asana, if you follow me on my social media you would know that I absolutely recommend using Asana. Asana is my love, I use on my business and in my business to manage client projects and stay organized. If you are a content creator you will love Asana, especially if you are familiar with Trello and love that you will love Asana because it has Trello like boards and then some. I highly recommend Asana and also checking out a course on Asana to help you develop your own systems or hire a VA to help you set it up but it’s totally do-able on your own to do and a couple YouTube videos if you are on a budget.
I love using Asana to manage projects, whether working with a VA, a team member on a collaborative project or working with clients, it allows me write out lists of what needs to get done and put due dates and time, correspond on a specific task to get feedback and updates on progress without the back and forth and disorganization of of email.
It’s easy to find files pertaining to a specific project because you can link to websites, to files in a Google Drive or Dropbox or even add files directly in the project.
If you love the sound of this and would like a class on how I use Asana in my business just reach out to me or comment in this blog post and let me know. Also let me know how much you would pay for a class from me, teach you how I use Asana in my business.
3. Google Calendar
I love using Google Calendar to keep track of consultation calls, zoom calls, webinars I am attending, my mommy schedule, when the kids have early dismissal from school. When you have to run your life, a household and run a business, pen and paper sometimes won’t cut it. Pen and paper is great to get it down on paper where I can see it visually but then the Google Calendar syncs with all of my calendars like my Acuity (more on it in the next item) so I never over book clients or miss an appointment and I get email reminders and a notification pops up on my phone.
If it’s not booked or scheduled in Google Calendar then it’s probably going to be forgotten or it doesn’t exist. Haha
Oh yesssss Acuity, I love Acuity. Before using Acuity I used to use Calendly, you can check out both of them actually. The main reason I switch over to Acuity is because the Emerging Entrepreneur plan comes with Squarespace, so I saved a monthly $10 fee that I was paying on Calendly by switching to Geigo oooops I meant Acuity. (Lame pun intended haha)
So anyone who books client calls, meetings, services persons in person, eg. nail techs, hairdresser, or any type of 1:1 (one on one) service should be using some type of booking calendar, where persons can see what the available times are and they can book themselves. It’s much cheaper and more organized than writing it in a book and going back and forth, figuring out the best time. Also no need to hire a secretary to take calls and schedule appointments, let your clients do it themselves. Trust me they would appreciate the freedom of booking their own appointments and rescheduling if they need too.
Zoom has taken the business world by storm it is now the preferred software of choice for hosting online meetings, conferencing, webinars and trainings. I love using Zoom to host client calls, strategy meetings, group trainings and more. I use Zoom when I was to do a private webinar where you need the link to join. Zoom does have a free plan and you can definitely get by using the free plan with ease for any additional features of course there are the paid plans for example you cannot do a group meeting for longer than 45 minutes on the free plan so if this is an important part of your business you will have to upgrade or keep your group meetings under 45 minutes.
So it’s pretty obvious as someone who specifialized in Squarespace I must mention Squarespace. It’s how you are reading this blog each and every day. I host my written posts, my audio posts (my podcast episodes), and video posts (tutorials) right here on the Squrespace platform with ease. Plust it’s how I am able to use Acuity for free. If you are interested in Squarespace there is no better time like now because I have my course teaching you how to build your Squarespace website, and when you sign up you gain access to my Circle member discount, which is up to 20% off Squarespace. If you want to sign up or learn more click the link here to join.
If Instagram is part of your content strategy and you are not using Planoly or any Instagram scheduler, you should definitely check out Planoly. It will help you maintain a cohesive plan for your Instagram content both from a content and visual perspective as well as maintain consistency in your posting.
If you need me to teach a class on Planoly you know what to do, same as above, comment below if you would like me to go in depth with Planoly and teach you how to use it and how I use to schedule my content. I was experimenting with my content for a bit in the first half of January and I was not using Planoly as I should and guess what, the focus of my content definitely strayed. It wasn’t bad content per se but it lost focus and my posting was not intentional.
Loom is an app/ software that is also a Google Chrome extension that I use as a great option to record tutorials or provide support to someone who has a tech question. It bridges the in-person gap hugely because if someone has a tech question, let’s say in my FB group, or messenger, or on FB in general, I can click the extension in my broswer and literally show the person asking the question what to do. When it comes to tech support and questions there is nothing like showing them through video. And when I am finished recording it automatically generates a link that I can share via email, FB comment section, or messenger. When it’s viewed I can track when they view it so I even know when to follow up and ask them if they got through, and if they need additional help. Loom is so helpful if you are an online teacher, consultant, or to give any tech support as you can record your screen, or yourself or both at the same time. Look in Google Chrome extension App store for Loom or you can get more info here.
So just as I started with the money, I am ending this post on the money. I have to make mention to how I receive money internationally, as a global business you need a way to get paid from anyone no matter where they reside. PayPal is what I use. I have used Stripe and Payoneer also. Always keep in mind what your customer or client is used to using if you want to seal the sale.
I also love using PayPal (or even Stripe) because they both integrate seamlessly with 90% of the platforms out there. So if you use Shopify, WooCommerce, Squarespace, if you sell on Amazon, eBay, Upwork, Fiverr, you can be sure if you have a PayPal (or any other international provider like Stripe) account you can get paid.
So there you have it, nine tools that I use that are essential to running and streamlining all your systems to run an efficient online business. There are of course more tools that I use that I either forgot to mention or there are others that are great but I don’t currently use but if you would like to explore alternative options to these feel free to ask me about it or you can check out my resources page to see what other tools there are that you can use that may suit your business.
It’s all about trying and testing different things based on the systems that you need to get the job done. If you need specific recommendations or would like help setting up the systems and tools you can book a 1:1 (on on one) consultation to help you strategize and get you on the right track.
And leave a comment below if this was useful to you. I love hearing from you!