7 Business tools I can't live without
Are you using the best tools for your business? Or are you struggling to find your rhythm in a sea of free apps and subscriptions you don't know that much about? My rule of thumb is to test something out for 3 months and if it doesn't make my life/biz better I get rid of it. Whether you're starting out (or you're on year 5) it's always helpful to take a peek into what business tools other people are using everyday.
It's taken me literal years to get to a good place in terms of what apps and programs I use for my online business on a daily basis. Lucky for you, I put together a huge list of my favorite business tools right here. It an ultimate list of creative business owner must-have tools.
For the sake of not copy & pasting that entire page, here are the MVPs of that list. These are the tools I absolutely can't live without as a business owner.
Here are my top 7 business tools, apps, and programs... plus a few extra office favorites.
What I use everyday, no matter what.
GMAIL - All things email
G Suite is the easiest way to set up a custom email for the domain you own. On top of that, getting super organized with how you filter messages and organize your inbox folders makes sure that your inbox doesn't get crazy. Email filters are the best.
DROPBOX - File backup + sharing
Pro-tip: My dropbox is synced to my hard drive, so I am always working within my dropbox folder... making sure that my files are constantly backed up. If I'm offline, they sync when I get access to wifi again.
PROJECT + TIME MANAGEMENT
Programs and apps that make projects easier to manage.
DUBSADO - Client management, invoicing, + contracts
It amazes me that I lasted so long before using a CMS. Dubsado makes managing clients a breeze and lets you automate many steps of the process so that your client experience is A+++. Not only that, but Dubsado connects with Stripe to take payments online AND can be set up to send automatic reminders to those clients who need a little nudging.
*try for free + code INNERCIRCLE gets you 20% off*
I like that the trial isn't time period based - it is client based. Try it with 3 clients first.
MARKETING + SALES
Tools I use to manage my website and social media.
CONVERTKIT - Email marketing + easy automations
Skip Mailchimp. Skip it. I don't care that it's free, the way they have their lists set up is for their benefit and not yours (1 person on 4 lists is counted as 4 people you have to eventually pay for). If you are serious about growing and nurturing your list - which you should be - Convertkit covers everything. Automations, segmentation, incentive emails (delivers opt-ins), landing pages, forms, tagging... everything you need is in Convertkit and the monthly price is a worthy business expense.
TAILWIND - Pinterest scheduler
Pinterest is not a social media platform, it is a search engine your business needs to be sharing to. Pinterest loves when you're active everyday, but who has time for that? Tailwind makes scheduling Pins pain free (unlike boardbooster) and I typically only spend 1-2 hours to schedule out 1-2 months of pins.
*click the link to get your first month free*
The design programs + stock photo sites I swear by.
ADOBE CC - Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign + more
There's really no explanation needed for the Adobe Creative Cloud. If you're a designer, they are essential. If you're a blogger, you can get Photoshop only for a steal.
CREATIVE MARKET - Affordable mockups + stock photos
Creative Market is my go-to for affordable design goods. It's an amazing place to get new fonts, stock photos, design templates, and everything in between. They have freebies every. single. week. and setting up your own shop it seriously the easiest thing. I set up a stock shop for Linea Mae that sells photos that were previously gathering digital dust... and now they've turned that dust into cash. That's $1,000+ in sales so far that wouldn't have happened without Creative Market.
Now for a few fun extras!
Everyday office items + accessories.
ESSENTIAL OIL DIFFUSER - Better than candles
To see the full list head over to my resources page here. You’ll see that there are quite a few promos for you in case you want to try some things out for yourself!
Heads up, some of these are affiliate links, which means that if you click on some of the product links, I might earn some coffee money if you make a purchase. I only recommend what I use and love, and affiliate links help companies show their appreciation for sharing the love (p.s. start using affiliate links yourself)!