When you’re first getting started or things are changing in your business, one of the most time consuming and frustrating things can be figuring out what tools are right for you.
There are so many options out there for planning and managing and communicating and organizing that it would take more time than any of us have to research all the different options to figure out the absolute best one out there.
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Now, I haven’t researched #allthethings, but as a business manager and systems strategist, part of my job is to recommend the best tools for my clients. This means I’ve done a bit more research than your average entrepreneur and checked out my fair number of tools.
5 TOOLS I COULDN’T RUN MY BUSINESS WITHOUT
I’m not going to dive into all of that today, but what I am going to do is share five incredible tools that have proved invaluable in my own business in the hopes that one or more of these tools might be the right ones for you!
Truthfully, this isn’t just something I couldn’t run my business without… it’s something I couldn’t manage my life without. That may seem like an exaggeration, especially since I haven’t been using a Simplified Planner forever, but I can say that my life has been far more simple and organized since the Simplified Planner came into my life.
Being the analog person that I am, this beauty is the linchpin to… basically everything. It’s what I use to write my to dos for the day, write out my appointments, plan my days, and record notes about all sorts of random things like my reading, meal plans, and more.
There’s a ton of things in my Simplified Planner that you won’t find anywhere else and if I ever lost that thing… let’s just say it wouldn’t be pretty.
Next to my Simplified Planner, Trello is hands down the most impactful tool when it comes to managing and organizing my business.
This project management tool does a ton of heavy lifting for Love & Spreadsheets. I use it to manage and organize everything from my content ideas, editorial calendar, and client projects to opt-ins, internal projects, and operations manual.
With the exception of things Trello is literally unable to do — like process payments, schedule appointments, or deliver contracts — I use it to organize and manage basically everything else in my business and various aspects of my life as well. (This year I ever started using it to create a calendar for my daily yoga practice!)
I’m constantly finding new ways I can better utilize this incredible tool to simplify and streamline my business.
When it comes to pretty much anything content or document related — my inbox, my blog posts, and (of course) my spreadsheets… Google Suite is my BFF.
This amazing suite of tools, which includes Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and more, allows me to deal with all sorts of documents with so much ease.
Particularly when it comes to collaboration, Google Drive is absolutely amazing. Instead of having to download a document, make my updates, and upload it somewhere else or email it back to a collaborator or client… we can both make updates and see each other’s changes in real-time!
And I think it goes without saying that little can compare to Gmail when it comes to inbox management. Honestly, I can hardly remember what it was like using a webmail client before Gmail came on the scene and using Google Suite for my email has made the organization and accessibility a total breeze.
If you work in any kind of service-based industry and have to manage invoices, contracts, communication, questionnaires, and all sorts of other things that come along with client management, finding the right tool to help can be a literal lifesaver.
I tried a couple of different Client Relationship Management (CRM) tools when I first started my business, but all other options when out the window once I discovered Dubsado.
Dubsado has negated the need for so many other tools my business needs and keeps it all in one place. I’m able to manage my leads and client relationships from inquiry form all the way through post-project follow-up in one place and so much of it can be simplified and automated, which saves me more time than I can probably imagine.
On top of a beautiful interface and great user experience, the Dubsado team is constantly working to add more features and functionalities to their tool, making it even better for their users! It’s rare that a week or month passes by without a new update being made that only improves the experience and value of being part of the Dubsado family!
Note: One of the ways this is played out is in the recent release of Dubsado’s own scheduler, which allows leads and clients to book appointments with me without having to send countless emails back and forth to figure out when we’re both available! Before the release of this feature, however, I used Acuity Scheduling as my scheduler and it was a total life saver!
Use the code LOVEANDSPREADSHEETS to get 20% off your first subscription!
5. SC STOCKSHOP & SOCIAL SQUARES
It’s no secret that the creative entrepreneurial space is a visual one. Between social media platforms like Instagram, our websites, and more, there’s a constant need for high-quality, on-brand images to represent who you are and what you do.
While there are amazing photographers out there who are able to do full branding sessions to provide an entrepreneur with images that fit this bill, those types of sessions can be expensive and only give you so many images.
Finding a resource to fill-in-the-gap — until you have the funds to do a branding session or in-between your most recent and next one — is invaluable and that’s why I’m so grateful for the SC Stockshop and Social Squares.
These two resources, both created by the amazing Shay Cochrane, are the reason my website and Instagram feed look like they do — because I’m able to get beautiful, high quality images at a reasonable price that aid in sharing my message and value with my audience in a gorgeous way.
There are a ton of other tools out there for all aspects of business management, but hopefully one of these few can fill a hole or two in your own arsenal of resources for managing an incredible business!