Owning and operating your own business, generally means you end up wearing a lot of hats. You’re not only the director of pushing and creating all content, but the one who markets it, organizes getting paid, communicates with clients, and so much more. It can get really overwhelming, but if you put systems in place you can save time, earn more and work less. Organization and systems will help you get back to doing what you love, but also lets you take care of the necessities. We’ve gathered our top 25 productivity tools to let you in on how we use them and how they could be big influencers in your business.
- ToutApp: Email tracking that integrates with Salesforce and analyzes buying personas. In other words, this platform automatically finds a pattern of what wording works best with what type of clientele.
- Phone.com: Cloud based VoIP Business Phone Service. There are too many neat features to name just one, but one of the biggest advantages is that they can handle whatever volume of calls you are getting.
- Salesforce: CRM solution. Systemize business processes such as lead management and conversion; manage projects; synchronize it with your mailbox and calendars; and get some automatic data about your business to present to banks, investors, or simply for your own knowledge.
- Insightly: Stripped down CRM solution for small businesses. Integrates with Google Apps.
- Skitch: This is the quickest tool I know to insert arrows and text in images. Also very useful to use to pixelate information you don’t want to share—such as sensitive data when sharing “how to” tutorials with screenshots. It integrates with Evernote and it’s for Mac only as far as I know.
- Evernote: Use this to manage your notes in an organized fashion. Use the web clipper to save websites for later or simply stay organized by synchronizing across devices.
- Zapier: Connects hundreds of apps you use, automates tasks, and maximizes productivity. Apps include, Evernote, Salesforce, Trello, Google Calendar, Twitter, Slack, MailChimp, Dropbox, Google Drive, Typeform, among others.
- Google Apps for Work: It’s cool to have your corporate email run via Google’s server. Besides that, you get all the Gmail features and Google App goodness. It’s practical and makes sharing and storing things easy.
- Google Drive: Create folder trees to store information and keep things organized. Employee resumes, bios, profile photos, projects—you name it, Google Drive is a handy cloud storage and file backup solution.
- Screencast: Record your screen and send the video links.
- Camtasia: Screen recorder and video editor for Windows.
- Google+ Hangouts: If the quality of video conferencing with Skype doesn’t live up to expectations, try a regular Google+ hangout. When you send Google calendar appointments, Google automatically sends a video link with it, so it’s easy for everyone to join.
- Google Calendar: Use personal and shared calendars to keep track of appointments on all devices. It integrates with nearly everything and loads fast.
- Notes: Use the default note program on your laptop or smartphone to keep all your thoughts somewhere. If you are a Harry Potter fan, think of this as your pensive. There are countless useful versions for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and more.
- Skype: Get a phone number from Skype and forward it to your cellphone. This way you never miss a call from a client even when you are traveling.
- Basecamp: Project management for service businesses.
- AngelList: Post jobs to recruit someone from a startup-loving community with Silicon Valley vibes, raise money, or invest.
- Asana: Tracks time spent per project.
- Harvest: Tracks time and issues invoices accordingly.
- Time Doctor: Manage the productivity of your team. Tracks people’s work time.
- dashlane: Get a grip on your password mess with this password manager.
- InvoiceBerry: Track business expenses, send quotes and invoices.
- Upwork: Platform for freelancers, formerly oDesk. Get your projects done by recruiting the right team.
24. Trello: Visually organize emails, spreadsheets, sticky notes, and other things by project.
- ReferralSnip: Create your own referral program to keep track of word-of-mouth better.
Having these tools in our back pocket saves us time, keeps up productive and bridges the gap of our 400+ miles working apart. Your business is never too small or too chaotic to put systems in place that can make your life easier!
We realize that these tools are just pieces of the gigantic puzzle that makes a small business successful. Sometimes before we can even begin to learn or implement things like webinars and list organization we’ve got to take it a few steps back a lay the foundation. We’ve created the best FREE tool for you to do this! We’d love to have you inside our free 7-Day Email Course “Ignite Your Creativity: 7 Steps to Ignite Your Creative Business”.
Stop wasting time and turn your dream into a reality. Let’s turn your side hustle into a soul fulfilling, goal-crushing, freaking profitable creative business. We get it. You work all day and then you come home and you hustle even harder. Balancing essentially two full time jobs is not for everyone. Let’s make a plan, simplify and start earning what you are worth. Start your free course today.