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ASANA – Project Management
Asana is my back up brain. I organize my projects, tasks and to-do lists here. Even though I use a paper planner, my master to-do list is in Asana. I use it with clients, with people on my team, and I have projects that only I have access to. Asana is free for up to 15 users. Paid plans are available, but I’ve used Asana for over five years (probably way longer) and have never felt the need to upgrade. Try Asana.
DUBSADO – Business management suite
While I keep my prospects in Salesmate because I love the power of a full-fledged CRM, Dubsado is my home base once those prospects become clients. But, if you wanted to, you could absolutely track your leads and prospects in Dubsado. In fact, you can do tons of things with it. I use Dubsado for contracts, invoices, proposals, questionnaires and time tracking – and those aren’t even all the features. If you’re curious, but not ready to commit all the way, Dubsado offers one of the best trials on the market. You can use the system for free for your first three contacts/jobs. So, you can fully test it out (for as long as you want) and make sure you love it before you buy. Try Dubsado – when you use my link, upon subscribing, you’ll save 20% off your first month OR 20% off an annual subscription.
CONVERTKIT – Email Marketing
I was a MailChimp user for a long time – over six years! I made the switch to ConvertKit for my primary email list back in 2016. While there are things I miss about MailChimp sometimes, I fall deeper in love with ConvertKit as time goes on. Setting up newsletters is a breeze, I can segment my email list and create automate sequences in minutes and there’s way more wiggle room as I grow my list than there is with MailChimp. Try ConvertKit. (14 day free trial)
ACUITY – Online scheduling
Having an online scheduler helps me save time when scheduling meetings – and cut back on email clutter. Acuity helps me manage my free Growth Chats, for people who are interested in working with me, podcast interviews, client meetings and more. You can a bare bones version of Acuity for free. For $15 a month, you can connect your calendar, embed your scheduler on your website, connect with your webinar tool, accounting tool, email marketing system, accept payments, offer coupons and discounts, and more. If you spend more than an hour each month scheduling (and rescheduling) appointments, you can’t afford to be without a scheduler. Try Acuity.
QUICKBOOKS SELF-EMPLOYED – Accounting, bookkeeping, mileage tracking
Even though I use Dubsado for my invoices, I consider QuickBooks Self-Employed my financial hub. All my income and expenses are automatically imported and categorized. At any given moment I can see what my estimated taxes are, and the app allows me to track my miles. QBSE is ideal for freelancers and solopreneurs, what QuickBooks labels as “self-employed” vs. “small business.” If your accounting is pretty simple and straightforward, this is for you. And, you can invoice and collect payments through it if you want to. If you have more complex needs, QuickBooks Online will allow you to add vendors, track inventory, and add employees or contractors. For those of us who don’t need all that, QBSE is just the right fit. Read more about my experience with QBSE. Try QuickBooks Self-Employed (only $5 a month to start!).
AIRTABLE – Organizing stuff, people and ideas
It took me a while to jump into using this tool after knowing about it for years. I couldn’t figure out why I would need Airtable AND Google Drive. Right now, my accountability partner and I use it to track our marketing activities. In this sense, we’re using Airtable like a spreadsheet on steroids. It was much faster to set up our table with info about our marketing efforts (activity name, type, which one of us is doing it, the date, etc etc) in Airtable than it would be in a Google Sheet or Excel. I also have clients who use it to plan their social media editorial calendars – you can attach files and display pictures in your table “base,” something you can’t do as easily in those other programs. Other popular uses: Product launches and planning, event planning, book planning, time tracking. And – it’s free to use! Try Airtable.
SHOPIFY – E-commerce
It’s no joke when I tell you this: I wish I had signed up for Shopify a lot sooner. I’d used it before – helping clients embed Shopify stores into their existing websites, but the first store I built from scratch was my own, when I decided that The Next 12 Months planners needed their own home. I had already been using Shopify buttons here on my site, but I was blown away at how quick and easy it was to build a store from scratch. The minute I was done, I wanted to change everything, just so I could keep playing. I souped up the back end with some powerful (free!) apps and was itching to tackle more Shopify projects. It’s been a joy to work with and their customer service is super helpful. Try Shopify.
SOCIAL PILOT – Social media management
I’ve used a lot of social media management tools over the years, for both myself and my clients. Some options are bloated and offer way to many things I have use for. Others don’t offer things that seem pretty basic at this stage of the social media management tool game. SocialPilot is just right. There’s a free Lite plan that allows you to connect up to three profiles. For only $10 per month you can connect up to 10 profiles, publish up to 50 posts per day and have 1,000 posts stored in your queue. I’ve never even come close to maxing that out. It’s easy to use and they have a smartphone app, too. Try SocialPilot.
(When you’re ready for something at a slightly higher level – or with a much better interface, grab a 30 day free trial of SmarterQueue.)
TRACKMYSUBS – Tracking subscriptions, budgeting
THIS is the system I am so mad I didn’t think of first. So simple, so brilliant. I’ve spent a lot of time talking to people about making sure they track all the subscriptions they sign up for. Most of mine are business related, with some personal ones sprinkled in. How many recurring subscriptions do you have? Your gym, email marketing service, Amazon Prime, health insurance…there’s tons to keep track of. That’s where TrackMySubs comes in. Add your subscriptions, the renewal dates and let them know when you want to be reminded. You’ll then get alerts that your free trials are about to end or that your subscriptions are going to renew. I love it because I *hate* paying for services I don’t like, want or need and sometimes it reminds that I’m signed up for something and so I should make the most of that subscription. TrackMySubs is free for up to 10 subscriptions. After that, its only $7 per month (cheaper if you pay for the year). If you’ve ever forgotten to cancel a free trial or a service you no longer wanted and wasted $30 bucks (or more…), this service is well worth it and pays for itself. Try TrackMySubs.
If you have questions about any of these systems, or which ones may be a great fit for YOUR business, feel free to contact me.