There's a number of options and tools you can use to get you through your day and based on a client inquiry, I thought I'd share some of my top business tools with you today. Not only do these tools help to make my life easier, they also save me huge amounts of time and keep me in the productivity zone. I also like tools that work across my devices as I'm constantly on the go. My top 10 business tools (listed alphabetically) are:
It's great to have a professional designer on-board for your key design elements, but sometimes, all you need is something quick and easy where you can produce a graphic on the fly for your social media posts and other items you may need. Canva brings you professional design techniques and guidelines in a easy to use free app. Yoou'll find presets for things like infographics, Facebook, Twitter and other social media posts and if you're looking for some additional graphics Canva has options: upload your own, use one of the Canva free graphic images or buy one of the budget priced Getty images available for $1 each. Canva has also just release Canva for Work meant for teams who work on media materials for business. Check out Canva for free at www.canva.com
Okay, I seriously love CoSchedule! It started off as an app for scheduling blog posts but has since grown to become a marketing hub for all your projects, events, content creation, social media postings and blogging. Working as your marketing calendar, you also schedule you social media updates at the same time using their industry proven scheduling options so you no longer do the "publish once & disappear" tactic we so often see with various posts. Need to reschedule a post or project? When you move this item on your marketing calendar, all associated social media posts are moved with it. To me, that alone is worth the price of admission! www.coschedule.com
CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
This free tool works wonders. You need to write a title or headline to grab your readers attention? The headline analyzer takes your suggestion and gives you an easy to understand graphical report showing how effective your headline is from the reader perspective. It provides an analysis of the overall structure, grammar and readability of your headline and gives you pointers on improving it by upping things such as the emotional, power and use of uncommon words. For free. www.coschedule.com/headline-analyzer
Dollar Photo Club
I use several free image tools and get a lot out of them. When I do decide to buy, I like to check out Dollar Photo Club. They have thousands of images available and their subscription model of $10 per month more than pays for the unlimited access to their extensive library. www.dollarphoto.com to sign up.
This is my online invoicing, accounting and billing software. Their tagline is Accounting made for you, the non accountant. It's easy to use and intuitive, with great live person support available from 8am-8pm from Monday to Friday.You get to spend less time on paperwork as you send out professional invoices with the convenience of client of paying online. You can view your past invoices and payments at a glance. Send your invoices, manage your expenses and track time all in one place. There's a 30 day free trial if you want to check it out www.freshbooks.com.
This is my easy to use CRM I use to grow my business without doing a ton of work. I get to manage relationships and it works with how I work, giving me a central dashboard and unified inbox, and contextual insight including how/where my contacts uses social media through the integrated social media listening system. With connections to such apps as email marketing systems, Freshbooks (I can see the status of my client invoices in Nimble), Evernote and more, it's so easy to stay connected. Try a free trial at www.nimble.com.
Seriously, I use PowerPoint (2010) a lot. It's not just for creating boring presentations and has so much to offer for creating all kinds of items. It you have PowerPoint and have a vague idea how to use it, consider giving it a second look.
Email marketing and autoresponder software. I use it to create newsletters, email campaigns and follow up autoresponders and A/B testing. Although you can use it to create online surveys and landing pages I haven't actually used those features. With Get Response you get all these features for one price (except the landing page feature - extra). Check it out at www.getresponse.com.
Create elegant forms, surveys and more with a user experience that makes your questions stand out. Your contact forms, questionnairs and application forms get to look as awesome as you do while you engage your survey takers to get them to the end of your survey. It's simple to use and allows you to create simple to advanced forms for all kinds of applications - matching your branding as you go. They have a great free option that you may never grow out of. Find it at www.typeform.com.
This timer helps me keep on track using the Pomodor method of time management and productivity. It uses focused 25 minute time periods seperated by short breaks so you can give your brain a break and come back more focused to accomplish what you need for the day. I use the Tomato Timer on my laptop and iPad. www.tomato-timer.com.
So there you have my top 10 everyday business tools that help me stay productive. I use these as my go-to tools and get to keep my headaches (somewhat) under control. There's an amazing list of tools out there. What are your favourites? Are you willing to share in the comments?