You should all know by now that I am a huge fan of working smarter instead of harder. I’m sure you are too!!! However, not everyone knows how to achieve that.
While outsourcing is one of the most obvious solutions if you want more freedom and balance in your life, it can be costly–and I absolutely do not think it’s wise to hire a new team member if you are not ready for that. But here’s the thing: just because you’re not financially prepared to build a team, doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do everything by yourself. Utilizing online tools allows you to work efficiently and effectively without breaking the bank.
Here are 5 must-have tools I use for my business to help me work smarter instead of harder.
I love Asana! I seriously can’t function properly without it. There are so many ways to utilize this fantastic tool. From assigning tasks and storing blog post ideas to building content calendars and creating meeting agendas, Asana is capable of a lot! My favorite feature of this tool is its capacity to display tasks in both list view AND board view. I like the board view for use as an editorial calendar, but I prefer to look at my overall to-dos in the list view. I also love that I can easily communicate with my clients and other team members about specific tasks or projects without sending an email. Asana makes it easy to keep everything in one place!
I’ve used Canva since university, and to say that I love this tool is an understatement! I use it for Pinterest graphics, blog thumbnails, Instagram graphics, and so much more! I used the free version for a really long time before I switched to premium. The ONLY reason I switched to the paid version was because I like having the ability to create folders and have multiple colour palettes because I do work for a handful of clients and want to keep everything organized. But if you’re a one (wo)man show trying to create beautiful graphics without having a design background, Canva will quickly become your best friend!
Oh I love Google Drive! Before using it, I saved everything on my desktop, which made it so difficult to find things. I now have all my files and images stored and organized on Google Drive. It’s so much easier!
I often get asked, “what’s your strategy for content creation?” My response is always this: open a Google Doc and start typing! It’s really nothing fancy. I write ALL my blog content and social media captions on Google Docs. I also use Google Drive to share files with my clients, and it allows us to add comments and make edits all in one place.
Planoly is the tool I use to plan out my Instagram feed. It allows me to see my entire grid, add captions, and schedule in auto-posts! I NEVER post in real-time! I write all my captions on a Google Doc first and then copy and paste them into my posts on Planoly. It’s so easy to plan ahead. I usually do the planning and scheduling once a month so that I won’t feel the need to post something on the fly! It’s also worth mentioning that I am using the FREE version, and it works perfectly!
Dubsado is a tool for customer relationship management (CRM), and I’ve been using it for almost a year now. It is a powerful CRM tool that allows you to create workflows, templates, invoices, proposals, and so much more. Its customer service is also top-notch, and I’ve definitely taken advantage of it myself. There are constantly new features being introduced to help users streamline their businesses, and there are so many tutorials available online as well! It’s truly one of the tools I cannot live without.
So there you have it! What are some of your favorite tools that you use for your business? Share in the comments below!