There are many tools I can’t live without when it comes to my business. Tools that help me plan, keep my task list together, make images, do my finances and many more. Below I have a list of all the kinds of tools that I use and how I use them.
For your dream business, it is crucial to stay on top of what needs to happen, where, for whom, etcetera. I, therefore, have a system where I have all my ToDo’s, Projects, Goals and other tasks. I also have a tool where all my clients and leads live and last, but not least, I have a tool to help with my administrative tasks.
I have used Asana, Trello and ToodleDo in earlier years but the last year I have been addicted to ClickUp. ClickUp is an excellent tool because it offers lists with several tasks in it, and those lists can go into folders. Meaning I can have a folder called Clients with all clients having their own list. And each thing I have to do for that client goes in a task underneath.
I also can set goals based on a specific list, a certain number, a yes/no question or currency. And I can give each of these goals a date it has to be done. Which means I can track how I am doing with my tasks, and when I want to work on my business development, I pick a goal and work on it. I also have a bit of my content calendar in there, but we will get back to that.
Even though I have my ClickUp for tasks, and Google Calendar for my agenda, I still have a paper planner. I love paper planners and use it to write in my Most Important Actions of the day (MIA’s) as well as review the day and week (if I don’t forget).
For client management, I use Dubsado. All my current and former clients are in there, as well as potential clients that have asked for more information, a quote or something similar. With Dubsado, I can send quotes and contracts, and I can also email links to my scheduler, send questionnaires and automate emails. I don’t have all emails set to automated, because that is not how I run my business. Still, some, like reminders, do go out automatically, and others are prewritten. This means I only have to add some lines depending on the client and all the important stuff is in there.
Dubsado is something I have only scratched the services of and am still learning new ways to use it. I am sure this is one of the best investments into my client management, onboarding and offboarding I have ever made.
Read more about Dubsado in my blog post “How Dubsado has helped my business grow“
It is imperative to have proper tools for your bookkeeping and timekeeping, of course. You have to be able to give the right numbers to a tax authority and know how you are doing during a year. I use a Dutch tool for my bookkeeping and timekeeping (for those Dutchies that want to see, I use MoneyMonk), but I know there are some great international tools out there.
Find a tool that works well in your country and with your currency (or multiple currencies if you need that). And if you need any help finding the right tools, do reach out to a good bookkeeper or accountant in your country that knows the rules there!
You want to make your marketing and content creation as smooth as possible. I use tools to help me send emails, plan content, create images and post content.
I have used several tools over the course of the years, but right now, I am a fan of two mailing list tools, depending on the size of your list.
For those that are under 1000 subscribers, like I am, I recommend MailerLite. The tool is free and offers many options, including automation sequences. If you need many ways to sort your subscribers or if you have more than 1000 subscribers I highly recommend ConvertKit. I have used it for a long time and will go back once my list is big enough to warrant it. ConvertKit did just started offering a Free plan, that could be interesting for you as well.
For my emails, I use the GSuite from Google for my email. I have it set, so firstname.lastname@example.org is my email address, but I can email from a Gmail Inbox. This looks a lot more professional than a Gmail account but gives me the same fantastic options (and then some). It also means I have a Google Drive with quite some space and Google Docs and Spreadsheets and the other programs. I still have Microsoft Office too but am cancelling that because it feels redundant.
To create all my images for my blog, my social media, my courses even, I use Canva. I pay for the Pro version each month, which offers me many folder options with preset images, and a lot of different branding options. Still, you can start with the free version without any problems.
Read more about Canva in this article: https://www.digitalie.eu/canva-can-help-you-brand-yourself/
As you all know, I use a Content Calendar to plan all my content out ahead of time. Several systems work depending on your preference and what channels you use. Right now I have an Airtable which I love and have used for quite a while. In my ClickUp, I write when a blog post is due and in which stage of the process it is being made. I can check more information about the post, or from older posts, in my Airtable.
Posting on my blog is done by planning the blog post in. The same goes for YouTube videos. To post Facebook content ahead of time, I use the scheduler that is within Facebook. For Pinterest, I use Tailwind, and for Instagram, I use Planoly. Tailwind is not free, but Planoly is. Both help me plan ahead and be able to focus on other tasks while my content keeps going.
Want to know more about my Content Calendar, how I use Airtable and everything to do with Content Creation? Check out the Content Creation Course!
Content Creation Course€ 149,00 excl VAT
Products & Services Tools
To be able to sell products and services I have some other tools, next to my Dubsado that does client management.
To run the shop with products and services on my websites (both www.digitalie.eu and www.digitaliemarketing.nl), I use WooCommerce on top of my WordPress installation. I have added extra plugins to enable Dutch payment options and add different elements to the shop.
Soon my shop will automatically link to Dubsado where needed and to do that I will use Zapier to make a connection between the two. Zapier is impressive as it makes two tools that are not from the same company and not meant to work together communicate in a way that they CAN work together.
When you buy a course from me, you get access to that course on the website in an exclusive course platform. That is made by LifterLMS, my favourite class and membership plugin out there. I use this for many of my clients, and they are blown away by how easy it is to add new courses and memberships!
These are all the tools I use to run my dream business! Which ones are you going to check out?