Everything I Use to Run My Business
Running a business is tricky. There’s a lot to do, and even more that you can’t do because there just isn’t enough time to act on every idea. I’ve spent a lot of my time finding the tools that help me run this Business of One as effectively and error-free as possible. That’s why I built my consulting toolkit.
As a solopreneur, it’s critical that I find leverage in everything I do. That would be impossible without having the right tools in place.
Please note that I only recommend tools in the freelance toolkit that I use or have used. Some of them pay me a commission if you click from my site and end up buying (which I’d appreciate, of course!), and some of them don’t pay me a commission because they don’t have an affiliate program.
For me, the heart of my freelance toolkit is my website. It has to be fast, and easy to manage, and always on. That’s why I recommend Beaver Builder and WP Engine.
Beaver Builder and Beaver Themer allow me to create beautifully designed, drag and drop pages on my WordPress site (the one you’re on now). It’s the best way to build great-looking pages without writing code, while keeping the flexibility and control of WordPress.
WP Engine hosts my website. It’s fast, does automatic daily backups, and gives me a ton of flexibility for future expansion. It’s not the cheapest game in town, but it’s the best. And if your website is the gateway to your business, like it is for mine, WP Engine brings some added peace of mind.
Drip is an advanced but still pretty-easy-to-use email marketing software. It allows me to keep track of who has done what, and create lots of different marketing paths of subscribers meeting different criteria. If you prefer to send plain-text emails like I do, it works great. But the real power of Drip is in its workflows, connecting actions people take across different tools and sending them the emails they should see. The deliverability is fantastic, reporting works wonderfully, and it’s free for your first 100 subscribers. If you’re looking for easy drag-and-drop newsletters with pictures and designs, look elsewhere.
Oh gosh. I’m a productivity junkie. Even though my website is how you found me, these tools in my freelance toolkit are how I actually get the hard work done.
Google Suite is what I use for my email, calendar, docs and spreadsheets, and file syncing, backup, and management. It’s the best money you can spend on powering your business, I’d love to give you 20% off if you don’t have it yet:
- Save 20% on the Basic plan with code: LCEPLWGTPQTDVFF
- Save 20% on the Business plan with code: W6GDV44AWEQGHJF
My daily and weekly planning simply couldn’t happen without Todoist. It’s a tool I use throughout my day, every day. It’s flexible, yet simple, and allows me to capture tasks on the fly from my desktop, browser, email, or phone, without skipping a beat or stopping what I’m doing. Most importantly, it saves the tasks I need to do later and easily allows me to organize my work every morning.
While Todoist is my living todo list and daily planner, I use Trello for linear projects with repetitive tasks. For every article, podcast, or webinar I create, I use a Trello card to track my progress and do the right things. What I love about Trello the most is the checklists: I can create a checklist template for all of the things I need to do to complete a repetitive task (like writing, publishing, and promoting an article), then reuse the checklist each time I write the next article.
Have you ever gone back and forth with someone, trying to find a time for a meeting that works for both of you? That’s exactly what Calendly helps you avoid. Enough said.
Ever wanted to quickly share a screenshot, screen recording, webcam video, or…any file whatsoever? CloudApp makes it easy. All you have to do is use a quick keyboard shortcut, and it’ll take a screenshot and automatically copy a link to it in your clipboard. It’s like magic.
Sales + CRM
Pipedrive has a Kanban or lane view to see your deals. Its focus is on moving deals through a process, which I love. Plus, it has really good reporting to keep you on track and understand how to project your pipeline once you’ve been using it for a few month. Its two-way email sync is a welcome feature if you like keeping records of your email communications with prospects, without the need to BCC a separate address or copy and paste.
Courses + Memberships
For my membership site and my courses, I exclusively use Podia. It allows me to send emails, host course content, and manage my membership community through a single portal. Highly recommended, plus the support is outstanding.