Running your own business is not a walk in the park. Like anything in life, you need to adapt to a system- find your groove, if you will- and then keep at it. Sometimes its all about trying something, seeing if it works for you and either going a different route, if it doesnt work, or sticking with it if it does.
Finding the process in how to run your stuff is a matter of experimentation. Once you find your groove, stick with it and that becomes your habit.
For me, I find it challenging to be a mom of two adorable toddlers, have a social life and run business at the same time. The challenge being, there isn’t enough hours in a day. I value my family and relations over my work. I had to find a solution to this problem. And just like any other problem, this too had a solution.
Thankfully, we live in an age that offer us a buffet of many apps and service sites that enable us to effeciently run business. Getting projects done and managing work has never been easier. These apps are as enjoyable as eating cake. And I love cake!
Here’s a few that I use.
HONORARY SHOUTOUT: Gmail
This one is a no brainer. Google’s gmail is my #1. It absolutely needs to be on this list because it is constantly open. It happens to me my best mode of communication. Even my husband is guaranteed a quick response if he sends me an email. I love that you can add additional apps to it to enable features like, “send later”. Google calendar allows me to schedule appointments and meetings. It also syncs my schedule with my hubby’s for projects we collaborate on and personal appointments. (Richard is an IT guy, so on major website projects where hard coding is required, I bring him on board.) Sign up here
Boomerang is an app that can be added to Gmail to schedule emails and send reminders if there is no response to an email. It allows me to schedule emails for out of country clients so I am not dinging their phone down in the middle of the night. Lets face it, we all sleep with our phones beside us…and not all of us turn it on silent. (Guilty!)
Download it here
Mailchimp is an eblast/newsletter service that I absolutely adore. It is an absolute must for eblasts and newsletters. It is designer and non designer friendly, because they offer a variety of different eblast templates, teamed with an easy to use interface. My online subscription signup is directly linked to my Mailchimp list. So everytime I have an eblast to send out, I dont need to manually add new signups, they are already there. I just set up my eblast, do a test and schedule it to go out on a day and time of my preference. It also gives me a low down on who opened my email, how many times, were any of the links clicked on etc. Mailchimp’s awesome service is free if you have an email list of 2000 or less. Their paid packages for higher volume emails are pretty reasonable. I cannot stop singing their praises.
Sign up here
I recently started using Waveapps for invoicing and bills. Its a free service and I am pleased with the features and how well it works. I am able to set up my invoice with a couple of template options and also customize the colours to my brand. What I live most about this is their reminder feature. So if your invoice isn’t paid on time, you can set up reminders for the client. It’s one less thing to think of or add to your list of things that are time sensitive. They do offer an app that tracks your receipts. You snap a picture and upload it to your account. However, it is a bit glitchy and doesn’t work very well at the moment. But I cannot wait for them to perfect this..because I am the absolute worst at tracking work related reciepts. Whose with me on this?
Sign up here
Wunderlist is excellent for tracking to-dos and reminders. For example I have an end of the month list that is important. Yes, it’s similar to what Google Calendar can do, except I prefer using the calendar to track appointments and events. It gives me reminders based on settings that I control. You have the satisfaction of marking them as you get it done. I love marking things done. The simple action makes me feel so….accomplished.
Sign up here
Slack is an awesome team communication tool. You can set up hashtags based on projects and invite people in on the conversation. You can even share images and files. This way you don’t have to comb through emails looking for that one attachment or wording so you can move on with your project. Slack is also powerful because you can integrate Google calendar and Wunderlist…and several other apps that help you work better. They are also working on having remote access to computer screens where both parties can control and move
Awesome or what?
Sign up here
So this is my list of apps that I use daily. What’s yours? Please do share the wealth.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle