Today I'm sharing with you my favourite apps and software . These are the tools that I use constantly to keep my business running smoothly, and to save myself a whole lot of time and stress!
Let's jump straight into it...
I'm pretty sure my business would fall apart without this app! It's a productivity tool, calendar and to do list all rolled into one. (The software is based on Getting Things Done® or GTD® Principles.)
When you're juggling multiple projects and clients it can often feel like an eternal battle to make sure you don't forget anything on your to do list. Emails pop in, and you get sidetracked with other things because you know you'll forget if you don't do them straight away. If this sounds like you, Omnifocus will probably change your life as much as it's changed mine!
You can sort your tasks by date, client, or context (some of mine include admin, personal, client projects), and easily switch between perspectives. It syncs to your calendar, you can set start and due dates, and it's easy to drag and drop things when you need to reorganise. I'm still uncovering all the secrets of utilising this app to it's full potential, but it's the best $80 I've spent on my business to date.
There are a host of third-party Instagram scheduling apps, but Schedugram is my favourite for one reason - you don't have to double handle posts. Other apps will pop up on your phone asking for approval to post a few minutes before the allotted time, whereas Schedugram allows you to schedule posts and then forget about them. This is ideal for me, as my peak posting times are usually mornings and evenings, when I'm likely to be at a yoga class or getting ready for the day sans-phone.
I'm not one of those super organised people who plans posts weeks in advance, but I do have a system that's made my life easier! I'll usually look at all my analytics on Iconosquare at the start of the week, jot down peak times and post ideas for the week ahead, then schedule posts 1-2 days in advance as I feel like it. Do you batch your social media posts? I'd love to hear what systems work best for you!
Another longtime fave of mine, Evernote is like a digital notebook with a search function. I have it on my phone, laptop and desktop, and it syncs all my notes which saves me having to try and remember which device I was on when I wrote something! I use it to write blog posts, save Instagram hashtags (sorted into categories for different types of posts), quickly reference branding colour codes, client login details and so many other things! One of my favourite functions is the screen clipper, which allows you to capture sections of your screen and save them to Evernote (super handy for webinars).
I use the free version of Evernote, but they have a range of different plans depending on what your needs are.
Pinterest is a visual bookmarking tool that allows you to search and 'pin' images to different boards. I discovered Pinterest when I was about 16, and I was like a kid in a candy store! I loved being able to make mood boards and collages to my heart's content. These days it's a key tool for my business as it allows me to collaborate on visual inspiration boards with design clients, as well as organising images and articles for future reference.
My favourite functions are the 'pin it' button which you can download to your browser to pin images/content from anywhere on the internet, and the ability to make secret boards (super handy for keeping projects under wraps).
Xero doesn't need much introduction. It's cloud based accounting software that means you can spend less time on your books, and more time doing what you love. Combining Xero with hiring a book-keeper, I now spend about 30 minutes a month dealing with accounts. I snap photos of my receipts on the app at the end of each month, answer a few questions from my book-keeper et voila!
I have different invoice templates set up for retailers, NZ based clients and overseas clients to keep things simple, and Xero now sends invoice reminders to your clients for you as well. It costs me $55 per month for Xero, and $69 per month for a book-keeper. It seemed like a splurge when I first started out, but the time and stress I save is worth so much more than that.
Did I miss anything? What productivity tools would you be lost without? Leave a comment and tell me all about them.