Updated January 2018
Every entrepreneur has their go to tools that they use in order to keep business flowing and their sanity intact.
Of course I could go through a list of design programs (Adobe Creative Cloud) or stock photography sites, font must-haves and more, BUT I am talking about tools to help me run my business efficiently. You know, tools that EVERYBODY can use to help in the daily grind. My tools are fabulous and free (well, most of them).
I feel like this friendly little app gets overlooked. Having the ability to sync from your iPhone to your Mac is a game changer for me. (Actually, I jotted my thoughts for this blog post in notes on my iPhone. Once I was ready to develop the post, I grabbed it on my Mac and moved it to my Google Docs. Fab-u-lous!) Notes is user friendly, you can dictate your thoughts (on the iPhone), you can draw with your finger & even include photos - all for free.
I mentioned Google Docs above. It is my go to for word processing. Both Google Docs and Sheets are seamless when integrating with Microsoft Word/Excel. I love the flexibility of working from my Mac, PC and even my iPhone to create & edit both word documents & spreadsheets. When I first purchased my Mac, I also bought Pages and Numbers. While both programs work just fine, the formatting gets crazy sometimes when exporting/importing from Word or Excel. I need something that is quick and easy, that will maintain formatting and is light on the wallet. These are it!
This is a new tool in my belt and I am so happy I made the switch. Previously, I used Google Forms to collect information when needed (giveaways, surveys, order forms, etc.) but no more. Typeform is sleek & sophisticated. It's customizable & professional. Seriously, in my mind it is a game changer. The site tracks metrics, allows you to export results into an Excel file, can track Google Analytics, and generate reports on the results you receive. Be on the lookout for more beautiful Typeform usage around here.
They have various pricing & even offer free services for the lite user.
I do a LOT of planning and organizing in my email y'all. Design requests, proofs, questions and news pour in at a crazy pace. I needed to find an email client that would allow me the organization that I was looking for with a user-friendly interface and quick setup. After trying AppleMail (comes on your Mac), Thunderbird (from Mozilla), Postbox (don’t do it…), I finally found Airmail and my email life was simplified. I ADORE the various labels/folders the program offers - to do, done, memo - and this allows me to move projects through the design process. The "snooze" option lets me "snooze" an email to a later date and/or time when needed too. I'm a huge fan y'all.
“We have taken usability and function to the next level with Airmail and bring a striking-design with support for all major email services. Switch between accounts like a breeze and quick reply to incoming messages within seconds - email has never been so easy and productive.”
Exactly what they said.
This. Oh Instagram lovers of the world, this one is for you. Later.com is a free (up to 30 posts per month) service that allows you to map out and plan your Instagram feed, customize your schedule, and sends you reminders on your iPhone so you remember when to share your content with the world! Thank you to the creators of Later.com for making me look so much better than I am. You rock my socks.
Ok, so maybe these tools aren’t mind blowing, but they are what I need on a daily basis to help the Peach run smoothly. From jotting down notes in a client meeting to prepping manuscripts for book design, from asking our fabulous clients for feedback to streamlining our Instagram feed, all of these tools are a must-have in my biz book.
What are your favorite apps and programs that you use to keep yourself sane?
I wanted to share a few others that I currently use (and one that we are transitioning to in 2017 - WOO HOO) that may help you as you organize your biz.
Dropbox - I store all of my current working project files here. All older files are moved to an external hard drive that I store in my office. (Cost: $9.99 per month)
Wave Bookkeeping - This is a simple service that I have greatly appreciated over the past two years. Having your accounting in order is a MUST. (Cost: FREE)
Adobe Creative Cloud - The design software I use every DAY is Indesign, and Illustrator, Photoshop. When Adobe launched the monthly services of the Creative Cloud, I jumped on board. It’s a great investment each month and you always have the latest and greatest updates. (Cost: Varies per plan)
FontBundles - This is my go to site for fabulous fonts. Looking for on-trend fonts? Freebies? (Cost: Free, Varies based on font selected)
Mailchimp - The VIPeaches know all about this! I use Mailchimp to send out the bi-monthly blast called the Savvy Samplin’ to our VIPeaches. (Are you one of them? If not, jump down below. We would love to see you there!) It’s too user friendly and cost-effective not to use. (Cost: Free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month, varies for higher plans)
Stock Photography - There are endless options out there for stock photography. Some of my favorites are iStock and Adobe Stock for items that you purchase. Some freebie sites I like are Unsplash, KaboomPics and Pixabay.