Five online tools that I rely on to run my business
Running a business today means using the internet - there are no 'ifs' or 'buts' about it. Over the past few years, I've tried countless websites, tools and apps to help me streamline what I do.
I'm big on efficiency, processes and systemisation so if you're anything like me, you'll like finding tools that make time-sucking or challenging tasks simpler. So take a read below to discover my favourite five tools I use to run my business!
It might sound basic, but Gmail is actually SUPER sophisticated in what you can do with it. I never save emails to folders - I read, then archive. This saves thinking about where each email should go, and then digging around in folders when I want to find them again. I also have Gmail's fantastic 'undo send' function turned out, so incase I realise I forgot to add something in the email or spot a typo just too late, I can pull back the email and make that edit!
To get even more advanced, I use Boomerang, which is an app that you can add to your Gmail account. One of my favourite things that Boomerang allows me to do is bring emails back into my inbox if I haven't had a reply after a set time period. I just choose the time period - like 2 hours, 2 days or 2 weeks - and if the person who I emailed hasn't written back, the email will pop up in my inbox as a reminder. This saves mentally trying to remember who to follow up.
I use Canva just about every day! Think easy, quick and on-brand graphics for Instagram and Facebook posts, website blocks, newsletter headers, client presentations, blog covers, e-books, guides…
Canva has a great free option when you can upload images, your logo and choose from their fonts to create branded pieces of content. If you want to upload custom fonts of save your brand colours so you don’t need to update them each new template you create, you might want to look at the paid option, which is what I use.
Imagine how amazing your Instagram feed would look like if you could curate all of your posts ahead of time to see what works next to each other; what the flow is looking like; what changes you need to make… Say hello to ‘Plann’.
This app is made by an Aussie girl and it's easy to use and has a really appealing interface. You can upload images then drag them around on the app to see what order looks best visually. Then when you’re happy, you can type your caption, choose from your pre-saved hashtag categories and and schedule the post to send a reminder to you when it's time to push it live. After all, consistent, considered aesthetic = stronger brand.
I create all of my 'Word' documents in the cloud - whether they are just for me, or they are documents I want to share with clients or my team. If you aren't familiar with Google Drive, you can create 'Sheets' or 'Docs' in a matter of seconds, and as you start entering content into them, they will automatically save. Then, the bit I love to save time: when I need to jump back into a document, I just start typing its name into the search bar in Google Chrome, and my document's URL will appear. I simply click and open! This saves time looking around in folders trying to find where I saved it.
And of course, when there are documents I want to share with my clients or my team, I can invite them and give them editable, comment-only or read-only access.
Being more of a words-girl, I'm not so crash hot at numbers. But I actually enjoy looking at the figures in my cloud-based accounting software Xero. For $50 a month, I can reconcile all of my bank transactions, create quotes, issue invoices (and see when these become overdue), look at P&L statements, see graphs of my income due in coming weeks... and so much more! It's an absolute necessity for me when it comes to staying on top of my numbers.
I'm always on the look out for great new tools! If you know of one I've missed, I've love to hear in the comments below!