In 2008 I set out to be location independent, which meant structuring my current business to not be reliable on being in any one location to work. Today, I can run my business from anywhere, as long as I have my tools, laptop or iPad and internet. I’ve even run my business off my iPhone for a few days!
Meanwhile, I’ve tried and tested a plethora of digital tools to run my business. The digital world is always changing, so I am always testing new online tools!
Each week, I have a handful of tools I rely on to make running my business simple and effective. My entire business is run daily with online tools to manage projects, social media, websites, products, meetings and communication, analytics and of course, my team.
Here are the 7 Online Business Tools I can’t live without…
Online Business / Project Management / Communication: Asana
Simply put… Asana makes things happen, so without it, I would be lost! EVERYTHING that needs to be done is in Asana and is assigned and given a due date. You can keep all your communication, files and notes all in one place!!! My entire company is based on the right things getting done, by the right people at the right time. As a result, Asana is literally the lifeblood of my company. It not only keeps me and my team on track, but it also keeps our clients on track and in the know.
Asana is the easiest way for teams to track their work and get results. From tasks and projects to conversations and notifications, Asana enables you and your teams to move work from start to finish.
Social Media Management: Buffer
Next, save time and utilize your team better with a social media scheduling tool. My team and I use Buffer to schedule content for multiple clients across multiple platforms. I love the simple and clean interface, as well as the analytics, scheduling and ease of use it provides. You can also provide limited access to team members, so that all posts require approval before posting.
Graphics and Shareables: Canva
I have all the graphic software any graphic artist would use to create amazing graphics, however… I love Canva! It’s simple, easy and fast! Whether you need to create a graphic for a webinar, a quote or a flyer for an event, you can pop into Canva, get inspiration from their layouts and create something that is in total alignment with your brand. If you need images for your graphics, they have an endless supply of options and they’re very reasonably priced.
Business Hub and File Management: Google Drive and Dropbox
Google Drive and Dropbox allows access to files anywhere through secure cloud storage and file backup for your photos, videos, files and more. All our SOP’s and training for my team members and client team members can be found in google drive. It makes onboarding new team members easy and streamlined, as well as collaborating with clients and teams simple.
Online Scheduling and Management: Acuity Scheduling
Next, put an end to those back-and-forth emails just trying to schedule an appointment. Give your clients and team the power to set their own appointments at the times that are most convenient for you with this calendar app.
Conveniently Acuity integrates with Google Calendar perfectly, so all you have to do is decide which times you are available, and then send your link in an email. Clients and your team can access your calendar and choose the time that works for them. No more long email trails just to schedule a meeting!
Data Tracking and Biz Insights: Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a powerful analytic tool that can give you incredible insights to your website traffic, referrals, traffic from social media, bounce rates, audience demographics and more. This data then can be used to decide what is working or not working and where to focus your time and energy moving forward.
Time Tracking and Billing: Harvest
A cloud-based time tracking tool, Harvest makes tracking your time and your teams time as easy as clicking a button. You can create projects to track time spent on various business tasks and/or clients. The reporting features let you see at a glance where your time or teams time goes on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, so you can make better use of your time to get the right stuff done. Similarly, Toggle is another great alternative.
Bonus Tool – Live Meetings: Zoom
Lastly, Zoom is a video and web conferencing tool that allows cross-platform messaging, file sharing, and video, voice and screen sharing. It’s very simple to use and a great way to hold client and/or team meetings.