One of the best things I believe about working for oneself is the ability to trial different processes and strategies. When I worked for others, I was locked in to their systems and software, many of which were fabulous (and fabulously expensive) but when you’re someone who wears almost all of the hats within a business, some flexibility and creativity in terms of approaches makes for a much more productive, efficient and effective workflow.
I have a number of tools that make my working life easier, and here’s my top five*:
OK, so SEO is a bit of a dark art, and there is a TON of information, courses and programs out there about getting your website ranking well, as well as a TON of super-dodgy businesses selling SEO packages for a gazillion dollars a month to manage your SEO. I manage my SEO with this super easy plugin. A traffic light sits below every page of my website including blog posts, and by filling in the blanks, each page becomes optimised for my chosen keywords, and I get a red, orange or green indicator telling me how well I’ve optimised.
Here’s the thing- I’m a bit of a control freak. I know, right? I live and and work by routines, checklists and processes, and Asana is a way to have them all in one place. My processes allow me to work efficiently and to banish the fluff, and I have a checklist for almost every action within my business, from onboarding a new client, to closing off a project, to managing meetings, to invoicing processes (paired up with my accounting software) and following up networking events. It took a lot of work initially setting everything up, but the end result is an effortless, consistent approach to everything I do in my business.
Hootsuite is a tool I use both within my business and in for my social media management clients. It’s a tool with a simple, beautiful interface for scheduling social media posts, for managing engagement and for content creation.
I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that I use Canva at least three times a week, either for myself or for clients. I love that it gives a complete design-phobic like me the ability to quickly come up with beautiful graphics for social media and for blog posts that are on brand. That said, I have no hesitation in sending off anything that needs more care and attention to a professional- it’s good, but it’s not a graphic designer.
OK, so this one isn’t strictly a business tool, but let me tell you that this freaking genius piece of software makes my life easier Every. Single. Day. It gives me access to around 11,000+ recipes from around the world, it allows me to spend less than 7 minutes deciding what the family is going to eat for the day/week/month, and it emails me a shopping list based on this straight to my phone, so I don’t have to fluff around the stupid-market for a second longer than I need to. It even syncs to my Thermomix so when feeding the family (why do they have to eat every day?! Why?) I don’t even have to have a recipe out on the iPad or in an actual book. I just have to hit ‘next’ when told to. The mental load it decreases is sig-nif-ic-ant, and I’m someone who actually enjoys cooking. If you hate cooking, then this is life changing.
That’s it! My favourite tools that keep my business and broader life ticking along beautifully. None of these tools are affiliate links- I just really love them!
Tell me, do you have some business tools that have become your go-to?
*These are my top 5 for now– I’m always open to trying something new with the goal of making my life better.
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