People often ask us what our go-to tools are for running our business, so we thought we’d make you a nice page filled with them all that you can bookmark and refer back to! These are all tools that we are currently using or have used in the past.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that if you click on any of those links and decide to make a purchase then we may receive a commission. Please know that we would never recommend anything that we haven’t already purchased ourselves. If you have any questions at all about anything listed here then please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask away.
Evernote is like your second brain. It makes it really easy to collect, from articles you find online to photos of your family. It also has a really cool business card feature that means saving bookloads of business cards is a thing of the past!
Google Calendar. If you’re going to be managing multiple social media platforms and tasks then you need to be organised. Any calendar system will work, but the benefit of Google calendar is that you can easily share it with others.
Dropbox is a file hosting service which allows you to access your files, photos and videos anywhere and allows easy sharing, eliminating the need to email.
Google Drive is a cloud-based file storage service provided by Google, and allows users to share and edit files
MANAGING YOUR PLATFORMS
Hootsuite allows you to manage multiple social platforms from the same place. It supports Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+. You can post to your social channels direct from Hootsuite, and also sche posts to go out at a later date. The free version allows you to add 3 social accounts, and if you upgrade to the Pro version you can create great analytics reports.
Buffer is a scheduling tool, allowing you to add content to your Buffer queue and it will be posted out for you at your specified times. You can manage 2 accounts on the free version.
Post Planner makes it easy for people to find and share amazing content consistently – to get predictable, measurable, and remarkable results with their social media posts on Facebook and Twitter.
Feedly is a news aggregator which gathers content from any blogs you subscribe to. You can create categories (collections) to group the blogs with similar content e.g. social media. When you log in, you see the latest posts. You can share content on all your social channels and save articles in Pocket or Evernote to read later. You can also schedule posts straight into Buffer.
Tagboard is a way to view the conversations around a hashtag. It pulls in content from many social channels and displays it in a dynamic visual display.
Flipboard is like your own personal magazine, pulling in content from your social networks and news sites.
Pocket When you find all that content but you don’t have time to read or digest it, you can save it to Pocket to read later.
Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results based on the search terms you set up. Recently, they have become less useful, and don’t seem to be returning as many results as they used to.
Mention Similar to Google Alerts, you set up search terms or keywords that you are interested in, and you then receive email updates of the conversations. The email updates have a nicer design than the Google Alerts and they deliver far more results than Google Alerts.
Twitter Search Even if you don’t use Twitter you can use the search function to research topics relevant to your business. You can also see what’s trending so that you can focus on hot topics.
Canva is my favourite way of creating custom graphics. There are plenty of ready-made templates just waiting for you to add your personal touch to, and the simplicity of the drag-and-drop control feature means that even a complete novice can be up and running in no time.
PicMonkey makes it easy for everyone to create beautiful masterpieces from your photos and images. It has many custom templates, including Facebook cover photos and Pinterest boards and lots of filters and themes. As the company tagline states “Photo editing made of win”!
Pixabay. Download high resolution images available without attribution in digital and printed form, even for commercial applications.
Apps: WordSwag is pre-populated with awesome templates that literally let you create image + text images that look like a designer has played a part in their creation – when all along, it was just you, an iPhone and an app!
ANALYSING YOUR RESULTS
Bit.ly is a URL shortening tool that allows you to shorten a long url, share it and then track the clicks on the link. The shorter link is much easier to share on Twitter or in an email.
Likealyzer is a tool that evaluates your Facebook page and gives you a score out of 100 and some basic recommendations on what to improve. You can run an evaluation every month and see if you are improving. You can also evaluate your competitor’s page and see how you measure up!
Iconosquare Gives you key metrics about your Instagram account. This tool provides personal statistics related to Instagram, including number of followers, likes, and comments, along with usage statistics.
Followerwonk Delves into Twitter analytics. You can analyse your Twitter followers, compare different users and search through the bios of users.
Google Analytics Helps you analyse traffic and actions across your website, social platforms and devices.
Facebook Insights. These are the measurements of your Facebook Page’s performance and are available after 30 people like your page. There is a LOT of information including the demographics of your fans, when your fans are online and which of your posts got the most likes, comments and shares. Do not ignore this tool!
WEBSITE & EMAIL MANAGEMENT
Digital Pacific Web Hosting & Domain Names. Digital Pacific is a carbon neutral Australian provider of quality web hosting solutions for individuals, small to medium-sized businesses and corporations. Provides shared hosting, virtual private servers, dedicated servers and reseller hosting.
WordPress. Create a free website or easily build a blog on WordPress.com. Hundreds of free, customizable, mobile-ready designs and themes. Free hosting and support.
Convertkit helps you manage emails lists and drip campaigns to increase reader trust, which directly increases sales when you launch a product or service. We moved over to using Convertkit midway through the year, because MailChimp just wasn’t providing us enough functionality, and can highly recommend it.
MailChimp An email marketing service provider that allows you collect emails from your website and create beautiful newsletters to send out to subscribers. There are lots of free template designs, and the drag and drop feature makes it easy to customise them to suit your needs. Free for the first 2000 email subscribers.
LeadPages Software is the world’s easiest landing page generator. It’s the easiest way to build conversion optimized & mobile responsive landing pages.
Zippy Courses is a WordPress plugin that enables you to create – and sell – online courses with ease.
CONSULTING & APPOINTMENTS
Acuity Scheduling is online appointment scheduling software. Y0u can automate your client bookings, cancellations, reminders & even payment with one click. The basic version is free.
Skype makes it easy to get together and chat one to one or in a group, to hear a friendly voice and see eye to eye, all for free. Wherever you are, whatever device you have – from computer and mobile, to tablet and TV – Skype just works.
Calendly makes scheduling super simple, by coordinating your availability with others’. Connect your Google Calendar to the site and Calendly will know when you have events marked as busy. The service is free and great for one-on-one meetings.
Google Forms. Create custom forms for surveys and questionnaires at no extra cost. Gather everything in a spreadsheet and analyze data right in Google Sheets. With Google forms you can plan events, make a survey or poll, give students a quiz, or collect other information in an easy, streamlined way.
Stripe is an American company that allows both private individuals and businesses to accept payments over the Internet. Stripe specifically focuses on providing the technical, fraud prevention, and banking infrastructure required to operate online payment systems.
PayPal is an international e-commerce business allowing payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet. PayPal is one of the world’s largest internet payment companies. The company operates as an acquirer, performing payment processing for online vendors, auction sites and other commercial users, for which it charges a fee.