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Below you’ll find the list of the 6 main online business tools I use on a regular basis to run my multiple businesses.
I believe that finding the right tools for your small business makes all the difference so I’m happy to share the ones that keep me organized so I can work and travel. These can be used for any type of business so you can travel and work remotely too!
I also created a free download of the definitive list of tools to run your business from anywhere.
Download It Here 👇
1. Google Apps
The gold standard in small business tools has to be Google. They provide almost everything one needs to run their business remotely. Not only are all of my email accounts through Gmail, but everything I create and share with my team is stored in Google Drive, a cloud based “external hard drive”.
There are also Google Sheets to keep information organized, Google Docs for creating documents and Google Forms for creating surveys and gathering information from customers.
A feature I use less often but has saved me on a couple of occasions is Google Hangouts. I typically use Zoom for online meetings, but when I or my meeting partner are having tech difficulties Hangouts has been an efficient back up.
The amazing part about Google Apps is that they are all free! If you don’t have an account with Google yet, this is the first place to start.
It’s hard to have an online business without an email list and ConvertKit is my email marketing provider of choice. I really like their simple and minimalist design. Of the email providers I’ve tried, I think their platform is the most intuitive and easy to learn.
I can easily apply tags to different subscribers & create segments depending on their actions. From there I can create simple or complex automations to target the things they are most interested in. Convertkit has also really expanded their landing page options over the last year to include some really nice designs removing the need to create landing pages on other platforms and sync them together.
I’ve also always been impressed with their customer support and training they provide. They are focused on helping their customers grow their business through email and the authenticity of that really shines through.
They offer a 14-day free trial followed by a monthly subscription starting at $29/month (price varies depending on your number of subscribers). You can sign up here to try it out!
Update May 2020: ConvertKit still offers their free trial, but now they also have a free plan ! This is HUGE and lessens the barrier to getting started with ConvertKit. Interested? Check out my video on their free plan option or read my article on how to Build your Email List on ConvertKit for Free.
I am in Canva at least every other day creating graphics and headers and designs to post on social media. The aim of the founders was to create a design system for non-designers and I am so appreciative. Check out my Canva Video Tutorials for Beginners if you want to get started.
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to learn Illustrator or Photoshop but truth is I’ve tried and I’ve struggled. I think I have an okay visual eye, but creating something from scratch has never been my strength.
With Canva, they provide so many templates and layouts that you can start with a blank page or you can start with an already nice design. Not only saving me time but making my business brand stay cohesive and looking nice.
They have a free forever account that provides you almost anything you would ever need. There is also a subscription option of $12.95/month called Canva for Work where you can store brand colors, logos, fonts for easy use plus a few additional features.
I’ve also used my share of social media posting systems over the years, but my current scheduler is Tailwind. Tailwind is an approved partner of Pinterest making it one of the most widely used schedulers for the visual search engine platform. They make scheduling my daily and weekly Pinterest posts a breeze!
I also enjoy the Tailwind Tribes I’m a part of for not only selecting on-topic pins for my boards but for sharing my content to be shared on a wider scale. It’s the biggest reason my Pinterest account went from ~30 viewers/month to ~100k viewers/month.
For a full breakdown on why Tailwind is the Best Pinterest Manager 👈 click on that link.
Tailwind also has an Instagram scheduler which posts on your behalf without having to login to IG and post your scheduled drafts! I chose to not purchase the Tailwind Instagram subscription after completing my trial with it. Although I was really happy with all of the features and tools, I decided to keep my focus on Pinterest and less on Instagram for the time being. But I highly recommend Tailwind for either media platform.
The free trial is 100 pins for Pinterest or 30 posts for Instagram. Afterwards the monthly subscription is $9.99/month for each separate account.
My brain lives in Trello. It has been the biggest lifesaving tool for keeping all the moving pieces in my life organized. There are a handful of different team management tools out there, but I’ve never been able to adopt any of them over Trello.
The card layout and system works the best for my visual organization and brain comprehension. I keep not only business but also all of my travel and personal life tasks within Trello.
I keep cards for daily and weekly tasks as well as monthly and quarterly goals. Keep track of online courses I’ve purchased, travel to-dos and books I want to read. Plus my favorite card- Things I’ve Completed! Sometimes when I’m feeling like I haven’t accomplished much I’ll sit and scroll through this card to remind myself how far I’ve come.
The drag and drop system, color coding, checklist function & due date feature with notifications is how I run my business without forgetting anything important.
Trello has a free forever plan as well as monthly/annual subscription options that include additional features.
To see Trello in action check out this video:
Last but certainly not least, my password manager of choice, LastPass. Finding this tool a couple of years ago was game changing! If you don’t have a password manager you need to sign up for one right now.
It’s amazing how many sites and systems you create accounts for as a new online business owner. Even just the sheer volume of accounts we need to run our lives and remembering all of those passwords is enough to make anyone crazy.
LastPass takes all of the guessing work out of signing into accounts. It will even create secure passwords for you if you request it. On top of making sure your password isn’t “password”, it also has a secure sharing system. So if you need to share your login details with team members you can do so securely. No more emailing or texting your team your passwords and hoping the systems don’t get hacked!
LastPass is another free tool that you can set up in minutes! I also highly recommend downloading the Chrome extension and phone app for additional login efficiency.