There are certain tools and systems that I use in my business which each play a vital part in daily business activities. These help keep me on track, organized and professional when handling both my business needs and client requests. So I would love to share this list of productivity tools for your creative business.
I use Google suite for emails and file management (who doesn’t?!). I love the fact that you can easily share files and folders, make comments, set tasks and access it from anywhere. So today I am sharing the top 8 tools and systems I utilize pretty much on a daily basis that I couldn’t function without.
Asana – This was one program that I have stuck with from the very start. I have heard good things about other project management software such as Trello that does a similar job, but I have found Asana works well for me. I definitely wouldn’t be able to operate so efficiently without Asana. I log in daily to ensure that I never miss a task, so it keeps me on track and organized for each client. The way I use it is that I set it up with each client as a ‘project,’ and then create individual tasks within this project with a due date for completion. I like that you can link it to google drive, upload files and it integrates with many other apps and software. I have found it very easy to join other teams or share other projects with other people, if you are working with sub-contractors for example. To be honest I mainly just use the basic functions but there is much more you can do with it, to make it work in the best way for your needs. This is one of the top productivity tools for your creative business!
Toggl – As a creative business owner, there are many times where you need to set a timer and log times for the work you are completing. Toggl was another system that came highly recommended in the VA world and I have personally found Toggl extremely user-friendly and I particularly love the reporting feature.
Lastpass – This is a password manager tool which is a staple in my business as well as my personal online endeavours. It saves all your passwords securely in one place, and you are also able to share login details with others securely without them ever having to know the actual password and username. In fact I have previously written a blog post all about this program, which goes into a lot more detail on the features and benefits of this program. You can view HERE.
Canva – Oh the hours I could while away on canva if I had bags of time! I don’t think of myself as a graphic designer but with all the pre-set templates available it makes it incredibly easy to pull off a design that looks half decent! I use it all the time for creating social media graphics and pin templates. The free version is usually enough for most, however if you need to resize images easily, save your branding colors, fonts and templates etc, and organize your folders and images, then canva for work is probably the best option for you.
Dubsado – There are many different CRM systems to choose from out there, but I heard so many great things about this one, I decided to give it a whirl and haven’t looked back! I use it primarily for creating contracts (which allow E-signatures), invoices, templates and proposals and have received many compliments on how professional looking my paperwork is. It makes it so easy for clients to simply click on a link to sign a contract, pay me or view a document. There are many more features available that I have not yet fully explored such as reporting, a task manager and a time tracker for example, and enhancements are being made all the time. It’s free for your first 3 clients, after that there is a monthly fee starting at $25 per month. I encourage you to check this out if you are looking for a robust CRM system that offers excellent customer service to boot….feel free to use this link for a 20% discount on your first month!
Later – I use this scheduler for Instagram since I love that it auto schedules posts for you. (I believe no other scheduler has the authority to do this currently). It’s free, simple to use, and I particularly like the preview feature so you can see what your feed will look like before posting.
Tailwind – Tailwind is an absolute must for Pinterest if you are serious about using the platform for marketing purposes. It is the only scheduler out there which is authorised by Pinterest. This scheduling tool allows you to schedule multiple pins automatically per day to your pinterest account. The first 100 pins you schedule are free and then you will need to upgrade to the paid version to continue using the benefits. This is priced at $9.99 if you pay annually, otherwise its $15.99 monthly. It has many features including looping (re-pinning loops for your most popular or seasonal content), strategically setting times, tailwind tribes which help increase the reach of your pins, plus access to additional analytics reporting. Tailwind also offers scheduling for Instagram although I have not used it in this capacity as yet.
Calendly – This tool makes it super easy for clients to schedule a call with you, at a time that is convenient for both, helping to reduce the need for several emails back and forth to confirm availability. It’s simple to use, easy to customize, and works well to fit my needs.
There you have it! As I progress in my business there may be more I add to this list, however for now these are the core productivity tools that I use daily. I hope you found this to be a helpful list of productivity tools for your creative business. As a creative business owner it is vital that I stay organized and on top of my work at all times and many of these tools offer some form of automation that is a massive time saver.
I’d love to hear any others you recommend or comments you have on those listed above, or if you need any assistance with these, just drop me a note, I’d be more than happy to help!
**Affiliate disclosure** Some of the links in this post may result in a small commission to me should you choose to make a purchase. This won’t cost you anything additional and I promise I only suggest products I truly believe in and use myself.
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