8 tools for my freelance business I can't live without
This is the summer of getting sh*t organized. There is a handful of online tools that my freelancing business that I can not live without. These tools help keep me, my clients and our work organized and productive. It has taken me 18 + months of trial and error figure out which systems work for me. Now, I will share them all with you and hope you can use some of them to organize your business too. These are the tools and resources I use for my freelancing marketing VA business, every. single. day.
Yeah, I am camp Asana but Trello is another amazing option as a project manager. I use Asana for all of my clients. We assign tasks to each other and check off our lists as we get work done. Due dates keep us accountable and a calendar gives us a big picture view. Breaking down larger projects into smaller tasks helps beat the overwhelm and improved productivity. I also communicate with my clients or team through the Asana conversation feature. Keeping everything in one space is definitely ideal for max productivity.
Asana has so much potential to help in your business in so many ways and I will probably need to write another 40 blog posts to show you exactly how it can do that. For now, I recommend you jump in and sign up for Asana and assign yourself some to-do tasks to get yourself familiar with what I think is the best project management tool out there. Free service with options to upgrade.
This is the center of my universe. All of my clients and projects have their own folder. We have shared docs to add content to and add our comments and questions using the comment feature. This is a must for collaborative projects. Google Drive integrates with Asana too so we can link files to Asana tasks which is amazing. It actually integrates with almost everything. Since it's cloud-based storage it won't clog up your computer or devices. You can fit a ton of data into your Google Drive before needing to upgrade. I suggest saving photos in your Google Drive to save computer space. TIP: You can save anything to your own Drive that is shared with you through Google Drive. I am surprised how many people don't do this. Ideal for shared files you need to access often.
Do you have a problem with passwords? Especially if you need to share a password with someone? Sign up for a free LastPass account and your passwords will forever be saved in one spot. Share your passwords with collaborators without allowing them to see your private information. How cool is that? All they need is a LastPass account too. This keeps all of your and others' passwords safe no matter what device you're on because it's all saved in the account.
I am torn between Planoly and Later because they each have different features and functionality but both serve the same purpose mostly. Later is a scheduling platform for Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn. But, I use it solely for Instagram. With the new autopost feature, it's a set it and forget it thing with makes it so perfect. I upload a ton of images in the library and schedule my posts with saved hashtag groups. You can even repost other users' IG photos (or save them to your library for later) which is a feature I LOVE. This saves a ton of time for me. I think batching social posts is the way to go.
Another tool that needs more than one blog post. This is my CRM (customer relationship manager) and it does ALL the things. From invoicing, contracts, proposals, scheduling, communication, workflows, canned emails, time tracking but my favourite feature is forms. Forms are questionnaires you can create to send to your clients or customers. I use this for all of my strategy clients and to onboard new clients to get all of their information. Dubsado even has a huge library of templates you can use and make your own. Their team is pretty special, which also make it a lovable CRM and their Facebook group is helpful too.
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My go-to video conferencing platform. It's free and doesn't require any software to use it. You just click on the room link and you're in. Easy. There is a chat feature and screen sharing feature that make it a great option for quick virtual meetings.
I love this tool so much I canceled my adobe suite subscription. Yes, it doesn't do everything Illustrator or Photoshop does but it does the trick for most graphic design projects. I love being able to share Canva designs with collaborators so we can both work on it. The easy drag and drop plus ALL of the templates make it a huge time saver for most projects. The free version does almost everything you need but the upgraded Canva subscription (at the low low price of $10 USD/month) has a few extra features like transparents PNGs and custom font uploads.
This is my favourite place to find high-quality free stock images. Photos are contributed by photographers and you aren't required to credit them but you are encouraged to do so. I create collections for me and my clients that are easy to grab when I need them. I shared my Girl Boss Stock Photo Collection awhile back. Did you use any photos?
Now that you know all my secrets, which tools are you going to try out for your business?