Entrepreneur Tools & Apps I Can’t Live Without
Ari Krzyzek shares her thoughts on tools & apps entrepreneurs should keep an eye on, and describes her experience using them. I wanted to share her entire article here below as I think it is very helpful. Before I do that, I want to put Wanderfy on your radar as well, an introduction network for entrepreneurs and business owners. It's designed to enable you to list your business needs (i.e. looking for new customers, looking for investors, vendors, cofounders), and you get introduced to trustworthy contacts. The framework helps you to grow your business and achieve your goals, as well as reduce your customer acquisition costs. But now, let's go back to Ari's article... enjoy!
I have always wanted to write down couple of favorite tools and apps that I personally need for my day to day basis as an entrepreneur. These are tools and apps that I use to keep me organized and help run my business.
So why exactly do you need these tools and apps? Well, if you can do everything, I mean literally everything without any tools and apps these days, kudos to you! Though being an entrepreneur myself, my time is limited. Specially if I want to maintain my sanity. I feel that by using the tools and apps below, it increases my productivity and I feel confident with my work process.
There are tons of different tools and apps out there, and the ones I listed here may not work for you, but it may also work great for you if you give it a try. You never know! So let's go check my version of entrepreneur tools & apps I can't live without one by one.
This is not an app for your smartphone/tablet/computer, this one is an actual notebook. Yes, I mean those traditional method of taking notes with just pen/pencil and paper. My husband and I have tons of gadgets at home, smartphones, tablets, and more. However, there's nothing that can replace my need to actually write down my to-do list, project notes, and few ideas here and there like a notebook or planner. I've used Behance Action Journal which was great since it includes Action Steps and Back Burner section on each page-spread. I've also tried Productivity Planner for a while, it helped me focus on important tasks I need to get through in a day and plan a weekly todo's each week. Though, as I started using different notebook/planner, I ended up creating my own using Blurb. I realized that a specific structure where I can list and breakdown my task in a weekly view helps me see what I will have going on each week. But hey, try a few planner first so you can learn what planning style work best for you.
When my business partner and I started thinking about investing in a project management system, we got so overwhelmed with all the options out there. From Asana to Trello to Basecamp and more. The thing is we wanted a platform that can be the one hub for our business. We wanted to find a platform that can host our projects and project tasks, handle multiple users (team members and clients), include time tracking on tasks, as well as handle proposals and invoicing. Sounds like a dream project management tools? Well, we found it. We're lucky to have found Plutio and have been using is since it was on a beta version.
Admit it, you don't really want to spend all your time logging in and posting on Instagram all the time throughout the week. Well, neither do I. That's why I love Later. Once a month, my team and I will prepare the content calendar, schedule out all of our posts and auto-post the content on our Instagram account. The great new is, their free account includes 30 posts per month. So really, it's a steal!
You probably already have a scheduling system that can help you schedule meetings without the back-and-forth emails. There are other similar apps like Calendly but the primary reason why I used this specifically is because the brand and UI design is very clean, and it's really straight forward for the users. I used it to schedule different types of calls for our business as well as to set hours for coffee meetings with friends.
Ok, be honest. How many accounts do you have online? Excluding my business and personal email, I have so many different accounts online, and most of the time they either have same or similar password and most of the time it's really hard to remember which one is which.
When my husband and business partner Peter suggested I should try LastPass, I remember how I feel so relieved that I have one hub to store all my password securely for all my accounts online, be it for my email, social media, even some other lifestyle sites.
One advice that I read somewhere on the internet before I dive in into my business was:
Have a business phone number that is NOT your direct cell or home phone number!
I'm glad that I made that decision, and yup I use Google Voice for this. If it's about work, I know people will call me on my Google Voice number. Why you also should do this? Well, think about creating some boundaries and separate business calls and calls from friends/family. Having business calls should stay on business line. Google voice is the simplest alternative for you to have a business phone number without investing too much on another phone line.
I believe this one is a lifesaver whenever I have to reply or schedule email when I'm working outside my “official work hours”. Yup, after giving birth to my first born child having official work hours become an important thing for me to set my work hours with a hope that my client will also respect my time better. Of course sometimes I have to work overtime on certain projects, but I still love the idea on only replying to the emails during work hours. So sometimes, when I am working at 10pm, I'd schedule my reply or email to be sent the next day during my official work hours. Sounds nifty right?
How did I survive without Dropbox? I have no idea. I pretty much use dropbox whenever I need to share files with friends, family, even client. Having a file sharing app like Dropbox is pretty much essential if you do a lot of file sharing for personal or even business use. I have both desktop computer and a laptop so I need to always be able to access my work files on both or any devices. Their Smart Sync feature is super handy so I can update my work files and saved directly on my Dropbox business account.
Dropbox also launched Dropbox Paper recently, it's similar to Google Docs, but as a designer, I do have to admit that I prefer Dropbox Paper better. It's not as functional as Google Docs yet, but I really enjoy creating more documents using Dropbox Paper as it is more visual compare to Google Docs.
There you have it. Entrepreneur tools and apps I can't live without. Have you tried any of them yet? I'd love to hear how any of the tools or apps above helped you on your day-to-day life.
You can always find more on her website arikrzyzek.com and leave comments.