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As an entrepreneur, you are responsible for ALL aspects of your business, even the little items such as keeping track of your receipts. Now that I have been in business for a while, I have come to rely on a few different tools and systems that allow me to run my business smoothly. While I am still learning and growing, these tools have been so helpful for me. Here are my 9 business tools every solopreneur needs.
Ah, the dreaded PayPal. I know so many people despise PayPal, but I consider it an essential part of my business. My PayPal is considered my business account. So any payments or expenses come straight to it. From there I will pay for business expenses and pay myself. This helps me keep my personal and business money separate. When it is time for me to “write my paycheck”, I just transfer the money from my PayPal to my bank account. Simple and easy!
Let me just say, I LOVE Quickbooks*. It’s one of my top choices for business tools every solopreneur needs. Quickbooks allows me to create clients and tasks for those clients, invoice quickly and easily, AND pay my taxes on time every quarter. It also helps me track expenses, and connect to my bank accounts and PayPal. If a client pays through Quickbooks, I also get to skip PayPal fees, and the money is directly deposited in my bank account. That’s a win-win for me!
Okay, so using a system for organizing your thoughts and projects is all about personal preference. However, I highly suggest checking out Asana if you have a hard time keeping up with multiple tasks, projects, or clients. I have my own Asana, and I am also connected to multiple clients through it as well. For my own account, I have project boards that allow me to create tasks. So I schedule social media, blog posts, updates on my site, and a few other to-do’s. Asana has been great at getting my thoughts out of my head, and onto a screen for planning and scheduling. I can set due dates, add in subtasks, and even delete items if I change my mind or don’t have a need to do them anymore. Asana has truly been a lifesaver when it comes to managing my business tasks. Another great thing about Asana is that it has an app for Apple and Android phones. I keep the app on my phone, so even when I am on the go I can still write things down or cross items off my business to-do list.
My Happy Planner
So, as you all know, I’m not only an entrepreneur, but I’m a mom as well. I don’t know about you, but I suffer from an extreme case of Mom brain. Although Asana is great for managing my day to day tasks for my business, I still needed something that would allow me to organize my personal life as well. I love buying and trying out new planners, but I can never stick to one for long. But I’ve fallen in love with my Happy Planner! I love the layout as well as all of the cool and functional stickers that I can use with it. Now, my planner isn’t exactly pretty, but it’s functional, and I still love looking at it and all that I’ve accomplished. I have a post planned to go into more detail about my Happy Planner, but if you love using pen and paper like I do, you just might like trying this method out!
I am so glad I discovered this app and website! Okay, so the website says that the purpose of Coffitivity is to “recreate the ambient sounds of a cafe to boost your creativity and help you work better”. I can say that this has helped me be more productive in the time that I’ve used it. I don’t know if it’s because I used to work for Starbucks, but hearing busy cafe sounds not only puts me at ease but also helps to keep me focused. When I put on my headphones and put Coffitivity on, I can work for hours without being distracted! There is a paid version, but I just use the free one. The “University undertones” is my favorite!
Okay, so this one isn’t exactly business related, but I believe that taking care of yourself helps you run a business smoothly and efficiently. I’ve been tracking my water consumption, work out’s, and what I eat with this app for about a month, and I already notice a difference on the scale and how I feel. One of my biggest personal goals is to lose all of the pregnancy weight I gained. Sure, this app doesn’t do all of the hard work like making you eat healthier foods. But it does allow you to track your progress and hold yourself accountable. Since using the app consistently, I have lost about 30 pounds. Plus, I have been able to make better choices for my health, my family, and my business. I consider that a huge win!
Ah, my favorite stock photography website. It is not really part of the tools area, but it is a great website for just about anyone who owns a blog! While I use a few other stock photography sites, Unsplash is my go-to! Not only can I find amazing photos, but it is also completely free and no attribution is required. This saves so much time and money! This website makes searching for pictures super easy and painless. I can normally find 3-4 photos in less than 10 minutes of searching.
Photo Editor Pro
I’m going to be completely honest with you and tell you that I hate taking my own pictures. You see, I am not even close to being considered a professional photographer. That’s where Photo Editor Pro comes in. This app helps me edit the photos I take from my phone and makes them cleaner and more Insta worthy(that’s a word, right?). This app is only available for Android phones, but if you use an iPhone, here is a list of apps you may like to try.
While I love using Photo Editor Pro when taking pictures on my phone, I use Canva to help me create the photos you see on my Pinterest, as well as some graphics on my Instagram and Facebook. I love Canva and it’s simple to use interface. I get great photos and don’t have to worry about investing into Photoshop or Adobe InDesign. Don’t get me wrong, those programs are great, but they aren’t exactly in the budget for my business right now. Canva allows me to create free pictures and graphics. If I want to pay for a premium layout or picture, all I have to do is pay a one-time fee!
So there you have it, the business tools every solopreneur needs. If you have just started your own business, I highly suggest checking these out! What tools have you used to make your business better and more efficient?