In case you didn’t know, I started out as a virtual assistant. Well, technically before that, I was a wedding photographer (what a weird path I’ve taken). But my point is, when it comes to the best tools for online businesses, I know my stuff. The list of apps I have experience with is vast, but here’s the hard-and-fast list of my absolute favorite, most-used tools in my business. (Bonus: 4 of them are free!)
I wanted a project management software that didn’t feel overwhelming (I’m looking at you, ClickUp and Monday!), but also something a little more robust than Trello. I’ve been using Asana now for over half a year and I’m hooked. I love that it can be as simple as I want it to be. I basically just wanted a To Do list where I could assign tasks, add due dates, and attach notes or documents. Asana fit the bill perfectly. I’ve since branched out to create a couple of card-style boards in Asana for things like a lead tracker, networking follow-up, and a general business hub. The best part is – they have a robust free membership!
This is my go-to CRM. I’ve been a diehard 17hats fangirl since they first started, and it’s only gotten infinitely better since then. I love all the workflows and automation you can set up, which is something I found lacking in Honeybook. I use 17hats to schedule my VIP Days, send contracts, quotes, and invoices, send email reminders, track workflows, collect testimonials, and so much more. If you try it and love it like I do, here’s a link to get 50% off your first year.
Ohhh man, how I love my LastPass! This is another free tool that has been a total game-changer. My clients can send me anonymized passwords through LastPass, which is great for one-time projects. Plus, it saves all of my own passwords so I don’t have to remember a thousand different things anymore! If you want to use it on your desktop and phone, it’ll cost you, but the cost is minimal. So worth it.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I used to track all of my time in a spreadsheet. But then I kept adding more and more clients, plus 2 virtual assistants, and it suddenly became super overwhelming. Now, all my time (and my team’s time) gets tracked right in Toggl. It’s totally free (yay!), and allows you to create charts and graphs of your work for each client, on each project, or done by any member of your team. Even for clients where I don’t need to track hours, I’m always tracking hours. It’s such valuable information to have as an entrepreneur!
This is nothing revolutionary, but since most of my work is done online, it makes sense to keep all my work files in the cloud too. Google Drive makes it super easy to send things to clients, assign documents to my team, or leave comments or suggested edits. During my Kajabi VIP Days, we work almost exclusively in Google Drive. The client creates a folder, shares it with me, and that’s where they drop all of their branding and copy, and where I drop all the graphics and walkthrough videos I create during the day.
That’s it! What did I miss? What platform has been a game-changer for YOUR business?