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I don’t know about you, but I love learning from other people. Because by knowing what they did wrong, I can avoid making the same mistakes. And by knowing what they did right, I can learn from their successes.
I also know how frustrating it can be to spend a lot of time researching programs. Or wasting time trying them out only to find they weren’t all they were hyped up to be.
And I want to save you the hassle of that!
So, I created a list of my favorite business tools. The following services and programs are my preferred small business tools. Because they have helped me implement key systems and processes that have led to success in my business, these essential business tools have been a blessing to me.
And I know they will be a blessing to your business as well!
Staying organized is one of the most important things you can do for your business. While there are many types of business tools, the following are great organizational and time-saving apps for businesses.
These tools have personally helped me keep track of everything, hit my goals, and know exactly what I need to do every day to succeed.
Evernote is an app that allows me to take notes, stay organized, and plan out all my projects. Their system makes it easy to search for and find the notes I need when I need them. I can sync my notes across all my devices. And the app gives me the ability to add images, audio, scans, PDFs, and other important documents to my notes.
Evernote integrates easily with apps such as Outlook, Gmail, Google Drive, and Microsoft Teams. And because everything is saved to their cloud, I know that even if something happens to one of my devices, my information is safe. I’ve written an article about the best ways to use Evernote that you can check out for more tips and tricks!
These products have helped me intentionally set realistic goals and plan out the practical steps I need to take to reach them. Their products have helped me and countless other women learn how to take control of our schedules, focus on what is most important, and stay motivated so we can see real progress.
Studies show that when we write down our goals in detail, we are 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to achieve them. So, there is no reason not to take the time to write down your goals.
And the planners at Cultivate What Matters will help you do just that!
This awesome app runs in the background on my computer and other devices, scanning everything I type to find any spelling or grammatical errors. This app reviews my documents, emails, and even my social media posts to ensure I don’t lose credibility over simple, easily avoidable errors.
But that isn’t all.
It also shows me how my text will sound to readers, gives me a readability score, and offers suggestions to improve my writing. I can even run my text through their plagiarism checker!
This program can run on Chrome, Microsoft Office, Windows, or even smartphones when using their convenient keyboard app.
This is the tool I use to schedule everything! I love that I no longer need to send multiple emails back and forth with clients or staff to get events and meetings scheduled. All I have to do is set up my calendar in Calendly and then either share the link via email or by directly embedding it in my website.
This way, anyone who needs to schedule a meeting with me can pick from the days and times I already set up. And once they pick a date and time, Calendly automatically integrates the event into my Google calendar and updates accordingly. (Which is amazing!)
Calendly integrates with up to 6 different calendars and works with programs like Gmail, Outlook, Salesforce, Go To Meeting, Zapier, Teams, Paypal, and Google Analytics.
This program also gives the option to set up one-on-one, round-robin, or collective availability meetings. Another thing I love is that it even has time zone detection, which helps eliminate a lot of frustrations for everyone!
Calendly even sends out reminder emails so that no one ever misses an important meeting.
This service allows you to easily create important documents, email them, and then have them signed and returned to you quickly and easily. With Docusign you don’t have to worry about anything getting lost in the mail or stress out wondering when a document is going to make it back to you.
DocuSign’s high legal and security standards will give you plenty of peace of mind when using this service. The built-in analytics can help you keep track of everything. And the automation services ensure that everything runs smoothly.
This service can save you a lot of time and headaches!
This is the project management tool I use for my business. It helps me keep track of everything that is going on all in one simple-to-use app.
No more scrolling through lengthy email threads to find information a client shared with you. No more worrying about missing important messages amidst hundreds of junk emails. Basecamp keeps everything related to a project in ONE place and even includes a search bar so you can easily locate important communication.
This program allows team members to send messages, assign to-do’s, list schedules, share documents and files, and converse in group chats. You can even send out automatic check-ins to stay on top of everything.
Basecamp keeps everyone in the loop so you can effectively communicate, stay organized and be more productive.
There are a lot of different types of business tools. Some help us save time. Some help us get organized. And some even help us further our education.
One of the lessons I’ve learned while running an online business is there is always more to learn. There are always new ideas out there and smart people I can glean wisdom from. This is the importance of the following business tools I am sharing here.
They have helped me grow both professionally and personally.
MasterClass is a program I really enjoy because I can learn straight from the professionals!
Through the high-quality classes, I’ve learned things like business strategy and leadership from Bob Iger and comedy from Steve Martin. I boosted my writing ability with help from Malcolm Gladwell. And I even learned how to apply my makeup perfectly from Bobbi Brown!
These online classes were created for students of all skill levels, and each class averages over three hours of instruction.
Besides the high-caliber videos, MasterClass also offers bonuses, resources, and much more with their classes. This is a great way to learn how to be a successful entrepreneur or pick up a new hobby without investing in a lot of expensive courses.
Read my full review of MasterClass here.
Udemy has over 130,000 video courses for any skill level or topic to help advance your personal and professional skills. And all classes are self-paced and taught by top industry instructors.
Udemy courses offer another great way to improve both professionally and personally without breaking the bank.
There are a lot of great technology resources in business today to help with all of your graphic design needs. These tools make it easy to create beautiful graphics for websites and social media platforms.
And since marketing is so important for business growth, these are wonderful tools for running a business. I’ve detailed each tool below, but I also have an article written exclusively about how to make your own graphics on a budget!
Canva is an awesome graphic design service. There are thousands of beautiful templates you can use for Pinterest pins, social media graphics, printable PDFs, flyers, posters, and so much more.
The Canva library has thousands of professional photos you can use for your graphics. And the editor also makes it very easy to add text, elements, filters, and other items. You can save images with a transparent background, resize graphics easily with just one click, and create a brand kit with your preferred colors and fonts so your graphics have a uniform feel.
This app has been a game-changer in creating images for my business because Canva makes it fun!
99 Designs is a neat graphic design service offered by Vistaprint. They connect you with professional graphic designers who can help you create almost anything you may need for your business. The designers can help with creating images for logos, website and app designs, advertising, merchandise, and much more.
All you have to do is answer some questions about what you’re looking for, and 99 Designs connects you with a designer that matches exactly what you need.
Or if you’re not sure what you want, you can just provide some general information to start with. Then designers can send you examples they created, and you can pick a designer to work with based on the samples.
And as soon as you approve the design, you receive all the files and the copyright for it.
Creative Market is a great way to find awesome graphics, fonts, templates, photos, web themes, 3D images, and so much more. It’s the perfect marketplace for creatives looking for ways to enhance their graphics.
Creative Market also treats their designers well. You get to support other small business owners while building your own!
And since everything on this site has been created by professional graphic designers, you know it will all look amazing!
This online printing service provides marketing products, business essentials, and promotional materials for any business. It’s easy to use PsPrint templates to create and design the perfect product for any business needs.
And with custom printing, design services, mailing services, and more, this great service is an easy way to promote your business.
Tailwind is a great marketing tool to use for Pinterest. I use this service to schedule all my Pinterest pins, and Tailwind then automatically posts them at the best times for my audience. I can even create pins directly in their design service.
Another great feature is the Tailwind Communities, where I can share my pins. This way, other entrepreneurs can share my pins with their audiences, which is a great way to market my business to new people. In exchange, I can share their pins as well, so I always have great, relevant material to provide my audience.
See my full review of Tailwind here.
This is the program I used to create my fun Superpower quiz. Everyone loves to find out more about themselves, so quizzes are a great way to help people while also serving as exceptional lead magnets for businesses.
And Interact makes it super easy to create them!
With Interact, you can create a personality quiz, a scored quiz, or even an assessment. There are over 800 pre-made templates to start with, and you can edit everything to match your brand and style.
Interact quizzes even incorporate branching logic with a drag and drop builder. And once you’ve created your quiz, it’s easy to embed into your website or promote on social media.
Interact integrates with every major email and marketing automation system, is GDPR compliant, and is compatible with all devices. You can even track conversions through Interact’s analytics.
This is a fantastic marketing tool for business because it is a one-stop shop for creating online courses and products. Whether you are a coach, consultant, speaker, or author, you can benefit from this all-in-one program. Kajabi makes it easy and fun to create, market, and deliver your online training courses.
I use Kajabi to host the awesome Called Creatives community I run with Lisa Whittle and have been very pleased with it.
Kajabi ensures that every online course I create runs smoothly and beautifully!
Read my full review of Kajabi here.
These next few tools are for podcasters. Podcasting is a great way to connect with your community, provide helpful information, and promote products to help others. With our busy, on-the-go lifestyle, many women appreciate consuming information through their headphones while multitasking. But podcasting can be stressful if you don’t know what you’re doing. These tools have helped make podcasting easier for me.
Voice quality is key when it comes to podcasting, which is why I use the Rode Podcasting Mic. This plug-n-play solution is not only easy to use but also has broadcast quality recording.
This is a dynamic mic, which means it’s less sensitive to background noise and has an internal pop filter to minimize audio distortions. It even has a headphone output so you can hear what’s being recorded and know what it sounds like right away.
In my opinion, this is the best mic for live recording and a must-have for fellow podcasters.
This is my go-to one-stop shop for podcasting because Cast makes recording, editing, publishing, and hosting a podcast hassle-free. You can use the studio program to record solo episodes or guest interviews. And everything is saved automatically to their cloud so you don’t have to worry about losing anything you recorded.
The Cast editor program allows you to drop in audio, sound effects, and presets like dynamic compression. The publisher feature makes it easy to publish your podcast once you’re done with it. And all the plans include hosting, RSS feeds, and analytics of your podcast at no extra cost.
A few more great things about Cast: high quality synced audio, live text chats, and show notes. There is nothing to download, and they even offer recording tips to help make my podcast a success!
Technology tools for small businesses have come a long way since I first got started in business. I love the following tools because they have made my life so much easier, even as an experienced entrepreneur!
I don’t know about you, but I have a really hard time trying to remember all the different passwords I have for everything. This is where LastPass comes in to save the day!
With LastPass, all you have to do is remember one master password. And the app remembers everything else for you.
All you have to do is fill in your password vault by either saving my passwords as you visit sites, importing them, or uploading them. Once in the vault, all your passwords are encrypted at a device level, so not even the LastPass server can access them. Plus, LastPass offers multi-factor authentication and encryption algorithms to ensure your information stays safe.
This handy app is an extension you add to Chrome. Whenever you search Google on a topic you want to write on, this awesome app brings up a list of relevant keywords that can be used in articles or web pages.
This is really important for SEO purposes and can be the difference between people finding your website or not.
Keywords Everywhere even shows the search volume for each keyword so it is easy to see which keywords are doing really well, which lets you know what to focus on. And since it only costs $7 for 100,000 credits, this is an inexpensive way to invest in the future of your business.
Owning your own business means there are no employer-offered retirement plans. But that doesn’t mean you can’t invest in your future. I’ve used the following tools to automate investing so that I can build wealth.
This not only ensures my family’s financial security but also allows me to continue to invest in growing my business as well.
I love this tool for automatic investing. Their portfolios are set up by experts and designed to adjust automatically. And the best part is plans start at just $1, $3, or $5 a month. It’s an affordable way to invest in your future!
Acorns specializes in investments, retirement accounts, checking accounts, and even early investment accounts for children. You can also earn extra money when you shop at certain brands with the Acorns app. And you can earn while shopping online with their free Chrome extension.
Another thing I love about Acorns is that when you use their debit card, they round up every purchase and put the spare change in your investments automatically. Acorns makes your spare change work for you!
This is a great tool for IRAs. With this tool, you can invest in an IRA or a Roth IRA and trade cryptocurrencies without any gains issues. I recommend a Roth IRA because you pay the taxes before you invest, and then the money you withdraw in retirement is not taxable.
The great thing about iTrustCapital is that trades can be made 24/7, which is awesome. The trades are all made in real-time and can even be settled within 5 minutes!
iTrustCapital makes it simple to set up your IRA, and then you can easily trade cryptocurrencies and precious metals, all while enjoying low costs to trade.
When you are first starting out, you may not have a lot of funds at your disposal, so the following are some great services I use that also happen to be FREE!
These are all great tools to start a business or improve an already established one. I consider them to be small business must-haves!
(FYI: The programs I mentioned earlier–Evernote, Grammarly, and Canva-all have FREE versions, so you can try them out first!)
Unsplash is a fantastic site to find royalty-free images. These high-quality pictures have been provided by amazing professionals who simply ask you to credit them for their work (although you are not required to).
Photos can even be used for commercial use, although they do need to be significantly modified. These images make great backgrounds for social media graphics, featured images for websites, or anything else you may need.
This is a free Walkie-Talkie-type app that makes it easy to stay connected with everyone on your team. You can send texts, audio, videos, pictures, or funny gifs to anyone on your team without having to share phone numbers. Messages can be listened to in real-time or saved for later. And you can even share messages privately or in group chats.
Google has a lot of great business tools for startups. These valuable resources are beneficial in helping any business get organized and grow without breaking the bank.
As you can see, Google has lots of great, free programs to help businesses thrive!
I hope sharing what I consider to be the essential tools for online businesses will help you implement your own processes and systems for success. You can use these tools to start an online business or ensure the business you have invested in will survive and thrive.
This is a great time to build the business of your dreams.
So, use these tools to go for it!
Want even more help? I can coach you!
Note: I partner with many of the companies linked in this article as an affiliate, which means that I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.