Resource Tools You Can Use

The Tools & Technology To Run Your Business
Resources
Lions, and tigers, and tools, oh my!

When it comes to software and technology, there is no shortage of tools available for you to spend your hard-earned money on.  As a result, it can be easy to blow a lot of your profit by simply purchasing too many tools or selecting the wrong ones. 

So to save you some time and money, we put together a gigantic list of the various tools that we recommend and use to run our 3 businesses.

 

Tom & Ariana here.

We see soo many people get caught up and confused with which tools to purchase an which ones to avoid.

In fact, one time when we were auditing a client’s business, we ended up saving them $1,000+ a month by cutting out tools that they didn’t need.

We are big fans of using technology to help systematize and automate your business, so we want to help you get the most bang for your buck with the tools that you invest in.

Storage & Organization

Staying organized is a key piece of running an efficient business.  Paperwork all over your desk or electronic files all over the place make it harder to work efficiently and difficult to find things when you need them.  So this section is all about tools to store your files and keep your organized.

Dropbox

Dropbox. I can’t even tell you how much Dropbox has become a part of our lives! We use it for storing any & every file we have, be it one of the many business documents to all of our family photos. If you start off on the right foot, and use main folders & subfolders, a naming & date system, Dropbox will help you become the MOST organized entrepreneur ever!

Now I must state, that while we do use Google Drive for some things (sharing files publicly) we prefer Dropbox as their desktop app is much more our style, and they have an auto-restore option if you ever delete a document by accident.

Dropbox offers 2GB of free storage when you sign up, which is a great deal! Or you can pay $99/year for 1TB (<– we obviously use that one)

Cloud Storage
Free or $99/year 

 

Evernote

Behind Dropbox, Evernote is a close second to my most favorite app ever 😂 Think of it like the COOLEST notebook ever, that never runs out of pages, allows for categorized “sections” within it, and syncs across all of your devices.
Yeap. Tom & I use Evernote for a LOT. Ideas, typing up pretty much anything we need in our business (FB posts, emails, lists, notes, blogs, I could go on) and we never lose it as it constantly backs up to the cloud! Not to mention you can record notes with it, take pictures of whiteboards, use the Chrome plugin to automatically save PDFs and Screenshots.

 

Virtual Notebook
Free or $35/year (Pro Version)

Websites

 

Siteground (Website Hosting)

By far one of the best switches we made for our businesses was moving our website hosting over to Siteground (see “Why We Switched From Bluehost”). Their lowest plan is only $3.95 a month with free backups, and they offer add-ons if you need extra services.

They’ve got great customer service (huge plus!) and I personally have been able to go in and set up some pretty techie stuff from their how-to demos. They do also offer domain name registration, but Tom & I prefer to use NameCheap for that as it’s easier if we ever decide to switch hosting services.

Website Hosting
$3.95/month

WordPress w/ Divi Theme

There are a lot of free website options on the market today, but we have always stuck by WordPress (it’s literally a 1 click install from within Siteground). It’s free, it’s extremely customizable (themes, plug-ins, integrations with other tools, etc. And most of all it can GROW WITH YOUR BUSINESS.
And by FAR our favorite theme for all of our WP sites is Divi. Beautiful, clean, easy to use page builder with drag & drop, you can pretty much create whatever you need for your website. You can purchase 1-time use (can continue to use it but it doesn’t include updates) or lifetime use. We currently use it on ALL of our websites!
Website Content Management System & Theme
$89/year or $249/lifetime

Task & Project Management

Trello

 

I cannot begin to explain to you how much we LOVE Trello!! We use it for all things tasks & to-do lists. The functionality really is endless, and it integrates with so many other tools to help you work even more efficiently.

There is a free version, which fits most people’s needs, and a paid version which is $4/month. There are tons of free tutorials and resources showing you all the different ways to use Trello in your business and in your life! 

 Think of Trello as your central hub for all things list management, whether you’re solo or have a team, it will get you on task!

Get Trello 

 

Social Media

 

Recurpost

 

Again, there are a TON of social media schedulers on the market right now. Some have free versions, some only offer paid. Some cover all platforms, others are specific. (My best advice here is to do some quick research before choosing!)

We chose Recurpost for a couple reasons. 1. Cost: Free. 2. Gives us everything we need right now 3. It has room for growth!

We used to have Meet Edgar, which was like $60/mo (ouch!) but loved it’s recycled content option with a re-occurring schedule & category libraries. When I did a little looking, I found Recurpost does the same thing and it’s FREE for up to 3 accounts!! Plus their next tier option is only $25/mo which is still cheaper than Edgar.

Get Recurpost

Canva

 

Can I have more than 1 favorite? Seriously, best free design tool on the market, in my opinion. Canva allows you to create fast, beautiful graphics in multiple sizes & formats. They have pre-set templates you can use, a huge list of fonts, a large library of graphics/photos (or you can upload your own!!). If you want MORE options (like to upload your company logos, color schemes & custom fonts, + access to more graphics & photos) you can get Canva for work. It’s only $9.95/mo if paid annually, but they also offer $12.95/mo per user option if you have a team that needs access.
I could get lost in Canva for hours. lol It’s also super easy to pick up & use, even if you’re not creative of tech savvy

 

Get Canva

 

Security

 

LastPass

Our newest find, as we used to use KeePass, Lastpass is an amazing little tool that keeps all your passwords at your fingertips without sacrificing security. It’s a cloud based password storing app, that will generate specific character length passwords for extra security, and then save them & automatically fill them once you’ve signed into your browser.

It also allows you to “share” passwords with people (VA’s, agencies, even friends) without them actually SEEING the password or having access to it. So they can sign in, do whatever work you need them to, and then you can change the password or dent them access whenever you choose & it will lock them out. Simple, easy to use, and a life-saver!

Get LastPass

Sales & Marketing

 

Convertkit

We are big fans of Convertkit for our email marketing!! We switched from Aweber over a year ago and never looked back (read more on why here).

Simple but powerful, Convertkit has great functionality with tons of automations. They make it super easy to get started so you can get your business on the right track, and it’s only $30 for up to 1,000 subscribers! Plus, they offer a 30-day free trial.

Get ConvertKit 

 

Clickfunnels

 

Sales Funnels, Landing Pages & Membership sites, OH MY! I’ll be honest, Clickfunnels is another one of my favorite tools in our business. When you’re ready to start setting up automated funnels in your business, they are the way to go!

I absolutely LOVE the drag & drop features that make creating beautiful pages so quick & easy to set up. And their customer support has always responded to our every need. They’ve got a basic plan at $97/mo to get you started, but you can check it out first with a 14-day free trial! You can read more on Why we switched to Clickfunnels from Leadpages.

 Get Clickfunnels

 

Scheduling & Calls

 

Calendly

 

Our favorite scheduling tool! Calendly is easy to set up, with a free version to get you started and then only $8/mo. It syncs with your personal calendar (s), plus allows for customized time slot schedules based on event types. It’s a great little tool once you’re ready to start saying “grab a time on my schedule here” messages! They even allow you to set up & take payments now.

Get Calendly

Zoom

 

By far the best live video call tool on the market right now. I find it cleaner & easier to use than Skype with a bit more functionality. Easily set up private meetings & join others’ live group calls for free, plus you can upgrade to pro for only $15/mo to get cloud recording, unlimited meeting time, multiple guests & other great features! (Zoom can also be used to do webinar & FB live interviews, but that is an extra $40/mo, which is why we use Belive for that instead)

 Get Zoom

 

Legal & Accounting

 

Legalzoom

 

For anything you need drawn up legally, Legalzoom pretty much covers it all. Historically we’ve mainly used them to create & file our LLCs paperwork. If you know exactly what you need and don’t want to have to have a lawyer on retainer, this service might be an option. But as with anything in the legal realm, it’s always a good idea to have your own lawyer double check!

 Get LegalZoom