There are a LOT of tools that I could use to organise my business. I found it overwhelming when I first started yet I quickly figured out that it’s important to keep things simple otherwise you get distracted by every tool out there and spend your precious time on shiny objects rather than the work that will see your business grow.
How do you choose the right tools for your business? It’s going to involve some trial and error. What is right for me, might not be right for you. In a previous post “How to choose the right online tools for your business” I give you the basis for the way that I choose which tools were right for me.
5 tools I use to organise my business
1. Day to Day Calendar
The first thing I do each day in my business is open up my Google calendar. The activities I want to complete in my business are blocked out so that I know exactly what my time will be spent on each day.
I’ve coloured the main activities; green for marketing, red for client appointments, purple for business development, blue for content creation so I can easily see if my week is falling short on a particular activity.
The second thing I do every day is open up the excel spreadsheet where I have a list of the activities I’m going to be doing for that week in each of my time blocks.
2. Online Calendar (to schedule appointments)
Having an online calendar is a life saver and is one of the best investments I’ve made in my business. These tools save so much time as there is no need to play email tennis with your clients.
They simply access your calendar, via a link you provide, and book in a time that suits them.
I use Calendly as it syncs with my Google Calendar, so there are no double bookings. Also, my client can select the time zone that they’re in so they see the available times in their time zone (not mine!).
Calendly allows me to send out reminder emails to my clients so there is less risk of people forgetting their appointment times. I can also set buffers before and after my appointments so that I can time to tidy up my notes, and take a breather, between calls.
In this post I shared the results of my research into different calendar scheduling tools.
3. Asana for client follow up
Asana is a task/project management tool. The area that I use it most is as my CRM (client relationship management).
By setting up templates within Asana you can create a simple system to follow up with potential clients, in a timely way, that feels aligned to you. No more leaving money on the table!
You can also use templates as part of your client onboarding system so that nothing is forgotten and you take great care of your clients as you work with them.
I have a set of standard templates that I’ll duplicate for each individual person. The templates contain all of the information that I need for that person so I don’t need to recreate what I need each time I welcome a new client on board. This is a real time saver!
4. Document Sharing
I use Google Docs to store the workflows, standard operating procedures and templates that I create for my clients. It’s easy to set up folders (you can make them different colours!) to store the documents in a shared driver that everyone can access.
I’ll use Dropbox to share recordings of my client calls with my clients. It’s so simple to upload the audio then create a link to share with my client.
5. Graphics Creation
I’m a photographer, as well as a business strategist, and use Lightroom to edit my photos.
When I’m creating an image that I want to put text on, like the image at the top of this blog post, I use Canva as it’s quick and easy to use. I’ve created graphics templates to make my workflows flow smoothly. Once I have the title of my blog post it only takes 2 minutes to create the image and download it.
If you want to buy stock images, fonts, vectors or graphics then head to Creative Market. Beware! They have so much awesome stuff there that you can lose time very easy.
Now you know the 5 top tools that I use to organise my business. Do you have favourite business tool? Let me know in the comments below.
If you would love to streamline your business with systems and tools that suit you then come and have a chat to me. We’ll talk about what you want to achieve with your business, what stage your systems are at and how I can support you.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links.’ This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I’ll receive an affiliate commission.