If you are coming to this blog with fresh eyes and haven’t read Part 1 and Part 2 then I strongly recommend you head over and check out those FIRST before getting stuck into the tools.
These tools are like the icing on the cake to effectively run a side hustle…but you can’t JUST have the icing on its own, right? The cake needs to be the basis of everything else (Ok, perhaps this is a terrible example – there have definitely been times I’ve eaten the icing first with little regard for the cake itself…).
Anyway, I digress.
This blog will specifically build on the information from Parts 1 and 2 by providing you with the six tools I swore by when I first started my side hustle. When used properly, these will save you time, money and give you the space to focus on the fun bits of your business, like the creative work and the activities that help actually MAKE you money.
All of these tools have paid versions but I only use the free options, so everything I discuss below is without any of the additional paid features. Win!
Asana is my brain in a dashboard. This project management tool is the one I recommend most to clients, many of whom have implemented it in their own businesses with great success. You can put all your tasks into individual projects, and then assign the relevant deadlines. What’s more, you can collaborate with different users and add notes associated with each task. I use it in my personal life too (and have even recruited Chay as a user, who I think now loves it even more than I do!)
Evernote is where my creativity gains structure. This is where I house all of my blog post ideas, blog post drafts and social media content (both the polished and unpolished versions). I also create notes for content that I want to consume. There is a book list that is about 1000+ books long, podcast list and documentaries list, among others. Keeping all of this in one place means I’m never stuck for creative content ideas, and can refer back to my lists and add to them quickly – both through the desktop and mobile apps.
I won’t lie, I’m only newly converted as someone who files everything through Google Docs. The thing I love most about this is how easy it is to share files, work out of the same document and access the files from anywhere. The key is to ensure your filing system is manageable and clear and doesn’t become a virtual messy wardrobe of documents, aka my idea of hell.
One of the best pieces of business advice I ever received was to keep my costs down as long as I possibly can in my business, rather than over-extending myself and feeling desperation to generate as much business as possible to match those costs. I don’t know about you, but I think there’s few things less sexy than a desperate coach (or any business owner in general). It’s for that reason that I’ve chosen to use free accounting software Wave. I use it to send and track invoicing (it includes built in automation to follow up any late payments), sync it to my bank accounts, track my income versus expenses and more. This tool has saved me more time than any other thus far.
In all honesty, when it comes to social media the majority of my posts are done ‘in the moment.’ I really enjoy the authenticity of connecting with people moment to moment, and sharing what I’m feeling and thinking at exactly that time. That means that I rarely schedule social media posts. I know that isn’t necessarily the most efficient way, and definitely doesn’t work for everyone. The times I do schedule posts, however, are usually when I’m coming up to a particularly big week, in campaign period to promote a service or pre-planning for holidays. Later is the tool I use for this, as I find it to be the most reliable with the most user-friendly interface. As someone who has worked in social media for the better part of the last decade, trust me when I say I’ve tried a few! This is definitely my favourite option.
How about you, which tools help you to be your most successful in your life and business?
I’d love to hear your favourites.
Ps. These tools are included because I use them myself and recommend them. I am not affiliated with any of these brands.