Your first year of business, from what I can tell, is full of alot of things. A lot of best guesses, early mornings, late nights, big decisions, and in today’s hyper-connected world… a LOT of web tools to keep things running.
Looking back on my first year of business, I’ve compiled a list of 27 web tools I use regularly to keep this ship upright. (Plus 4 pieces of hardware I literally can’t live without. Ok, that was dramatic, but my business definitely can’t live without them.)
Here we go.
Full disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Purchasing through them helps support this website.
25+ Web Tools I Used in My First Year of Business
Web Tool for Task Management
Asana – Free version
If you’ve been around these parts at all in the past year, you’ve probably heard of my undying love for Asana, the task management software that keeps my entire life in order.
Sure, there are other softwares out there that work for other people, but Asana works for my brain brilliantly.
I manage my own business, client projects, and personal projects all within the app.
*And top secret news: I’m seriously thinking about creating a course showing you exactly how I use Asana for maximum efficiency. That may just need to happen in the next few months.
Web Tool for Invoicing and Finances
Quickbooks – Self-Employed version; Paid subscription $10.30/month
Used to invoice clients, track all incoming and outgoing transactions, and report on the financial state of my business.
Web Tool for CRM and Sales Referral Tracking
Hubspot Sales – Free version
Used to track inquiries and where they are in my sales pipeline.
Web Tools for Smart Communication
Slack – Free version
Used for internal communication with my team members. I’m finding that it helps us stay out of our inbox and have more relaxed, fun conversations around our work.
Boomerang for GMail – Personal Plan; $49.99/year
Used to manage the sending of various personal emails that need to be scheduled to send at a later date/time.
Zoom.us – Free Basic Plan
Used for web-cam calls with current and potential clients, and professional contacts. Also my go-to tool for recording a screen share or web cam video to use for training, online video courses, etc.
Web Tool for Email Marketing
MailChimp – Growing Business Plan – $10/month
Used to send email newsletters to various email lists, both for JAM and for MIYP.
MailMunch – Free version
Used to obtain email addresses through basic web forms on my websites. MailMunch integrates with Mailchimp so as soon as someone subscribes on my website, they’re immediately on my email list.
Web Tools for Scheduling and Calendar Management
Acuity Scheduling – Emerging Entrepreneur Plan – $10/month
Used to allow current and potential clients, along with professional contacts to schedule appointments with me right on my work calendar. WHAT A LIFE SAVER! No more asking, “what time works best for you?” I just send my Acuity link and THEY BOOK THEMSELVES.
Google Calendar – Free version
Used for personal appointments and blocking off time for various personal things. I have my GCal synced with Acuity, making sure I’m never ever double-booked.
Web Tool for Signing Contracts
Adobe Sign – Part of Adobe Creative Suite Individual Plan – $49.99/month (includes all other Adobe software too, so it’s truly a steal!)
Used to send signable documents like proposals, contracts, and statement of work.
Web Tools for Graphic Design
Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator – Part of Adobe Creative Suite Individual Plan – $49.99/month
Used to create logos, social media and blog visuals, etc.
Canva – Free version
Used to create social media and blog visuals.
Web Tool for Stock Photography
Unsplash – Free
Used to find the most amazing stock photography. Also my favorite place to scroll when I’m feeling especially “cooped up” inside my house for too long.
Pexels – Free
Used to find other stock photography.
Web Tools for a Solid, Dependable Website
Bluehost – Shared Hosting Plus – $4.99/month
Used to host all of my personal websites.
StationSeven’s Analogue Theme – One-Time Purchase – $59
Used as my current WordPress Theme as of August 2017. It’s a beaut, isn’t it?
Web Tools for Social Media Post Scheduling
Buffer – Free version
Used to schedule Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram updates.
Later – Free version
Used to schedule Instagram updates for MIYP.
Web Tool for Hiring Team Members
Upwork – Free version
Used to find awesome team members. Have hired developers and virtual assistants through Upwork so far.
Web Tool for Storing Login Information
LastPass – Free version
Used to store the millions of login details for all of my web tools! And to share specific logins with team members in a secure way.
Web Tool for Time Tracking
Toggl – Free version
Used to track every minute of my work day and report on how much time I’ve spent on various projects.
Web Tools for File Storage and Sharing
Dropbox – Free version
Used to share files internally with my team.
Google Drive – Free version
Used to share files with clients (without attaching them to emails and obliterating our inboxes).
Web Tool for Editing Video
iMovie – Free with Mac
Yes, I pay for Adobe Premiere through the Adobe Creative Suite and used to use Premiere in my corporate job. But these days, I like the simplicity of iMovie. No need to go bigger right now.
App for Podcast Listening
iTunes iPhone App – Free
We all know by now that I’m a podcast addict. iTunes is my listening app of choice.
App for Ordering Coffee!
Dunkin Donuts iPhone app – Free
Yes, I absolutely count this as a necessary business tool! Dunkin’s on-the-go ordering via their app is a LIFE SAVER. I can order my coffee from my house, say I’m on my way, and my coffee is ready and waiting for me when I get there! (Such a millenial, I knowwwwww.)
The 4 Pieces of Hardware My Business Runs On
Apple 13″ MacBook Pro, Retina Display, 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 Dual Core, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Silver, MPXR2LL/A (Newest Version) – One-Time Purchase (thank goodness) – $949.00
iPhone 5 – One-Time Purchase – No idea what I paid for it back in 2015… seriously due for an upgrade.
Executive Office Solutions Portable Adjustable Aluminum Laptop Desk/Stand/Table Vented w/CPU Fans Mouse Pad Side Mount-Notebook-Macbook-Light Weight Ergonomic TV Bed Lap Tray Stand Up/Sitting-Black – One-Time Purchase – $29.99 on sale
Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0, Silver (STDR2000101) – One-Time Purchase – $70
There you have it! The 25+ web tools I used in my first year of business.
Next week I’m reviewing the learning resources – downloads, books, online courses – that I tapped into in my first year of business. Stay tuned!