25+ Web Tools I Used in My First Year of Business

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?

*View all of my must-have WordPress plugins here.

 

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!

Author: Brit Kolo

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