Do you ever wish that work was easier? I sure do.
Being a creative practitioner requires high levels of focus and dedication. As a result, I try to automate as much as possible so that I can spend more time on the creative work (i.e. paid work).
Here's the stack of tools I use. My hope is that some of these tools will work for you and boost your productivity.
PS. I am not financially benefiting from promoting any of these. They're simply tools that I find helpful. *Except for Bench…if you use my link and sign up we both get a month free.
*Hint* Click on each title to view their site.
MailerLite is a free email marketing platform. It allows you to do exactly what I am doing right now: send an email out to a list. But what makes it great are the marketing tools that are built into the platform. You can create landing pages, campaigns, pop-ups...all kinds of things to boost your business. Plus it is easy to use. Oh, and free (for 0-500 subscribers.)
I can't rave enough about calendly. This tool saves you the back and forth of trying to find a time to schedule a meeting. You simply send them a link to your calendar and they find a time that works and schedule the meeting. Plus, for consulting, they can schedule an online consultation meeting and pay for it within calendly. I use this feature for remote creative direction consulting and it saves me from having to go back and bill the client separately at a later date. Huge.
I'm horrible at spelling. It's embarrassing.
Grammarly is a tool that constantly checks every word you type and warns you if you make a mistake. Then it suggests how to correct the mistake and all you have to do is click on it to make the correction. It not only saves me a ton of time, but it saves me from making a mistake that could hurt my business. I don't know what I'd do without it.
Loom is one of my secret weapons as a remote worker and a creative pro. Instead of just sending the work over via email, I use loom to create a video presentation that allows me to explain the thinking and present the work in a formal way. Plus they see a little window video of me presenting, which brings more of a personal connection.
Conference calls. I'm not sure anybody likes conference calls. But they have to happen. They're just part of our current working world. I have two platforms for conference calls: Zoom and Uberconference.
I actually don't like Zoom, but it's necessary for certain types of meetings. Here's what I don't like about it: The other person that you want to meet with has to download the software onto their computer and then navigate a gauntlet of options just to get it going. It's a real barrier to entry. Then once the meeting happens, everyone wonders the same thing: should I turn my camera on or should I keep it off? Does video really add anything anyway?
Uberconference is simply a voice-only conference call platform that also allows you to share your screen (documents, presentations, etc). It's simple. I love simple.
Another simple one is called Confrere. It's great for one-on-one consulting and doesn't require any download.
You've probably heard of Dropbox. This tool saves space on my computer and I don't have to worry about losing files if I accidentally drop my mac down a flight of stairs.
The secret to getting the most out of Dropbox is by installing it onto your computer which allows you to access it in the folder system that you're already used to using. Then from there, you can choose whether or not you want the specific folders to be online only, or to be online AND local (on your machine).
The tool also comes with access to Dropbox paper, which I use for collaboration and for making art direction documents that can easily be shared.
Local allows you to develop a Wordpress site locally on your computer then easily upload it when it is ready to go live. It's much faster. It also allows you to send a client a link to the site as it is in progress.
Skyfonts allows you to download and manage fonts from Google, Myfonts, and a few others. Think of it as an online font manager. For Google fonts alone, this is a huge time saver.
Liquidspace is like Airbnb for co-working spaces. I'm a remote worker with no actual office space. So this tool allows me to schedule meeting rooms on-demand. And if I ever need a place to work for the day that isn't a coffee shop, I've got options.
Bench is a bookkeeping tool that gives you a dedicated bookkeeper and an excellent visual interface to see where your business is month-to-month. Also, it makes accounting time a breeze. My Bench team saves me 6-8 hours a month of balancing books and the worry that I’ll make a mistake.
What are some of your favorite productivity tools? Reply back to me and let me know! Did any of these help you?