As I have transitioned to the best job ever as a working mom with a beautiful one-year-old daughter, it requires A LOT of systems running smoothly behind the scenes. Over this last year and a half, I have had to change my “busy” lifestyle to become more efficient and way more productive. My daughter truly helped me prioritize my life and see where I was wasting time. I did not want to be away from her one minute longer than I had to or working on something that was just a waste of time while she wanted to play with me.
So here comes the massive list of online tools that have saved the day when it comes to CCG being more efficient and productive.
The Top 10 Online Tools I Can’t Live Without
1. Evernote: Not sure what I’d do without with one of my favorite online tools, Evernote. I set up notebooks that help me focus on what is crucial. I also save all of my files and emails that I don’t necessarily need on a daily basis in Evernote as well. It’s so easy to search for things you need. So glad I started using this a few years ago! Evernote is also where I host all of my training PDFs that I download from various websites as well, and it’s a great place to save articles that you might not have time to read but can go back to later with Evernote Clipper.
2. Asana: My virtual assistant and I have tried to use a lot of different online tools to manage our projects, and we have jumped to five different ones in the past few years. But, I think we have found the best one now, and the best part is that it is free to use as well! Asana is very organized and we know exactly what each other is working on. The best part about it is that it has a calendar view so I can see if I have given her way too many tasks due in one day. This helps me spread the work out so I don’t overload her! Lately, though, I have just prioritized her tasks each day in Asana, so she knows exactly what to focus on each day.
3. Time Trade: If you schedule calls or meetings with other people, you need to check out Time Trade. It’s like my personal meeting scheduler, and I don’t have to do a thing. It syncs with my Google calendar and let’s other people book appointments when my calendar is open in the spots I have designated. Then, it sends each person a calendar announcement. Easy and automatic! Love!
4. Picmonkey: When I first started this blog, I had to hire a graphic designer to create photos with text on it. I am now proud to say that (except here and there with the help of my fabulous VA) I do my own graphics and even created this pretty little website by myself with the help of my husband. I use Picmonkey ALL THE TIME, and the best part is that it is free. You can make your photos look exactly how you want with text and so much more. Even if you don’t think you are the least bit creative, you will love this tool. This is one of my favorite online tools.
5. Leadpages: This is another tool that has made my blogging life so much easier over the last year. Now I use Leadboxes so I can put my own opt-in forms on my blog and don’t need to outsource it every single time! This is huge for me! That is why you now see lovely PDFs available for you in each blog post because I CAN provide more value to you thanks to Leadpages and Leadboxes!
If you have a blog or website, definitely get over there now and start creating simple pages and opt-in boxes to start growing your list of people you can help. One of the BEST things someone told me when I started a blog five years ago was to start my list and create an autoresponder series. So, now I am passing along the tip. Do it now. Don’t wait one minute longer. Thank me later.
6. 1shoppingcart: This is what I use to collect payments and manage my online store. I can accept credit cards and track orders. This is also what I use to manage my email list and send out autoresponders. If you are short on funds, the easiest way to get started building your business is to just to use MailChimp (free list building) and Paypal to process payments. AS SOON AS YOU CAN, I would recommend jumping to 1shoppingcart to make your life easier, though.
Note: I will be moving to Infusionsoft over the next few months and am happy to share my experiences on that after the wild transfer ride is over! Wish me luck!
7. Bluehost and WordPress.org: These two go together because they are the only way that this website functions at all. I always get asked by people who want to start a blog where they should start. I would highly recommend buying your own domain and getting hosting yourself through Bluehost. Then, create a WordPress.org account which you can easily do through Bluehost.
8. Wishlist Member: This handy tool allows you to take your WordPress site and turn it into a private membership site to create a course or training program. All of my training programs use Wishlist, and it’s just a little work to set it up, and then it can drip content to your students and clients each day, week, or month. You can also send out usernames and passwords to your clients automatically so they can get started as soon as they buy your program. Anything that can run automatically is FABULOUS for me and my business! And I am crazy about making sure my clients are taken care of and receive the content that they signed up for, so I love this tool.
9. Onlinejobs.ph: Ok, I am going to tell you one thing and you must remember it. HIRE BEFORE YOU ARE READY. If you are busy, which I am sure you are trying to grow your blog or business, get support to help you ASAP. It’s so worth it. I have had my fabulous virtual assistant, Lor, on my team for four years now. She is amazing and the only reason that my business took off while I was still working my day job. Lor is in the Philippines, and she works during her day (which is my night), so I can wake up and have my business moving forward while I sleep. Now, I have a friend across the world, which just rocks.
This tool is where I found my virtual assistant, and I recommend that you do the exact same thing! TODAY! I know it’s scary but they offer a ton of training to help you find the right fit, right away. Thank me later!
10. Instant Teleseminar: This is what I use to conduct my webinars and group coaching calls every week. I love that I can record the calls easily and send it out right away in case someone wasn’t able to make the call. It also has a chat box and Q&A feature I love. It’s so simple and easy to understand. I have tried other webinar and call tools, but I always come back to this one. When I have important clients on the phone, I can’t afford anything to go wrong!
Honorable Mention: Google: It feels weird even putting this here because I almost feel like it is a given! We run all of our CCG emails through Gmail, and now we use Google calendar to plan our program launches. We also use Google Docs to share files and photos to our virtual team around the world. We also use Google Hangouts to chat with our Virtual Assistant, Lor, in the Philippines every other week.
Note: Some links to online tools above are affiliate links and I will get a portion of the sale if you purchase through my link. Thank you!
Your turn to share! What online tools do you love?
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