Originally posted February 13, 2014, this post has been updated with new additions for 2020.
I love the work I do. And I love the tools that help me do it! Today, I want to tell you about the tools and resources that I personally adore. Without them, I’d be lost! As you know, I’m a big fan of paying it forward, so I’m simply sharing my favorite resources in hopes that they’ll make your life easier, too. (I’m not even using affiliate links!)
Tools I use every single day that rock my world (and why they’re awesome):
Slack is a messaging platform that brings your team together. It’s kind of like Facebook Instant Messenger, but for business. My accountability group, the Creatives Roundtable, uses it. And many of my clients have invited me to their channel. It’s nice to feel that connection when you work from home. Even though it provides lots of access and can be a distraction if you allow it to, it’s a great way to get a quick answer if you’re right in the middle of a project. So, if you keep your boundaries in mind, Slack can be a really connective, fun and useful tool.
If you want to prevent website disasters and security breaches, long, random, unique passwords—that are different from all your other passwords—are the best. But remembering all these long, unique passwords? Well, there’s just not enough room in my brain! With Dashlane, all the security measures of having a strong password are handled for me. I pay for the upgraded plan which syncs my passwords from my computer to my phone, so I can have secure access from everywhere I need it.
I’ve been using Zoom for a few years. It’s how I do all my screen sharing and WordPress training. It’s also great for when one of my maintenance clients has an issue that needs trouble-shooting; they can share their screen and show me! What’s even cooler? Zoom’s basic plan is awesome and free. Zoom has also stepped-up its presence in my life now that schools are closed, because my son’s school uses it for digital learning days. We’re also using it so he can spend time socializing with classmates. Thank you for being you, Zoom!
Client Onboarding Toolkit
I couldn’t have a favorite tools list without including my new digital course! The Client Onboarding Toolkit is a simple, 4-step digital course that walks you through my time-tested process for onboarding clients. Designed for creative professionals, it’ll save you time, stress and frustration while making you look like the creative rockstar you are. You’ll turn prospects into paying clients with more clarity, sanity, and confidence than ever before.
I live and breathe TeuxDeux. I keep my lists, organize my projects, and schedule everything! It’s great because it shows me Monday-Friday, I can move stuff around, and it lets me check-off the things I’ve done (which is so darn satisfying). It also keeps track of my “someday” tasks—no date needed! If I want to do some prioritizing away from the computer, TeuxDeux travels everywhere I go on my iPhone. Designed by Swiss Miss, it’s fun, easy to use, and the blog is great.
I fell in love with FreshBooks in 2008—and I would pay twice as much as I do for this wonderful service. It’s by far the easiest way to manage invoicing and estimating. My bank account is even hooked up so my expenses get automatically imported. Piece of cake!
Ideal for newsletters, MailChimp integrates nicely with WordPress—and has a cute little chimp that makes me happy. Oh yeah, it also prevents you from making the number one newsletter mistake. That’s a biggie! Another bonus—it’s 100% free to use if you have under 2,000 subscribers.
Best. Content. Management. System. Ever. Period. Why is it so fabulous? Let me count the ways. WordPress has a huge community behind it, they are constantly updating to stay current and secure, it’s free and it’s limitless. I love it as a WordPress designer, and my clients love easily updating their content. I also must share my favorite WordPress plugins I can’t live without.
Adobe Creative Cloud
If you’re a creative, you’re probably using Adobe Creative Suite. But are you using the Creative Cloud? If not, it’s a must! It is one of my biggest headache preventers. Pay a monthly fee and you’ll always have the latest, industry-leading version of the software, you’ll never have to worry about not being able to open files.
As you can see, the things I love have something in common: They make my job easier! Can I make your job easier? Let’s talk about how.