Updated March 2017!
Running an online business is all about using the right tools to assist in making your life easier. Over the past 2 years, I've tried and tested and discovered many amazing pieces of software that I use in all aspects of my business.
These are the ones I've settled on at the current moment and would recommend to others!
I've added an asterisk * if I've paid for the app. If not, it's free.
All of the following I currently use to run my business, none of them are sponsoring this post and are all my own opinions
Social Media Automation:
IFTTT: I recently started using IFTTT to automate my social media postings. My favorite part is when you share from instagram to twitter, it shows the photo as a native image, not just a link. It helps when you don’t have to spend your time uploading to each individual platform, everything is automated.
Postcron: I use postcron to automate social media groups, especially in FB groups-it's the only free app I've found that does it!
Self Control: I can get distracted at times, so I turn on Self Control, which is a Mac App that can block certain websites for specific amount of time. It’s perfect for those who need to focus on the tasks at hand and not facebook.
OneTab: Like many others, I tend to get many tabs going on my browser. This chrome extension I like to click when it gets overwhelming and takes and moves them all into another page. It’s fantastic!
Adblock: To not spend time looking at ads online and on YouTube videos, adblock is always the first chrome extension I install on a new computer.
LastPass: If you have trouble remembering passwords, LastPass is fantastic because it’s a secure way to store them.
Marketing: MailChimp: I use mailchimp for my email newsletter. It’s something I only use once a month and I like the fact that it is free!
Email Organization: UnRoll.Me: I love unroll.me to organize my inbox. I can select which emails I want to roll up into a daily email, unsubscribe or keep in inbox. It's probably my favorite discovery of 2016.
Trello:* I love trello because I like lists. It’s fantastic for organizing ideas & projects with many levels of list making tools. There are many great tutorials out there on how to use Trello. I tried Asana but it wasn’t for me but know it works for many.
Backing up documents and photos is super important, and I love how Google Drive works with Gmail and other applications. It’s super easy to use and store all my items in a secure place. I also use dropbox, as I use that for my FT job as well.
CRM & Bookeeping and everything: Dubsado I use dubsado to keep track of my leads/following up emails/contracts/everything! They are seriously the best and won't recommend any alternates because they are that good!
Lightroom:* I use Lightroom on all my stock photos to lighten and overall enhance the image.
Canva: I love Canva for their list of sizing of social media images as well as pre-made designs to inspire.
Picmonkey: I like picmonkey as you can easily add overlays as well as your own fonts, which you cannot do on Canva.
Picasa: I will always love Picasa for its ease of use in sorting my photos and adding quick text to my images.
Plann: I use Plann all the time for scheduling Instagram posts. While it doesn't post for you, you can arrange all your posts before you post and schedule to remind you to post!
I use Wistia to host videos for business, while using YouTube for my personal channel. There are pros and cons to both and both are made for different purposes.
Final Cut Pro X:* I purchased Final Cut about 1.5 years ago when I was still doing wedding videos. I use it now for my YouTube Videos, mostly for the plugins, which I download from sites like Pixel Film Studios and such
I’m pretty much on Google Analytics all day every day. It’s the best product out there to really understand and track the people who come to my website. It’s so interesting to track time spent on the site, user behavior flow, bounce rate, and many other factors
Peek User Testing: Another of my obsessions (though I’m limited to 3 a month for free) Peek User Testing is getting to watch another person go through your website and give you feedback in a 5 minute video. This has helped improve my website so much throughout the past 6 months.
SumoMe: I like using the HeatMap on Sumome to see where people clicked on certain pages of my website. Similar to Peak & GA, it's helpful in seeing what people actually like on your site.
What are your favorite tools?