Through way of my blog, I’ve been fortunate enough to recently create my own little side business; a virtual assisting agency. Small business owners have hired me to do freelance work, ranging from proofreading and editing to social media marketing and content creation. Naturally, I needed to put some processes into place in order to 1) appear professional to potential clients and 2) complete my work efficiently. With a little bit of time and a lot of trial and error, I started to learn what works well and what doesn’t. These are 9 of the tools and apps that I use pretty much on a daily basis that I’m loving right now. And the best part? They’re all FREE! Have at it… 🙂
- Asana: I could honestly go on all day about this project management software & what a powerful tool it is, but I’ll try to keep it short and sweet. Asana has totally streamlined my organizational processes. It allows me to keep tabs on both my personal projects, as well as my clients’, and makes it simple to communicate with them. I use it to create a monthly editorial calendar for my blog & document all of my future post ideas, and clients use it to set tasks and deadlines for me, which eliminates the need to constantly go back & forth via email. I’ve tried a couple of other project management tools in the past, but was never really a fan of them until I found this one. Instantly sold upon download. It’s made me more productive across the board, and really helps me to keep track of all progress on the different kinds of projects I take on.
- Pocket: Pocket is a bookmarking tool that I use to quickly save articles, posts, videos, etc. for when I want to go back and take a look at them later. I realize that you can bookmark pages already, but there’s something about Pocket that’s just way more aesthetically pleasing, fun, and enjoyable to use. Try it out & tell me you don’t feel the same way 😉
- WordPress: Navigable World is a WordPress hosted site, so it would only make sense that I have the WordPress app on my phone! It allows me to approve and respond to comments quickly, make small editing changes as needed, and keep an eye on my posts’ daily stats. I love going to look at my insights after publishing a post, and seeing all of the different countries that my readers are tuning in from 🙂 Such a great feeling.
- Evernote: Whenever I’m on a trip, Evernote is my go-to app for notetaking. I use it to document things such as different places we eat, tours we take, activities we do, experiences with airlines, etc. so that I can refer back & write about them later. It’s my virtual notepad.
- Canva: Their tagline is “Empowering the World to Design” and it’s certainly done so for me! This program allows users to produce beautiful graphics for what they’re needing, ranging from restaurant menus to Facebook cover photos, and infographics to resumes. It essentially turns anybody into a graphic designer, and is seamless to use. This is where I create all of my blog title thumbnails that you’ve probably seen on Facebook. They have so many free images and fonts available for use, or you can use your own photographs. Take your pick 🙂
- Invoicely: This is the accounting software that I utilize in order to bill my VA clients for the work that I do, and keep track of my accounts receivables. It syncs with PayPal, and automatically transfers the money into my account, which is helpful. Very user-friendly and professional looking. I’m enjoying it a lot so far!
- Dropbox: This online cloud has saved my poor Macbook’s storage entirely. It’s so easy to use, organize files, and share them with others. If you want to give it a try (and believe me, you do!) feel free to go through my referral link here: https://db.tt/wW9RVRMK
- Hootsuite: I used Hootsuite to manage a campus organization’s social media accounts during my last semester internship in university, and have been a huge fan ever since. It’s a platform in which you’re able to pre-schedule tweets and Facebook posts. I currently use it for the Facebook groups that I moderate, and my own blog’s Facebook page. The other thing I love is that the company offers a ton of free social media marketing resources. Just an overall great organization and tool.
- Later: Formerly known as “Latergram”, this is an application similar to Hootsuite, but for Instagram. It allows me to schedule IG posts for my digital marketing clients. Typically, I’ll create a week’s worth of posts ahead of time.
What tools do you all use to streamline your business operations? Let me know in the comments below!