When it comes to choosing software or apps to run your business, there seems to be a new, “better” tool to be vetted every other day. Slipping into an endless spiral of research and free trials is pretty easy. Analysis paralysis, when overthinking prevents an individual or group from making a decision, can be overwhelming and anxiety-inducing.
As a chronic over-researcher myself, I know the feeling all too well, which is why I’ve put together this list of software and apps that have proven worthy in my lineup of powerhouse business tools. Here’s hoping that this list checks a few hours of research off of your list!
Canva is a super easy drag and drop graphic design tool for all of us non-designers. I use Canva to design graphics for my Instagram and Facebook posts and stories, as well as for creating eBooks, downloadable freebies, and docs for my clients (Welcome Guide, etc).
Wireframing! Such a polarizing topic in the copywriting community. Some copywriters hate it, others love it. I am in the latter camp. I’m very visual when it comes to crafting web copy, so I love it when my clients already have a designer that can provide me with layouts, so I can create a matching wireframe in Draftium to deliver my copy in.
However, even when there’s not a layout already completed, Draftium provides tons of templates and website page layouts to help you serve your client as well as provide guidance for their future designer (if they plan on hiring one). Draftium is super easy to use and helps you present your copy in a way that looks complete. Presenting copy in wireframes is really a shortcut to the final draft— when your client sees the copy in a wireframe, they’re less likely to feel like it needs revisions/edits.. because it looks finished.
Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) is chock-full of apps that make running a business easier. The top three tools I use are Gmail, Drive, and Docs.
Gmail allows me to have a professional email address using my website domain with up to 30 aliases. This allows me to easily add email addresses for team members that interact with my clients and maintain a professional, consistent presence.
Drive is a powerful and convenient file storage and synchronization service. I use Drive to store files on Google’s servers, synchronize files across devices, and share files with my clients and team members. Drive also lets you organize your files in folders which I currently use to house my copywriting portfolio.
Docs is a simple-to-use word processor that allows me to create and deliver email copy and product descriptions to my clients. I also use Docs to create internal business documents, such as Operations Manual, Branding Summary, Monthly CEO Reports, etc.
Notion is positioning itself as a cross between note-taking app, to-do lists, Kanban board, calendar, and database management app. It’s a super powerful tool that allows you to ditch several other apps and streamline your daily workflow.
I only started using Notion recently, but I must say it has made an amazing impression so far. In fact, I’m currently using it to write the first draft of this blog post!
As an avid user of OneNote for about 10 years, I have to say that I am finding the interface of Notion to be so much more useful for organizing my blogs. Notion’s sidebar makes it easy to hop between pages and notes, which is so helpful when you need to access notes and info sources while writing.
Notion also lets you create blocks within your pages. These blocks can be texts, audios, tables, galleries, Kanban boards, videos, codes, wikis, and more. Each block is freely movable inside the page and outside it. There are also tons of templates for taking notes like knowledge base, to-do lists, projects, and even databases. The possibilities are seemingly endless!
ClickUp is an amazing project management app that I use to keep track of my tasks for each of my projects. It’s so easy and intuitive that I was able to learn how to set up pretty much everything after watching a short intro video.
ClickUp allows you to view your tasks in many different formats. Kanban-style board, list, boxes, and table/spreadsheet are just a few of the options. The cool thing is, you don’t have to choose just one of these views. You can choose multiple views and they are arranged under separate tabs inside each of your projects. There’s also a tab to create mind maps which I find absolutely invaluable, as this is how I brainstorm and connect all of the ideas floating around in my mind.
The hierarchy structure makes it easy to stay organized. I created a ‘Folder’ for each service I provide and each client is a ‘List’ within this folder which contains the tasks to take the project from start to finish.
ClickUp is a newer project management app but is proving to be very powerful, easy to use, and efficient. The company also has amazing core values and an admirable mission of giving people back at least 20% of their time to dedicate to other things. Plus, you get unlimited tasks and unlimited members as a part of their Free Forever plan. Check them out for sure!
Dubsado is essentially a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, but the powerful and customizable features it offers makes it so much more. In addition, Dubsado’s customer service is the best I’ve come across online. Hands down.
Dubsado effectively ties multiple systems together to make your business run easier, smoother, and more efficiently. Workflows make it easy to automate your sales process from “welcome” to “farewell”. From sending my clients proposals, contracts, invoices, welcome guides, questionnaires to scheduling discovery calls and strategy call to even keeping tracking of my expenses and income— I can count on Dubsado to handle it all.
Oh, and that customer service thing I mentioned earlier? That extends to being able to provide feedback about new features or updates you’d like to see & how it could improve your life. Those suggestions are ACTUALLY reaching decision-makers. There’s no red tape or bureaucratic hoops to clear between receiving your idea and implementing it.
While Dubsado is not perfect and is still a work in progress, I have run into very few issues in the 5 months I’ve been using it. On the downside, I will say that it is not really intuitive. You will have to put some time into learning how to set things up in a way that will work best for you and your business. However, if you can put in the effort, it’s so worth it! Also, there are tons of video tutorials as well as support via chat or email. You can even schedule a 1:1 call with screen share for assistance. Dubsado’s free trial includes setting up 3 clients or projects, so give it a test drive!
Later is THEE best social media scheduler of all time. Fight me.
Seriously, though. I use Later to schedule all of my IG and Facebook content for the month in one day. It’s such a simple layout that I never had to watch any tutorials or look for instructions about how to do anything. I also love that Later gives you the option to view your whole IG grid, so that you can see how the new images you’ve scheduled will look altogether with your previous posts. Simply put, it’s perfect.
I haven’t even mentioned that you can also use Later for scheduling posts to Twitter and Pinterest! I have not used it for these platforms yet, but I’m sure it is just as amazing as it has been for IG and Facebook
Go ahead and give it a try! The free version limits you to 30 posts per month for each social media platform. You also can’t schedule video posts or stories, but you still have access to more than enough features to help you decide whether you want to upgrade or not. Best of all, there’s no time limit on the free plan!
How many of these tools do you already use? Any tool you’re planning on giving a try? Let me know in the comments!
*Note: Some of the links included in this post are affiliate links.