Whether you are a solo entrepreneur or have a team, productivity is essential to keep your business running smoothly. Even though being productive is a skill, there are some incredible productivity tools available that can transform your business operations. So let’s take a look at 10 popular productivity tools for creative entrepreneurs – most of them are completely free!
Every business owner needs an organized project management tool. I started my business with Asana before making the switch to ClickUp. There are many other populate tools, such as Airtable, Basecamp, Monday, Notion, Teamwork, and Trello. Find the one that works for your business needs and your workstyle – then make it your own.
Having a CRM (customer relationship management) with automated workflows and templates will save you tons of time on administrative tasks as your business, and client list continues to grow. Both Dubsado and HoneyBook are great options for streamlining your client management, including emailing, sending proposals, contract signing, invoicing, hiring team members, etc. Both Dubsado and Honeybook are powerful CRM softwares but if you are leaning towards Dubsado, you can use my exclusive certified specialist code “gracebyapril” to get 30% off your plan!
Zapier is the one tool that can connect all of your other platforms. It acts like a glue between tools that don’t ‘talk’ to each other through dedicated integrations offered by their developers. Want your new leads to be tagged in your email marketing tool automatically? Zapier has you covered – and that’s just one simple example. The opportunities for automation and workflows with Zapier and your other tools are truly endless.
When you need to collect information from a client, Content Snare is an excellent streamlined way to do that. For example, if you are a website designer, create a template in Content Snare that requests all of the information you need from the client before getting started on their project. It will also send out automated reminders when the information hasn’t been provided and filled out yet, saving you time with follow-ups and keeping your deadlines on track! Not only does it level up your client experience, it implements multiple layers of data protection – which I love.
How much time do you spend a month trying to find a file buried on your computer? Or need someone to have access when you can’t log on to send it? Likely often if you don’t have an organized cloud-based file system. Keeping all of your digital files organized online is made easy with Google Drive, quickly find what you’re looking for and share it with who you need in a few simple clicks. They’ll have access when they need to, best for working in different time zones or conflicting schedules. Plus I love the ‘offline’ feature of Google Drive, access whatever you need and still be able to work without an internet connection – ideal for when you are in airplane mode but still want to be productive.
Hands down, the best tool for communicating with your team is Slack. You can create multiple channels for the different aspects of your business, such as launches, client management, team meetings, etc. You can set timeframes on when you receive notifications and set statuses so everyone knows you’re in a meeting or on vacation and won’t expect a response until you’re active again. The best part? Slack eliminates back-and-forth emails for short, quick conversations to continue on tasks.
Do you ever feel like you are wasting time online and not sure where all of your time goes? You might need a new working style. The Pomodoro® Technique is a time management method where you work in 25 minute intervals. Pomodor is a free web-based timer that’s perfect for anyone curious about trying out the Pomodoro Technique. It is super simple to use, when you click the ‘Play’ button, Pomodor will start cycling through full Pomodoro sessions with the countdown displayed in your browser’s tab title bar – perfect for when you are in focus mode switching from tab to tab.
Whether or not if you do a lot of writing for your brand, Grammarly is an amazing tool that saves you time on proofreading and editing your content and emails. Ensuring you don’t have to be a professional wordsmith to be polished in everything that you create to communicate online.
If I asked you “How many hours did you put into your business last week?” would you be able to give me an accurate number? Or even what you worked on? Whether you’re working solo or with a small team, using Toggl or Timely for your time-tracking data can give you a complete overview of your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly work. When you see how you are spending your time, you can analyze your work trends and make smarter business decisions.
If you are sending the same email over and over again, it’s time to save that time and create some Gmail templates so you can save some valuable seconds off your email time. It might not seem like a lot, but over time it does add up. Bonus points if you add these templates into your CRM and automated workflows so you can set it and forget it, saving you even more time.
Finding the right tools to help you be your most productive self is essential for entrepreneurs of any kind. Freeing you up not only to work on your business but also having time back in your day to focus on your other passions!
October 1, 2021
Quick Note: This page may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation if you purchase from my affiliate links – which I’ll most likely be using on coffee to keep me fueled and focused during mama life and work!