TOOLS & TECH
This is my tool kit of tried and tested products that I use to run my business. There are many, many more that I have used, some didn't make the cut, some I had discarded for other reasons, such as not agreeing with the companies ethics.
I'm always happy to talk about my experiences with programs and products, if you have questions hit me up over in Moms That Rock.
Some of the links below are affiliate or referral links. That means I may get a commission at no cost to you, if you decide to buy something.
SOFTWARE, APPS, PLUGINS AND ALL THAT JAZZ
All singing, all dancing visual arts tool. I have to hold up my hands here and admit that I'm a Canva convert. Honestly, the app used to drive me up the wall but not long ago they overhauled the system and it is is SO MUCH BETTER!
I am enjoying it that much these days that I upgraded to the pro version. If you can afford to go pro, then do, it will make your life so much easier and save you so much time as you can save your brand colours, remove backgrounds and so much more.
You can also schedule your social media posts right inside the app, if you don't have much to spend and want to make your money work for you, then Canva is the tool I'd opt for.
If I were to pick only ONE app to invest in, for me, hands down it would be Canva.
Use my link and get 45 days free trial...
Insta Club Hub
There are a LOT of Instagram experts out there and I have done programs with a couple of them and then I noticed something... that they were getting all there latest information from one source. And that source is the dynamic mother and son duo Charlene and Brock Johnson.
I soon realised that if I wanted to be on the pulse with Insta and know all the latest changes and trends to stay ahead of the game, investing in Insta Club Hub was a no brainer.
They have a Hot This Week section in the learners hub, live trainings twice a week and loads of recordings on everything Insta in the hub. If you want to up your Insta game, check it out...
I recently switched to TidyCal purely because I got a lifetime deal which was cheaper than the monthly subscription with Calendly. (I had no issue with Calendly other than the price). As TidyCal is a Sumo product I expect them to build up the app. So far I'm happy with the switch.
Part spreadsheet, part database Airtable is used to organise your work, projects, members or client lists, calendars etc.
It is super flexible and integrates with all the big players. I have moved most of my business over here now, I love the flexibility and ease of use, I can share tables with my VA and templates with my clients. If you need anything organizing, I recommend trying it out.
Social Media Scheduling Tool (paid)
Some people poo-poo schedulers, but I know that if I don't have it scheduled, there is little chance of it going out! Using Social Bee helps me to stay consistent.
Social Bee really is the bees knees! This is a social media scheduling tool but unlike many schedulers out there, Social Bee allows you to create libraries. For example, I have a category (library) for my blog posts, one for posts that go to my Wonder Moms Group another for Moms That Rock and various categories for Facebook and Twitter that include questions, tips, Montessori…
I have very few posts that are individually scheduled to go out, most run on the library systems and the main scheduler. So I might have Montessori posts going out on a Monday at 6pm and questions on a Wednesday at 10am. Because the libraries are well stocked it can be months before the same post comes up again.
Email Service Provider. I moved over to Mailerlite because I had outgrown Mad Mimi (whom I still love) but they don’t have the systems I need for a growing business.
I have found Mailerlite incredibly easy to use, even if you are not techie, you will be able to do it! Their tutorial expert Marcin is also a guest expert in The Wonder Mom Success Club where he talks about the common mistakes people make with email marketing and how to create emails that your readers love.
And if you ever get stuck, their support staff are fabulous.
Website hosting. I used to be with Bluehost and had a nightmare with them, after migrating over to Siteground life has been much better! The customer service team rock, they are really helpful and actually know what they are talking about.
Siteground will also help you migrate your site, so if that is stopping you from moving, it’s all sorted!
Do it now before everything goes wrong and if you are with Bluehost, move ASAP I have heard so many horror stories like mine about them! In fact when you are looking for webo hosting, google EIG owned hosting companies and steer clear of them all.
If you are new to all this and wondering about whether you need WordPress and if so, which one, read this post.
If you are anything like me, you have a squillion accounts all with different passwords – please tell me you use different passwords for all your accounts!
LastPass is brilliant, I can keep all my passwords safe and it syncs across all devices, I only need to remember one main password now! Hurrah for that.
Is it secure?
The way I look at it, it is in their best interest to keep their site secure, their business relies on it and it is probably a whole lot safer than me trying to remember a squillion different passwords or being daft enough to use the same on all sites – a hackers dream come true!
I can also give my VA access to things without sharing the password which is another plus, its also very affordable.
This is where I buy my domain names (URL), I’m a bit of a domain hoarder when I think of a great name I will buy it even if I don’t know what to do with it yet! I recommend getting the WHOIS protection too for your privacy. It is also recommended to keep your domain and hosting separately.
Project management and more. As a big fan of systems and processes Asana is brilliant for getting those systems in place, which makes it so much easier to hand over jobs to a VA or team member. The basic plan is free and for a small business, it is more than enough.
This is the theme my websites are all built on. I used WordPress and then Optimize press as the theme. I have used it for years, I'm no using Optimize Press 3 and it is super easy to build beautiful and functional pages. You can also add a shopping cart and membership site with the upgrade.
If you dislike coding as much as I do, it's a great choice!
I was using my personal Google account for everything but this year moved work related things over to Google Workspace. It took a bit of effort to get it all set up but I'm happy with it now.
Gmail – I love me a bit of gmail! I have numerous email accounts but I have them all set up so they all go through one main gmail account. From the one account, I have everything filtered and I can send out emails that look like they come from my biz accounts. All very simple and everything is in one place.
Part of Google Workspace. I use this more as a data storage system, I prefer to write guest posts and the such here. I also use Sheets for basic account keeping and tracking my sales/social media stats etc. Forms are brilliant for questionnaires, you can design the form to match your branding and there are numerous types of question plus an unlimited amount of questions.
Again, because it’s cloud based, it doesn’t matter which device I am using, everything is up to date.
If google cal ever dies, I’m quitting! This app keeps me sane. I have calendars for work, school, holidays, blog posts, launches, travel… having everything in ONE place keeps my mind and life organized. I can set up reminders and recurring events easily and have a digest of what’s happening for the day delivered to my inbox first thing every morning. Everything syncs including my husband’s calendar and my scheduler TidyCal.
Google Keep – It’s easy for those quick to grab notes that you need on the go. As I use this more I’ll update here but like the other Google apps, it’s clean and easy to use. Read this post on how to use it for use it for your shopping lists.