My Go-To Online Tools I Cannot Live Without

There are so many tools out there, it can be overwhelming to sift through and choose.  I have started so many free trials that I had to do a subscription audit because I couldn’t remember which ones needed to be cancelled! If you haven’t done a subscription audit, check out this blog post where I go through how to make sure you’re not accidentally spending money! 

 


As a former librarian, I can’t help but do way to much research, so please let me share this with you!  Here are my favorite online tools that my business cannot live without: 


G Suite: This is a super easy way to make your business look really official, so instead of your business email address being yourbusinessname@gmail.com, it is hello@yourbusinessname.com.  It also includes google calendar which is imperative when keeping track of everything we have going on. I especially love the shared calendars so Andy and our digital marketing assistant can all see what launches we have coming up.  Google Docs has been a god send.  All three of us have a shared folder where we store all our documents. I also use Google Forms a lot to get feedback. 


Shopify: We use Shopify for our website platform.  While I don’t love how their blogs are organized, their shopping feature is crucial for the amount of products we have.  It is not as drag-and-drop easy as Squarespace, but it is specifically set up for retail so it accounts for all the taxes from various states which is HUGE! 


Trunk: This is an inventory tool that helps keep track of your inventory across various platforms such as Shopify, Etsy, and Faire.   It even allows you to keep track of your shipping products.  This has been huge in making sure that we don’t run out of products, especially while we were taking parental leave. 


Flodesk: This is our email system.  I cannot speak about it highly enough! I love it. It has great, easy drag and drop functionality as well as an excellent price.  If you click on this link, you can get locked in at $19 a month.  While it doesn’t have the robust features like Convert Kit might, I can get most everything I need out of it, for a much more affordable price.  And my emails are adorable if I do say so myself.  (Don’t get my emails?!?!? Click here to get our awesome weekly newsletter!) 


Later: This is a tool for scheduling posts.  I use Later for posting on Instagram and Facebook.  It has been super helpful, especially when we were on parental leave.  If you like planning your content ahead of time, this is a huge help.  I especially love their visual Instagram post planning feature that allows you to see how all your posts will look visually.  They also have hashtag suggestions.  If you want to learn more about scheduling content ahead of time, check out these my blog post about adding value rich content and how to plan and reuse content.

 

ShipStation: We use ShipStation to get good shipping rates for when we ship out custom orders.  It is great because it allows you to include your branding on your shipping materials and emails.  It also is super affordable for the amount of shipments we have per month.  


Trello: This is a project management tool that we use to keep track of all our weekly tasks.  I will use it to add to Andy’s to-do list, which is a little more stream of consciousness.  For our digital marketing assistant, I have step-by-step tasks to mark off for each of her weekly assignments. This is a great way to stay on the same page.  When we have our weekly meetings, we usually start by looking over the Trello.  I also use it to keep track of random ideas I have for digital content and product ideas. If I happen to be doing a wedding or event, I will definitely make a board for each part so we don’t miss a single thing. 


Canva: This is how I make all my pins, launch posts, blog freebies and more! It is awesome to have a digital program that helps all our graphics look nice and uniform. Canva will save your design elements like your logo and any branding colors too, to help make it easy to have consistent branding across all your marketing. 


Loom: Man I wish I had this when I was a librarian.  Loom is a video tool that allows you to capture your computer screen as you narrate a process.  I have used this to create videos for our digital marketing assistant so she knows exactly how to do the various processes in our business.  I save all these in a Google doc in a shared folder and it acts as a manual.  She can refer to it as many times as she needs and if she ever leaves us, we can use the same videos to train the next person. It's also great for helping parents figure out computer things! LOL 


Quickbooks Online: We use Quickbooks Online to keep track of our banking.  Now we have a bookkeeper who does most of the legwork, but in our first year of business, it made it super easy to file taxes and keep track of where our money was being spent. I definitely recommend getting serious about your finances sooner rather than later. 


A to Z Directory:  - This is a list curated by the gals from the Biz Birthday Bash podcast with the names and links to all their favorite trusted vendors. This is so helpful especially when sourcing new products.


And I think that is it! If you want to get more content like this, I’d love it if you subscribed to my Biz Buds newsletter where I share all of my small business hacks and freebies delivered right to your inbox. Just fill out the form below to get all signed up. 

November 10, 2021 — KATE TALCOTT