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 a course junkie, I have completed 95% of all courses I have paid for, some, like the ones below stand out heads above the rest, some have been absolute tosh but I have always learned something from every program I have invested in. Even if it was just how not to present a program!
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.
COURSES & PROGRAMS
Money Bootcamp with Denise Duffield Thomas
Money mindset program. On a scale of not woo-woo to completely woo, I am probably a skeptical 3. That said, this program opened my eyes to a lot of things and to the money blocks I had. Yes, they are real! If you are a fellow skeptic or you just want to know more, check out this post. You can also watch the interview I did with Denise here.
B-School with Marie Forleo
Online business program. For me, this was a game-changer. The content is great but more than that the community rocks. I finally found people like me! Who knew that they existed? Finding a tribe of like-minded people is key to your success. Marie Forleo's B-school has grown considerably since I joined up, amazing friendships have been formed and business partnerships have been made. I will add that in recent years I have found the community not as tight knit as before but you get access to the program and all the updates annually.
Sold Out Launch with Bushra Azhar
This woman is a genius! I LOVE everything she put out and her Sold Out Launch system is worth every penny. The Persuasion Revolution is a goldmine of copywriting nuggets. She is also one of the guest experts in The Wonder Mom Success Club The SOL system has everything and I mean EVERYTHING for launching your business. She doesn’t have an affiliate scheme but if you do decide to join, please drop her or Tara a quick email and tell them I sent you, cheers!
SOFTWARE, APPS, PLUGINS AND ALL THAT JAZZ
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 mail 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.
Google Drive – I use this more as a data storage system, I prefer to write guest posts and the such here. I used slides for presentation and making pretty PDFs (easier than Docs). 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.
Google Cal – 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 Calendly
Google Keep – I have only recently started using this but I already like it! It’s easier 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.
Calendly – scheduler, used for booking in clients and setting up podcast interviews. Clean and easy to use and integrates beautifully with google cal. You can use the service for free if you only want one kind of appointment set up. If you are a coach and need more that one appointment type upgrade and you can also take payments through their system too.
AirTable – 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.
Amazon S3 – cloud storage. (paid but 1st year is free)- When I got my first bill through I laughed at it, $0.48! Massive storage space basically, using a combo of Amazon S3 and a WordPress plugin you can make sure that your course content is secure. Much better than linking it to Youtube! I admit Amazon s3 isn’t the most user–friendly application out there but once you get the hang of it, it works fine.
Why not Dropbox? Well, I have a story about that! Dropbox, had a virus scare, broke all my links (I wasn’t the only one, I’m not feeling special about this!) then they reckoned they had a magic way of fixing the links, except it didn’t work! Yep, OK, shit happens – except Dropbox didn’t email their customers about the action they had taken and were slow as shit at trying to fix it. I only found out when I had clients complaining they couldn’t access their files. Their customer service over the situation was shocking. And that is why I don’t use Dropbox. Rant over.
Social Bee– Social Media Scheduling Tool (paid)
Holy Smoley, 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 Inspired Mama Revolution 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.
Stencil App – Social Media Graphics Tool. I know a lot of people love Canva but I am not one of them. I find it glitchy as hell and often I download something and the text has moved. What I do LOVE is Stencil. You can resize your images really quickly – great when you are making social media posts.
They also have over 1 MILLION FREE stock images and icons. I use Stencil EVERY day, it is so simple and quick, I can’t imagine going back to Canva or anything else.
You can also save your templates making it even quicker to whip up new artwork and posts images.
Mailerlite – 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.
So far 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.
Sitegound – 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 migrate your site for free, 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!
Lastpass – 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!
ColorZilla – another chrome extension, allows you to easily pick up colours from your screen, handy when doing graphics work.
Loom – Video Recording In The Cloud.
I can’t even express how much I love Loom, it is just fab! It is for recording your screen or yourself or both! And it records straight to the cloud so the recording is available immediately, no uploading and downloading! I joined when it was in beta and they keep adding new features, at the moment it is free but paid feature will be coming.
Namecheap – 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.