Top 8 System Organizational Tools
Top 8 System Organizational Tools to help the everyday entrepreneur live a more organized, productive, and successful life.
The intentions we have when we sit at the desk on Monday morning is to be productive. But at the end of the day, month, year we are hanging our heads wondering what happened to the time.
So, for the beginning of the new year you are looking for ways to increase your productivity, become organized, and cut expenses.
There are so many tools that creators have made available to help entrepreneurs succeed.
Organizing/filing systems has been an integral part since the term business was coined.
Which brings me to this post and telling you about 8 organizing/system filing tools that can be used and a break down into specific software that is available.
1. Financial Tools:
QuickBooks (affiliate link)
Pros: Sending invoices and keeping track of all your financial needs. Great customer service and very quick. For most states it is easy to setup the automatic taxes and let it calculate everything.
Cons: The only issues I have ran into is Texas specific. The taxes calculate only the state taxes and not the Houston city taxes. So need to adjust every invoice to the 8.25%
2. CMS Tools:
Customer Management System (Website)
A website is important to have, separate from your social media accounts, because it is something you own and control. There are many different platforms but for the every day entrepreneur that doesn’t have much time to spend building and up keeping the website I really suggest looking at WordPress. Why?
Because it isn’t going away.
There are so many themes already built and available that plug and play, what you see is what you get, is so easy to find.
+ If you really want to you can customize it with little CSS knowledge
How do you start;
Choose your domain name
Choose your host and as of January 30th, 2019 I suggest no other than SiteGround (affiliate link) for your hosting company. I have tried several different services (GoDaddy, HostGator, BlueHost and one other I can’t think of.)
SiteGround would be my go to with excellent customer service, amazing rates and features.
Need Help Building Your WordPress Website? Download the awesome guide here!
3. CRM Tools
Customer Relationship Management system (Clients information, emails, leads)
There are so many tools that are available and the features they have available vary.
Some will be an all you can get service, while it may seem like a hefty sum to start with, the other more catering services may leave you with more subscription costs than you can be kept up with.
Some popular CRM Tools and their features:
Tave: Great for photographers. $49/month lead management, payment processing, contracts and forms, limited accounting, client management, integrations
DubSado: $35/month : lead management, payment processing, contracts and forms, accounting, client management, automation and integrations
Constant Contact:; lead management, automation integrations
Nimble: It is a whole new platform that would need some getting use to. I haven’t quite figured it out yet but it seems like it could be useful for those with a nice database already.
You can always to a Google search for your specific industries: “CRM Tools for “Insert industry””
4. Organization Tools:
This is probably my favorite section because I always like it when organization sets in.
DropBox: Organize and share folders of documents and photos. I use DropBox to store backups of all my photos that clients have purchased.
Google Drive: Probably my favorite organizational tool out there. This is what i use to keep communication on track with my clients. Keep all of my content sorted and in an easy place for me to create posts and show portfolio images on the go.
5. Task Organization Tool:
Trello: Used for organizing your tasks and goals. This can be done from an individual level to sharing with a team. It is great to keep on track and make sure that everything you want to do is being done or not. The best part: the features that you need can be used in the free version.
Asana: The downside to this one is it isn’t free. Starting at 9.99 / month. The layout is a bit different in this one. Where Trellos is a card based system, Asana scrolls and has a workflow ability.
6. Calendar Tools:
Calendly: I use Calendly for all of my client meetings and event planning. For example: If I have a day of headshots that need to be scheduled for a group, I can create an event with 10 minute slots allowing clients to pick the times they can make it and see availability. The same goes with putting my calendar on my website.
It integrates with Google Calendar so when you block days off it will block it out in the scheduling calendar as well. Best part!..there is a Free version..only good for one event type but a great place to start.
Google Calendar: I use this every single day. It is what I look at in the morning to see my scheduled activities and what I use throughout the day to create meetings. I use the categories to color so I know what is a personal activity vs work or photo shoot.
Calendly is purely what I send to clients when they would like to book with me to see my availability.
Panda Planner: Mine is orange and I love it! I use this on the go when creating meetings for clients on the spot. But mainly, I use this to keep track and reflection upon my goals and tasks, monthly, weekly, and daily. To keep me focused and ontrack. Writing these down keeps it top of mind.
There are other planners out there, and doing research as to which one would suit your organizational purposes best. To name a few: Passion Planner, Plum Paper Planner, Day Designer Planner.
Buffer: This is different, and maybe I should include it in it’s own category. It is a content calendar created to make it easier to post to all of your social media platforms. There is a free version for up to 3 social media account connections. Unlike some of the other content schedules this one does allow to upload videos and gifs.
Other content schedules that I have tried and like are CoSchedule and Later. I actually used Later the most for my Instagram posting because I loved how I could see the look of the feed before scheduling the post, dragging and dropping the posts to look better.
7. Content Creation Tools:
I use these tools 2-3 times a week. There are ways to use them for ideas or to actually create your visuals for your posts, content, and marketing. Sometimes, I will take the idea layouts and use Photoshop or Illustrator to do the same sort of layout.
All of these you can set up your branding so that when the posts are created, you can choose your branding colors.
Canva: I use this one the most because I love the templates. There hasn’t ever been a need for me to use the paid version, but I wouldn’t have any issues doing so once I can fit it into the budget.
Visme: This is used more for creating graphics, visuals and even presentations. I look forward to using these as I start creating video content.
Adobe Spark: Adobe Spark is similar to Canva, but stands out because you can also create a visual stories through video presentations. It is free to use and you don’t even have to have an Adobe account. I use this often to create videos for my FB cover.
8. Time Management:
Distractions are everywhere. It is easy to get onto Facebook with the intention of making a post, and than get sucked down the rabbit hole for an hour. There aren’t many things out there to keep us on track. So, I went searching (yep down the black hole of the internet) for a solution to help me stay away from distractions and on track.
Freedom: It’s free. You can block the entire internet or just portions for set blocks of time. If you don’t want to have the ability to look at emails or social media in the mornings, set a time for it to start. But, be warned, if you have the lock on..YOU CANNOT UNLOCK IT and will be stuck with those settings until the time is out. Install it on your phone too. This will ensure you aren’t tempted to pick up the phone.
This is great to use when you have only particular tasks that you want to work on and don’t need any other applications.
Happy time management! 🙂
Phew! That was a lot of information. But, I don’t want to go away with what you should expect to pay to efficiently run your business. With these suggestions you can get away with as little as $20/month or into the hundreds.
Realistically, understand what it is that you need for your business the most and only choose to use the organizational tools what will help you run efficiently and save time so that you can be freed up to work on actually do the activities that bring you money.