Tools We Use Everyday

by | Apr 6, 2016 | Marketing, Tools and Tips

Building and Running an online business is quicker and easier than ever before. It seems like every day there is a new tool or resource that aims to make running our business easier, in reality, the testing, setup and implementation can be a real time waster. The perks come in the array of online tools that can be used to help you get through your work and grow your business, especially when you come across a well-tested list! These are some of the tools we use and recommend every day:

Project Management

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Asana

Asana is our team contextual communication platform, Slack is our open communication platform. Our projects and tasks are all managed through Asana. When we need to keep communication specific to a task, we add it in Asana as a comment to the relevant task to keep everything in context. This is our most valuable tool to get the job done and ensure our projects are on track and shared by all stakeholders.
Try Asana.

Trello

I am currently adjusting to Agile Marketing practices in line with current trends. Trello perfectly matches agile principles and is trusted by millions of people from all over the world, Trello is the easy, free, flexible, and visual way to manage your projects and organize anything.
Try Trello.

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Team Communication

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Google Drive

I’m not sure about you, but I’m not a fan of emailing documents back and forth. Being able to collaborate in real-time on editing documents and spreadsheets with our team and with our clients is just amazing. It’s super easy to use and free.
Try Google Drive.

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Google Apps

In addition to Google Drive, we use the Google Apps suite. This gives us reliable email and Google Drive storage for the whole team so we never have to worry about issues with our technology.
Try Google Apps.

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Slack

This is our virtual office. Our team spans across multiple states in Australia as well as overseas and Slack keeps us in touch with each other throughout the day. This has helped us build our company culture and avoid productivity killing shoulder taps.
Try Slack.

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Skype

Free text and voice / video calling to your contacts. Now has free video conference calling to compete with the likes of Google Hangouts. Working with clients we use Slack, Google Hangouts or Skype.
Try Skype.

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Google Hangouts

Instant messaging, video calling, screen sharing and conferencing communication from Google.
Try Google Hangouts.

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Dropbox

Easy file sharing. Dropbox is great for sharing files and folders and keeping these in sync across multiple computers.
Try Dropbox.

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Clarify

This is one of my current favourites. I use it to explain and demonstrate all kinds of things for clients and with the ability to publish direct to WordPress I also use clarify to create and publish articles. You use multiple screenshots to tell your story. Mark them up, add some text and export them as a document to PDF, Word or Dropbox. You can also send them to Evernote, WordPress or the web. It’s the app you never knew you needed – very handy.
Try Clarify.

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Skitch

This is great for sharing and to annotate your screenshots. This is an essential tool for anyone and I highly recommend everyone downloads this right now. It’s free and super easy to use and integrates well with Evernote.

Try Skitch.

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1Password

My highest recommendation. “1Password remembers all your passwords for you”. Many people are guilty of using the same password for everything. In this age where so much of our lives are online, you should always use complex and different passwords on your sites. 1Password takes care of this for you by integrating with your digital tools so you only ever have to remember one password to unlock all your other passwords in all devices.
Try 1Password.

Screen Mailer

Screenmailer

Quickly and easily allows me to create videos of all or part of my screen and share them with anyone. In many cases this works a heck of a lot faster than trying to email instructions or an explanation to someone.
Try Screenmailer.

Cloud Up

Cloudup

Instant screenshot upload. Snap your screen, the image is uploaded and the URL is copied to your clipboard ready for sharing.
Try Cloudup.

Jing

Jing

Worthy alternative: Jing. What I don’t like as much about Jing is that you have to wait a really long time for the video to upload and you can’t get the URL of the video until it’s uploaded.
Try Jing

Customer Communication

Helpscout

Helpscout

Helpscout is email that your team can view, comment on, be assigned to and action and this is where we communicate with our clients. It acts just like email from our clients point of view so they don’t need to change how they communicate with us. In the backend, our team can communicate on an email without the client seeing so we can plan how we are going to action the task and response to the customer effectively. Plus we can build a library of saved replies to help us power through our customer support enquiries.

We have set Helpscout up for our clients that need a shared email box for their team to access. This works much better than the traditional method of just allowing multiple people to use a single email.

We’ve been considering Freshdesk for a while due to their additional features for a more robust email support platform, but for now Helpscout definitely does the job for now with it’s ease of use.
Try Helpscout.

Buffer and Hootsuite

Buffer and Hootsuite

Set your social media posting schedule, add some content to the buffer queue and let it do the publishing for you. Then use Hootsuite to manage your social media conversations and mentions.
Try Buffer and Hootsuite.

Join Me

Join.me

Live screensharing for free.
Try Join.me

Productivity

Rescue Time

RescueTime

Weekly productivity reports into what I’m doing while I’m on my computer. These are for my eyes only and help me have some accountability and self-control to stay on track.
Try Rescuetime.

Wunderlist

Wunderlist

Very simple task manager. Create lists for your tasks and then just get them done. Has a few features for useful collaboration. Totally free, has a premium plan for better collaboration features.
Try Wunderlist.

Boomerang for Gmail

Boomerang for Gmail

Send emails later and have email reminders sent for emails that haven’t been replied to. This is an indispensable part of our Google Apps system.
Try Boomerang for Gmail. Try Boomerang for Outlook.

SaneBox

SaneBox

Keeps your important emails separate from the emails you can read later. Gets to work instantly to help you focus on the messages that are important. Short of unsubscribing from every email list you’ve signed up to, SaneLater will save your inbox and make it useful again.
Try SaneLater.

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Google Chrome

More Google! Chrome syncs across your signed in computers and mobile devices so your bookmarks, history and extensions are ready to go within a few minutes. The combination of Asana, Slack, Google Apps and Google Chrome for our business means that we do not have to be tied to any particular computer to communicate with our team, with our clients and to complete our work.
Download Google Chrome.

FreshBooks

Freshbooks

Simple “cloud accounting”. This has a time tracker that feeds directly into our invoices so we’re getting paid what we need to. Recurring invoices can be set up for our retainers and we can allow our clients to pay online with integration with many online payment gateways.
Try Freshbooks.

Text Expander

Text Expander

Personal text snippets to stop you needing to type the same thing repeatedly. Type more with less effort! TextExpander saves your fingers and your keyboard, expanding custom keyboard shortcuts into frequently-used text and pictures.
Try Text Expander.

Alfred

Alfred

Very handy shortcut tool to help you find files, search the web and save multiple clips to your clipboard – to name a few handy features. Alfred can store a history of your copy and pastings to allow you to go back through and re-use. Works well with 1Password and other apps for a quicker workflow.
Try Alfred.

EggTimer

EggTimer

“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. Don’t be a victim to Parkinson’s Law – schedule in your work, set a timer and get it done. One of my favorite productivity techniques is the pomodoro technique. Work for 25 minutes then have a 5 minute break. Practicing this technique helps you focus on the task at hand, take healthy breaks and avoid distractions to help you breeze through your daily task list.
Check out EggTimer.

evernote

Evernote

Remember everything. Jot down notes with voice, text, images, videos and anything keep this in your notebooks. Share with anyone and collaborate on any device. Very versatile and good companion with Pocket.
Try Evernote.

Get Pocket

Pocket

Have time to read all the interesting things on the internet? Nope, neither do we. Use Pocket to save those Youtube videos and baiting web articles for reading later and get back to work.
Try Pocket.

Feedly RSS

Feedly

The only way to keep on top of all the latest news and breaking trends is with a good RSS reader service. Feedly is one of the best ways to keep on-top of great content and inspiration.
Check out Feedly.

Product & Service Delivery

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WordPress

We build websites for our clients and WordPress is one of our most useful tools to help us empower our clients to have better websites. From publishing new content, to quickly creating new features to keeping the site looking fresh with new themes, WordPress is our go to platform for creating beautiful websites that help build successful businesses.
Try WordPress.

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Adobe Creative cloud

Adobe has always been the go-to resource for creative professionals and although their move to cloud services was a little bumpy their Creative Cloud gives now trully provides you the world’s best creative apps — and they’re always up to date — so you can turn your brightest ideas into your greatest work across your desktop and mobile devices.
Get Adobe Creative Cloud.

ServerPress for Local WordPress

ServerPress

This is one of my favourite tools for developing new websites nice and fast on my local desktop environments. The DesktopServer software makes your local installation of WordPress as easy as simply giving your site a name and clicking a few buttons.
Get ServerPress.

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Mailchimp

Easy to use email marketing software. Build your list, design your emails easily and create your campaigns. Free for up to 2,000 subscribers.
Try Mailchimp.

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TinyPng and Kraken.io

Save your web server space and speed up your site by optimising your images before you upload them. Check out our tutorial for how to optimise images for your website.
Try TinyPNG and Kraken.io

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Uptimerobot

Monitor your websites to see when they go down and how long for. Configure notifications to send you an email so you know and can fix the issue. Monitor 50 sites for free.
Try Uptimerobot.

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Pingdom Tools

Monitor website uptime, web server performance and website performance.
Try Pingdom Monitoring, test your website speed.

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Gtmetrix

Checking website speed at scheduled intervals. Gives advice for how to speed your site up.
Try Gtmetrix Check your website speed.

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Google Analytics

Insights into what is happening on your website. Absolutely essential for any website owner.
Try Google Analytics.

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MainWp

Manage multiple WordPress sites from a central dashboard. Saves us hours of work each week.
Try MainWP.

Crucial Cloud Hosting

Crucial Cloud Hosting

Great Australian, VPS, Cloud and shared hosting solution. After trying many, local web-hosting providers, we’ve settled on Crucial as the best value, best supported and best performing shared local web host.
Try Crucial Hosting.

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WPengine

Managed WordPress hosting to keep your site running as fast as possible with minimal downtime.
Try WPengine Hosting.

SiteGround Web Hosting

Siteground

Fantastic value shared hosting. For dedicated WordPress sites and optimisation, we’ve settled on Siteground as the best value, best supported and best performing shared web host out there.
Try Siteground Hosting.

Social Media Images

Stencil – Social Images

The easiest way to build and manage your Social Media Image or visual Brand is with a great resource like Stencil. Images in social media can increase engagement by 150%
Get Stencil – Social Media Images.

Autonomous SmartDesk

Smart Desk – Autonomous

One of the greatest changes I have made to my work environment is with the new Smart Desk. I have never felt better. More concentration and optimum work options. This is the most compact and affordable option currently available.
Smart Desk by Autonomous.

What are your go-to resources and tools?

These are the tools we use. Anyone who has built up any kind of business will have gone through the same process of searching testing and evaluating resources to support and enhance what you do. This list is always changing, although some have become staples that have stood the test of time and growth.

For Social Media, these are the services and apps we use.

What resources do you use or have tested that help you move your business forward. I would love to hear what your thoughts are and the best go-to resources you use?

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Tools We Use Everyday

by Peter Wennersten time to read: 20 min
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