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I don’t know about you but I’m always curious about what other people do day-to-day in their businesses. What does a typical day look like for them? Marie Forleo’s is probably glamorous. Denise Duffield Thomas? Probably chilled (with walks on the beach). Amy Porterfield? Tim Ferris? Donald Miller? Wouldn’t you love to take a peek into their lives?

This blog post was originally going to be about a day in the life of a course creator. But then I realized it’s not glamorous at all and also probably not very interesting. But what people do seem to be interested in are the tools and tech that I use. So, instead, I thought I’d share with you the tools I personally use in my own business.

Financial

Wave Invoicing

I’ve been using Wave for a couple of years now and it’s such an intuitive, easy-to-use product. I only ever use it to invoice local clients though and they’ve recently discontinued support for international customers (they only support the U.S.A. and Canada now) but I still use it because I don’t have very complicated needs (ie I don’t use it for payments)

Paypal Business

So how do I get paid? I have a Paypal Business account for that and invoice all my international clients with it. I also use the Paypal payment integration for my online store (WordPress and Woocommerce). Why Paypal? Well, it’s well recognized and people trust it and it works.

Organisational

Hellosign

Having signed agreements protects both myself as well as my clients. We’re all on the same page when it comes to what is to be done and the rates and timelines. I currently use an agreement template that I update with the client-specific details – then upload to HelloSign for both parties to sign digitally. It’s super easy to use and offers 3 contracts a month in the free version.

Trello

Trello is a fantastic project management tool that I use to keep track of all of the tasks I need to do for each project. I usually also share my Trello boards with my clients so they know what’s happening with their projects.

Clockify

Every now and then I have a client with a bunch of smaller tasks that need to be done and then I offer an hourly retainer to get those tasks done. To keep track of the time for these tasks I use Clockify which allows me to record time for multiple clients and tasks. I can also share a timesheet link with my clients to keep track of their hours.

Content creation and design

Adobe Creative Suite

The Adobe Creative Suite is phenomenal. I use, Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Premiere Pro and After Effects. It allows me to create quality images, logos, animations videos, PDFs etc. Unless a client specifically asks me to use another tool (like Canva) I only use the Adobe Creative suite – it’s my go-to for anything creative.

Audacity

Sometimes a client will send me a video to edit that doesn’t have the best sound and then I pop it into Audacity for a quick clean up. It’s a really powerful (free) tool that is great for recording as well as cleaning up audio.

Descript

One of the biggest time sucks when it comes to Podcasts is cleaning up the audio and Descript is a fantastic tool that helps speed up this process. Descript generates a transcript of the audio and has a fantastic feature that automatically picks up filler words (like um and ah) and you can remove these with the click of a button. Instead of editing your audio in a timeline or waveform, you get to edit something similar to a text document. Want to remove a sentence? Just highlight the sentence text and delete it. It really is that easy.

Filmora

If I have a quick video editing task to do that only requires basic editing then Filmora by Wondershare is my go-to. Upload the video, add music or predesigned titles and you’re good to go. It’s great for things like social media videos.

Hitfilm

Another video editing tool – Hitfilm is on par with Adobe Premier Pro when it comes to functionality. But the thing I like the most about it is when I have to edit video and create animations at the same time. Hitfilm has a simple animation tool included in the program. With Adobe Premiere Pro you can select Adobe After Effects within Premier – but it still has to open After Effects as a second program which can take up a lot of extra resources (RAM and processing) on your computer. Hitfilm doesn’t hog extra resources – but the animation tool isn’t as powerful as After Effects so if I have complex animations to create I stick with the Adobe Suite.

Canva

Canva is a super easy-to-use graphic design tool that has new features and functions added to it constantly. I use it for the paid templates that I sell in my store as this allows people who buy the templates to easily edit them using the free version of Canva. I also create the occasional PDF if a client asks me to create it in Canva. It’s also great for B-roll/stock video footage and stock images.

Youtube audio library

The perfect place to find royalty-free – no attribution required music or sound effects to use in videos. You can search for specific genres, moods or artists.

Freepik

My go-to for stock vector (animated) images – there are lots of free resources (attribution required)and their rates for paid images are reasonable.

Pexels

Usually, the first place I look for free stock photography images – they have a fantastic library of images to choose from.

Marketing

WordPress

I’ve worked with so many different website tools, from coding from scratch with HTML5-CSS-JS-Bootstrap to the builders like Wix, Squarespace, Kajabi (which I still work with regularly for my clients) and lots of others in between. But when it came to creating my own website, I opted for WordPress (with the DIVI theme). I LOVE It! I can create anything I visualize with relative ease and there are integrations for EVERYTHING. No need for things like Zapier. Creating a new page can take me a couple of minutes – the thing that takes time for me is writing the copy to go on the page. So not sure if you can tell here – but I love WordPress with the DIVI theme!

Woocommerce

I sell a couple of DIY products on my website and use Woocommerce for its e-commerce functionality – it’s perfect for my needs and again super easy to use and highly customisable.

Mailerlite

Fully integrated with my website – I use Mailerlite for all of my email marketing. Things like automated welcome sequences, a regular newsletter, occasional email blasts – Mailerlite does it all. And you get ALL of the features with the free version (up to 1000 subscribers) – what’s not to love?

Later

When it comes to posting social media content on multiple channels, Later, is great. You can batch create and set up your Facebook, Insta, Pinterest and Twitter posts. Set and forget then check your analytics to see which posts performed the best.

Courses

Membervault

As a course creator’s course creator, I’ve tried out and set up courses on a lot of the course platforms available (there seem to be more created daily!) But when it comes to hosting my own courses I use Membervault. It’s super easy to use (both as a course creator and a course taker), relatively customisable and integrates with all of my other tools (Paypal, Mailerlite) natively – so no need to use an external integration tool like Zapier. I especially love the ‘Vault’ aspect of Membervault – think Netflix for courses – people get to see all of your other courses in one place. Membervault explains it best:

“Consider it your deconstructed funnel where your audience can easily see all of their options, from day 1, and you can track their interest, auto-magically. Stop making people wait till email #3 in your funnel. Let them buy NOW.”

 

Other helpful tools I use

Focusbooster

When I first started working on my own I found I was constantly distracted and struggled to focus on what I needed to do. I had the Trello boards and knew what needed to be done it was just very hard to focus on one thing – get it done and then move on to the next. Focusbooster fixed that – it’s a timer that uses the Pomodoro technique. You set the timer for the length of time that you want to focus and the length of time you want to provide for breaks and hit the start button. Say for example you set your work blocks for 25 minutes with a 5-minute break in between – the timer will run and an alarm will let you know when you’ve hit 25 minutes so you can grab a quick cup of coffee while it counts down your 5-minute break and then you get a second alarm when it’s time to start your next work block. I gamified mine and tried to see how many consecutive sessions I could achieve.

Wetransfer

Run out of cloud storage or just don’t have access to it at the moment and need to get large files to someone? No problem! Just use Wetransfer to send up to 20GB (with the free version). The transfers expire after a certain time and you receive notifications when people have downloaded the files you sent them.

Do you use any of these tools? I’d love to hear what you think? Do you have any favourite tools to share with me?

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