I have to admit, I love looking up amazing new tools for my business. I guess I’m always looking for the next newest, greatest thing that will totally transform me from creative-procrastinator-with-too-many-browser-tabs-open to disciplined-getting-things-done-with-plenty-of-time-to-spare.
While I haven’t found a magic potion to accomplish this (yet), I have found several amazing—and free—tools and resources that sure have made my business a lot smoother!
*Obligatory disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post, I’m sadly not getting paid to share my excitement for these brands.
Ever since hearing about Asana from Nesha Woolery, it has been a game. Changer.
No more communicating with clients via email, with messages getting lost in their (and my) inbox.
No more making a separate Excel doc with a project schedule, and having to reference it, like, daily.
No more, Dang it, that PDF’s too big to send over email.
It’s all done in Asana!
I even schedule out my blog posts in there. And sometimes stick to it. ;)
Asana is a free project management tool where you can create schedules, assign tasks, communicate with clients and team members, set reminders, send files, and so much more all from a simple, easy-to-use platform.
I’ve always worked with a project management system where all project communications are in one place, and I cannot imagine working without one.
For my new business, Asana has been a dream to use!
Ah, Slack! I love Slack.
I’ve used Slack three different times now in my career and have fallen in love with just how much it simplifies communication.
Slack is an app for desktop and mobile that allows you to send messages to individuals, private groups, or everyone within your organization.
For example, I can DM a coworker about a specific project he’s working on, send a message to a custom group of folks (such as, all coworkers on a specific client account), or send a message to everyone in our organization who’s on Slack.
We all get way too many emails in a day, and getting a text message (even when it’s work-related) can lure us down the ol’ Instagram hole. With Slack, my focus is on my work, my eyes are on my desktop, and I can fire off questions or answers (or GIFs, let’s be real) without losing my focus.
Friends, this is the tool you never knew you needed (but really do).
Ever have one of those moments where you go, Oooh, I love that website, that’s totally inspiration for my own redesign? Is that just me? Okay.
Well, anyway, when that moment does happen to you, you’ll be glad I told you about Full Page Screen Capture.
This Chrome plugin will take a screen capture of the entire web page that your browser is currently on.
Meaning when said moment happens, you won’t have to take a manual screenshot of as much of the page is visible, scroll down, take another screenshot, repeat as necessary and then manually stitch the images all together (and dang it, they’re all misaligned and look weird).
It’s so easy to use. Go to that website you need a full page capture of, click on the Full Page Screen Capture icon in your toolbar, and there it is.
Are you tired of telling people that your brain works like a browser with too many tabs open?
Well, then, it’s time to celebrate, because you won’t be saying this any longer.
Meet OneTab: a handy Chrome plug-in that condenses all your open browser tabs into one tab.
With a click of OneTab’s button in your browser toolbar, all open tabs disappear and then magically reappear as a list within your new OneTab tab, with links to every one of them.
I tend to keep tabs open because I don’t want to forget where I found that font from, or I need to remember to talk to my husband about that Amazon order before we place it. But with all those tabs open, how’s a girl supposed to focus on work?
Now I can safely reassure myself that those precious links aren’t lost; instead, they’re quietly waiting for me to return to them in my OneTab.
Graphics + Photos
I recommend Pixeden to so many people, I really should be earning a commission by now....
Pixeden is my #1 go-to for free, high-quality mockups.
If you’re selling posters on Etsy and don’t have a great camera (or great photography skills), just grab a free poster mockup from one of the dozens available on Pixeden!
Or, if you’re designing t-shirts for your friend’s band, or showing a client a book design, or want to see what your business cards might look like….you know where to go: Pixeden.
Free. Beautiful. High-quality. Lifestyle. Flatlay. Stock. Photos.
Almost anything you can imagine can be found on Unsplash.
Except the cheesy smiles of 4 people in a nondescript office setting all pointing at a computer screen. (You know what I’m talking about, you’ve seen this stock photo a million times.) No fake people to be found here.
Headspace has truly, truly changed my life.
I’ve been learning how to manage my anxiety and stress better for the past few years, and Headspace’s meditation app launched me in the right direction.
If you feel like your brain spins a million miles an hour at all hours of the day and night; you stress out easily; you’re often anxious—you need to try Headspace and its amazing, easy-to-follow, no-fluff meditations.
Suddenly, going zen for 10 minutes isn’t scary: and I promise you, you will notice a difference even when you’re not meditating.
I highly recommend their subscription, but if you just want to give it a try, there’s a free trial and trust me, you’ll be hooked.
Rifle Paper Co. Notepads.
I mean, everything on this site is pretty and beautiful and whimsical, and I love that my house is slowly but surely being overtaken by everything from there.
But these notepads are truly wonderful for productivity, scheduling, and just overall brain-dumping!
I’m still old-school and prefer keeping my to-do lists analog. I recently got one of their weekly desk pads, and it’s already been an incredible tool!
Sure, you can do all this with a boring, black planner you picked up for $5….but why?
Put a little pretty on your desk and notice your mood brightening just that little bit more every time you look at that never-ending list. (It’ll make it feel better, trust me.)