The following is a list of tools I love that are free or very low cost. I have used the tools myself and for clients of all different sizes…do you have a resource you can’t live without? Please share! Email me or comment below – I’m always looking for great tools that make my life and work more efficient.
Small Business Tools
- Working Point – http://www.workingpoint.com/
Small business account software – they made this software for the accounting challenged such as myself. It’s nearly impossible to screw anything up and I have everything my accountant needs each quarter in one place! It’s affordable too – only $9 a month.
- Mavenlink – http://www.mavenlink.com/
Project management software – there are many reasons I love mavenlink but the biggest is it keeps me, my team, and my clients all on the same page in a secure space. You can set budgets, assign tasks and deliverables, set deadlines – all for multiple projects and clients! They also have great live support 24/7.
- Google – https://www.google.com/
Mail, calendars, cloud docs, youtube.com, url shortner and much much more – I ADORE all things google. I use google everything personally and for my small business. Also – they have amazing FREE non profit google apps accounts, you have to apply and be approved but get the latest and greatest tools/security/programs to manage you non profit (http://www.google.com/nonprofits/products/). I will write an entire post on google products but for now – head over and check one or two out.
- Doodle – http://doodle.com/
Scheduling – If you having meetings with more than one person, this FREE scheduling tool is the quickest way to see everyone’s availability in one place without 10 emails. Fast and meeting participants DO NOT have to register to input their availability.
- TimeTrade – http://www.timetrade.com/
Scheduling – this fabulous online tool give you the opportunity to share your available appointment times with anyone and gives them the capability of scheduling without a hassle. Simply share your availability to meet with prospects, clients, team members and they can schedule the appointment immediately receiving a confirmation of meeting and a reminder – all without you having to do anything!!
- Join Me – https://join.me/
Screen-sharing – This FREE resource is easy to use even for the most novice of computer users. I have used many different screen-sharing programs and this is by far my favorite. I’ve used it for troubleshooting, site walk-through, and performing updates on my mom’s pc which is hundreds of miles away.
- Formstack – http://www.formstack.com/ (referral link)
Online Registration and forms – this is another affordable fabulous resource for online registration and general online forms. I have tried many different online forms/registration options (see my comparison list here) – this is the most cost-effective and simple way to manage registrants, contacts and more. They also have a ton of integrations so you can link to google docs and mailchimp etc. I have used this for basic contact forms to events for hundreds of people.
- Bubbl.us – https://bubbl.us/
Mind-mapping tool – this FREE online tool is great for brainstorming and getting things organized visually.
- Seth Godin – http://sethgodin.com/Engagement – If you are looking to build a community of engaged followers – sign-up for Seth’s blog TODAY. He posts daily and always has wonderful insights into the new world of work, marketing and engagement.
- BizBash – http://www.bizbash.com/
Event Planning – this is a great free resource for all things events, it covers event ideas/trends/news in major cities across the US.
- Barbara Stanny – http://barbarastanny.com/
Finances – Barbara has great information on finances for people of all income-levels. I highly recommend signing-up for her “Weekly Words of Wealth”
- Philanthropy Today – http://philanthropy.com/
Fundraising & Philanthropy – this is a FREE priceless resource if you are a fundraiser and/or non profit leader. Each day you can read a summary of fundraising news and trends.
- NonProfit Evolution – http://nonprofitevolution.wordpress.com/
Non profit Executives and Board Governance – expert advice and practical applications, a must-read.
- Donor Dreams Blog – http://donordreams.wordpress.com/
Fundraising and Philanthropy – a blog on becoming donor-centered for non profits.
- TED – http://www.ted.com/
Innovative ideas – head over to this site for inspiration. Whether you need some motivation for yourself or are looking for new perspective and ideas – this is THE place to go. Here is my personal favorite TED Talk – Jill Taylor Bolte’s Stroke of Insight.
- Penelope Trunk – http://www.penelopetrunk.com/
Work and careers – highly entertaining, often offensive but always on target. Great articles on work, careers and job-related trends.
- Danielle LaPorte – http://www.daniellelaporte.com/
Living your passion – LOVE this lady! She is authentic and inspiring – I get blogs and dailytruth bombs delivered everyday.
- Marie Forleo – http://www.marieforleo.com/
Business – Marie has weekly short videos answering questions on a variety of topics relevant to solopreneurs and small business owners. She is lively and entertaining but also has actionable steps.
- creativeLIVE – http://www.creativelive.com/
Online Workshops – FREE online workshops on all things small business taught by industry experts.
- Michael Hyatt – http://michaelhyatt.com/
Business and writing – a ton of great content for FREE! Plus affordable resources on all things business related.
- WordPress – http://wordpress.org/download/
My site and all of the client sites I have designed are on wordpress. It’s reliable, fairly easy to use and the options for themes/customization are limitless (literally).
- Weebly – http://www.weebly.com/
Create a free website with no technical knowledge.
- Wix – http://www.wix.com/
Create a free website – easy drag and drop interface.
- Hubspots Marketing Grader – http://marketing.grader.com/
See how effective your website is for FREE – simply enter your site url and it will present a score with a few recommendations to improve it.
- PicMonkey – http://www.picmonkey.com/
Photo editing online – this is a lovely program with many great features for FREE! You can do all sorts of cool effects, framing and copy on a photo – it’s very user friendly too so even if you aren’t a pro you can get great results.
- Jing – http://www.techsmith.com/download/jing/
Screenshots and screen-sharing – this is a great FREE resource for screen sharing, mock-ups and to create portfolio clips. You simply highlight whatever area you want to capture and then you save it as a jpeg or share it online – so convenient. I use it all the time when troubleshooting.
- Piktochart – https://magic.piktochart.com/
Infographic creator – Get your creative ON! This gorgeous tool has a FREE and paid version – both with great options. You can create stunning infographics in a short period of time in an unforgettable way – here is a sample of one of my creations for the 3rd3rdignited.com.
- Pixlr – http://pixlr.com/editor/
Online photo editing – this FREE tool is a bit more advanced than PicMonkey and has a lot of photoshop like options. I use this for all of my social media visuals (facebook covers/twitter/banners etc.).
- iStock Photos – http://www.istockphoto.com/
Stock photos – thousands of high quality photos, videos and illustrations. I have used iStock for many different clients and always find what I need – even the most obscure photo requirements. Credits are cheaper than purchasing a photo outright but either way it’s very affordable to get great looking photos that aren’t all canned.
- Shutterstock – http://www.shutterstock.com/
Visuals – Shutterstock sends a free photo and free illustration each week, sign-up for a free account to have them delivered right to your email.