The Top Apps that Save me from Crazy!
Starting a business was something that I had always kind of dreamed of. Being my own boss, making my own hours, not have to ask for vacation time….But it isn’t always long lunches and weekend get aways. Sometimes I’m working at 11 pm on a Saturday because that is when inspiration strikes, but that is who I am. But I still have deadlines to meet with clients and bills to pay.
Since I started freelancing about 2 years ago, and I was kind of thrown into it I didn’t know where to start. I have in these 2 years gained some insight into scheduling, invoicing, and organizing things to make it less stressful especially during tax season. I’m going to share with you my 5 favorite apps that keep my life & business running smoothly (well less bumpy, anyway).
My first year of business I would invoice everyone myself, track if they paid, and try to categorize all my expenses in Excel. Well tax season came around and….I was lost. I mean I have an accountant in the family or 3, so thank god for that because he took off a lot of the stress, but I still have to do all the book keeping. People don’t tell you when you start a business you’re marketing, operations, management, and account plus doing the actual service you provide. Year 2 rolled around and I signed up for QuickBooks Self-Employed and I haven’t looked back since. Here are some of the great services quickbooks helps with:
Create and send professional invoices quickly on the go. Get paid faster by enabling online payments.
Automatic mileage tracking means automatic deduction tracking- an average of $7,393 in potential mileage deductions per year.
A quick picture is all it takes to keep every receipt at your fingertips so you don’t have to worry about losing them.
By categorizing transactions, customers may find potential tax deductions that could cut their tax bill by 36%.
QuickBooks does the math to help you set money aside for worry-free quarterly taxes. No more year-end surprises.
Other Necessary Reports – P&L statements, Tax Summary, etc.
Find out more about QuickBooks Self-Employed here.
Trello is amazing especially if you are working on multiple projects at the same time or have a team. Trello allows you to take the chaos out of projects – each person is assigned to their task and knows what they should be doing. You can create marketing strategy calendars, project tasks, and create templates for onboarding new clients. Honestly, Trello has helped me and my partner so we don’t end up working on the same task and waste time. This has helped streamline our business and helped us be more agile and timely with projects…best part is that it’s FREE!
Try out Trello for free today. Click here.
You can’t run a business without email, Microsoft Word, or Excel Spreadsheets! This is where I turned to office 365…I’m able to host my email for my business and I gain access to the Microsoft Apps we all grew up with, know, and love: Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, Skype, and more.
Get started with Office 365 today.
Lets talk Instagram…social media is a very important part of business today. Some companies start without a website they just have a great social media feed. I don’t always have time during the day to stop and post something to Instagram or Facebook and when I do I want to share more than one word and a hashtag (well I don’t want all my posts to be one word). This is where having a social media calendar helps me out ALOT. I can schedule posts about new launches, upcoming sales, and more so I’m not doing everything on the fly. Then on the day to day I can still share fun stories and things I am doing in the moment. It takes off the stress of planning my social media strategies for my business. Currently I use Planoly to schedule all my Instagram posts – it is so easy to use and I can see what the pictures will look like on my IG feed before posting. If I don’t want 2 of the same type of pictures next to each other they are easy to drag and drop to another spot. There is also build in analytics to see what posts are getting the best engagement.
Find out more about Planoly here.
When I was just working alone this wasn’t necessary, but as my company has grown I feel this was a necessary link in the chain to create a good workflow. I know as a freelancer I sometimes work well into the night, but some people like to work a strict 9-5. Slack has create a way for us to communicate and not interrupt date night but getting a text at 8pm…that might also get lost in all the chit chat. People can sign on when they are available and sign off when they aren’t. But it is easy for me to send a question to Jeff and he can answer it when he isn’t busy…I’m not interrupting his personal time, it won’t get lost in email or text, and its a less formal way to communicate with each other.
Get started with Slack for free today!