I know how hard it can be to find the right tools to help you smoothly run your business.
It can be overwhelming, confusing and debilitating. It can also take a hell of a lot of time! So, to save you time and energy I've listed my favorites below!
Don't get carried away- there are a lot of great tools below. But only use the ones that save you time and money.
The simpler you keep your business, the happier you will be.
If you find a tool that you loooove below then hop into our Facebook group and let me know how you plan on using it!
Pancake- A really awesome invoicing tool. What I love about Pancake is that you can fully customize your invoices using CSS.
Basecamp- You have to pay monthly for this but it's the most popular project management tool out there. Most of your clients will be able to use this, so you should look into it using it too!
Timetrade- This is the tool I use to schedule Skype calls with my clients. There are plenty of others out there, but I love how simple this one is.
Trello- A totally free and totally AMAZING project management tool. It will blow your mind.
Streak- Streak is my fave business tool ever. Period. It's a free add-on for Gmail that allows you to schedule your emails, track who opens them and much, much more.
Quicksprout- This free tool lets you compare your website to your competitors. Genius!
Hosting & domains
Dreamhost- I use Dreamhost and it's a really reasonable price for yearly hosting. The customer service is also superb!
A small orange- A lot of my clients and friends use this and I've heard great things.
Flywheel- Flywheel is designed JUST for Wordpress, and it's really easy to use. They even migrate your site for you- for free!
Bluehost- If you need cheap hosting then this may be your best bet. Bluehost isn't the best, most awesome hosting I could rave about, but it does the job.
Coschedule- Coschedule integrates with Wordpress so you use it directly in WP itself. A lot of people think you can only use it to schedule social media posts for your blog posts, but it does EVERYTHING. You can schedule blog posts AND schedule social posts.
Buffer- Buffer lets you schedule social media posts for Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets for $10 per month. Sadly, it hasn't integrated Pinterest yet.
Design seeds- I use this to help me choose color palettes for my client projects. They update their website with new palettes each day.
Creative market- This is a great place to buy unique fonts, photography, website themes and other creative gems! It's also a great place to sell your digital products.
Font squirrel- Download lots of free fonts.
PSD moodboard templates- I created a free moodboard template for designers & makers to use in Photoshop, but you can also purchase 5 more for $5!
Subtle patterns- If you're looking for a subtle, professional background pattern for your site then this site is perfect for you. They even integrate with Photoshop!
Mobile responsive design testing- If you need to test how your site looks across devices you don't have then use this.
The noun project- my favorite place to buy icons!
What font- Find the name of any font on a website.
Chrome ruler extension- This extension is a MUST-HAVE for web designers. It lets you measure areas of any website in pixels.
Chrome color picker extension- This tool enables you to find out the color code of any color on any website.
Studiopress- I use the Genesis Framework for all of my websites because it's suuuuper easy to use and amazing for your SEO.
Theme forest- You can buy thousands of amazing themes here, and not just for Wordpress but for pretty much any platform!
Pretty darn cute designs- My faaaaave place to buy pretty Wordpress themes for the Genesis framework. I use the Swank theme for my personal site! Restored 316 designs- Another place to buy pretty Wordpress themes at affordable prices! Each theme is around $50.
Themejug- If you're looking for a theme that is less pretty and more professional then Themejug is a great place to look. They sell some pretty great portfolio themes.
Click to tweet- This plugin allows you to easily make parts of your blog posts tweetable.
Comment reply notification- Want readers to know when you reply to their comment? This plugin sends them a little email when you do!
Custom sidebars- Looooove this one. It enables you to create different sidebars for different pages.
Header & footer plugin- Sometimes, you need to paste snippets of code into the header of your website. If you are scared of messing with code and breaking your website then download this plugin, totally free.
JQuery pin-it button- Get those customizable pin-it buttons when a reader hovers over your blog post image.
WP external links- This plugin makes every external link open in a new window so you don't lose readers.
Woocommerce- My favorite plugin for adding shops to Wordpress websites.
Gravity forms- You have to pay for this one, but it's well worth it. It's a popular plugin to create forms on your website.
Backup buddy- A really useful plugin that allows you to easily and safely backup your Wordpress site!
Unsplash- This is the website I visit first whenever I need stock photos.
Shay Cochrane- If you want your website to have a girly, 'Kate Spade' feel then Shay's photos might help!
Courses, tutorials & ebooks
Stress less & impress- Leah's course guides you through the steps to streamlining your processes and automating your business.
Business & legal forms for graphic designers- Gotta make sure your business is running legally!
Small business bodyguard- Protect your business legally and affordably.
Designer scripts- Do you use Gmail's canned emails? Need some email scripts? Erin has made some specifically for designers.
30 day launch plan checklist & calendar- I used this to plan the Shelancers launch and it is amaaazing- and free!
Run your business using only Evernote- this fascinated me. Imagine using Evernote as a project management tool? It's possible! And free!
30 days to better hand lettering- I love the concept of improving any skill in 30 days! With dedication, it's possible.