In today's video, you're going to learn the only five free tools you need to organize your business.
There are a LOT of tools out there that you can choose from, and it can be a real time suck trying each and every one to see what's a good fit for your business.
Instead, you can use this video to discover the best ones!
Watch the video below or continue reading.
01. Wave Apps
The first business tool that I want to talk to you about is Wave Apps. Wave is a free bookkeeping and invoicing tool.
The pros? It's free and it's super easy to use, you can add your accountant, you can use it to document your personal bills and expenses as well as business, you can download the Wave Receipts App to photograph and upload receipts on the go, and all of the reports that you need (such as your profit and loss reports) are included!
I have tried a lot of accounting tools over the last six years, like QuickBooks and Xero for example. But Wave has always been my favorite.
The cons? You can only invoice clients in your own currency and you can't import transactions automatically from Stripe. You have to import them manually.
I personally don't think that those two things are that big of a deal, so I've still stuck with Wave because I love it that much.
I suggest you use Wave Apps and create a monthly bookkeeping day. So on the same day every month, you will dedicate one or two hours to bookkeeping.
Simply open up Wave on that day, input all of your receipts for the month, and categorize all of your transactions for the month. Then you are done! This will help you to avoid the crazy chaos that so many freelancers go through at tax season when they suddenly need to organize a year’s worth of receipts.
Have you ever sent dozens of back and forth emails to a client, trying to agree on a date for a consultation that works for both of you? It takes so much time and energy just to find a day that works for you both.
The solution is to use an online scheduler like Calendly. Here's how it works: you send your client a link to your Calendly calendar, and then the client just clicks the link. It shows them the dates and the times that you're available. They choose one, fill in their details, and then Calendly automatically imports that information to both of your calendars. It takes all of the hard work out of it for you completely!
The pros of Calendly? It is super simple for you and your clients to use, it integrates with your Google, Apple, Office 365 or Outlook calendar, it’s time intelligent (meaning it seamlessly detects the timezone of your invitee and converts your available meeting times to their timezone), and there's a free plan you can use if you only have one event type.
The con? If you need more than one event type, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan. (An event type is a category for your meeting. For example, I have an event type called 'Coaching Call' and one called 'Coffee Chat'.)
The other con is that you can't customize the email notifications your clients receive if you're on the free plan. It's not a big deal though because Calendly's readymade email notifications are just fine.
Stop sending clients contracts to print, sign, scan, and send back to you because that makes your clients jump through hoops to get booked in your schedule.
Hellosign let's you send contracts electronically. So, when a potential client wants to book a spot in your schedule, what you'll do is send them the contract from Hellosign. It will allow them to sign the contract right from their inbox so they don't have to print it! They can just click a couple of buttons and sign the contract electronically, then Hellosign sends you both the finalized copy.
The con of the free plan on Hellosign is that you can only send three documents per month. But for most of you reading this, that is enough.
(Need a legit contract template? A template that was specifically written for web and graphic designers? I recommend The Contract Shop!*)
You guys know I talk about this tool all the time because I love it that much. Asana is a free project management tool that you can use with unlimited clients and up to 15 team members before you need to upgrade to a paid plan.
Now, in case any of you don't know, a project management tool is a secure space online where you can handle your entire project with the client. So you can communicate with the client, send feedback and files, assign tasks to yourself or the client, assign due dates, create calendars, and more!
The beauty of Asana is the task reminders. If you want to make sure your client remembers something (like their payment, for example), simply create a task in Asana, assign it to the client and give it a due date. When that date approaches, Asana will send an email reminder to your client!
Another pro? You can create recurring tasks that pop up on your calendar or your client’s calendar on a regular basis.
Honestly, I could go on about it for a long time because I like it that much. The cons are pretty much none that I can think of. That's why it is my favorite free project management tool.
For those of you who don't know, I have a free course that teaches you how to use Asana with your clients!
Instead of using Apple Mail for your business, I recommend Gmail. The reason I think that Gmail is better is because of the simple fact that it is easier to give team members access to Gmail than it is to Apple Mail. You may not have a team now, but if your business keeps growing, you will eventually have one, and you don't want to get to that point where you're suddenly hiring team members and you've got to also start using a different inbox tool because these team members can't work with the one that you're currently using.
Some of your team members may not have an Apple device, whereas everyone is familiar with Gmail.
Plus, there is the added benefit of joining Gsuite when you’re ready (it starts at £3.30 per month) so you can create a professional email address right from within Gmail. For example, instead of firstname.lastname@example.org, your email address can be email@example.com.
There are lots of great features to Gsuite. There's also Google Drive, which you can use to send files to your clients, and Google Calendar, which you can use to stay organized.
* All links with an * next to them are affiliate links. Don’t worry though, I’d never recommend something I don’t use and love!