In Business Tips

When I have everything in its place and working well, I feel great and when I feel great I am productive and when I am productive I make more money. These are the programs I use to help me achieve some order, predictability and profitability in my life.

E-MAIL MARKETING: MailChimp is my email marketing program of choice. The fully functioning version of the software is free for up to 2000 names on your lists. For a small upgrade, you can add autoresponders.

BOOKKEEPING – E-COMMERCE: Freshbooks is my program of choice to provide estimates and invoices. I use QuickBooks to do my accounting but I think it is terribly tedious for invoicing. So I use Freshbooks to manage the client billing and then, when I receive money, I mark it received in Freshbooks and then enter it in a deposit into Quickbooks.

WEBINARS: Free Conferencing.com is a great program for webinars and teleseminars. It is very easy to use and can handle up to 1000 people on the call. You can show your screen and even allow a participant to share their screen. It will record the seminar as well. The one catch is that it does not record the screen capture.

In addition, I also have ScreenFlow which allows me to record the screen for only $99.00 (Camtasia is another similar program that is about the same price). I can run ScreenFlow to record the audio and video for the webinar which saves me $100 per month for Go to Webinar. The other citrix program, Go to Meeting is only $25 but it only handles up to 25 people on the call.

WEBSITES: WordPress.org is the only way to go.

FORM BUILDER: Gravity Forms is a premium WordPress plugin and it’s the bees knees. It’s super easy to make simple contact forms or even complicated multipage forms, as well as order forms with conditional logic. Gravity Forms has add on relationships with Paypal, Freshbooks, MailChimp and many other programs. A single license is $39.00 and a developer’s license is $199.00.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT: DeskAway is an online project management software that was designed for digital agencies & marketing teams. It allows you to create projects and templates of to do lists. I have created templates outlining processes such as our web design tasks, website monthly maintenance tasks and email newsletter publishing tasks. I can then create projects or clients and import those lists into that project and assign the tasks to various team members. We can add tasks on the fly and even e-mail them and client communications to DeskAway. Now, if DeskAway would just do the work it would be perfect!

EMAIL: Gmail is the easiest email solution out there and since it is cloud based, you can log in from anywhere on any computer. You can import another email address such as yourname@yourcompanyname.com, and receive those emails in your gmail account. You can set the default from e-mail to your company e-mail account. So I think it is high time to get rid of your aol, hotmail or prodigy email addresses and move into this century with a free and easy Gmail account.

CALENDAR: Google Calendar is very easy to use and it syncs with my iphone calendar. You can have multiple calendars and even share them with friends or colleagues. And it is easy to embed a Google Calendar onto a Website.

What are your favorite online tools?

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