Everyone wants to be more productive and get more done in less time, right? This is part two of my podcast episodes about technology hacks and tools! If you missed part one, click here to listen. Or, scroll on for some notes from part two!
And the best part… most of these are free or have a free option!
Even if you’re not a “to-do list” person, I would recommend Todoist to you. For me, the most helpful thing about it that I can use it to dump out all the “to dos” in my brain. Whenever you think of something that needs to be done, you can jot it in the app whether you’re on your computer or just on your phone. There’s no need to always have to remember everything! Todoiist has a free and paid version. I have the free version now, and I had paid version last year. Both are awesome and have great features! So, quit holding it all together in your brain and get the clutter out!
Also, fast tip: I discovered Todoist from the productivity book “Do More Better”. It’s about productivity from a Christian perspective. It’s super short and I‘d recommend the eBook version on Amazon! I loved it!
12. Amazon Influencer Program
If you are an Amazon shopper and you are constantly telling people where you bought things (or book suggestions, outfit suggestions, etc.) then you need to become an amazon influencer and get an amazon shop. You can see mine here as an example!
I used to just use make affiliate links every time I needed to share items, but it got complicated because there’s SO MUCH to share.
So, now I have the shop and I’m loving the convenience of it! And, you can earn a little affiliate income too!
I like to set boundaries within my business so that I never feel like anyone expects to reply to emails/texts all the time. I actually give my 1:1 clients a booklet when they book with me and part of it tells them about my business hours and availability so we are always on the same page. I make it clear that they shouldn’t expect email/text responses from me on the weekends or in the evenings. I like this freedom.
BUT… sometimes I do work on the weekends or in the evenings. To respect my clients schedules too, I don’t like to email them during those hours. (No one wants to get an email on a Saturday morning telling them a bunch of things they need to do or look at!)
So, that’s where Boomerang comes in. Boomerang is a Gmail add-on application that allows you to schedule your emails to send at a later date. It also allows you to archive a message and then let it “boomerang” back into your inbox in a couple of days/weeks.
I mostly use it for the email scheduling. I get a lot of emails these days, and sometimes late on Sunday afternoons or evenings, I’ll go ahead and tackle some of them just to make Monday start easier. And I ALWAYS use Boomerang. I’ll do my work on writing and replying to emails, then I schedule them to send the next day at 8 am.
It’s incredible! It allows me to work when I want, but still only be emailing during regular business hours. So right now if your MO is to write emails in advance, but then just leave them in your drafts until later, just get boomerang. It’s free and such a time/energy saver!
I feel like everyone has heard of Slack at this point because it’s so beloved by anyone who tries it! Slack is kinda like an Instant Messenger with different “conversation” chat rooms that you can message in. It’s on your computer and your phone, and it allows you to communicate with a “team” of people. Within your team you can also just communicate with smaller groups of people! If you have a team, even just 1-2 people, I highly recommend it. Also, Slack is free. There’s a paid version, but like I’ve said a couple of times, you really will just need the free one.
15. Email Templates
You guys, this is one of the BIGGEST GAME CHANGERS! When you write a message to someone and it’s really good, why write it again every time you need to say it? I make a habit of creating email templates for all the different things I say often or think I’ll need to say again at some point. This allows me to not spend all day in my inbox repeating myself and it allows me to do something really well ONCE and then customize it for future use. See #16 for the tool I store the day to day email templates in, but for my 1:1 client related template emails I store them all in Dubsado, which is my CRM of choice. I use Dubsado to do things like sending the email to onboard a client, sending a mood board for feedback, asking for a testimonial, sending a contract, etc. You don’t have to have a tool like Dubsado to store email templates, but it’s helpful. Dubsado is really used for SO MUCH MORE than storing emails — it’s for collecting payments, sending contracts, invoices, all of that. If you want to try it. Use the coupon code “speak social” at checkout for 20% off your first month or year! But again, the point is… quit writing the same thing over and over again. Use email templates!
Notion is a fairly new app. It released in 2016 and the android version just released last year. So, it’s new! It has similar vibes to Evernote, but it’s way better. It’s my recommended spot for storing things you need to access often and quickly via your phone or computer. I use it to store things like my project checklists, email templates by category for all the different parts of my business (like shop support, random questions I get, Etsy shop, etc.), ideas for marketing in my business, social media ideas, taxes related records, and so much more!
Like everything I’ve mentioned you CAN do this for free, there’s a free version of Notion. I use the paid version to be able to create more folders and docs. But, if you want to try it, click here for a $10 credit. Right now, the personal rate is just $4 a month, so that’s basically 2 ½ months free! So, use Notion to store all those things you need to be able to find quickly.
17. Automated email reply when someone emails you
This one is something you can do through multiple means and outlets, but most traditionally through a CRM. Like I mentioned earlier by CRM is Dubsado! I highly recommend it. But again, this is something you can do through other methods that will make your life easier.
In my business, when someone fills out contact form they get an automated email that varies depending on what they selected that they wanted info about. So, there’s a different email for a general question, template shop question, 1:1 branding/website inquiry, etc. The reason I say this is a time saver is because it takes away the need for you to feel like you need to immediately reply to their inquiry and it keeps you at the top of their mind.
Here are some ideas for what to include in your automated follow up email:
- Link to Instagram or other social media
- Link to a FAQ
- 2-5 blog posts that would help them
- A message about how you’re excited about the possibility of working with them
- When they should expect to hear back from you
Tailwind lets you schedule out your Pinterest content, so that you’re always pinning new stuff! Pinterest can be a HUGE traffic source for your business if you put the work. Tailwind helps with Pinterest growth in so many ways. Just recently, my average monthly views on Pinterest was over 1 million a month, and I attribute a lot of that to both the quality of the work I was doing, but always to Tailwind for making it easier to put out the work! By scheduling out all of your pins at once, you can set it for a month or weeks or whatever and then just forget about.
Just like other tools I’ve mentioned, Tailwind has a free and paid version. I’ve used both, but use the paid one right now. Click here to get a $15 credit for the paid version!
19. Grocery Pick Up or Delivery
I’ve gotten really into grocery pick ups versus just shopping in the store. And, our grocery stores around here all just added delivery, so I’m going to try that soon too!
Basically, you order your groceries online via an app or website, then a couple hours later you either pick them up at your grocery store and someone loads them into your car or they are delivered to your doorstep! I’ve calculated it and doing pick up instead of shopping myself saves me about an hour every week and it also helps me save money because I see the rolling total the whole time I’m shopping, versus the shock at check out of “I spend HOW MUCH!?” So, I love it! I personally use Clicklist with Kroger because that’s what is local to me here in Nashville. But there are many online ones like Instacart and so many others. It can feel like a lot of work to learn a new thing like this the first time, but you’ll be hooked once you do!
This last tool is the ultimate time saver because it shows you WHERE your time is going. I use Toggl to track everything I do in my business by clocking in and out of projects. It helps me know how much time I spend on things so I can know how much I’m actually making hourly. It helps me know where my time is going and how much time I’m actually putting in work-wise. Please try Toggl, even just for 1 week or 1 project and track your time! Toggl helps you pay attention to where your time is going, tells you how much you're actually making per hour and forces you to be more productive!
That’s a wrap you guys! Between these 2 episodes you have 20 tools to help you save time, energy and be more productive in your life and business.
I hope you enjoy exploring all of these tools!