Just like Despicable Me’s Gru had his minions, every entrepreneur should have their own minions to give them the best opportunity to create the best business and life. The support could be in the form of a virtual assistant, an accountant, or a mentor, but it can also come in the form of applications. There are so many tools out there that are specifically created to make the business life of an entrepreneur easier. In no particular order these are my favorite resources. I guess you could call it “Aprille’s Fav Five”.
Although glitchy at times, in my opinion, Canva has got to be the best graphic-design tool for professional and non-graphic designers. I create more complex designs in Photoshop, but the creations I can create in Canva are fantastic. Canva is easy to use and comes with pre-designed templates.
I also love that they are adding more and more templates, features, and designs. The best part about Canva is that it’s free! Although I upgraded to the paid version so that I could have more control and more flexibility over my designs. I have created lead magnets, banners, business planners, logos, and websites and social media banners all using Canva. It’s so easy and it comes with a tutorial if you need it.
I have to admit it took a couple of tries to really get into Evernote. The first time I tried it out, I just didn’t get it. However, I continued to hear others say that it was just the most awesome and amazing thing. So I said why not give it another shot and I am so glad I did. Evernote has a desktop version, a snippet tool add-on and an app that syncs to everything. Evernote is where I aggregate most of my content and brain dump. I love that I can record an audio and save it in Evernote. I love that I can click on the text to talk feature on my iPhone and speak my note into Evernote. Bam! This eliminates the extra step to transcribe. This is quite a timesaver.
If I’m on the go, and a fantastic idea pops in my head, all I have to do is grab my phone and put all my ideas into Evernote. And if I’m ever in a situation where I can’t get to my phone, I can just jot down my ideas on a napkin or some other scrap piece of paper, take a snapshot photo using Evernote camera feature and the note on my napkin is saved. How fantastic is that? I think that is probably one of the top features that I love.
What don’t I love about Coschedule? First of all it integrates with Evernote and WordPress. Anytime I come up with notes in Evernote or create a blog post in WordPress, everything is synced together. The blog post is available in Coschedule’s calendar which makes it easier to schedule out. Now here are two awesome features I could not do without and absolutely eliminates the cost for hiring a VA… at least in this particular area.
The first feature is Coschedule’s best times hack. Whenever I want to share my blog post or content on social media I don’t have to try to figure out when my audience is going to be on social media. No. All I have to do is tell Coschedule I wanted to post at the best time and it figures it out for me. Boom!
The second feature that I absolutely love is the social media sharing template. You only need to create the template once. After I write my blog post and apply the template (which includes sharing during the best times) add some images, GIFs, and a few different headlines, all I have to do is apply it.
My blog post is then scheduled for posting on all my connected social media accounts at the best time my market is on social media. It takes maybe 30 minutes tops to set up the entire template and 15 minutes per blog post there after. So literally once created, you are spending 15 minutes per week sharing it on social media.
Dropbox is a one stop shop for all my personal or business files. I save audiobooks, images, and more. I love Dropbox more than Google drive. Even though Google Drive gets my respect. However, my first love goes to Dropbox. I adopted Dropbox early in my entrepreneurial journey, back in 2010 and we have been together ever since. It’s not a complicated application. And I love how I can access it on all my devices wherever I go. The ability to share files is seamlessly easy.
I had to purchase more storage because I save a lot of photos in Dropbox because I take a lot of photos of my children on my DSLR and iPhone. It’s also easy to share documents with other people by creating a shareable link. I’m sure Dropbox has way more to offer than what I use it for, the way I use Dropbox is simply enough for me and my business.
If you are on social media, anyone at any given point in time can tag you in a post. And depending on how you have your notifications set up, it can be very overwhelming to keep up with all the instances where someone has brought up your name or has made a comment for you. Google alerts allows you to create alerts based on your name so that you can see where online someone has mentioned you, but this free version is pretty limited. Mentions allows you to do so much more. Not only can you create an alert based on your name, you can also create an alert based on misspellings of your name. You can also create keywords within that alert you don’t want associated with your name. Let me explain this a little better.
So let’s say there were two Aprille Reed’s. There’s me and then there is another one who is a musician. I can set an alert to look for Aprille Reed’s minus musician. So I do not have to filter through the wrong Aprille. Now if you thought that was cool wait till you hear about this. Mentions also allows you to integrate social media accounts and aggregates it all in one area so that you can respond in one place. You don’t have to leave the mentions application to respond to your twitter feed. Awesomesauce!
So many tools, tips, and apps have aid in my business career. There are so many out there. I just shared the top five that are making the biggest difference in how I spend my time and how I advance in my business without going crazy. So just to recap, Canva is my number one go-to graphic design website because of quickness and ease. Evernote is fantastic for collecting all my ideas and storing it in one place. CoSchedule takes the thinking out of figuring out when to post on social media. Dropbox is a one stop shop for all my personal and business files. Last but definitely not least is mentions. Mentions allows me the one-stop-shop for viewing mentions of my name and responding to comments all in one place.
Aprille Reed is an Online Business & Marketing Strategist as well as Tapping into Wealth Coach for ambitious moms who are online coaches or consultants. She helps them cultivate a 6-figure mindset, attract their ideal clients, and stop playing small so that they can have more high-paying clients and create a business that allows them to do whatever they want whenever they want. Aprille has knack for creating online businesses and does this strengthening her clients marketing, mindset, and sales!