Over the course of my career, I have picked up some really cool tools, mainly ones that help save time, and some that really help with design and administrative tasks. Here are the tools I use in my everyday business.
I am an early adopter of Adobe Creative Suite and use the most common programs in their Creative Cloud subscription. These are: Adobe Photoshop for photo editing and sometimes document creation, Adobe Illustrator for vector graphics such as logos, Adobe Indesign for publications, Adobe Dreamweaver for writing HTML code and CSS, Adobe XD for Wire-framing, Adobe Premier Pro for video editing and Adobe DC for PDF editing.
I will use Canva at a pinch, if I am away from my computer and need to do a not-so-complex design I will use Canva, and especially if I think a client may need to edit an image or create images and they don’t know how to use Adobe products I will recommend they use Canva. Its easy to use and the templates are really modern. I will be creating Canva templates soon that will be available for purchase in the store coming in January 2020.
I use Google Chrome Browser to create website designs on. I prefer Google Chrome because the extensions are really helpful, Ive included links to my favorites below. I use GSuite for email, file storage, form building and document creations. I love the fact everything is shareable and accessible on the cloud.
I create websites with two different platforms, one WordPress CMS and the other, Squarespace. WordPress is a great option for those looking to create ANY type of website with a lot of bells and whistles. I use Elegant Themes DIVI builder and theme. I have been using WordPress.org for over 15 years and know it really well. WordPress takes a little bit of a learning curve to get going thats why some people shy away from using it, my goal is to make even the timid of WP users comfortable in updating their website by themselves. Look for WordPress child themes for DIVI coming in January 2020 to the store.
SiteGround Hosting is my number one go to hosting company when it comes to WordPress, they have some amazing tools for site management and security including: all plans come with managed WordPress hosting. Free SSD drives come included on all shared hosting plans. Servers are powered by PHP7, HTTP/2 and NGINX+ caching. They offers free SSL certificates (Let’s Encrypt) and CloudFlare CDN. They also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. All things considered, SiteGround is the superior web host right now! They have a team that is dedicated to speed, security and support – the 3S that every site needs!
As mentioned above, I also create websites using Squarespace. I use Squarespace when clients need a website that doesn’t require a lot of bells and whistles. Squarespace is also great for those wanting to be able to edit their own websites, although there is a small learning curve, its not as intimidating as WP to navigate. Creating a custom styled Squarespace website is best when you know CSS and HTML so your website stands out and doesn’t look like all other Squarespace sites. Squarespace templates will be available to purchase from the store in January 2020.
For client management, proposals, contracts, time tracking, task management and accounting I use Bonsai. Bonsai helps me keep track of my calendar, invoices, expenses and online payments. It also keeps all of my contracts and proposals. I love the ease of use and the intuitive way it performs. I have tried many client management tools over the past few years and still prefer the platform of Bonsai over many popular options.
I hope some of these tools help you explore for your day to day business operation. I am still trying to find the perfect social media planning and posting tool for my business, I welcome any suggestions. Drop me an email or comment below. Thanks for reading!