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April 15, 2020

Favorite Business Tools That Will Make Your Life Easier


I have a confession to make, I’m a tools and software junky. I LOVE to try a new program and platform. I love to experiment with new options. I love to listen to recommendations from experts and try out what works for them.

And then I come back to my favorites.

There’s a lot to be said for different aesthetic and organizational preferences, one solution that another business owner loves may just NOT work for you or me. It’s about understanding you, your business and your clients well enough to put together a streamlined experience for you both that keeps you organized and moving forward.

Here are my MUST HAVE business tools and software: 


Type of Tool:
Business Management

Paid or Free: Paid

App or Web-Based: Web-Based

Dubsado is my home base for client-facing communications: contracts, invoices, payments, and questionnaires. It’s clean and simple (while still being highly customizable) and my clients are able to sign contracts and pay their deposits easy peasy.

And, guys? I’ve truly tried them ALL! I have test drove (or used for months) Honeybook, 17Hats, Tave, Studio Ninja, and countless others. And FAR AND AWAY my favorite is Dubsado, so that’s what I use.

You’re able to:

  • Send contracts
  • Send and collect on invoices
  • Send questionnaires
  • Build and send proposals
  • Collect leads
  • Create and save canned emails
  • Allow leads/clients to schedule appointments (a la Calendly or Acuity) 

If you need to get a streamlined system in place for your client onboarding, I highly recommend Dubsado! If you want to try it out, I have a discount code for 20% off your first month or year – YAY!

Ideas for using Dubsado:

  • Streamline onboarding for clients
  • Collect deposits from clients
  • Use the built-in Dubsado appointment scheduler to easily allow clients to set up appointment times

Link here for a discount on trying out Dubsado: Code is arizona


Type of Tool: Task / Project Management

Paid or Free: Free (with paid upgrades available)

App or Web-Based:  Both

Oh, man, y’all. I love trying out new to-do apps – name any of them and I have TRIED IT! But time and time again, the one true and best one for me is Asana and I’ll tell you why.

I coordinate tasks with a virtual/in-person assistant and I’m often on-the-go. My Sam works from home and Asana has been incredibly easy for us to collaborate on tasks and making sure that our clients are moving through the process as planned. If I am out and about and think of something that needs to get done, it’s super easy to add a task or a note with the mobile app. I also can check what tasks are left to be done on any job at any given time.

It’s also a fabulous place to store content ideas, you can add notes and links and keep a running list of content ideas so when it comes time to start planning your next chunk of content, you already have a roster of ideas to pull from!

You can create template projects and tasks and sub-tasks and duplicate for new clients / projects.

If you find yourself feeling scattered with what to do next or worried you’re forgetting things, I’d start using Asana ASAP – it will change your business!

Ideas for using Asana:

  • Map out your client process and create a template you can replicate for each client
  • Create reoccurring tasks for things you forget and that repeat
  • Save content ideas and give them due dates to create a content plan


Type of Tool: Website Builder + Hosting

Paid or Free: Paid

App or Web-Based: Web-Based

I think I can say this for every category of business tool here but I have ALSO tried every type of website builder/host. And Showit is BAE. It’s the best of WordPress + design (IMHO) – you get the ability to build a 100% custom website with awesome drag and drop design features. You can choose exactly where every design element and headline is positioned. It’s so simple and truly, so fun. There is no limit to what you can do!

Showit works in tandem with WordPress so you build your main website pages and blog design within Showit and you blog through WordPress. That may sound complicated but I promise it’s not. You basically get all the SEO awesomeness of WordPress with all the design functions of a 100% custom website. 

Oh! And you don’t have to spend money on a separate template. Showit comes with an awesome selection of free templates to use as jumping-off points and there is a style to fit everyone. If you want a more advanced design to start with you can also shop paid templates from some amazing designers. Some of my favorites are Elizabeth McCravy, Tonic Site Shop and Megan Martin Creative.

Ideas for using Showit:

  • Build a website that makes you say, “damn, this is awesome.”
  • Create an about page that shows off all your personality
  • Finally start blogging because you’re ready for your SEO to be off the charts


Type of Tool: Email Marketing

Paid or Free: Paid

App or Web-Based: Web-Based

Email marketing is a critical step in guaranteeing the ongoing health of your business and relationship with your community. And I was totally ignoring it. I had a list in Mailchimp and every time I went to email my list, I was battling against the email building and it felt impossible to make an email that was beautiful and functional…and then I found Flodesk.

::cue sounds of angels::

Flodesk is the answer to the email questions you don’t even know you have. It makes setting up emails that are gorgeous and branded so simple. The templates that are included are beautiful and clean. They make you feel like an expert when you don’t know what you’re doing – winning.

If you’ve debated starting an email list (or finally emailing the list you’ve been adding to for weeks/months/years) I really encourage you to look into Flodesk. It’s made building and sending emails SO simple and the built-in form and landing page capabilities are a delight. With Flodesk I was able to set up my first freebie in about 15 minutes. Game.Changer.

If you want to poke around and see the awesomeness AND when you fall in love with FLodesk, as I’m sure you will, use my referral code and you get 50% off FOR LIFE – BOOM baby!

Ideas for using Flodesk:

  • Setup your opt-in to deliver that awesome freebie your fans will rave about Send beautifully designed emails without wanting to pull your hair out Start a monthly newsletter to keep all your people up-to-date on your happenings

Discount link for Flodesk here:


Type of Tool: Notes / Content Management

Paid or Free: Free (paid upgrades available)

App or Web-Based: Both

Do you currently (or typically) have 1,000 tabs open in your browser? Guilty! I’ve found the more activities I can separate from my browser (but not lose connectivity) the more productive I can be. 

Enter, Evernote.

When it comes to creating content and making notes Evernote makes my life easier. It’s a note keeping app which allows you to create notebooks, tag notes and in general be hella organized with all things word document related. I keep a notebook for my business, for education, for journaling and add new ones all the time. 

If you get distracted writing captions in an app like Later (coming up next) or have a hard time writing a blog post in WordPress, sometimes writing in a different environment can be helpful. I find Evernote to be easier to compose in than Google Docs BUT I can still sync notes across devices as the app syncs from my computer to my phone. 

Ideas for using Evernote:

  • Start writing ideas for Instagram captions in one place so you can write when inspired but use when it’s strategic
  • Keep notes from online courses organized (along with PDFs) in one place so you can easily reference education
  • Draft blog posts in a non-distractible environment Start writing the book you’ve always said you’d start!


Type of Tool: Social Media Management

Paid or Free: Paid

App or Web-Based: Both

If you stress about the cohesiveness of your Instagram grid then you already probably use an app like Later to plan your feed. It’s delightful. But more than letting you organize your feed you can also gather data about optimal times to post, plan stories and organize your images that you haven’t posted before (or have and want to post again) 

Later also comes with the ability to have specific posts link to specific URLs – so if you have products or share lots of blogs it can be helpful to use their Linkinbio feature to be able to send followers exactly where you’d like to go for each post in your feed. 

I have tried other planning apps for Instagram and Later to me is the easiest to navigate and use. I love how it organizes my images, my posts and makes it easy to reschedule posts either based on the flow of my grid or on a calendar based on when I want the post to go live. 

Ideas for using Later:

  • To get your feed on lock
  • To plan your content mix to better serve your audience (if you need help with what this means – hit me up)
  • To be able to easily connect posts in your feed to specific URLs (products, blog posts, etc)


Type of Tool: Graphic Design

Paid or Free: Free (with paid upgrades available – and worth it!)

App or Web-Based: Web-Based

Do I have Photoshop? Yes. Do I know how to use it? Also, yes.

But I still prefer Canva for creating graphics! Canva comes built in with sooooo many templates and they give you a jumping off point for so many graphics you may need. Facebook posts, Instagram stories, flyers, Youtube channel art, postcards, business cards, – truly everything. 

If you upgrade to the paid account you also get the ability to save your brand colors and fonts so they’re easily accessed for your designs. Boom. Consistent content will now be your middle name. 

Oh! And in the paid version any design you make you can resize – so if you’re launching a new product and design an Instagram graphic to promote, you can resign for stories, Facebook and Pinterest and then customize each one without having to start from scratch!

Ideas for Using Canva :

  • Create awesome, branded graphics to build engagement on Instagram
  • Make a cute Infographic to add to your about page
  • Design an Instatory quiz that you can use to learn more about your followers
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