It may not surprise you to hear that I LOVE systems & tools. I am a ‘geek’ when it comes to finding the right tech to make life easier + to automate how we make money… and I have spent many years testing various tools to find the ones that work best for me and my clients.
Here is a list of the various tools, systems and folks that I use and recommend… ones that I can’t live without, enjoy!
* In the spirit of full disclosure there are affiliate links within this post, as indicated by a lovely little * beside the link. If you choose to purchase something based on my recommendation I may be paid a referral fee.
Top 10 Tools Tina Couldn’t Live Without!
1) Teamwork Projects* – Project Management & Virtual Office
This tool is my brain and I couldn’t live without it! When it comes to project management tools, there is a plethora of choices out there and it can daunting to find the right one. After years of trying many of the tools out there we’ve finally found the one we love – Teamwork Projects. We use it for project management (keeping track of who is doing what) and also to centralize all of our company files & information (how to do stuff aka SOP guide). It’s simple to use and functions as our lifeline for the team – AND it works great on mobile devices too. I give this one two enthusiastic thumbs up.
If you sign up for any paid version of Teamwork Projects using the link above OR the referral code ‘automateyourgrowth’ at signup I will be paid an affiliate commission, and as such I’d love to give you something in return. I will gift you my 90 Day Systems Setup Guide & Checklist ($497 value) – this takes you step-by-step through setting up your OWN Top 10 Systems within 90 days. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your gift.
Want to see how we use Teamwork Projects in my biz? Check out my Tame the Chaos 90-minute training.
2) Infusionsoft* – Ecommerce, Broadcasting and CRM
This tool has been the hub of my business since 2010 (it really should be #1 on the list) – it’s ecommerce, email marketing, automated follow-up and CRM all rolled into one. Infusionsoft isn’t for everyone – especially if you are in the earlier stages of business! – and as awesome as it is, it’s a tough one to learn. My recommendation: don’t try to figure it out yourself or you might go batty, get help from someone who is trained in the system.
3) AppointmentCore – Calendar & Scheduling Management
The day I started using an online scheduler was one of the best days of my business life. Instead of having to do that annoying “back and forth dance via email” to find a time to schedule meetings, I connect AppointmentCore to my calendar and send folks a link with open times. They simply pick a time that works for them and voila! We are set. It also syncs with Infusionsoft so we can manage appointments A to Z. Mwah!
4) Dropbox* – Cloud File Sharing and Backup
I don’t know about you but I struggled to find a good backup service for years – I would either forget to use the service (if it wasn’t automatic) or it would hang up my system each time it was doing a backup. Enter Dropbox, which does a seamless “sync” of your files to their online servers – not only is it a backup, it also becomes a way to access your files from anywhere you like. You can also share folders with other people on your team (vs. always trying to send stuff via email). Love love love this tool, I would sing it from the mountain tops.
5) Instant Teleseminar* – Bridgeline Service
Although we do more webinars these days (see #6) we still do a fair amount of teleseminar style calls as well. I will admit, I was a free bridgeline user for years. I had of course heard of Instant Teleseminar but was too cheap to fork out the $97/month… until I started using it and became hooked. I love how you can see who is online during the calls, you can mute/unmute individual folks easily and record calls with a click of the button. There is a webcast option that people love and even a way to share powerpoint presentations during a call. Plus it’s a paid service, so if you have trouble with your bridgeline you can call someone and say “help!” – which you can’t do with the freebie lines. Believe me, it is well worth the investment.
6) AnyMeeting* – Online Webinars
Online Webinars are a powerful way to deliver trainings – free or paid. I’ve tried MANY tools over the years, some pretty good and others disasters. Once I found AnyMeeting I cancelled everything else and just use this. You can do slides, videos, show your smiling face. You can record with one click. And people can dial in online or by phone. We use it all the time and I love it.
7) LastPass* – Password Management
Seems we have passwords for everything these days. Not only is it impossible to remember them all, but we are supposed to make sure they are complex enough to be secure. Ack! Enter Lastpass – an online password management tool that keeps track of all your passwords so you don’t have to. It has a great plugin for your browser so that you can automatically login to your various websites as needed – AND there is a team version so that you can securely share passwords with team members and control access when people join or leave your biz. <– sweet!
8) Grasshopper – Virtual Toll-free Number
I know there are lots of great toll-free and virtual phone services out there, and we used another tool for years which was OK. But after getting annoyed at what felt like constant additional charges we switched to Grasshopper and it’s been great! We don’t get a lot of phone calls, but I do like giving people a toll-free number to use if they want to call. You can set up calls to be directed to whomever you like, and also get copies of voicemail messages sent to you via email (which I LOVE).
9) Adobe Sign (was EchoSign)* – Electronic Signature Service
Fax machine? What’s that? 😉 Truthfully, we’ve used EchoSign now for so many years that my fax machine is just sitting in the corner gathering dust. When we started using this tool we no longer had to ask folks to “fax back their agreements” for our courses and programs – instead we send them a copy online and they do a virtual signature in minutes. It’s all legit and is SOOO much easier all around.
10) Amazon S3 – Big File Hosting
This is a super dreamy tool if you have large files to host – like videos for example. I remember back in the day when I started in this biz, you used to have to pay ooodles of money to be able to host video. Amazon S3 does the trick and literally costs just dollars a month (I think the most I’ve paid in a month is $15.) We host all of our training videos here for all of our programs – also great to host audio files, PDF files and anything that you don’t want to put on your own website servers.
UPDATE: I’ve found 3 more tools that I can’t live without – check them out here
I’m curious what are your ‘can’t live without’ tools? Comment re: what you love and why
(No affiliate links pls – we will delete any comments with affiliate links)