Since starting my blog and biz I’ve used and tested a whole bucket full of tools. I like to keep things as simple as possible. When I look for tools to automate business tasks, work on creative projects or just manage my day-to-day, I want something that’s user-friendly and cost-effective. Here are the top 10 I find most helpful and that I use on a daily basis.
Some of the links you find in this post are affiliate links to tools and products I use myself and can honestly recommend. I appreciate if you purchase through these links because it makes running this blog and creating awesome stuff for you possible.
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paid, starting at $3.95/mo.
I am with Siteground ever since I started this blog. I haven’t even tried a different web hosting company because I am 100% satisfied with their service. It’s really affordable and I never had any trouble e.g. my site being down or it loading slow. Plus, their customer service is extraordinary. If you have questions, they always respond immediately.
paid, starting at $9.99/mo.
Okay, this is obvious. For everybody working in the creative industry, Adobe software is a must. Although I’ve used lots of other design software throughout my career, nothing can beat Illustrator or Photoshop. I create almost everything for my blog and biz with Creative Cloud. It’s my go-to for editing photos, creating blog and social media images and of course for all design and branding work for my clients.
Adobe software is said to have a steep learning curve for beginners but once you get the hang of things, you will see that you can do so much more than with other software.
free and paid, starting at $5/mo.
This tool is also something I use for blog and biz. It comes with a professional email address ending on your domain name, Google drive with 30 GB storage and Google calendar. I like to write all my blog posts in Google docs because it has a really simple user interface. You can access your files from everywhere which comes handy when you’re not at your desk 24/7. Google drive also allows me to work together with clients. I can easily give them access to the files they need, create forms for them to fill out etc.
free and paid, starting at $15/mo.
Tailwind is probably the tool that saves me the most time. Pinterest can be a real time-suck. But with Tailwind I just sit down once a week and schedule all my pins for the whole week in less than an hour. It’s so easy to use (always a big bonus) and has some great features.
Tailwind tells you the best times to post and you get great information from their analytics feature e.g. which boards and pins are doing well and how your pins are converting. My favorite feature is board lists. You can create lists of your top boards or group boards which allows you to schedule 1 pin to several boards in one click.
free and paid, starting at $10/mo.
I’ve tried lots of different tools to schedule Twitter and Facebook posts but in the end, I am sticking with Buffer. Why? For me, it’s the easiest way to schedule my own blog posts and other people’s content. The browser extension allows you to quickly fill up your queue will browsing online, even on your phone.
free and paid, starting at $9/mo.
Now, that we’ve covered Twitter and Pinterest, let’s talk about Instagram. Even though you can’t really automate Instagram posts, I find that a planner like Planoly can help to post consistently. With Planoly, you can see what your posts actually look like in your feed. This is very handy if you try to stick with a certain style. You can then write your caption, add hashtags (Planoly helps you to find the best hashtags) and set a time for posting. You can also check how your posts perform in terms of likes and comments in your analytics tap.
free and paid, starting at $10/mo.
Writing your newsletters has never been easier. Mailerlite comes with a drag and drop creator. Your emails will look so much more professional. You can add social buttons, images, or a signature all with just a click.
Mailerlite is free up to 1000 subscribers. But even the paid plans are way more affordable than what other companies offer. I was using Convertkit before but must say that I prefer Mailerlite for its user-friendliness. And I don’t miss any features. I can still automate everything, segment subscribers, create landing pages and signup forms as before. So if you want to save some money too, check it out.
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paid $69/ yearly license
When I came upon this tool, I was unbelievably happy. HTML has never been my forte. So creating a landing, sales, services or just any page on my blog would take me centuries (maybe not centuries but definitely way too long) and the result was often far from what I wanted and even farther from looking professional. Beaver Builder changed this. It’s a plugin for WordPress which allows you to create a page and even posts in a drag and drop editor. No more fumbling with code.
free and paid, starting at $13/mo.
With EasySign you can get your clients to sign your contracts electronically. It’s just super quick. I have a template contract in which I just edit the client information. Once it’s uploaded into HelloSign, I just need to add my signature and create a space for the client to sign and I am done. Your clients will also like that they don’t need to print, sign and then scan the thing to send it back to you. Win, win!
paid, starting at $9/mo.
If you want to sell a digital product, Sendowl is a great choice. Just upload your file, set the price and you’re good to go. Sendowl integrates with lots of other tools. You can connect your email marketing platform e.g. so people can sign up for your email list during the checkout process. Sendowl doesn’t charge you transaction fees. Though you have to pay your normal Paypal or Stripe fees. Buyers can use credit cards, Apple Pay or Paypal to pay you. The checkout is automatically in their language and the price is converted into their regional currency.
This is what I mostly use to run my biz + lots of coffee to keep myself running. If you want to see the full list of tools I use and get some free resources too, check out my >> tools + resources page.