Wondering what tools you need to run your business? Here’s a list of what I use and can recommend. Many of these have free versions!
^Indicates tool I do not currently use, but can happily recommend.
Disclosure: Please note, some of these links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through any of my links, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps me to continue creating free content for this site. I only recommend products I’ve verified or personally used.
Service-Based Business Tools
Dubsado: (Use code PRODUCTIVECO for 20% off your first paid month or year) Since every service and product available at Productive Co. involves Dubsado, it would be silly to leave it off this list. Here’s a small list of what it can do. Further details and features can be found on nearly every page of this site.
Client and document organization
Forms, contract signing, and lead captures
Lead management / sales pipeline management
Branding to your business
Invoicing, payments, and automated reminders
And so much more!
Zoom: Video & phone conferencing with screensharing and chat features
Acuity: Self-scheduling tool as an alternative to Dubsado’s scheduler
Services & Pricing Guide Template: Create an attractive guide to give your clients in Canva or InDesign
The Contract Shop: A wide variety of contract templates for various industries
Postable: (Use code MRRFCQPQ2U for $5 off) Send clients cards that look hand-written and can be scheduled in advance
CloudSpot^: Client photo gallery for photographers that integrates with Dubsado
Product-BASED BUSINESS Tools
MemberVault: Online course hosting platform that doubles as a place to hold free downloads. Has savvy analytics, email notifications, hidden bonus options, and gamification features.
Thinkific^: A traditional online course hosting platform
Square Classroom^: Kerstin Martin’s course shows you how to host online courses within your Squarespace website
ThriveCart: Shopping cart, affiliate center host, and JV partnership manager with lifetime subscription option
SendOwl^: Affordable digital product shopping cart and delivery tool with affiliate center hosting
Asana: Project and task management app
ClickUp^: Project and task management app
Zapier: Connect software that don’t have native integrations
LastPass: Free encrypted password generator, storage, and sharing
G-Suite: (You’ll save 20% off your first year) Google’s best collaboration and productivity tools rolled into one suite
Gmail - Email
Calendar - Calendar
Drive - Cloud storage for documents and images
Docs - “Word” documents that can be shared and commented on
Voice - Free phone number, so you don’t have to give clients your personal one
Kill Newsfeed: Removes Facebook’s newsfeed and limits your distractions
Unroll.Me: Finds all your email subscriptions and lets you quickly unsubscribe from the ones you want
Marinara: Pomodoro timer to break your work into short intervals
Chatra: Website chat messenger perfect for solopreneurs
Doodle^: Schedule team meetings based on everyone’s availability
AirTable^: Super spreadsheets that can double as a database
Wave: Free, easy bookkeeping software with payroll and vendor options
Krener Bookkeeping & Tax: My US accountant - he works with creatives and online business owners
Squarespace: Build a stunning website without ever touching code
Namecheap: Buy your website domain (name)
ConvertKit: Email marketing tool that’s robust, but easy to use. Has attractive optin forms and content upgrade capabilities.
MailerLite: Email marketing tool for those just starting to build a list and want to keep costs down. Free up to 1000 subscribers.
Gleam: Viral giveaway software
Affiliate Program Starter Guide: Zoe Linda’s free intro kit to start your own affiliate program
Affiliate Promotional Pack Template: Create an affiliate partner onboarding guide with this Canva or InDesign template
Tailwind^: (You’ll save $15 when you sign up) Pinterest scheduler
Planoly^: Instagram scheduler, hashtag saver, and comment monitor
Canva: Graphic design software for the non-designer
Mariah Althoff Design: Graphic designer who created Productive Co.’s sleek, but fun brand identity
Loom: Free and easy screen and video recording software
Logitech c920: Affordable webcam
Audio Technica Microphone: Microphone that reduces background noise and captures high-quality sound
Filmora: Simple video editing software (most editing software are for Macs only, but this one’s great for PCs)
Myers-Briggs: Explore how you perceive the world around you and make decisions
Big 5: The most scientifically sound way to classify personality
Kolbe A: Analyzes M.O. so you can determine how to set up your business to suit your personality. Also great for figuring out how to collaborate with clients and teammates. Costs about $50, but worth every penny.
Gretchen Rubin’s 4 Tendencies: Analyzes how you manage inner and outer expectations. Use this information to guide how you approach making habits and reaching goals.
Strength Finders: Find out what your top strengths are, so you can capitalize on your skills