Ep #67: Tobi’s Top Online Tools for Business and Life

Firstly, Happy 4th of July to all my friends living in the United States! As a little gift today, I thought I’d share some of my top online tools that I use in my business and life that have truly helped me transform the way I do things and be so much more productive and efficient than I ever could have imagined.

I live in such a digital world with tons of cool online services and apps that help me and my team get so much done in my business. I couldn’t ever imagine going back to not having them in my toolbox, and today I’m giving you a big old list of absolutely everything that I use. From tools in my interior design business, my podcast, webinars, social media, to online courses, and even just personal apps I use to make my busy schedule more manageable, it’s all here today.

Join me this week if you need help with time management, organization, or even just outsourcing certain jobs within your business! It can be really tricky juggling all the balls and these tools I’m sharing with you today are definitely going to take the load off.

If you loved this concept and want to keep this conversation going, make sure to join us in our free Design You Podcast community on Facebook! I’m in there with guests of the show and we answer questions you might have and all sorts of other fun things. See you there!

What You'll Learn From This Episode

  • How my team and I have benefited from using Asana.
  • Why I like using Slack for communicating with my team members and clients.
  • How I keep my email inbox to 40 emails or less.
  • What we use Airtable for.
  • Why I use both Google Drive and Dropbox.
  • The tools I use for my podcast and interior design business.
  • What we use a CRM for.
  • The apps I use for webinars and transcriptions for videos.
  • Extra tools I use to make my busy schedule more manageable.

Full Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Design You Podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 67.

Welcome to The Design You Podcast, a show where interior designers and creatives learn to say no to busy and say yes to more health, wealth, and joy. Here is your host, Tobi Fairley.

Hey friends. If you’re in the US, it is 4th of July. Woo-hoo. Happy Independence Day. And if you’re not in the US, then thanks for joining me today. But if you are celebrating, I wanted to do an episode today that isn’t one of my interviews because I didn’t want my guest to be crammed onto a holiday because I know some of you may be too busy to listen.

But when you come back and find this episode, I created today’s episode as a little gift for you. These are my tools that I use to get so much done in my life at home and at work. So that’s what we’re talking about today. So, often I talk about outsourcing and building a virtual team, and that’s been really life-changing for me for sure.

And it’s not just the people on my team that make a difference but also the tools that we use that are responsible for our productivity and our organization and I wanted to tell you what those tools are. So there’s a whole lot of them, and I’m going to tell you about the ones we use most.

I’m sure there’s something I’m going to forget because I use so many cool tools and gadgets, but I searched my computer and I searched my phone, and I tried to make sure that I was thinking of everything so that you would know exactly what it is that I use to be so effective.

So if you’ve heard me talk about time management before, and if you haven’t, then you haven’t listened to me very much because it’s definitely one of my favorite topics, but if you haven’t run over and listen to episode 54, which is Tobi’s Top Time Management Tips. But if you’ve heard that, you’ve heard me talk about how I run my schedule and one of the ways that I do that is using Google Calendar for time blocking.

And so many of you struggle to fit everything in that you want to fit into your life, and the first most important step that I use to not have that happen, to not struggle is time blocking and I absolutely love using Google Calendar for my time blocking because it’s so easy to use. The blocks can be color coded so I can tell just at a glance if they’re design work or consulting or family time or self-care or exercise, or whatever categories I’ve created.

And I’ve created all of those, and a few more. And so it’s just super easy and I highly, highly recommend it. And if you’re one of those people who are thinking you just can’t possibly give up your paper calendar for a digital calendar, I thought that too. But when I finally did, it was probably the biggest game-changer, and some of you have heard me say this before, in the last 10 years in my life and my business.

So if you’re not getting the results you want in your life, you’re not as effective as you want to be, then you should give this approach to time blocking and using Google Calendar a try. Okay, so next my team and I use something called Asana. And it’s a project management tool, and it’s where we literally keep every task that needs to be done in my business and I actually even keep my personal task in my own Asana page where everybody else can’t see it but I can see it, so it’s added onto my to-do list.

So the way this works in our office is any time there’s a task, it is entered into Asana and it is assigned to the person who needs to accomplish it. And one of the most important pieces, it always, always, always is assigned a deadline because just having task in there with no deadlines is just as ineffective as writing them on a paper to-do list.

But if you use this well and you use it not only to enter the task but to assign them to a person and to assign a deadline, and then you keep all of the correspondence around the task happening right there on that item in Asana, it can be so super effective. And so because we do this, my team and I can know at any moment what needs to be done, who’s doing it, if we’re meeting deadlines or not, what is the status of any given task, and really it’s just all right there.

So it takes so much worry away that used to happen when we had our to-do list on a million different pieces of paper and in random notebooks and the communication and the delegation for them all happened in email, and then you couldn’t remember what you had asked other people to do and there was no record of it.

And then we at some point switched to having sort of a – what we called a master task list but it was still on paper and had to be updated every single week for us to have another meeting. And the beauty of Asana is it’s happening in real time and all the information we need is all right there. So I love it.

Another great thing about Asana is you can create separate projects for different categories or departments of your company. For example, we have a project for my coaching program, Design You, with individual tasks under it. We have projects for my private coaching clients and all of my private clients listed in that project. We have a project for our design clients and their individual projects and all of their information in there.

We have a project for my product lines and anything I need to be doing or designing for those. We have another project for my videos that I create that you see on YouTube and Instagram and all that steps that go into that. We have one for social media, we have one for graphic design, and more. There’s more.

So really, it’s all organized and the beauty of things like Asana and all of these tools I’m talking about today, they’re online. They’re Cloud based. So wherever I go, it goes with me, and there’s even an app on my phone. So if I’m sitting on an airplane or in a doctor’s office, or my husband’s driving me on a trip for the weekend and I want to check something, it is all right there on my phone.

Okay, the other cool thing about Asana, because there’s so much cool stuff about Asana is you can also use it to design your workflows. So what do I mean by that? Well, you can enter your task in the order that they would occur in the workflow to get a whole task or a whole series of tasks accomplished. And you can even make templates of these workflows.

So say it’s something that you’re going to do on a regular basis. We could create a template for me doing a live webinar because there’s a lot of different tasks that go into doing a live webinar. I have to come up with the topic, I have to create the slides and the content. We have to create graphics for it. We have to set it up in whichever platform we’re going to use, which I’ll tell you about that in a minute to do the live webinar.

We have to send out emails, we have to send out reminder emails, we have to send out follow up emails if we were wanting somebody to convert and buy something as part of that webinar. So you see, all these steps are the same every single time I do a webinar. So if we have created that in Asana once, it’s a template for us that we can now copy and paste again the next time we want to do a webinar.

So the things that we know are recurring tasks like that or recurring workflows, we keep a blank version of those in Asana as a template that we can then copy and paste and use them every time so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel or try to remember all the steps.

You can also just have individual tasks in Asana that are recurring tasks, and so you just mark in them in the setup of them that they are a recurring task and when they reoccur, and then your task list is automatically populated with those when they’re supposed to happen. So say they happen each week or each month. It just automatically shows up in your task list for something that you need to do.

So we do this also, like every month I have to approve certain things for social media or each week I approve certain things for the podcast to go live and so those tasks just automatically show up each week in my to-do list and make sure that they happen, and it’s awesome. Don’t even have to think about it.

Okay, so another tool that we use that has made a huge difference in our productivity is called Slack. And Slack is a communication hub where my team is all invited and we can talk back and forth about topics, tasks. We can share links, we can give updates. We can do all of this without it happening in our email inbox.

So how many of you have way too many emails in your inbox? I know most of you do. And even if you keep them cleared out like I do, I know you still get a ton of them. And for so many people, a lot of those emails, a lot of that sort of clutter in your email inbox is coming internally in your company. It’s team members, it’s clients, it’s other people communicating back and forth.

And so you can even put clients in Slack if you want to communicate with them, or you can put anybody in there. You can invite other team members, like I have all these virtual team members that aren’t physically in person on my team and they’re all in our Slack channel. In fact, you set up different channels within your Slack platform for your company, and you can only invite people if you want to, to the channels that apply to them.

So it’s awesome. It keeps all of those emails from being in your inbox. It also makes going back and forth, if you’re there typing in real time having a conversation with someone, it can happen so much easier and more efficiently. Even more so than talking on the phone sometimes, or sometimes you just don’t have the option of talking on the phone.

You’re not in a private space or whatever and you can literally have conversations back and forth sort of like text messaging, but if other people need to see the conversation thread, it lives in there, and you can go back and search for things later. So it’s really cool. And yeah, Slack like I said, allows you to create channels, which are categories and then again, add information and certain team members all live on that channel.

So we have channels like social media, Design You, design clients, client payments, videos, podcast. And so depending on what it is that we’re talking about, it can live in that particular channel, but you can also have private direct messages with team members back and forth.

Okay, another tool that we use to help with emails since we’re kind of talking about email and how to make that whole situation better is a tool called Unrollme.com. This thing is the bomb, y’all. It takes all the hundreds of thousands of emails you’re getting daily from websites and vendors and just really that kind of junk email but not necessarily because some of it you really want to see, but you’re just getting such a huge volume of it, it takes all of those and it allows you to easily either unsubscribe to them, leave them in your inbox so that you will see them individually, or roll them up into one daily email that you can look at when you have time.

So instead of having dozens or even hundreds of emails a day that you get, you get one email. And when you open that email, it has almost like a newsletter appearance to it and inside that one email are links to all the other individual emails that you rolled up that day. So you could literally have rolled up 200 emails and they can come as one email to you.

When you have time, you can go look at them. So say for me, it’s things from like, Fitbit and Neiman Marcus and High Point Market. Just anything and everything that I would have subscribed to that I want to still see or potentially see, but I know they’re in that rolled up email and so I’ll wait until the time is appropriate, either at the end of the day, sometimes in the evening, occasionally first thing in the morning. Not usually.

But when I have time set aside to look at email, then I can dig in and see what all is awaiting me in the roll up. So it is awesome. It is a crazy good way to cut your email down by, gosh, depending on how much you’re willing to roll up, 90%. It’s one of the main things that allows me to keep my email inbox under 40 emails, and I don’t know why I picked 40 but I just have this thing that I want 40 emails or less.

I think because on Gmail 50 fit on a page, and I want it to be less than that. And the reason I can keep it that way is because I roll so many things up into my Unroll.me email for the day. Now, for my email server itself, I use Gmail. And I like having the whole GSuite experience because it has other features. It has the Google Calendar I’ve already spoken about for time blocking. It has Google Drive, it has Google Docs all included, and we use all of those.

So Google Docs is our go-to software for creating content that the team can easily access and collaborate on and share with each other. Google Docs allows you to leave comments really easily, to edit really easily, and it’s really great. And then we can embed links to the Google Docs either on Asana in specific tasks, or over on our Slack channel if we want to share and say hey, I’ve finished writing this post or this lead magnet or this contract or this thing, you need to check it out.

And again, then it’s super easy to collaborate. So we really love Google Docs. We also use Google Drive to store those documents and other things. We store SOPs, so standard operating procedures, which is the procedure we’ve written of how we do different tasks in our company. We have a lot of archived content on there and more.

And we have a hierarchy designed inside of our Google Drive with a folder system that I even had an online business managing consultant help us create and set up so that we know exactly where to find all of our information and it doesn’t get real messy and cluttered because you know a lot of you are used to having some of these tools, but there’s so much information in there.

So many old documents, things that should have been organized or deleted, and so we keep that from happening by having this system designed for how we set up our Google Drive. Now to organize some of that information that we need to access regularly, we also use another app called Air Table. And so this is an app or software, it’s an online site, and it allows you to organize information.

So Air Table says it is part spreadsheet part database, so you can organize your information in any way that you want, and that’s exactly what we do. So one of my amazing team members Monica is a whiz at Air Table, and she even knows how to set up all sorts of automation that work with Air Table so we can automatically achieve certain tasks like automatically sending text messages or email reminders to certain members or our team or to clients or to people in my coach program, all by the way that we have set Air Table up.

And so I’m really still learning the capabilities of Air Table but it’s really cool, and when there’s something like Google Drive, which is really big and robust and we might find ourselves searching through tons and tons of folders, even though they’re super organized to find a document or a standard operating procedure or something like that, Air Table is a great database for where we can put all of that information in a list and then have links over to the Google Drive, and it makes it so much easier to find it.

So that’s just one way we’re using Air Table but we’re getting ready to do a whole lot of other fun things and it’s definitely a tool that I would recommend you checking out. So in addition to Google Drive for storing content and documents, we also do use Dropbox for certain things.

Now, some people I’m sure think that these are overlapping and you wouldn’t need both, but some of it is partly the way we’ve gotten in the habit of using Dropbox prior to having Google Drive, and I like the way it is laid out and the way its folder system works for things like photos of projects, like my portfolio and progress pictures that we keep on Dropbox.

We keep finished, completed courses, PowerPoints for webinars, for course content, for lead magnets. We keep a lot of images, so photographs for social media in Dropbox. It’s where I upload my podcast audio for my editor to access every single week. So for example when I finish this episode today, I’ll go put it in Dropbox so he can get it and do what he needs to do to it.

So there are a lot of things that we keep in Dropbox. We also keep our design projects for our clients organized in Dropbox. So each client has a folder and then there are subfolders for all of the drawings and specifications, so the selections that we’ve made for their project. All the finishes and flooring and tile and all of those things we keep in a certain template worksheet that we fill out for each space. So those live in Dropbox.

And we also archive some old content for my website and other things in Dropbox. So Dropbox is really anything and everything that isn’t a document that lives in Google Drive. So it does have some documents too, but it’s especially things that are very visual like PowerPoints, like photos, and a lot of those kinds of things that we just like the way that we can see them and access them on Dropbox.

And just so I’m being clear again, all of these applications I’m talking about today and these tools are all Cloud-based and many of them also have apps on the phone. Now, I use an iPhone and so I don’t know if they have Android apps too. I’m sure a lot of them do, but they’re definitely easy to use both from my Mac computer or laptop actually and my iPhone.

So my team and I can again, literally access any of this stuff any time. So I can have that whole concept that I talk about sometimes, and you may have heard me say or you have heard other people talk about called a laptop life, where as long as your laptop is with you, you have everything you need, and it’s beautiful because you don’t have to be tied to a physical building or a workspace if you don’t want to.

I mean literally, my example is always that I can be at the beach and hopefully one day have a second home at the beach and be able to be at the beach in the morning, come back and find all my content in the afternoon, teach a course or a class, or have a call with someone, and then head back to the beach because it’s all right there in the Cloud, accessible from my phone and my laptop.

So let’s get into some more tools, but I just want to make sure that you realize this is stuff that goes with you wherever you go, so for example if I’m on a job site for a design job and I need to reference a drawing or a specification sheet or anything like that, so easy because I can get it from literally my phone.

Okay, so there are a lot of hardworking software apps that we use daily, as you can tell to keep ourselves organized, and here are some of the ones that I use not just daily because I’ve talked about a lot of the daily ones, but the ones that I use for other specific parts of my work.

So for our Design You coaching program, we use an amazing application and site called Mighty Networks and it is super cool. Sort of like a Facebook group combined with a course, combined with events like Facebook events and your Facebook thread or hub or conversation. It’s kind of like putting all those things into one space, but it’s not on Facebook.

So if Facebook changes something, you are not at the mercy of Facebook’s decisions, which is really, really smart in my opinion, if you’re building an asset like I am with my Design You coaching program. So it allows us to have all kinds of cool features too, so it does a lot more than a Facebook group does.

It has individual groups inside of our Mighty Network so we can have accountability groups, we can have members post content in certain places for me to review or my team to review, and it has our course content in there so you could have multiple courses inside of your Mighty Network. You can have them as paid courses or free courses included in your membership.

Honestly, it can be anything that you really want it to be, and it just makes it easy and fun for our members to interact publicly with each other, but we can also interact privately with people if we need to because there’s an inbox feature inside of Mighty Networks. And you can invite members if you have a member of your network but you only want certain members to be part of certain groups, so maybe if you have some certain VIP groups or certain courses because you have a tiered membership or a tiered community.

Then if there’s things that only need to be seen by certain people, then that’s super easy to do. So it’s really great. I have loved it. My members really love it, and I highly recommend it if you want to create some kind of community. And like the other apps I’ve been talking about already, there is an app on the iPhone for Mighty Networks.

Now, I do want to say that if you decide to use this platform for a community, I highly recommend that you access it most of the time from a desktop or a laptop because there is a much better user experience from an actual computer, but if you do have to access it from your phone or when you’re traveling or in an airport or something like that, you totally can, and it’s really easy to do, but it’s much more again, user friendly.

The user experience is better. You can see all the features better if you’re using it from your computer. Okay, so for our email communication, I talked about earlier that I use Gmail and I use Unroll.Me and then keep from having so many emails by using Slack. But we also have another email tool and that is our CRM, which if you don’t know what that means, it stands for customer relationship management tool.

And it is called Infusionsoft. So it’s the tool that’s really our database where we keep all of our customers or potential customers that sign up for our various newsletters and downloadables and things, and when we then want to turn around and email you about things we’re working on, doing, selling, that’s what we use a CRM for and ours is called Infusionsoft.

Now, of all of the tools I’m talking about today, Infusionsoft is one of them – maybe the only one that’s not going to be a fit for some of you because it’s a huge piece of software with so many capabilities. But it’s kind of difficult at times. It has a learning curve that’s pretty good. So we actually have a consultant, a team member that’s our Infusionsoft expert and she does a lot of the work that we need done inside of Infusionsoft because it’s really a beast.

But it has amazing capabilities, so if you are going to run a big online business, it might be for you. Now, if I were starting fresh and getting a new CRM, this is the one thing that I’m talking about today that I might not choose again. I might choose a different program. There’s programs like Drip or Convert Kit that are really good.

But I’ve been using Infusionsoft for years. There are definitely lots of things we love about it. We take payment through it for some of our course content, for some of our private consulting clients, and some of our design clients, so it does a lot of stuff. And it’s great for our email marketing.

So definitely something that we have loved, but just in full disclosure, it is a big thing. It is huge. It is a beast, as I call it, and you might not need something that big. So a few more things you might want to know. My website and my blog are built on WordPress, which I’m very fond of and I think it’s super easy to use.

For our sales pages for various things that we sell like freebies, which I call lead magnets or content upgrades, things that you download for us, or also sales pages where you can opt in to get those, put your email address in, or to get into webinars, if you’re opting in to take one of my webinars. And even also the application to join my Design You program, every one of those things, which is all part of our digital marketing strategy, those are built in ClickFunnels.

So it’s a program that not only allows you to create all of these landing pages and digital marketing opt in pages, but it tracks your analytics. So it’s really, really great at telling you where your customers and your potential customers, your leads as they’re called are coming from and what they’re doing and how many of them you’re converting to sales and all kinds of information like that that’s super important. So check out ClickFunnels if you’re looking to really up-level your digital marketing.

So for my podcast, I use an app called Audacity to record the audio and we host our podcast on Libsyn, both super easy to use. And from there, I don’t know a whole lot about what happens with my podcast because I use the amazing people at Digital Freedom Productions. My podcast editor Pavel and his team, they do all the amazing magic from there.

They edit and they do all those wonderful things. But these two pieces of the puzzle, Audacity and Libsyn are the two things that I interact with in regard to my podcast and they work really great.

So what about design, interior design stuff? So we use Studio Webware for our project management system for interior design. So it keeps all of the information for any design project, for clients, for anything we’re ordering, all the details and we can’t imagine living with it. It’s so great.

And then for client presentations or even courses that I teach in my coaching program or webinars or those kinds of things, I use good old PowerPoint. It’s still my go-to, easy to use software application that I use to lay out presentations or create slides and you know what they say. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. So maybe a little old school PowerPoint, but really still like it and it works great.

We also use Canva to create some templates for PowerPoint slides or for social media graphics and other things, and it’s really fun and super easy. So definitely also recommend Canva. To host live webinars, I typically use an app called Crowdcast. It’s very fun, it’s really simple, it’s not inexpensive, but I absolutely love it.

I feel like it’s around – between $80 and $100 a month, but I use it a lot so I get my money’s worth from it but it does so many great things like the replay for a new webinar or call is hosted at the exact same URL as the original webinar, which is so cool. You don’t have to send out another link unless you want to to remind people to replay. If they come later, they can just go to the same address.

So if you’ve posted it out on the web, it’s really great because people can come an hour or two or a day or two after, or really as long as you leave it up they can get back to it with that same link. So if they find that you were talking about a free webinar and they happen on it later, they can still find it at that original link. Plus, the replay is literally ready instantly. As in like, four second after you finish recording.

And with a lot of things, if you have done any digital marketing or created courses or content, a lot of times it can even be a few hours before the replay is ready so you can send it out. Sometimes it’s the next day for us. So I love that again, the replay is ready the minute, really within 60 second every single time of me finishing a webinar and the webinar being over or the content being over, the course, the live training, whatever it was, It’s right there.

So I love both of those things and I highly recommend Crowdcast. Occasionally, I do use other webinar options or platforms. One of the things that we like to use is Zoom webinar. I also use something called ScreenFlow when I’m creating a recorded webinar, so I’m teaching it on my computer.

ScreenFlow is an app that basically records what’s happening in a certain window of your computer and it records your voice. So if I’m playing a PowerPoint through ScreenFlow, it will record me changing slides so you’re watching the presentation, and it’s recording my voice together, so it’s a really cool way to record a training that you can then load into another platform.

So what do we load it into? Well, we use Vimeo to load video that has to live and be hosted somewhere, so we have a private account. So it’s not public like YouTube. We have a Vimeo account we can grab links from and post those other places. And we also use something called Kajabi and it’s a platform where you can host course content.

So we have some new courses coming out in the fall about interior design that are separate from my Design You coaching program that I told you was on Mighty Networks, but the things we have coming out this fall and even into 2020 about interior design, those will be hosted on Kajabi. And if you purchase them, you will then get a login to our Kajabi account. Pretty cool.

Okay, so besides all of this stuff with the webinars and the online marketing and all of those things that we were talking about, I also use Zoom, which I said I use sometimes for webinars. I use it as a video conferencing system more than anything else. So we absolutely love Zoom for team meetings, for client meetings. I do private coaching with people, so if people hire me for a strategy day, they get a whole day with me on video conference.

I do live calls, so coaching calls twice a month inside the Design You program, and all of that is done on Zoom. And it works so great. So the great thing about Zoom – there’s several, but one of them is that you can record calls. You can also, if you’re on the business plan like I am, get transcriptions of every single call so you have it in writing.

And it’s just really fun because the way Zoom works is for example, when we do a live call with my coaching community, there might be 40 or 50 people on the call and I see everybody and their little individual box, kind of Brady Bunch style, and you can raise your hand virtually by hitting a button and I know that you want to ask a question.

And it’s real fun because we can all see each other, but then the recording actually only records the people who are talking. So when you watch the replay back, you don’t see all the squares. You see the person, whether it’s me or one of our members that are talking, and it’s really, really cool. And so it’s great quality and they’re really effective for the coaching that I do.

Okay, so when we need other things transcribed instead of just being a Zoom call or we need something captioned, like you put captions, closed captioning or words over videos, we use one of two sites. One of them is called Rev.com, like revving your engine, and the other one is called Temi.com.

Now, Temi is way less expensive than Rev, and I’m not really sure why, but they both have great quality. We have used both of them and they’re great. So if you need to put captions on things or you need to transcribe something, a course, a meeting, any video that you’ve recorded, you can totally have that done on Rev or Temi.

I also use a really cool app called Loom. Not Zoom as we talked about a minute ago but Loom. And it is an app that records videos of your screen, so kind of like ScreenFlow like I talked about earlier, but it’s not really necessarily for webinar quality. We use it sometimes for trainings or for videos inside of our Design You program.

But it’s really neat because you can record just your face, yourself talking, or you can record the screen, which is just whatever’s showing on your screen, or it can record you and the screen. So it can have whatever’s on your screen and you in the bottom in a little circle, or actually you can move it around.

I recently even used this for a client presentation because the client lives out of state and we were working on a kitchen renovation and I didn’t want to have to meet with them and video conferencing or try to coordinate our schedules, so I just recorded a Loom video of the whole presentation. They could see my face, they could hear me talking, they could see the presentation, which was on PowerPoint.

Recorded it at my own time, whenever it was convenient for me, which I even think might have been on a weekend because it was during a busy week, and then I sent it over and they could watch it and listen to it at their convenience, and then we can have a meeting about what they liked and didn’t like. So Loom is super cool. I use it all the time for my team members.

So if they’ve sent me an email with a list of questions, I might have the email open and then they can also see my face and I’ll go through those individual questions and just talk about what I’m thinking and my answers, and so then they can go back and watch that when it’s convenient for them or if it’s something that’s a new concept or new idea or I’m teaching something to the team, we don’t have to coordinate everybody’s schedule.

Everybody can just watch the Loom video when it’s convenient, and if they need to watch it more than once and take notes, then they have it there as opposed to only being with me real time in an actual meeting. So definitely recommend Loom.

For our social media, we use an app called Plann for Instagram. It was just a phone app. Now it is a desktop app as well, which makes it easier to load things and to post things for Instagram. We also use something called Hootsuite to schedule pretty much everything but Instagram.

So we schedule things to Facebook and Twitter and other places through Hootsuite. We use an app called Tailwind for scheduling Pinterest pins and communicating with other people on Pinterest because it has an ability to be in and they’re called tribes. It’s really kind of groups on Pinterest, so we use Tailwind for that.

And yeah, then we use Facebook Ads Manager for Facebook and Instagram ads. So again, lots of tools that we use as a company. I don’t use every one of these, but I have used them all at some point. I have other team members now who use a lot of these, but they’re all super easy to use.

We use an app called LastPass to keep all of our passwords safe and to keep them at hand and easy to deliver to team members who need them. So if we onboard a new team member and they’re going to need certain passwords, instead of emailing them or texting them, which might not be as secure, we can just use LastPass to share that information. Really, really handy.

I also use an app on my phone to scan printed documents and turn them into PDFs. So I used to have a scanner. Don’t have a scanner at all anymore, even in my company. I literally use my phone to take a scan of any document, literally a contract, anything, and it is easily then by Genius Scan turned into a PDF that I can email right from my iPhone. Love it. I absolutely love it.

We also use for collecting payments for things that we sell online, like courses and programs in addition to sometimes using our CRM, which I told you was Infusionsoft that has a shopping cart capability, we also use something called Stripe. So all of our Design You membership payments and things that we sell of that nature, courses and things like that, we typically sell on Stripe. It’s so easy to use and it’s easy to connect to a lot of other apps.

We sometimes use PayPal. I use it more to pay a lot of our virtual team members, so we use it and it is super easy and super handy. And besides all of those things, I sometimes communicate with team members on an app called Voxer, which is for voice recording and instead of having to have a phone call or set up a time that you can both get on a call, you can literally voice message back and forth in Voxer, which makes it super easy to communicate and it’s not just in a text message. So it’s all there in one thread in Voxer, which is great.

I use Venmo literally I feel like for practically everything else that I pay for in my life. So not just things with business, which I occasionally do. Usually that’s more something on PayPal, but for my personal life, literally pay for anything and everything that I can on Venmo, which is super fun and easy. And then if I need any of the apps that I use to speak to one another, I use something called Zapier.

So a lot of these apps already have what’s called an integration, which means they integrate or they speak to some of the other apps I’ve talked about. But if they don’t, this app called Zapier is so cool because it makes many other software or apps talk to each other.

So it’s called sending a zap, so it may send a zap from Infusionsoft, my CRM, over to Crowdcast, my webinar program if they didn’t already have an integration, it can make them talk to each other and make things happen automatically that I need to happen between those two systems. Like for example, if someone signs up for a webinar on Crowdcast, it can zap their contact information right into my Infusionsoft database.

So really, really neat. So wow, that’s a lot of stuff, right? That is a really big list of all the great, amazing, productive, super easy apps that we use to make our business and our team of 15 or so now I think people, all work together really well. And then there were a few others like I mentioned, that were game-changers for me personally.

And just to kind of add just a little bit more into how I get everything done so that you’re thinking about this in your own life if you’re thinking about time blocking and it being busy and all those things, here’s a few other things I use from my phone or my computer.

I use the Whole Foods grocery app and delivery. So cool. Comes right to my front door and is charged on my Amazon account. So if you have Prime I think you can get a discount. I use Kroger delivery for other groceries that Whole Foods doesn’t have and they come right to my door. And if they’re too busy, I use another app called Shipt, which delivers either Kroger or Target right to my door and has a personal shopper.

So those are all very helpful when I’m busy and don’t have time to get to the grocery store. I use Amazon and put things on subscription that we use regularly like some of our groceries, medicines, toiletries, vitamins, hair products. I get my bulletproof collagen that goes in my coffee delivered once a month. So it’s so easy, those things that you know you for sure want to get every single month, they’re just on subscription on Amazon Prime.

They come to my front door. It’s amazing. I use an app called EveryDollar, which is Dave Ramsey’s personal budgeting tool, which keeps my finances in check and makes sure that I’m saving things I want to and investing and not overspending. So I love EveryDollar. I use an app called Headspace for meditation and they have awesome daily meditations and a lot of nighttime meditations. It’s so cool. Love it. Super easy to use.

And I use the podcast app on my iPhone. It’s basically my BFF and any time I’m in the car or working out or walking for exercise or on a plane, literally any time I’m sitting still basically, I’m listening to some sort of podcast through my iTunes podcast app, but occasionally I’ll have a podcast that doesn’t want to load correctly, and if that happens, I use another app called Overcast.

So wow, friends, do I ever live in a digital world and how did I get so much done before all of these cool services and apps and automation? It is crazy but I think it’s crazy cool. So if you’re thinking that you don’t have enough time in the day and you don’t know how to create time for yourself, you can’t ever really figure it out and you’re not very organized and you need help with time management or outsourcing things and getting things delivered, this podcast is your source for that.

And if you want to hire people to help you but you didn’t know how to set it all up and make sure things run efficiently, try a lot of these team management tools that I mentioned. And if your issue is not team management but it’s just that you need a way to reach customers and share your message and maybe have webinars or podcasts or social media that gets to your customers, I told you all of those go-to apps.

So again, this episode I hope is a great guide for you on how to make life easier and better and more productive, and help you make money while you sleep and have more money and have more balance and all of the stuff, and yes, you’re welcome. So happy 4th of July to my friends here in the United States, but no matter where you live, have an amazing day and I hope it’s even just a little bit better because you learned a tool here today that could really be a game-changer for you.

So I’ll be here next week with another great interview with one of my fabulous friends, and until then have a great week. Bye for now.

Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of The Design You Podcast. And if you’d like even more support for designing a business and a life that you love, then check out my exclusive monthly coaching program Design You at tobifairley.com.

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Hi! I'm Tobi

I help creative women (and a few really progressive dudes) design profit-generating, soul-fulfilling businesses that let them own their schedule, upgrade their life and feel more alive than ever!

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