5 Tools I Use To Run My Business

 

As a business owner, there are several tools I use to ensure that my business and client projects are smooth and organized. These tools help me streamline my process, create new products, organize my files/documents and more. 

Here's a look at some of the tools I use on a regular basis.

*Please note, this post does contain some referral links, which means I do make a small commission from them, but I wouldn't recommend them to you if I didn't love to use them for my own business. 

 

 5 Tools I use to run my business, by Melanie Craft & Company

1 | Dubsado

Just a little over a year ago, I had taken a leap and purchased a subscription to Dubsado after all of the frustration and hair-pulling Duetapp had given me. Honestly, Dubsado has been a system I had been looking for far too long.

For those of you who have no earthly idea what it is, Dubsado* is a client management system specifically designed with creatives in mind. Basically, it's the home base of my business.

From this application, I'm able to track leads from any contact form on my site, send proposals, contracts or questionnaires. I'm able to send invoices and accept payments, manage a to-do lists for my client projects, sync my calendars and set up a workflow. This has changed the way I run my business dramatically. My process is way more organized, streamlined and in some parts automated!

 Dubsado - Client Management System used by Web Designer Melanie Craft & company

What's great about Dubsado* is that they are always working on adding more amazing features to their CMS. They recently redesigned their ui design, and honestly, I'm over the moon pleased with the way it looks! You can see a list of upcoming features here.

If you're interested in trying it out, feel free to sign up! There is no credit card needed to try it out and no time limit on when you need to switch to a paid plan. They let you try it for up to 3 clients. Use the code 'melaniecraftco' to receive 20% off your first month or year.

 

2 | Adobe Illustrator

Illustrator is definitely also one of the main tools I use in my business. I use it to create all of my graphics for my own website. I also use it to create website mockups for client websites. I create blog posts images, website graphics, website mockups, logo's etc. 

 Adobe Illustrator is the only design program I use to to create graphics, design website mockups, and more. - Melanie Craft and Company

 

3 | Asana

I was introduced to Asana in October 2017, by Haley of ProfitPlanner.co. She is the Asana wizard and knows exactly how you, as a creative business owner, should use the app to organize and scale your business. 

I took her Asana for the entrepreneur course and completely revamped the way I organize my business. I have systems for every part - Quarterly Planning, Product Launches, Editorial Calendar, Client projects, and even organize personal reminders. 

 6 products and apps I use to run my design business - Melanie Craft and Company

Above, you can see how everything in my Quarterly planning project is absolutely organized with due dates. In each month, I include smaller tasks that need to be accomplished during a set time. 

 

4 | G-Suite

Obviously, G-Suites* has to be one of the top products I use for business. I love it because you have a professional email address that ends with your websites url - for example, mine is 'melanie@melaniecraftco.com'.

Another bonus is that you have access to absolutely everything online, from any desktop, iPad or laptop. The 4 main things I use in G-Suite are Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Calendar and Gmail. 

For the most part, Google Docs are home to my blog post drafts, and business documents. I love using this because I don't ever have to worry about losing my work since it automatically saves it for me. 

Google Calendar is absolutely important to keep specific dates and organize my work / life events. It's also where I can track specific tasks and due dates. I have a few different calendars that are color coded so I can easily keep track of each event or task - More on that in a later post!

 top apps I love to use in order to run my business - Melanie craft and Company

Lastly, Gmail. Because no business can run smoothly and you can't get in contact with clients (or potential clients!) without it! My folders are organized by different apps and client years, that way I'm never missing anything. See image for reference. To the right, you see the different labels I've assigned different labels for pretty much each important email I get that I need to keep. I got the idea to do this from working at the law office for the last year and a half. I'll talk more about how I organize my emails in a separate post, though.

If you don't already have G Suite, and are interested in joining and making your business a lot more legit, click this link* and get 20% off your first year on the basic or business plan.

 

5 | Squarespace

Squarespace is the platform that my website is hosted with. It's been my go-to platform for the last 4 years and has allowed me to learn SO much about the platform and how I can successfully design a completely custom website for my clients. 

In this post a few weeks ago, I went over a few simple reasons why I think Squarespace is the perfect platform for any small business. 

 


What are you're top tools in business? 

I'd love to hear what you use to run your business!