These are some of the tools and services
that I use to run my business,
stay organized, and get things done.
Between managing summer camps, special events, and facilities as a park & recreation professional, working as a project manager, and now running my own business, I’ve learned that staying organizing, automating processes, and finding good tools can go a long way in helping you stay on track and keep your sanity in the process. And as much as I like hearing recommendations for new tools and services, it’s also important to share them!
Below are some of the tools and services that I rely on and think could be helpful to others working in all sorts of settings. Hopefully I can use this page to spread the word and save you from some of the trial and error that I underwent trying out other options. And I tried my best to make sure that most of what’s mentioned below offers a free account level (for life, not those terrible 14 day trials - who actually has time to thoroughly vet a product in 2 weeks???). However, I’ve found them all so helpful that for some I’ve gladly opted for a paid account.
Full Disclosure: I’m not receiving any compensation for listing these services or products below - they’re my own unbiased reviews of tools & services that I actually currently use. However, some of the descriptions below do include affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I may get a credit if you click through and sign up or make a purchase. And in some cases, those links also allow me to offer you a bonus discount or credit too!
I’ve tried all of the project/productivity software out there and the one that has finally stuck is Trello. More than just an online checklist with deadlines, Trello lets me track tasks as they move from stage to stage and gives me a great at-a-glance look at everything I’ve got going on all at once. One of my favorite features though is the Microsoft Outlook plug-in that lets me turn emails into tasks without even clicking away from the original email. And they have an awesome free account available.
Zoom is an online meeting tool that lets you connect by phone or through your computer for one-on-one calls where a screen share or as a conference call with groups. I’ve found the phone and video connections to be consistently reliable. And their Microsoft Outlook plug-in makes scheduling new Zoom meetings a breeze right through software you’re already used to using. Check out their free account that lets you connect one-on-one with people around the world or with up to 100 people for up to 40 minutes.
Acuity is a scheduling system that puts an end to the countless back-and-forth emails trying to find a time to schedule a phone call. Now I just send a quick link and the person on the receiving end can schedule a call at a time when we’re both available. They have a fantastic free plan available to all SquareSpace website customers, or you can start off with their free basic account that’s available to everyone.
MileIQ is a mileage tracking app that runs in the background and keeps track of my drives, tolls, and parking for easy reporting and submitting expenses. And it’s included with Office 365 Business accounts if you happen to have one or you can start off with a free account that lets you track 40 drives/month.
Mentimeter is awesome interactive polling software that I use to engage audiences in my workshops, trainings, and conferences. Besides the standard polling , it also allows me to give the chance for the audience to vote on ideas, submit questions, and they just added a new live quiz feature. I love their clean design and they have the best free account that I could find that lets you set up 2-question presentations to unlimited audiences. And if you ever want to upgrade to a full-featured account like I did, their pricing for the features offered is the best in the business in my opinion.
StickerMule is the company that I use to print all of my awesome sticker swag. I love their proofing process that helps me get sizing and placement just right and the quality is always top notch! Although I’ve only used them for stickers, they also offer other stuff like buttons, magnets, and coasters. If you sign up for an account using my link, we both get a $10 credit to use towards a future purchase. Once you’re signed up, keep your eye out for their email sticker deals too, where you can sometimes order 50 stickers for just $9 with free shipping included.