I've cycled through and trialed various tools to help with streamlining our business practices and making the process more intuitive. I've compiled my seven go to business tools that make my life easier and business to do's more pleasant :)
Honeybook has been a lifesaver because of it's varied capabilities. Within that one application alone, we take care of contracts, payments, scheduling, client contact, proposal and brochure templates, and more. It's an absolute must. And we love it so much here is a code for $200 off your first year!
As a designer there are several different resources I use to get inspiration but Pinterest is a classic. There's no better search engine when it comes to bringing up content that's relevant, current and interesting.
But it's helpful not just for me but for clients as well. It's a shared platform where we can jointly compile inspiration for the visual direction of a brand. It helps bring ideas to life and gives clients an idea of where a designer is trying to go. I always ask (and sometimes require) that clients put together inspo boards so that I can see their vision... which sometimes can be very different than what they say they want.
Regularly listening to podcasts is a way I stay "in the know" especially when it comes to branding and design and it functions as a sort of professional development. My two favorite podcasts are "Just Branding" with Jacob Cass and Matt Davies and "Biz Buds" with Mike Janda and Tom Ross.
I usually get a lot of inspiration for social media, podcast and blog content too!
4. Google Suite
I'm pretty convinced if there's one company that will soon take over the world it's google... They must have some fairly smart people on their team because there's nothing like the Google suite. I use google for video calls, brand research and brainstorming, copy development and collaboration (the comment feature is clutch), keeping track of meetings using the calendar, email, etc...
It's often overlooked but it's so integral to most businesses.
Later is a third party platform that helps you plan social media content. I'm not naturally a lover of social media. It's work for me. Work I enjoy at times but work I'd probably rather not do so any way I can streamline it, I'm game. Although at the moment, you can't automatically publish carousels and reels, you can still do single post automatic publishing and preview how your posts all look together which especially as a creative, is important. The best part to me is that I can keep all my content in one place and do batch work. So, we usually prepare a month's worth of content in advance so that I can actually get "breaks" in between each month.
This is one of the most useful tools I use as a designer but is so helpful for ANY and ALL businesses. It's a free photo resource. Photography is one of the most underrated areas of a brand. If a business isn’t quite ready to hire on a photographer, they just tend to use whatever stock photos are at their fingertips but taking that one extra step to curate photos that look on brand can be a make it or break it difference.
We usually are doing photography for the clients that hire us. But if not, Pexels is a great alternative to find a few flagship photos that embody the brand to help it come to life for the client and also that they can use for their own use on social media and on their website.
Weirdly similar to "Zoom" in name and purpose.... Loom is used to record videos which has been so much better for client communication (especially during Covid) than simply writing emails. The quality is way better than Zoom and the whole application is more intuitive. Right after you record your video (which can include the screen, you or both), you get a shareable link which makes sharing it so much easier. Zoom is a little bulky. Loom simplifies the process and makes it so much easier.
And there you go! My 7 "Can't Live Without" Business Tools!
What are yours?