Our Favorite Tools To Get Sh*t Done
We have some tools that we use every. single. day. that help make our world go round in a (semi) orderly fashion. Hopefully you might find at least one of them helpful and maybe even make you a little more productive.
Too obvious? Well, it's what makes our world go round. We host our own site on Squarespace and believe it's pretty much the best way to go when it comes to building a website. The learning curve is small and the customization abilities are fabulous.
If you're looking for a way to really spruce up your Squarespace site, we offer these badass DIY designs in our shop. This will help make your website look less like a fill-in-the-blank template and more, well, awesome.
We love and swear by this tool. It manages so much for us. We use it most for keeping track of contacts, organizing projects, invoicing and our questionnaires. AND... it let's you white label the documents and items you're sending clients. That's huge. It makes it look a little bit more professional than your average PayPal invoice or PDF document.
17Hats also allows you to create some blanket email templates. This way we're not writing the same email every time we send an invoice or questionnaire, it's already done for us. Ahhhh, gotta love automation!
This is the our one-stop-shop for accounting. We're designers, not accountants. Quickbooks lets us see what we spent, how we spent it, what sits in the bank account, what is in the PayPal account, etc. They even have a fancy app where we can deduct miles! We've deducted about $1200 in just gas and miles alone this year. Love Quickbooks!
Streak has simplified our business! We have all of our emails already written. Are you disappointed in us? Well, maybe not ALL of our emails but most of them. Early on, it was obvious that we were typing up the same email over and over again. We created some draft emails that just sat in the draft folder and we'd use them in certain cases. Then, about a month or so ago we took the Organize and Automate course by Nesha Woolrey. This is how we got to know all about Streak! Nesha goes through some pretty fabulous other tools for designers on how to automate your process, but Streak was the favorite.
Streak is a FREE Gmail plugin that allows you to create email snippets that can be easily accessed when you're responding to inquiries, sending deliverables, etc. It also let's you delay your emails. OCD freaks over here at HBI don't like our inboxes filling up over the weekend. BUT, we also don't want to send the message that we are available on the weekend. We happen to enjoy our weekends a whole lot. Often we'll respond to an email but schedule it to send on Monday morning. Sounds silly but it's super helpful for those with email anxiety, like us.
Talk about a lifesaver. Planoly helps us visualize our Instagram feed before we actually post anything. Unfortunately, it's not a free app but it's worth the small expense to get those instagram posts organized, written, and even scheduled ahead of time. Now, we don't plan every single post on Planoly because life and events happen that we like to capture and post about too. But, we always have something available to post if we need it.
On top of all the planning, Planoly also provides some pretty killer analytics. Yes, you can get these if you have a business account but Planoly goes into some more detail that Instagram doesn't offer (yet).
That' it! Those are our faves.
What are some of your favorites tools that you can't make it through the day without?