+ One Must-Have Non-Digital Tool!
Staying organized as a small nonprofit or a social entrepreneur can be hard. After all, there is so much to keep track of and not enough time or people to do it. Here is a short list of some of the free digital tools I use to stay organized and productive everyday.
Project Management: Trello
Especially when you’re an solopreneur, there is a lot of stuff to keep track of. I love using Trello to keep all my tasks organized. I have to-do lists, content calendars. You can collab with other people, assign tasks, create checklists, add deadlines, and even integrate GoogleDrive. The best part? It’s Free. There are some premium upgrade features, but even with a free account it is a GAME CHANGER.
A few other project management tools with free options to check out are Asana, Airtable, and Monday.
File Management: Google Drive
Have you ever had a HD crash on you? Not only have I had a computer HD irreparably crash, but it’s also happened with my BACKUP hard drives. That’s when I started keeping EVERYTHING on Google Drive. All of my client files, all of my planning and marketing materials, all of my graphic elements are stored right there on the cloud. I can download a file when I need to use it, then keep space on my computer by getting rid of it (update the file on google drive if I need to), knowing it’s still there if I need it.
There are also other back-up cloud systems, like dropbox, but I use Google Drive because of all the other services that go with it, like google docs, g suite, google business, and so much more. I like having it all in one place, on one account. It’s all free to use, but some upgrades will cost a small amount, like data upgrades and gsuite email addresses.
Calendly is a free and easy way for people to schedule appointments with you. It can integrate with Google Calendars, so it will know when you aren’t available. You can set hours and types of appointment for people to choose from. You can also upgrade to the paid version, which offers features such as payment processing options and group scheduling. For free group scheduling try Doodle.
Password Manager: Lastpass
Lastpass is an awesome password manager that will store all your internet account usernames and passwords and also your credit card information etc. They have an app for google chrome, so when you sign into your Lastpass account, it will be there to fill in your login info, or save new information. It can also generate random passwords for you. So not only will you have a different unhackable password for every account, but you also won’t have to worry about remembering them.
Email Clutter: Unroll Me
My inbox is flooded with newsletters, marketing mail, and subscriptions of all kinds. Unroll.me is a great tool to see all your subscriptions, easily unsubscribe from the ones that aren’t for you anymore, and get the rest in a convenient daily email. From that one email you can browse all your subscription emails and go into detail only with the ones that you want to.
If you are one of those people who can’t stand to have unread emails in their inbox, this tool is definitely for you.
Social Media Publishing: Buffer
Buffer is a great basic social media management tool. In its free version, you can schedule up to 10 posts at a time for up to 3 social media channels. To make things easy, you can create one post for all your channels, and customize each one after. I use the batch creation method for my social media, meaning I create up to a months worth of social media posts in one sitting, and then I take 10 minutes each week to schedule my posts on Buffer. This saves me a lot of time, and is one less thing for me to think about during the day.
P.S. Don’t forget to check your accounts and respond to any engagements!
Essential Non-Digital Tool: My Day Planner!
My day planner helps me keep track of everything and even has spaces for me to list what I’m grateful for each morning. The act of taking some time each morning to focus on the day and physically write out my priorities and to-dos helps organize my mind as well as my day. As a home-based entrepreneur, I use a method called time blocking to keep my work as efficient as possible. Learn more about time blocking here.
There are LOTS of great planners out there, so getting the right one often means a lot of trial and error. I am currently using the amazing Panda Planner, but have also used the Hustle Planner in the past.