Smart tools to beautify your systems.

Every business needs systems and tools to make work more efficient and easier to manage. Over the years, I've tried and tested many solutions for use in my business and have found repeatedly that the more complex the system is, the less I want to use it.I like systems and tools that actually make my life easier and that give me more time and space to produce creative work.I like beautiful systems - that keep more tasks together in one place and don't require a ton of different software accounts and paid subscriptions.

This year, I researched, tested and refined things and am happy to report that my systems and tools are in excellent shape. Most of them are free or very low cost as well, because that's just how it worked out. #bonus

The list below is my personal round-up of the tech apps and software that I've found the most useful.I’m not receiving any affiliate incentives for these recommendations.They are simply all of the tools that I use to work more efficiently and I hope that you find a few of them useful!

Wave Accounting

Accounting Software

Wave Accounting is free accounting software that allows you to send customized estimates and invoices and get paid directly through email. Connect your bank accounts and it will automatically track and categorize all of your business spending. I've been using Wave for many years and it just keeps getting better.

Toggl

Time Tracking

Toggl is a free chrome app that allows you to track your time from directly in your browser. Asign your time tracking to a project or client and at the end of the day or week you can see exactly what you spent your time on and for whom without having to log it manually.

G-Suite

Business Email

G-Suite allows you to easily set up your business email using your website url and still manage it from within Gmail.

Mailchimp

Newsletter Provider

Mailchimp integrates with your website easily allows you to send out customizable newsletters to clients on the regular. Of all the ones I have tested, it's the easiest one to use and most design friendly.

Google Calendar

Scheduling

Google updated their old faithful calendar this year and made it so much prettier. Create unique calendar's for each of the areas of focus in your business, assign a colour code and voilà! - welcome to your new colour coded schedule. I can't tell you how happy this makes me. #designnerd

Streak

Sales CRM

Streak is a free chrome extension that gives you a CRM directly in your Gmail account. Now you can run your entire sales process directly in your inbox making it super easy for you to track sales, follow up with clients and track your purchase rates. It's a game changer.

StayFocusd

Productivity

StayFocusd is a productivity extension for Google Chrome that helps you stay focused on work by restricting the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites. Once your allotted time has been used up, the sites you have blocked will be inaccessible for the rest of the day. I have this installed on my studio computer and it prevents me from going on social media or any other time wasting sites.

Trello

Project Management

Trello is a free project management system that allows you to manage projects and collaborate with people quickly and easily.

Typely

Proofreading Editor

Typely promises to find typos and common mistakes in your writing. The free tool also offers useful stats and analysis on your text, such as how difficult it is to read or how 'ordinary' your vocabulary is.

To a beautiful, productive year ahead,Brooke

Balance, Strategybrooke