Local and small businesses operations can be daunting. Finding out what tools can help you achieve organization is a difficult task. Here is a list of tools that I use for better productivity.
Let’s share some files
Dropbox is a great utility drive for exchanging files. It not only can transfer larger files in a zip, but did you know basic dropbox can also sync files, recover files, revert from last saved files with history and password protect links. The basic version is free and defaults 2 GB. The pro plan allows for 1 TB and a whole host of features including activity logs, sharing logs and offers centralized billing.
Dropbox is super easy to use. Create a share link to a file and send to your recipient within your folder. Access the interface either on your web browser or a drive residing on your computer/folder or an app which syncs with your account for mobile use.
Docs, Sheets, Sliders, Forms
Google Docs is another great tool. If you haven’t already discovered the power of Docs, check it out. It’s basically Microsoft office free and in your web browser. A local drive can be a gateway for your files, but the actual files reside in the Google “Cloud.” Don’t bother looking for the save button – it’s automatic and reliable. Files can be accessed anywhere including, of course, the mobile version. I use Google Docs to collaborate with clients and easily edit from both parties in different locations. So, for example, if I change or update a clients marketing plan, they can view it, or change it as well (or not if you turn on restrictions).
Just like MS Word. For writing and editing.
Similar to MS Excel. Spreadsheets for numbers and accounting.
Like PowerPoint. Create awesome presentations and access anywhere.
Easily create forms for any purpose; integrate into your website, or make surveys and view the results right in your Google Sheets!!!
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WordPress is an open source content management system (CMS) and blogging platform. Anyone can build a website using this awesome tool. It’s easily installed on most host accounts, and you can be up and running within minutes. WordPress offers thousands of components which change the look and functionality. Most are simple to install and use.
Themes are what make a WordPress site unique. Themes are available to download free and use styles and different code to contribute to the look and feel of a site.
These are themes based off of an original theme (above) that you create. These are customized even more using it’s own stylesheet and/or scripts. These are highly recommended if you intend to change a theme’s code.
A framework is built on top of the WordPress codex and is a great way to simplify things. I use Genesis by Studio Press. MAKE SURE YOU INSTALL A THEME BUILT FOR YOUR FRAMEWORK. Otherwise you’ll have some problems. Frameworks are not required.
Plugins are the add-ons which give a site more functionality. For example, adding commerce to your website with a plugin toolkit called WooCommerce is an option to sell products on the web. My top 5 must have plugins are Jetpack, PageBuilder by SiteOrigin, Ninja Forms, Yoast SEO and Akismet.
Since WordPress is highly customizable it’s sidebars headers and footers offer places for widgets. These are locations on your site to display certain areas of focus like social media icons, contact forms and the like.
Even if you’ve never built a website, give it a try. There is a learning curve, but it’s super fun to play around with. If you have other business objectives at the moment, I can help! Leslie Wolfe Creative offers website design/development with basic SEO in mind. My turnaround time is about 6 weeks at the moment. Just give me a call at 720.201.8467 or contact me via web.
Adobe Acrobat available through the Adobe Creative Suite (The full version, not just the reader!) – Save Files for PDF
Adobe Acrobat creates PDF’s. These documents are so versatile. You can print and share with ease. Save presets for web or high resolution.
A few features:
Redacting and Bates Numbering
Scanned documents can be numbered, and you can block out text so it can’t be read.
You can set up PDF documents to be legally signed by multiple parties. I use this feature with my clients to sign agreements. It takes a bit of fiddling with to get it right, but once you have it down, it’s a great tool. Click here for more information.
Even if you need to fill out a PDF that doesn’t already have fields, you can make them yourself and fill in the form. Likewise with forms sent from you to your customers. This is a super smart tool for small business to look more professional. This is a service I provide here at Leslie Wolfe Creative. Many businesses have forms that need to be converted to fillable documents. Give me a call or reach out for more information!
Send and Track
Send documents for review and track the progress of multiple team members.
Lock documents to restrict editing, encrypt, and create security envelope for eyes only personnel.
HooteSuite for Social
Social Media Time Saver
HooteSuite is a great social tool and a huge time saver. Integrate all of your social media within the app and it streams your posts. It doesn’t need much detail because this is really easy and intuitive to use.
I use Hootsuite for my business and my clients. It’s pretty slick. Sign up for a href=”http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-8123650-10920314-1401906647000″>Hootsuite here.
Shorten and share your links – Bitly.com for shorter links and easier sharing
When sharing links, it’s a best practice to shorten it. Not only that, but Bitly offers a measurement tool to track clicks. Analyze clicks and links and successes and failures. It really makes a difference in your small business marketing plan.
Canva.com for beautiful easy visual marketing
Canva makes visually appealing graphics for blogs and social media. It’s easy to understand work with and download. If you don’t have the resources to work on Adobe Creative Suite, this is your solution.
I hope this helps shed a little light on some great business tools out there. Of course, If you need any professional services regarding the above topics: website design and development, social integration, Google tools or Adobe PDF forms, Drop me a line! Leslie Wolfe Creative is your source for Graphic Design Services in Denver.
Did you like this post? What’s your favorite productivity tool? Say so! Leave me some feedback!