I wear many hats throughout my day and often am asked how do I balance it all? It's not easy, and it's not always pretty, that's for sure! Through a ton of trial and error, I have found some great tools to use to help keep my life somewhat together. Many of these I use as small business tools and many I carry over into my personal life.
No matter what you are doing in life, I honestly believe these tools can help you. I use many of them daily. Whether you are another event planner, another small business, a bride or couple getting married, or just a person trying to keep life organized, these tools should be able to help you automate your life and make it a bit easier.
First-time reader? Welcome! We are a wedding planning company and specialize in day of wedding planning and month of wedding coordination and a corporate event planning company and specialize in corporate hospitality planning in the Maryland, Virginia, and DC. We are also your local Kensington and Bethesda Maryland stationery store, offering affordable wedding invitations and all of your printing needs.
Hubspot is pretty much what I log into every day. It has become my go-to marking tool where I keep everything organized. The best part is the tracking and reporting capabilities. I can see what is working and what isn't working so I can always be sure I am spending my time wisely and on what will make a difference.
Hubspot is so easy to use, and it walks you through everything to ensure what you publish is optimized. Everything from landing pages, questionnaires, emails, blog post and even social media post. It is also where I keep all of contacts and notes. It is just right there in one spot. Best small business tool to keep everything organized and together.
In their words, here is Hubspot does: HubSpot is inbound marketing and sales software that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads and close customers. Traditional marketing is broken. Buyers are taking control. They're tuning out old-school marketing and sales tactics that are impersonal and interrupts. Don't interrupt buyers, attract them. Turn your website into a magnet. Create content, optimize it for search engines and share it on social media. Then engage your prospects with landing pages, calls to action, personalized email and a personalized website. That's how you market to humans. That's inbound marketing. Do it all with just one platform. HubSpot software includes all the tools you need to do inbound marketing, plus award-winning services and support to help companies master inbound marketing. Services include email, site, SEO, marketing automation, landing pages, analytics, social media, blogging.
Any image you see that I created in Canva. I LOVE how easy it is to create images to go along with my social media post or blog articles or website pages or flyers. It makes me look professional, which is always one of my big goals. It is a great addition to anything else you are using for marketing. My favorite feature of Canva is how easy it is to resize the image you have created. Once I create an image, I can hit "magic resize" to resize the image to fit all of my social media platforms and any other way I could image using an image. It is an amazing way to keep my brand in check.
Speaking of brand, my second favorite (maybe first favorite, depends on the day) is the "your brand" tab. Any marketer will tell you how important a brand bible is and the importance of keeping your brand consistent. Canva makes it so easy to put all of your colors, your fonts, your font sizing and other information into the program so when you go to create something, your brand bible is right there.
According to Canva, you can easily create beautiful designs and documents. Use Canva's drag-and-drop feature and professional layouts to design consistently stunning graphics. Design presentations, social media graphics, and more with thousands of beautiful layouts. It has everything you need for amazing design - images, filters, icons, fonts, colors. Again, there are elements that can be used for free!
Tailwind is the newest toy I have been playing. All I keep reading about is how Pinterest is so important for your business, no matter what your business. I love Hubspot for my marketing, but it doesn't (currently) integrate with Pinterest or Instagram. I struggled with fully understanding Pinterest and how to use is effective - Tailwind to the rescue. Tailwind lets you set and schedule all of your pins. So it is working behind the scene for you to grow your Pinterest following. They did just add an Instagram side of their program, but I honestly haven't played around with it yet.
There is a free version, but if you wanted to upgrade, the fee is reasonable.
In their words, Tailwind is the smartest way to schedule on Pinterest and Instagram. You can save time with bulk image upload, drag-and-drop calendar, multi-board pinning, and many more shortcuts built with your busy schedule in mind. You can maximize your reach with automatically optimize your Pinterest and Instagram schedules based on when your audience is most engaged. You have the tools to measure success with deep analytics and insights on published content to see what's working and what's not.
I have talked about QuickBooks in the past and how it can help you budget for your wedding. I love Quickbooks, I use it to help my clients budget for their wedding, I use it to keep track of all of my business financials, and use it for personal....and I am only using the basic level of Quickbooks. I can keep track of income, expenses, miles, payroll, taxes, invoicing and reporting. And it makes my life incredibly easy when tax time rolls around. Best small business tool for the price!
According to Quickbooks, it is easy to set up and use. And unlike spreadsheets, it does the accounting auto-magically. QuickBooks helps you keep track of the money coming in and out of your business, all in one easy-to-use place. So you always know where you stand, and you're always ready for tax time. QuickBooks connects to over 16,000 financial institutions to download and categorize your transactions for you.1 It can also pull in data from apps you use like PayPal, Square, and others. Don't worry about losing your laptop or important files. QuickBooks automatically backs up your data with bank-level security, so it's always safe, and always available – from any device.
I have been using Dropbox for everything! It is a way to backup all of my information and files. It has a ton of storage, even in the free version. I started using it when I kept getting all of the annoying "storage is full" pop-ups on my phone. I now keep all of my photos backed up in Dropbox. I love that I can access all of my files from anywhere, any computer at any time. It also has a great collaboration feature if you have a team of people or to use within family units.
Dropbox says it is a technology company that builds simple, powerful products for people and businesses. It boosts productivity by sharing files with advanced security features, a space for sharing and collaborating. They have dedicated live support.
Click here to learn more and get a bonus 500MB of space!
I have been using Honeybook for over a year now. I like to vet anything that I am going to recommend thoroughly. Overall my experience has been a positive one, and I would recommend any wedding vendor look into Honeybook to help organize your wedding life! In this blog, I went through the pros and cons and below is my official Honeybook review!
Bonus to help you get started: Honeybook review link, use this link for 50% off (click here)! This is how I even gave Honeybook a try, using the 50% off discount made it more affordable than my, at the time, current solution, I encourage you to give it a try.
What other small business tools do you like to use? I am always looking to grow my tool bag and will try anything to make my life a little easier and more manageable.
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