business of b

I often get asked, “How do you do it? What do you use to fill in the blank?”

It is high time that I share my list of cannot-live-withouts and things that are essential to making my business run smoothly and efficiently as possible.

WEBSITE TOOLS //

Synthesis – Since my businesses are web-based it is critical that my website be up and running at all times. As my traffic increased on both of my sites, I outgrew my hosting package. I made the switch to Synthesis and have never looked back. I happily pay a premium for hosting; their customer service is nothing short of amazing. No down time and lots of support. Cannot say enough good things.

Bluehost – If you are new to blogging, Bluehost is a great option. You can have a site up and running in minutes. They even include a free domain name when you register.

Pagelines – Baked Bree is built and run on the Pagelines framework. My designers did the heavy lifting, but I maintain my sites on my own and find it easy to navigate and keep up with.

Squarespace – I chose Squarespace for my photography portfolio because it is easy to use and set up. Not to mention, I love how it looks.  

Wooden Spoons Kitchen –  The dream team of web designers. Melissa and Erin designed and built both of my websites and made all of my website dreams come true. Creative, professional, and so awesome. (Unfortunately, they are closing shop in the very near future. 🙁 )

Upwork – Sometimes I just need something tweaked a little or fixed. E-lance is a great option. You can create a listing and have whatever you need made, created, or coded. I have used this service many times and I am always thrilled with the results.

WP Curve – Perfect for a quick, one-off WordPress job. I’ve used this service a few times and each time the work is done quickly and exactly what I wanted.

Leadpages – For opt-ins, file delivery, sales pages, and lots more. I am new to LeadPages, but got my first few up and working in no time. To be continued…

BUSINESS TOOLS //

Scrivener – I write all of my blog posts, e-books, newsletters, this resource page, EVERYTHING here. It is simple and bare bones, but a powerful tool for writing. I can easily change the order of things and arrange to suit my needs. I use this every single day.

Outright – I use this to keep track of my business income and expenses. I check in monthly and at the end of the year, doing my taxes is a breeze.

Pancake – I use Pancake to send invoices to clients. I love that it is hosted on my server, and there is a one-time fee. It is easy to use and makes getting paid super easy. It does a lot more than just invoicing, but that it the only thing that I use it for. So far.

Mailchimp – I have used Mailchimp for quite a few years. Each update gets better and better. You can create beautiful email newsletters with their drag and drop editor. I also use Mailchimp for my RSS campaigns.

Screenflow – If you are a Mac user, this is software used to record screencasts. When I make a how-to video this is what I use. It can also be used as a video editor for adding animation or titles. It is really easy to use.

LastPass – If you have a million accounts all over the Internet, or even just three, LastPass is the best thing in the world. It is a password manager and keeps track of all of your passwords. It also fills in online forms and saves so much time. LastPass generates secure passwords that keep your information private and secure.

TIME MANAGEMENT //

Trello – I love a list and checking things off of it. I keep track of everything that I need to do in one place, personal and business. I love being able to add notes and use it from the browser and the iphone app. It is also a great way to share lists and things that need to be done with your team. You can see everything all in the same place. 

Calendar 5 – I was a very late adopter of Google Calendar. I was a pen-and-paper-calendar kind of girl and was very resistant to making the switch. Now, I cannot imagine my life without it. It took me a few iphone apps to find one that was exactly what I wanted to manage my calendar from my phone and this is it.

PROGRAMS //

A Course About Copy – I cannot say enough good things about this one. I wrote every single piece of copy for two sites in 4 weeks with this course. Learn to write clear and concise communication in a fun and (relatively) painless way. I learned a lot about myself and how I run my business doing this course.

Bright Eyed and Blog Hearted – Whether you are just starting or a seasoned blogger, this course is full of insight and great ideas to grow readership, write thoughtful content, and increase engagement.

Screenflow Hero – This is the course that I used to learn how to use Screenflow. It is easy to understand and made me not cringe at the idea of having to edit video.

NOTE //

I’m not associated with any of these brands or businesses, I just like them and have been happy with my service. I have not been compensated in any way.