Go-To Online Tools for Business Owners and Freelancers

8970947 - illuminated light bulb in a row of dim ones concept for creativity, innovation and solutionStrategic Communications is an entirely remote company and has been since 2008, long before the pandemic emerged. Over those years we’ve been able to leverage a number of digital tools and apps to help us do our work more efficiently. We often learn about these tools through our clients. Each new client tends to bring along at least one new tool we haven’t used before. Some of our favorites: 

Canva – If you’re not a graphic designer and, even if you are, Canva offers a massive amount of flexibility and options for a very low subscription rate. You can use templates they provide, swap out images, change fonts, create your own designs and much more. It’s user-friendly and very intuitive, providing the opportunity to add professional-looking images to your social media posts, e-letters and more.
Grammarly and Hemingway App. These are both copy editing platforms that have far more functionality than Word or other document editors. We use both for various types of work. They help you identify common grammar and usage errors, alert you to hard-to-read copy, passive voice, and even contain plagiarism checkers so you can make sure you haven’t inadvertently included others’ content without attribution.
otter.ai – This is the most recent tool I’ve discovered. It both records (MP4) and transcribes. I use it for talking about projects with clients or prospects, when interviewing sources, to help with transcribing videos/webinars, etc.  It’s very inexpensive. I used to use Livescribe as my go-to tool for recording, but I’ve found otter.ai to be even better!
MicrosoftOffice365 – Basically the Microsoft suite in the cloud. Despite some clunkiness getting started with this and getting it to “synch” across all of my devices, it’s now working great for me. It allows me to access any programs, and all of my files, from wherever I am, including on my phone. I’ve also used it on more than one occasion to find a document I had deleted from my desktop or to return to a previous version.
QuickBooks – I use this for invoicing and billing, and for generating W9s for contractors at the end of the year. It has a lot of additional functionality, too, that I just don’t take advantage of yet. I transferred to the cloud version a few years ago which I love because it allows me to process payments and invoices wherever I am and whenever I need to.
Sendible – This is a tool for scheduling and managing social media posts across a wide range of social media channels. Our team uses it to draft, edit, and schedule posts, as well as to track trending topics, do competitive research and just to stay up-to-date on various issues related to digital marketing and our clients. We used to use Hootsuite, which works in a similar way, but they introduced a significant price increase several months ago so we decided to look for another alternative.
TimeTrade – This is a tool that’s similar to Calendly. I use this to schedule appointments and, especially, interviews with sources because it saves a lot of time going back and forth to find mutual availability.
ToDoIst – This is a scheduling tool that I use to keep track of “to do’s” and deliverables. One of my favorite things about it is that I can schedule reminder emails for myself to be sent either on a daily basis, or on specific days. I even use this to send myself a reminder every day at noon to take my multivitamin with lunch!
These are the primary tools we’re currently using. I have a tendency to “try and buy” these types of tools far too often so every once in a while I go through my monthly charges to see which tools I can safely weed out without sacrificing functionality or productivity. These are the tools that stay on my list month after month.
What is your #1 go-to digital tool?

About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We work with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content. Whether on- or offline, or both, we’ll help you achieve desired results.

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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Recommended Reading:

21st Century Secrets to Effective PR

Managing Remote Staff

Direct Mail in the Digital Age

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Strategic Planning

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

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