Over the years, I’ve experimented with a lot of tools to organize and streamline my business and work with clients. The ones listed here are my favorites (or ones that come highly recommended by friends).
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Recommended 2023 Black Friday Deals!
Who says Black Friday is just for holiday shopping? We all deserve some great deals for our work life too! These special offers will save you some serious cash – and many are available the entire holiday weekend, or even slightly beyond.
- Affinity Suite – This fantastic alternative to Photoshop, Illustrator & InDesign is offering 40% off their incredibly low pay-once license. That’s right – no monthly subscriptions! (FYI: I designed the new edition of Build a Better Trade Show Image using Affinity Publisher.)
- AppSumo – My go-to source for software deals always delivers for Black Friday, and this year they have a wealth of tools with lifetime deals (through 11/28). Some of my favorites: Depositphotos (a total no-brainer at $39 for 100 royalty-free stock images of your choice), Voilá (my favorite AI tool for brainstorming, content summarizing, and more because it’s a handy browser extension), GoZen Content AI (a great all-around AI tool because it does both content and image generation), and TidyCal (the calendar booking tool I use – so easy-peasy + you can even use it for paid bookings). Plus there are plenty of other tools to help with productivity, project management, content marketing with AI, and much more. (I plan to pick up Boardmix, a whiteboard for online meeting collaboration.)
- GoBrunch – This fun, “out-of-the-box” alternative to video meetings is especially great if you have a remote work team because you can create always-on rooms. As a GoBrunch Ambassador, I can share their generous 50% off with you! (use code “BRUNCHFRIDAY23” through 11/26)
- pCloud – My favorite cloud storage and file sharing service has 85% off lifetime plans!
- Sendspark – I love using this to send personalized video messages! You can even invite people to send you a video reply. For Black Friday, they’re offering 15% off certain plans with the code “SCALE2024.”
- SuiteDash – If you’ve ever logged into my Client Hub, you’ve experienced SuiteDash without even knowing it. I can’t say enough about this Swiss Army knife of business tools … from CRM to file sharing to document signing and invoicing, it handles everything seamlessly. Now they’re offering “SuiteKeys” that provide you lifetime access starting at only $159! (You can stack this deal to get the number of staff and storage space you need.) One note: With such a robust platform, it can feel a bit overwhelming at times, so feel free to reach out to me for tips!
Before I break the tools down by category, I have to mention my go-to source for discovering new software tools: AppSumo. In fact, many of the tools listed below I purchased during their “no-brainer” lifetime deal offers.
Organizing & Productivity
- TidyCal – Calendar booking tool (what I use)
- Plutio – Manage projects, tasks, invoices, and more (my personal favorite!)
- pCloud – File storage and sharing service (try it out with a generous free plan)
- Trello – Manage projects & tasks
- Slack – Manage projects & teams
- Evernote – Organize all your notes in one place
- ClickUp – Free project, doc, & time management
- AirTable – Part spreadsheet, part database (good for teams)
- OneTab – Too many browser tabs open? This free plugin organizes & archives them for you.
Note: If you’d like to have a free PDF chart that shows a comparison of Project Management Tools, simply click here to request it.
- GoBrunch – Tired of doing meetings in a boring tool? Here’s a fun alternative! You can even set up an “always-on” conference room for remote staff to gather at a moment’s notice.
- StreamYard – This is the streaming tool I use to broadcast Virtual Lunch and other livestreams. (My referral link gets you a $10 credit.)
- Free Conference Call – Audio and video conferencing, plus screen sharing; also international dial-in numbers
- Free Conference Calling – Host calls of up to 1000 with the option to record
- You may notice a current popular option is not listed here. That’s because I don’t recommend it, especially in light of previous security issues. If your organization insists you use it, here are important tips for how to improve the safety and security of Zoom calls.
- RescueTime – Track your time spent automatically; free & paid plans
- Forest – Stay focused, plant a tree
- SuiteDash – I’ve tried a lot of CRM systems over the years, and this is the most all-around solution I’ve found so far. It also serves as a client portal where you can share files, track billable time, send proposals or contracts and more.
- HubSpot – Their free version includes basic tools for sales and marketing, but if you want more you’ll need to upgrade to their paid plan.
Webinars & Virtual Summits
- Airmeet – A great option if you want your virtual event to combine education sessions, small-group discussions, and exhibits. But it’s the networking ‘tables’ that are my favorite feature! (They also have a free option for public events with less than 100 attendees.)
- HeySummit – Virtual summit management tool (speakers, sponsors, marketing & more)
- Eventee – While this started as a basic event app, it’s now evolved into a virtual event hub with session interaction, sponsor tools, matchmaking and more. And if you have a small event (less than 100 attendees), you can try it out for free.
- WebinarJam – If you’ve been on any of my webinars, you’ve seen this in action!
- WebinarNinja – Another great webinar option
- LOVO Studio – Create AI voiceovers or text-to-speech with dozens of realistic-sounding voices in multiple accents & languages.
- HappyScribe – Create transcripts and/or subtitles for your conference sessions & events, using either AI or professional transcribers. (It’s what I use for Trade Show Insights episode transcripts.)
- Virtual Event Success Kit – Take advantage of this collection of robust planning tools I created just for you!
Note: If you would like help setting up your virtual events, I can work with you as a virtual event concierge, moderator, or emcee. Please contact me for details.