A business is only as good as its … tools? In the case of solopreneur life, that is sometimes true.
As solopreneurs, we spend every day juggling tasks from accounting to marketing to website design to actually working on the product or service you offer. And that, sadly, leaves us feeling like we’re doing a lot of things not very well.
Enter tech tools. Every piece of business you can automate means a little bit more time freed up to put into the thing you actually get paid to do. But you don’t want to lose just as much time trying to find the right tools, right? That’s why we made this list of tech tools that can help you streamline your lifestyle business.
As you read the list, know that it’s constantly evolving. The tools below are not affiliate links but instead come from Arena members’ very own suggestions for the tools that help keep their businesses in order. Anytime a new one comes up, we’ll add it here.
We all know it, transcribing is a b*** — luckily, you don’t have to do it yourself anymore. Get your work transcribed on the cheap so you can move on to the more important things in your business with the help of these tools:
- Rev.com: A platform that can help you get your video or audio transcribed or captions and subtitles added to videos for $1 per minute. Rev also offers translations for ten cents per word.
- Temi: Speech recognition software that enables you to turn your spoken word into text for ten cents per minute.
You can’t run a business without writing some words. Not a bad thing for the English or Journalism Majors of the world, but perhaps a little frustrating for everyone else. Whether you’re writing blog posts for your business or just want to make sure your copy and emails don’t suck, these tools can help.
- BulletProof Online: On-demand proofreading so you can get that second set of eyes you need right before publishing.
- Capitalize My Title: You might not have gone to J-school, but your title doesn’t have to show that. Use this to make sure your capitalizations are just as they should be.
- Lumen5: Y’all. This tool turns your articles into videos. ‘Nuff said.
- Send Check It: This tool looks for errors in your emails, from broken links to missing images — and you can even use its subject line tester to increase your email’s chances of being read.
- Small PDF: Compress, convert, edit, and merge PDFs.
If you’re not a designer, then chances are you’re desperate for some help. After all, getting a website to look “simple” and be easy to use is about the hardest thing there is to do. But when you hire a designer, it can be hard to have oversight into how things are going.
Mural solves this problem. This remote design collaboration platform takes you from idea mapping all the way to finished product. Listen, just because you don’t know how to design a website yourself doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a voice in the process.
And if you haven’t even found a designer to work with yet? These sites can help:
How can you tell if your copy’s working, or if you’re targeting the right words for SEO, or if your audience even likes what you’re putting out there? Given that all good websites require lots and lots and lots of iteration, here are a few tools that can help you use a data-backed approach to the process:
If you build it, they will come. Right? Right? Okay, maybe it’s not that simple. That’s where marketing tools come into play — and you don’t have to be a former CMO to figure out how to use them.
- AnswerThePublic: Visualized content ideas. BOOM.
- Credo: Finally, you can get help finding an SEO or marketing consultant.
- Discover: A directory of email newsletters to inspire your own.
- LSI Graph: SEO keyword generator so you don’t have to guess anymore.
- Smedian: A tool to help you easily discover which Medium publications you should be writing for to grow your audience.
- Upscribe: Embeddable lead generation forms (need we say more??).
Okay, I know this is a list of tech tools, but sometimes you have to send a good ‘ol physical product. Here are a few of our favorite things to help:
- 4over4.com: Skip the line at Staples — online printing is here and it’s cheap and easy.
- BulkBookstore: Need to buy books in bulkish? You can start as small as orders of 25 for the price of a true bulk order on this site.
- Greetabl: Send a little something special to your clients or customers without breaking the bank.
Ah, looping back to the conversation that started this whole post: productivity. Here are a few tools that can help you get your s*** together in general and focus on what you really want to be focusing on: your work.
For Collaboration, Project Management, and To-Dos:
- Basecamp: Project management, yo. You’ll need this once you hire any help.
- MindMeister: Mind map and collaborate on it with this tool.
- Priority Matrix: A goal-setting tool to help you prioritize and manage your endless to-do list.
- Remember the Milk: A to-do list app that will text, email, or even tweet you to remind you to get your s*** done. Also, we love the name.
- Todoist: MOAR to-do list apps. Seriously, we can’t get enough.
- Trello: The project management tool to end all project management tools. Create and assign cards and move them around as the work progresses. From brainstorm to done, this tool can help you individually or as a team.
- Boomerang: Using your email as a to-do list? This magical unicorn of a product will take messages you’re not ready for away and bring them back on your time.
- Five.sentenc.es: A tool to keep your emails short and sweet.
For Staying Focused:
- Brain.fm: Pop in some headphones when you’re procrastinating and let the music from this scientifically-backed website keep you focused.
- Freedom: Block every website threatening to destroy your productivity with this aptly named tool.
- Noisli: Love to hear the sound of nature in the background while you work? Choose one nature sound or create your own soundtrack with Noisli.
- TomatoTimer: A tool that times tasks for those who work best in bursts.
For Getting Organized:
- ClickUp: Intuitive, customizable productivity software.
- Mind Doodle: Mind mapping software to help you get all those thoughts in your head on paper.
- Momentum: Start your day — and your new tabs, with something beautiful.
- Pocket: Never have time to read the latest blog post or articles on your business? Save them for later with Pocket.