My Trusty Digital Tool Kit

Using the right tool for a job can make it easier, faster and more effective. I am married to a carpenter and we've been renovating our house since we moved into it a few years ago. He must cringe sometimes at the tools I try to use for certain tasks. He has been building for nearly fifteen years and though I used to be the top woodworker in my class, it doesn't give me the knowledge or experience to always select the best tool.

He'll often have to keep an eye on me when we're working on a project and he'll often demonstrate a better way to do something or replace the hammer I'm using with a nail bar. He truly shows me how it's smart to use the right tool.

So I might not be the most-skilled with hand tools but I certainly know my way around many digital tools. And sometimes I feel the same way he must when I come across someone using the wrong tool for the job.

Just recently I had a client who is a contractor to a single client. She doesn't incur many expenses for her role and the main pain point was the time it takes her to invoice them and the record keeping related to it. She was gearing up to get set up with Xero and she asked for my advice. After, determining what her needs were I was able to recommend a simple (and free!) time tracking tool that allows her to issue invoices. I compared this to me using a jackhammer to pull a nail - the pure strength of the tool is unmatched to what I need.

So, even though every situation is different, I thought I'd give you a glimpse into my digital tool kit. You might find something that works for you.

Email, Calendar and Documents

I base my email, calendar, and documents in G Suite (or what used to be Google Apps for Work and has been known by other names before that). It's cost-effective and very simple to use. The features are great and it makes collaborating on documents and sharing files/folders straight forward. I've praised calendars before, and Google Calendar definitely ticks the boxes for a great tool to manage my time.

Time Tracking and Invoicing

I use Harvest for my time tracking and invoicing - it makes it very easy to issue an invoice from your time entries and to keep track of time spent on a project so far. The app gives me no excuse not to enter my time throughout the day so I keep all of my billing on track.

Project and Task Management

I am a huge Asana fan, always have been. I am a list-maker at heart and this tool plays to that natural tendency of mine. (I have yet to get into their boards layout but I am sure I will one day!) I can share a project with a client and keep track of all things related to a task right there - documents, links and comments.

Social Media

I schedule most of my social media posts (yep, I'm a time blocking kind of person) so I use Buffer for that. It's super simple and I can load up some content to keep me going for the week. I love the browser extension that lets me add a link right where I'm reading too!

I also use Buffer's image tool Pablo for not only social media images but often blog images too. It's right there, in the right size and I can add text if I want as well. This makes image sourcing happen in a matter of minutes.

Google Keep

For those reminders and lists that aren't always totally work related, or one that I need to see when I'm at a certain location, I have the Google Keep app on my phone so that I don't lose track of anything.

So, if you want to make sure you're using the right digital tools for the job, contact me with any questions.