In Business, Resources

Productivity Tools - Get 2015 off to a Great Start

Want 2015 to be the year of being super organised? We asked a some of the Crafty Foxers to share their top software, apps, gadgets and gizmos that help them run their business more efficiently and to stay on top of their tasks.



Money & Accounts
Zoe from Lady Bird Likes uses:

  • Freeagent - “this online accounting software has been a total game changer for me! It uploads transactions from your business bank account and/or paypal account, and let's you label each transaction, plus upload copies of receipts and invoices as attachments. It has really helped me streamline my accounts process and means when I have to submit my tax return it's pretty stress free.”
  • Scanner Pro - “I use this handy app on my iphone in conjunction with Freeagent. It's the best app I have found for scanning documents and receipts and turning them into searchable PDF files. I scan all my business receipts and invoices for money I have spent, and then upload them to my Freeagent account."

Social Media
Heidi Burton, a Social Media Consultant shares these 3 tools for social media marketing:

  • Microsoft Excel - "Create a social media calendar for the year. I use Excel to produce a spreadsheet calendar and input all major events, holidays, and themes by date. Create/post content related to those occasions to stay relevant and try to tie these themes in with your work."
  • Hootsuite & Buffer - "Set aside an hour or two on a particular day to create and schedule content for the week ahead. Scheduling posts in advance for e.g. one week at a time saves you from becoming distracted while in the creative zone. Schedule posts directly with Facebook and Twitter, or use platforms such as Hootsuite.com or bufferapp.com."
  • Twitter Analytics and Facebook Insights - "Find out how you’re getting on by keeping an eye on your Twitter Analytics and Facebook Insights. Which posts are getting the most interaction? Post more like this!"


Graphic Design & Photography
The designer/maker's favourite photographer, Yeshen Venema suggests using:

  • Projeqt - "Like Powerpoint but not ugly. Create beautiful online presentations, including option to embed your social media streams."
  • Canva - "Intuitive drag and drop image layout, includes templates for all social media headers and loads of blog and newsletter collages." 
  • Photoshop - textile designer Jonna Saarinen says “my all time favourite program is Photoshop, as I use it for almost everything from photo editing, to designing, creating templates, prepping design files, correcting hand drawn images for silk screen and doing my catalogues. It is a fantastic multi function tool, that can solve most of my problems in minutes."


Planning & Productivity
Jewellery designer Sophie from Oh My Clumsy Heart uses:

  • Evernote - "the perfect tool for planning projects, collecting ideas, and taking notes. It’s one workspace that lives across your phone, tablet, and computer."
  • Sunrise Calendar- "a calendar that syncs to all devices; incredibly useful for planning, especially marketing."
  • Pomodoro Technique - Zoe from Lady Bird Likes says “if like me you find it hard to stay focused on one task, I highly recommend trying the Pomodoro Technique. It involves breaking down tasks into small chunks, and setting a timer for each part. Don't think 'I'll spend three hours writing blog posts' because chances are you'll get distracted. Instead I use www.tomato-timer.com to set myself a timer for say 25 minutes to write one blog post, then will have a ten minute break, then another 25 minutes on another blog post."

File Storage
Textile designer Jonna Saarinen recommends:

  • Dropbox iPhone app -  “all my images and work goes around with in my pocket, and if anyone urgently needs anything from press images to wholesale catalogues, I can get them to them in seconds and I don't need to be on my computer”
  • WeTransferYeshen suggests using WeTransfer for sending digital files. It lets you send 2GB of files for free and up to 10GB on paid version.

What are your preferred tools for business? Let us know in the comments below. 


Article by Diana from Pygmy Cloud