Being a solo consultant for 4+ years now, anyone who’s doing it knows that there is no playbook. You have to figure it out for yourself. Having the right tools to increase the quality and effectiveness of your work product is key. I’m always interested in reading about the tools other entrepreneurs are using. So, I want to share 12 online tools I use regularly to help me manage my website, help me with blogging, collaborate with clients/colleagues and keep me organized.
CoSchedule Headline Analyzer - This tool is great for analyzing headlines for blog posts and advertising/social media copy. You enter your headline and the tool scores it (0-100) and analyzes the structure, grammar and readability. It also reviews the headline words and scores them in four categories: common, uncommon, emotional and power. I’ve been using the free version for a year now but you can upgrade to a paid version (with more services) at very reasonable prices.
Hemingway App - If you write anything (emails. blogs, articles, business memos, etc.) you need this online editor. Cut & paste your copy into the editor and it scores your writing (lower is better). It tells you how you can lower your score by analyzing your writing in five areas: use of adverbs, use of passive voice, what phrases have a simpler alternative, how many sentences of the total are hard to read and how many sentences of the total are very hard to read. This excellent editor really helps to streamline your writing. I use the free version but a paid version is available at reasonable pricing.
Slack - A team collaboration tool, Slack is essentially a chat room for your whole company, designed to replace email as your primary method of communication. Its workspaces allow you to organize communications by channels for group discussions and allows for private messages to share information, files and more, all in one place. The main reason I like Slack is it eliminates much of mundane, day-to-day project chatter from your email inbox. And because you can have group discussions, it eliminates long email trails that drive everyone crazy.
Google Docs - For cloud computing, Google docs is my go-to online productivity tool. Why? It’s free, changes sync instantaneously, it has excellent collaboration abilities (sharing, dual editing, version history, etc.) and it works everywhere whatever machine your using. You just need access to a browser.
UberConference - This cloud-based conferencing system has cool hold music and does not require a pin when setting up conference calls. I prefer it over Join.me and Skype. It seems simpler and easier to use plus it’s free and supports up to 10 participants at a time.
Google Keep - This free note taking app is great. I tried Evernote and Any.do but Google Keep seems simpler and easier to use. I’ve seen it described as a “smart napkin” and that’s a fitting description.
Zamzar - This online file converter tool converts almost everything (up to 50MB in size) including the following formats: images, documents, music, video, e-book, compressed formats and video presets. It’s easy to use, there’s nothing to install and it’s free.
Broken Link Checker - For anyone with a website or managing a website, this free, simple tool is great for checking for broken links. Enter the URL and a security code and within :30-:60 seconds, you get a report that lists all the broken links and the URL for the page with the broken link.
Free Photos - Shutterstock is my go-to paid site for photography but if you’re budget conscious, here are four free sites: Unsplash, Pexels, Gratisphotography and StartupStockphotos. You may have trouble finding the exact photo you need but if you’re on a budget and not skilled in photo editing, these sites will do.
Gimp - If you’re not skilled in using Photoshop and need to edit an image, graphic editor Gimp is the tool for you. It’s free, it’s easy (and small) to install, it’s user-friendly and it’s fast and stable.
Squarespace - For website hosting, I’m a huge fan of Squarespace. The design template options they offer are great. My site was designed using Squarespace and while I’m not a designer, I find it easy to update. When I have questions, Squarespace support is great. Their support includes a user forum, video tutorials, online chat and if needed, you can actually talk to a human and they are happy to help you. Their App allows you to edit your site and they also have an analytics app to track all your site stats.
2019 Social Media image size Cheat Sheet: For anyone creating/resizing logos for social media, this cheat sheet is super handy.
This blog post is only scratching the service of available tools. My hope is anyone reading this will add categories and tools so this post grows into a great resource.
So, what tools are you using that you want to share?