7 of the most effective tools we use to automate workflow

We are so blessed to have technology tools and apps which save us a tremendous amount of time. There are so many options out there, and it can become overwhelming to know which one to choose. Through trial and error, you have to determine which tools work for you. The best apps are the ones you USE!

Our time is at an all-time premium. We needed to find ways to maintain our workload and to manage responsibilities outside of work. We are a busy family, and our children’s sports and activity schedules are almost a full-time job. Not to mention I added attending law school to the mix over a year ago. The past year has been an adventure, but after completing my first year of law school, I know with absolute certainty that anything can be done! You just have to plan for it. It is amazing what we can accomplish when we get started.

“Start by doing what is necessary, then we do what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible” Francis of Assisi.

We regularly test and implement new apps in our business to be more productive and assist clients in streaming their workflow. My favorite tools are the ones which help automate our business. Not only does this save me time but I can do the work of several people in less time therefore also saving money. In the last year, I have learned and use over 30 new tools to run my business. This has made my life much more organized and efficient. I hope that you take a few of these tools and implement to improve your workflow in your business too.

Here is a brief overview a few of our favorite tools we use to run our day:

1. Getting Paid with QuickBooks Payments. Our clients sign up for schoolofbookkeeping.com through a subscription. This is automatically charged each month, and we don’t have to worry about sending invoices. They can cancel at any time. Since this is a subscription, there are many transactions each month. QuickBooks Online and QB Payments work together hand in hand. Everything happens behind the scenes. We get paid and do less work. When the money comes in, it is transferred to our bank. We love that we reduce the time we spend on accounting since QB Payments automates the bookkeeping. If you don’t have an account, set one up for free!

In order to keep your doors open, you have to have a system in place to get paid. We ensure the payment process is as easy as possible for our clients. If your clients are not paying you on time and you have to chase them down with invoices to get paid, you may want to consider changing the way you do your billing. We require our consulting clients to pay in advance before we start working with them and no one has ever complained. Then we never worry about getting paid. If they cancel our engagement at any time, we finish the month and go our separate ways. No hard feelings.

2. Google CalendarWe use Google calendar to manage our work and personal lives. Each person on our team has a shared calendar. We know everything that is going on. Our children even have their own calendars. We know exactly what is going on at any given time. If it is on the calendar, it gets done! Sometimes things are rescheduled but I live by the calendar.  We use many of the other G Suite products, Gmail, docs, sheets, drive and more. We don’t really use Google+ but recommend that you have one because it improves the Google search and SEO for your business.

3. InsightlyWe also stay organized by using Insightly CRM which has changed our business. We review our opportunities, leads, and projects daily. Then we go through the task list to stay on top of the day-to-day. We also integrate other apps with Insightly to automate our workflow. It is automagic! Automating our workflow has been life-changing. One of the best features of Insightly is not only that it is easy to use but it is customizable. You can build pipelines and workflows around your unique business rather than trying to fit a square peg into a round hole with some of the Boxed CRM solutions out there.

4. Zapier. Another tool that takes Insighly to the next level is Zapier. This program connects all of our apps that we use everyday like Slack, QBO, MailChimp, PandaDoc, Evernote, and Xero. The program passes information to Insightly from the apps with a workflow called Zaps. Workflows are automated and the data is brought into your CRM.

5. CamtasiaCreating video content is one of the core elements of our business. With this tool, you can easily edit videos and screen recordings to produce professional content for your clients. We create courses, demo videos, and edit our live webinars to add to our content library. There are many training videos on how to use Camtasia on YouTube. If you are interested in adding a video training library to educate your clients, we highly recommend this tool.

6. Co-ScheduleOnce you create great content you have to share it with the world. We are big advocates of the power of content marketing. Co-Schedule keeps everything organized in one place so you can share your content and move on to focusing on your business. There are many ways out there to share content but Co-Schedule has a great feature that has us hooked. Re-Queue reshares message you select to every social network. It is an understatement to say that this is a time-saver. Rather than manually scheduling your content and crafting messages the old way, we now set it and forget it. Re-Queue works like magic. Co-Schedule fills in the gaps for you to ensure you are sharing great content regularly.

7. ZoomThis tool allows us to work from anywhere. Zoom offers meetings, webinars and zoom rooms allowing you to save time and collaborate with others. We meet with clients one-on-one during zoom meetings. We never meet with anyone in person. Our clients are from all over the country. One of the greatest tools is that you can share your screens and collaborate on client work. You can also use this tool for your internal team to work on a project.

We strive to continuously innovate our business and share our knowledge with our members at schoolofbookkeeping.com and our Ignite clients. If you ever need help with improving your workflow we highly recommend watching some of our webinars and courses. You can also book a consultation. I hope some of these tools come in handy for you and help make your life a little better!

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