The thing about productivity is that you can spend a lot of time being very unproductive looking for productivity apps.
We’re going to dive into our 3 main apps we use to manage our business and clients and why we chose them.
- Dubsado (this is an affiliate link, if you use it you will get a discount when you sign up)
- Google Drive
Notion.So – Blocks on Steroids
Notion.so is by and far away my favourite ‘do it all’ app of the last 18 months.
I have tried many, many apps in the last 5-6 years and Notion comes out on top. It’s the best all-rounder with the ability to create fantastic tables and transform those tables into different layouts (like Kanban, or lists). It is an indispensable tool in my personal organization and our work organization. I even wrote the draft of this blog in Notion.
Let me show you a couple of ways I love to use this app:
- Lists for organization
Let’s take books for example. I have a hard time keeping track of what books I want to read, and countless times have had to search high and low to remember an off-hand comment about an interesting book. With Notion’s own Chrome plugin I can skip right to the page and pull the link right into Notion. Easy peasy.
- Routine tracker
If you suffer from keeping your routine in check and wanting to observe your routine habits overall, Notion can help. If you want to be able to see in-depth historical data you may need to set it up a little differently. For myself, I enjoy seeing it on a weekly basis to help me record my energy in my journal.
- Weekly work tasks/organization.
I used to use a weekly organizer and/or a notepad to write down what I needed to get done. Now I write down all my tasks at the start of the week and plop them down in days where I feel they will best be served. What I like about Notion is I can adjust priorities on the fly by dragging the tasks to a new day. This definitely beats writing it down and ensuring I have my notebook on hand at all times.
While organizing the hourly tasks from my projects is great, we need a great tool to help us speed up onboarding and off-boarding clients. Our next app does exactly that.
Dubsado – Business Organization
Dubsado is a business management solution aiming to cut out busywork that computers can accomplish faster and more efficiently. I have been using CRMs since 2014 and after touring almost all the ‘small business crm’ product offerings, Dubsado has become Pilot’s choice for organizing our leads, scheduling meetings, sending proposals, contracts, invoices, questionnaires, and automating key emails for our clients.
Dubsado is not cheap, especially compared to the ‘$free.99‘ if you use Notion as a personal account. At $350 year, we had expectations that the app would save 10x that in time, and make it easy for our potential clients to sign with us. Dubsado does this.
One of my favourite features of Dubsado is when we direct potential clients to reach out to us, we have automated the follow-up process. They are sent an email to schedule a meeting and before that meeting, a questionnaire is sent out to get some other backup information so that we can steer the consult in the right direction.
Want an easy contract creator that pulls the important stuff automatically? Dubsado does that.
Want to keep your leads organized and know what referral sources are bringing you the most business? Dubsado can track that.
Need a CRM to integrate with your calendars so that you can ensure you’re never double booked? Dubsado does that.
We love Dubsado and you should try it out!
If you’re in the future (let’s say… 2022 or beyond) and you’re wondering what Zoom is, it is a video conferencing platform because in 2020 we couldn’t see people in person.
While we don’t feel we can claim O.G status on Zoom, we were utilizing the app long before 2020 and social distancing rules came into effect.
In this day and age, seeing your customers and clients face-to-virtual face is key. People believe in people. People buy from people. If we cannot meet in person, video conferencing is the next best thing to connect.
Zoom and really any other video conferencing platform, like Google Meet, FaceTime, GoToMeeting etc, are essential for businesses. You can even get away with a free Zoom account if you can keep your meetings to 1-on-1.
So here’s the rundown of how we run our business:
Notion for internal organization.
Dubsado for the business organization + client management.
Zoom for connecting with potential and existing clients.
These are our favourite apps of 2020 and if anything changes we will be sure to update it.
Before we go, here’s a list of notable mentions for other apps we use in our business:
- Toggl (time-tracker)
- ConvertKit (email marketing)
- Quickbooks Online (accounting software)
- Later (social media planning + scheduling)
- Trello (Kanban style organization)
- Slack (chat rooms for teams)
- Google Drive (cloud storage)