Porter's Essential Apps for Doing Business

Side note: This post was from 2016. Go check out my latest tools for 2020!

When you're freelancing, consulting or running a small business, you have to be about that business. Making sure your business is making money and not losing money is number 1. That's how you keep the business up. To make money, you have to have customers and treating those customers well. To have customers you have to go out in the world and get them. A lot to manage, huh?

With all that in mind, you have to stay organized as hell or shit is going to fall apart, quick! Here's what I do. I use different tools to handle all that. So below, I listed all those tools below. Try that shit out and see if it works for you. If not, Google the titles like "Time Management App" and find an alternative. Product Hunt also works for looking for some good apps to use. Here we go:

Time Management & Invoicing: Harvest

Harvest Pricing: $0/$12/$49/$99 per month

How this helps me:

  • Track how much time I spend on billable and non-billable projects. This is key to finding out what the hell I'm doing all day.
  • Evidence of time spent for clients. Clients will always be suspect of the time you spend working. That's why they rather have you work at their office. Sending these will help ease the pain.
  • Send invoices to my clients and connect my Paypal and Stripe accounts so clients can easily pay their balance.

Project Management (team): Asana

Asana Pricing: $0/$8.33 per month

How this helps me:

  • Keep a general, organized view of all clients, and their projects, and their current tasks
  • Assign tasks to my assistant and any sub-contractors that don’t mind using Asana
  • Keep up with milestones, deadlines, etc.

Email: Spark

Spark Pricing: $0 https://sparkmailapp.com/

How this helps me:

  • Best app, experience wise, for the swipe action features (swipe right to archive, etc)
  • Good with the Getting Things Done methodology
  • Organizes important unread mail first, notifications/newsletters last

Task Management (independent): Wunderlist

Wunderlist Pricing: $0/$4.99 per month https://wunderlist.com/

How this helps me:

Team Communication: Slack

Slack Pricing: $0/$6.67/$12.50 per month https://slack.com/

How this helps me:

  • How I talk to the people I collaborate on projects with
  • Many integrations to extend Slack such as Asana or Wunderlist notifications

Password Manager: Enpass

Enpass Pricing: $0/$9.99 per month https://enpass.io

How this helps me:

  • Easy to use password manager
  • Has browser extension to quickly find passwords for sites

Storage & Backup: Dropbox

Dropbox Pricing: $0/$9.99 per month https://dropbox.com

How this helps me:

  • Where I store my design, code, music and photo files
  • My dropbox is saved on an external drive
  • That dropbox is uploaded once a year to a server and another hard drive

Doc Suite: Google Drive

Google Drive Pricing: $0/$9.99 per month https://drive.google.com

How this helps me:

  • My alternative to Microsoft Office
  • Its online, easy to use, fast to load, cleaner experience
  • Sharing is the big thing here as many people can work on the same document at the same time

Calendar: Fantastical

Fantastical Pricing: $0/$9.99/$39.99 https://flexibits.com/fantastical

How this helps me:

  • Toolbar calendar app for managing my schedule
  • Add new events with real language such as “Meeting tomorrow with Arthur at 9am”
  • Would use the full size app but it’s too expensive

Financials: Ecfio Pro

Ecfio Pro Pricing: $10 http://ecfiopro.com/

How this helps me:

  • Helps manage my production efficiency using data I’ve inputted from my bank statements and timesheets
  • Find out how much I really need to charge based on my expenses and time

CRM: Google Contacts

Google Contacts Pricing: $0/$5 per user per month http://contacts.google.com/

How this helps me:

  • Store all my clients, associates, family and friends contact info
  • Syncs across all my devices
  • Tag contacts as client, family, friend, etc so I can organize and view them the way I want

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