You can find me on my soapbox talking about systems pretty much anytime I get an opening. And it’s not because I’m an asshole. It’s because I know just how vital systems are for the solo business owner. I’d even go one step further to say that they're useful for any business.
So today, I’m sharing the systems that literally keep my business running. The ones that I simply couldn’t do without and how they function in my business.
Warning: This post does contain affiliate links. If you decide to purchase something because I share it, I may receive a small commision or free use of a software, but this does not come at any extra cost to you. I wouldn’t be sharing these products and systems if I didn’t really use them or love them.
Holy powerful software. I mean really.
I’m going to share how I got started with Trello and how I kind of built from there. Ready?
I registered for a free account, six months later, I bought Trello for Business, and since have kind of just gone with it. I have moved my business completely into Trello and have built systems around using the simple sort and complete technique.
My favorite things about Trello
It gives everything a home. Inside Trello, I can have a whole quarter’s worth of to dos (which I do) and not have to ever look at the daunting whole big picture.
I have a clear picture of what’s what. I can tell you at a glance if my week is packed or if it’s light. I can tell you in two clicks how far ahead (or not) I am on content creation.
They have a completely free version. Now my own systems require more than the current one power up they offer for free, so I pay $5.00 a month (less on a yearly plan) and have honestly yet to pay for anything because I made everyone I know sign up for a free account.
They have a pretty badass affiliate program. They don’t pay out per say in cash, but what they do pay is your bill for the month. One sign up recommendation means one month of Trello Gold for free. Badass, right?
Butler For Trello
I named mine Alfred because it makes me feel like Batman.
But in all seriousness, the Bulterbot is like having a VA inside Trello. I can build custom commands with a handy command builder, only use him on boards that I need him on and feel like a time saving, ass kicking princess while I do it.
My favorite features of Butler for Trello:
They are always updating the features. It seems like once a week at least, they are updating Butler to make new commands and make life that much easier.
I don’t have to do the repetitive tasks anymore. Like I don’t touch a card until it comes onto my week on a daily basis. Alfred (butlerbot) moves all the tasks that are due that week into the My Week board and sorts them by due date. Also, it will convert items on checklists and keep labels. YES!
It’s got a built in command builder to make building commands a cinch. You might have to dig until you get used to the commands, but they build automatically, you can stack them, and above all else, they copy and paste right into the Butler list on a board.
Google For Work (or Whatever They Call It Now)
Is Google taking over the world? Maybe. But honestly, as of right now, I’m kind of ok with it. At least in my business. Looking legit in business is half the battle, so when you can get a custom email for $5.00 a month per user and that comes with the slew of Google based products like Drive, Calendar, Slides, and Sheets (to name a few) it’s well worth the money spent.
Google for Work let’s me look legit, use Drive to store Google based files for free, and link it all together in my Trello account as attachments.
My favorite things about it:
The power of Google. Having Google in my corner makes me feel secure mostly because they run the interwebs world. It’s nice that as a small business owner, I can afford to have a major player in my corner.
Drive storage. If you are storing Google based files (like blog post drafts, budgeting sheets, etc.) in your Drive, they don’t take up any space. And I like Google better than Office, which can be skewed as bias of course.
My Google calendar syncs to my iPhone seamlessly. LOVE THIS. I can tell you what I’m doing on any given day, what appointments I have and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love being able to see it in whatever view works best for you. This might seem simple, but I love it.
Trello integration. YES. This is the best. I can attach a file of say a blog post draft to a card in Trello from my drive and access it on the web whenever, wherever, I want. BOOM. You give me an internet connection and I can run my business anywhere.
Later (used to be Latergram)
As far as I know, Instagram still says that you are not allowed to straight up schedule your posts. Enter Later. Later has a bunch of features that make it really easy to use and it’s super easy to get the hang of.
My favorite things about Later:
I can store media on Later. And bulk upload too. Having a library of Insta ready images ready to go at a moments notice takes the pressure off trying to come up with something in the moment and remember all my hashtags and try to type it all out on my phone because my thumbs are huge.
I can repost good stuff. No one is going to see everything you post. (Thanks Facebook) So really, you don't’ have to worry about being an original little snowflake everytime. I like that I can recrop an image with the same caption and reuse it with just a couple clicks.
You can schedule way in advance. Since I batch most of my content creation, I love that I can schedule the corresponding image from my upcoming blog post with an Insta ready image in a few clicks, all before I have a caption or blog post written.
I’m a convert here. I took advantage of a free trial and fell in love.
If you’re type-A and need some segmentation or tagging in your email list life, this is for sure the place to be. I’m not going to go into it too much, but just the sheer amount of set and forget capable through Convertkit is swoon worthy.
My favorite things:
Automation out the wazoo! Sequences, tagging, sign up here get added to this sequence. Sign up there and get added to this tag. -sigh- It’s an organizer’s dream.
Set and forget rules. I don’t have to segment myself. There is this whole section from the dashboard that lets me have access to my automations. It is a real legit place.
They actually, truly care. I just got an email that wanted to know how many subscribers I have so that they can tailor content to me better. And they are willing to jump on webinars, have actual phone calls, and be human people to their customers. That, my friend, is a beautiful thing.
And as promised, affiliate links. As I said above, nothing here will cost you anything extra.