Let's face it running an online business as a solopreneur can feel overwhelming and a little messy at times. Most likely you're playing the role of CEO, CFO, Admin, and marketer on top of the service or product your provide in your business.
These are the five software programs that make the messiness of owning my own business a little more manageable. These programs work great for solo entrepreneurs who provide a client-focused service like as a designer, copywriter, photographer, coach, health & wellness practitioner, or creative.
Yes, these are all affiliate links, because why not? However, I promise I made this list first, then went in and found I had links for most of these. I LOVE these programs unconditionally.
I began using Canva back in 2013 when it first came out. I was a Children's Librarian at a public library and I used this cool new free tool to create all of the flyers, handouts, posters, and social media posts for all of the little kiddo events I put on for families. I've since upgraded to pro and now use it pretty much on the daily for making logos, color brand boards, website banners, social media posts, book covers, and pretty much anything imaginable. Thank you, Canva, for making this librarian a designer!
What I use Canva for:
social media posts
website banners and background images
removing background images to photos (pro)
flyers, handouts, business cards
creating color palettes, font pairings, and logos
In 2015, I began designing websites as a fun little side hustle using WordPress. I'm sure it was user-error and my lack of something, but I developed a severe loathing of WordPress. The plugins used to break all the time, crashing my site, and I would spend hours and days on the phone with support to fix the madness.
So, I switched to Wix and never looked back. I love how simple and user friendly it is to build a site in Wix. My mom could probably build a site in Wix, and that is saying A LOT! (I love you, Mom).
The platform is not only easy to use, but you can create stunningly gorgeous websites in Wix without using code. Plus, all of the "plugins" are from Wix (and not from a third-party source) so you never have to deal with using external companies to figure out why your website has dissolved into nothingness. And Wix is always coming up with cool new features and designs that keep me excited to use the platform. From hover boxes and video banners to animated stickers and cool color gradients, what's not to love with Wix?!
What I use Wix for:
to create beautiful websites
mobile responsive websites
great blogging platform
reliable booking software
create galleries and portfolios (though I think this could be simplified)
Dear Honeybook, How did you know that I needed you to come into my life and organize my entire business? Did you see me in your dreams? Was I flailing in client-communication-chaos and you knew I needed rescued? Yes.
What does it do? HoneyBook lets users manage projects, book clients, sign contracts online, send invoices and accept payments. On HoneyBook, users are able to view and track various stages of a project, as well as keep invoices, contracts and other documents in one place. In my opinion, its a perfect tool for anyone with individual clients like coaches, consultants, music teachers, photographers, designers, or creatives.
I'm a Honeybook newb, but this was love at first site. Not only did it provide a place for me to save templates for emails that I send to clients over and over again and keep track of where a client is on a project timeline, this was one of those programs that allowed me to gain real clarity on my business. As I was creating my custom brochures (which took weeks and they are beautiful!!) I was really able to hone in on my message, my services that I want to be delivering, and what clients I really want to serve with Songbird Creative. So, cheers Honeybook, we're pals for life!
I use Honeybook to send:
beautiful brochures about my services
contracts, proposals, invoices
questionnaires at the beginning and end of projects
email templates for emails I send all the time
a signup to book an appointment (integrates with Calendly)
If you know me, you know I love simplicity. My love for simplicity borders on downright laziness. I hate complicated things -- such a waste of time. I could be hiking or paddle boarding, but instead I'm sitting here in front of this screen with my eyes going cross, trying to figure out this silly program.
That is why I love FloDesk. It's simple. It's easy to build an automated workflow without feeling like you need a PhD in advanced mathematics. It provides lovely templates that scream elegance. Can you scream elegance? Now, you apparently can.
I have been around the block in the world of email newsletters programs and I've gotten to know quite a few intimately -- MailChimp, Klaviyo, Emma, the Wix Ascend email program. They're all fine and dandy. But for this simplicity-loving maven, it's FloDesk all the way for me. And I love that they just have one flat price no matter if I'm sending to 50 or 50,000 subscribers.
I use FloDesk to create:
Welcome Sequences attached to a Free Offer
Send regular email every other Friday
Create signup forms on my website (though, the integration could be better with Wix)
Asana is technically built for teams to keep track of projects and communication. However, as a freelancer and business owner, I rely on this awesome program as my ultimate to-do list.
There are several different viewing options and I enjoy the board view the best. I have a board for clients, for my own business, for personal actions, and an entire project calendar devoted just to content creation.
I keep all of my ideas for blog posts, videos, social posts and future courses in Asana. Whenever an idea strikes me I create a card for it. It mind maps my whole brain in one place so I can keep track of my ideas.
The best part about Asana? The celebration graphics. Nothing gives me more joy than to watch the pretty narwhals or unicorns float across my screen after I've completed a task.
Bonus: Google Drive + Docs + Gmail + Calendar + Draw + All the Google Tools
I almost didn't include the Googs because Duh. But my business really couldn't live without it.
I use the Google Suite for:
I live and die by the Google calendar. If it's not in my calendar I most likely forget to do it.
I use the Google Workspace Email
Google Drive - I use this feature a TON to share work with my clients
I used to use Google Forms before I found Honeybook (see above)
Sometimes I use Google Draw to mockup websites
Was this article helpful to you? If there's a program or platform that has changed your business life for the better that's not on this list, I'd love to hear about it.
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