11 Tools & Applications I Use and Can’t Live Without

Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy sometimes, trust me. You have to have a wide variety of skills, which includes finding opportunities to make your business grow. If you’re doing business online, when it’s just you running the show, you really have to know your stuff and why you’re doing it in the first place. Entrepreneurs like us are sometimes guilty of starting something without knowing why we started it in the first place. Without a concrete plan in place and without all the tools and strategies set out, our business won’t have a hope of succeeding.

Speaking of tools, there are loads of different tools and software out there to help us get the job done right. Using the right ones can do wonders to our projects.

I’m sure you have stumbled upon a new tool or app and you thought, “Why didn’t I know about this last YEAR! It would have made all the difference!” Indeed, nowadays there’s a tool or an app for almost anything. The only problem is knowing about the tool in the first place.

Out of all the tools, apps, and software I currently use in my business, I would have to say that the ones below are the most useful in my business. I can’t live without them! Literally I would not be able to do what I do without them!

I hope that they can help you as much as they have helped me in my life and business.

BlueHost

img-bluehostThis hosting company, in my honest opinion, is the best out there. I used to own a web design business and I have had hundreds of hosting accounts–everything from the basic shared hosting all the way up to cloud and cluster hosting. BlueHost has always delivered top quality hosting at lower costs than almost all of their competitors. If you need more power with your hosting, they also offer highly affordable dedicated hosting accounts for your website.

Around 99% of all the websites I’ve built are on BlueHost and I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you’re looking to get a website of your own, don’t go with a free hosting account because they will have strict rules on what you can and can’t do with your site. Even if their rules seem okay now, you will almost always wish you went with a personal hosting account later on because at any moment the free website services can shut down your site. BlueHost is very affordable and you can have a website hosting account for around $50 dollars a year.

Get 30% off BlueHost (BlueHost Affiliate Link)

AWeber

img-aweberWhen I first started out in internet marketing, I never thought about starting up a newsletter and building my own list of subscribers. To keep things short I made a HUGE MISTAKE! Having a list of subscribers has allowed me to build a very successful business. In a way I would have to say my list is my Golden Goose. “What is a Golden Goose?” you may ask. Simply put, it is a continuing source of wealth or profit that can be exhausted if it is misused. My list allows me to pull in profit without me doing anything whatsoever.

Once you go in and set up your Auto-Responder in your AWeber account, you’re set for months (and even years in my case). With my Auto-Responder series I don’t have to worry about losing touch with subscribers. If you want to build a business online then you need your own list and I recommend you use AWeber to grow it. Like I mentioned when I first started out, I went far too long without having my own newsletter setup and it was a mistake on my part. Get yourself an account and don’t put off setting up your Auto-Responder series.

Setup an AWeber account for $1 dollar (AWeber Affiliate Link)

LeadPages

img-leadpagesI have used this amazing tool since it was created. I know HTML and loads of website coding languages, but I still choose to use this because it makes the creation and tracking process so much smoother. They’re implementing so many amazing new features into the software. If you have ever paid for a landing page you need to catch up with the times and get yourself a lapdog’s account. Not only will you save a lot of time getting a landing page up and running, you will most likely save loads of cash in the process. A normal landing page created by a web professional can cost around $300. I have even seen some cost as much as a few thousand. LeadPages, on the other hand, costs a fraction of these.

LeadPages has some fantastic pages to choose from, and they’re always adding new landing pages. Take a look below

screen-shot-leadpages

LeadPages has some other great tool aside from their amazing landing page builder.

Get a 30-day trial account from LeadPages (LeadPages Affiliate Link)

1Password

1passowrd-imgWithout this app, I would lose my mind trying to remember all the passwords I have. I always try to create unique and complicated passwords and not only does this tool save those passwords, it can also create iron-clad ones. I use this app every day and it’s a Godsend. The app is not free to download and use, but it will save your life as it has saved mine.

With the 1Password app, you can back up all your data to your DropBox account, allowing you to have some peace of mind with regards to your data. Before I found this app, I always had to reset my passwords and account security questions regularly. Another amazing thing this app allows you to do is use it on whatever device you may have (Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad, or Android devices). If you manage a lot of passwords and online accounts I highly recommend you to buy this app as it will make your life so much easier. You can also use this app for other situations like keeping your bank accounts, passports, wills, investments, and more in a safe place.

You can take a look at a screenshot I took below; I currently have 218 accounts and items saved into my 1Password.

screen-shot-1password

Anything and everything can be secured by 1Password for you to access at a click of a button.

Get your own 1Password Account setup (1Password Affiliate Link)

Scrivener

scrivener-imgI stumbled upon this app not really knowing the power and versatility it offers. I use to write a lot using other software and apps, ending up not being able to fully utilize my time. Scrivener allows you to create with ease and to access your work without hassle. What the app allows you to do is compose and structure long and difficult documents. It also allows you to store all your writings in one place; no more creating new files or folders for new blog posts. Take a look at the screen shot below so you can get an idea of how I have used one single Scrivener file to everything I do in order.

scrivener-screen-shot1

With one file on Scrivener, I am able to keep my podcasts, blog posts, books, YouTube, Video Scripts, Call Scripts, Follow-up Series, Website Documents, Ads, Virtual Assistants, My Ideas/Notes, and Research stuff—all in one place. It makes the writing process so much faster and easier. The app has loads of features and is really flexible. If you often write, you need this software. It will definitely put all your other writing software to shame.

You can buy Scrivener from Amazon (Scrivener Affiliate Link)

SumoMe

sumome-img1The SumoMe app is about ten apps rolled into one. The app lets you download everything from a very handy hub right from your site. You get free tools to use on your site like the school box, analytics, image sharer, leads, contact forms, heat maps, and many more. This app can also increase sign ups to your website significantly. Once I installed it into Click Money Network, I have received anywhere from 10-20% more sign-ups per day due to SumoMe.

I love this app and its creators. The best part about using the tools in inside SumoMe is that they’re all free!

Take a look at the amazing tools they offer with the screen shot below

tools-screen-shot

You can unlock premium features for a small fee, but the app does come with loads of features that are free.

Download SumoMe for Free!

Zapier

zapier-imgThis nice little tool completely redefines the meaning of automation! It allows you to connect many apps that will work in unison together to do things you never thought possible. If you already use a lot of apps like Google Docs, DropBox, AWeber, Instagram, Youtube, and WordPress, you will love this tool as it will let you automate the process between them.

Here’s an example of what Zapier can do for you in your online business: When you receive a sign up to your WordPress site, you can have Zapier add it to your AWeber account. It means that someone who signs up to your site will have their name and email address sent to AWeber to be added to your subscribers. When I receive a new email in Gmail, Zapier also sends me an SMS message. The first part (WordPress sign up) is the trigger. The second part (adding them to AWeber) is the action. Another example: When I get a new entry from Gravity Forms, Zapier will create a new lead in Salesforce automatically.

You can create Zaps like these using over 200 web apps without knowing anything about HTML code.

Setup your free Zapier account

HootSuite

hootsuite-imgI haven’t been really good at keeping up on all the social networks. It seems there’s some new social network that comes out every month and everyone tells you to jump on it to capture and connect with people. It’s a lot of work trying to manage and stay focused with all the social networks out there. HootSuite has made my social network participation so much easier, allowing me to post status updates all from one place. No more logging in and out of one site and into another. I have used this software a lot, and so far, I really like it.

If you manage a lot of social accounts, I highly recommend this tool as it will streamline the process for you. Too much time is wasted on social networks and this will most likely cut down your time when trying to connect to people.

Get a free HootSuite account

Grammarly

grammarly-imgThis is an amazing tool that will help you with your spelling and grammar. Simply copy and paste your text and it will see what’s wrong and how you can improve it. I use it for emails I send, status updates, and even text messages sometimes. The software can also tell you if there is plagiarism. Plagiarism is where you take someone else’s work or ideas and try to pass them off as your own.

There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t use this software. If you have an editor like me then that’s great, but your editor most likely doesn’t have the time to edit every little thing you produce. I am not that great at English and grammar although I am studying to become better so this little tool is a must for me.

You can take a look at what Grammarly looks like in the screenshot below.

screen-shot-grammarly

Grammarly makes you a better writer by finding and correcting up to 10× more mistakes than your word processor. I highly recommend you get yourself an account because it will make life so much easier when it comes to writing and checking for errors.

Setup your free Grammarly account

WordPress

wordpress-imgThis is an obvious one and most people already know about it and use it. However, if you haven’t ever heard of WordPress before, you need to keep reading. WordPress started back in 2001 as a blogging platform. The platform as it stands today powers around 30% of all websites on the internet, everything from simple blogs to fully functional eCommerce stores and social networks.

My entire site uses WordPress as its content management system. Without having WordPress as my foundation for Click Money Network, I could have forked out hundreds of thousands of dollars for the site. Luckily I didn’t have to spend nowhere near that amount to build the site. WordPress is indeed a tool I can’t live without, because you know as much as I do that having a website that has so much functionality comes at a cost. WordPress doesn’t; it allows anyone even without HTML knowledge to build a robust website that is feature rich.

There are two kinds of WordPress platforms: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. These two are different. WordPress.com is a commercial website where you can host a free site with some limitations or pay a yearly fee to remove the restrictions. WordPress.org is an open source blogging/CMS software that almost everybody is using. I never recommend using free hosting solutions; get your own hosting account and install WordPress. You will thank me later.

Download WordPress for free

DropBox

dropbox-imgI use this tool every day in a lot of the apps I already mentioned: for my 1Password account, Sound Gecko, Scrivener, and others. DropBox does wonders for me and my business. Without it, I would not have peace of mind. There were times when my computer crashed or was stolen. Definitely not fun, by any means. However, with DropBox I am able to back up what matters most to me. It syncs across all my devices so wherever I may be in the world I can still connect to and manage my files.

When DropBox first started, huge companies like Google said it wouldn’t succeed. Many investors didn’t even care to invest because they said that DropBox had too many competitors and they would never see anything in return. Well, they were dead wrong. DropBox is used by millions of users now, and at its simplest, it is merely an online storage service. However, it does so much more than that.

Get yourself a free DropBox account

There you have it—these are the 11 tools, sites, and apps that are helping me a lot in my life and business. I hope that they can help you grow your business, too.

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Thanks so much for reading this article. In the comments below, please share the tools and apps that you can’t live without. If you like this article, please share it with your friends by clicking the social share buttons on this page.

Keep being Awesome,
Scott