Free Time-Saving Business Resources I Love: Ballast Notes

Owning a small business is a whole lot of trial and error. A lot of it is necessary, but there's also strategic ways to make life a lot easier for yourself. And best of all, there are plenty of FREE programs to help you out. Here are just a few of my favorite ways to get yourself organized and save time:

  • Later (Instagram): How much time was a spending stressing over coming up with Instagram captions on a whim and setting alarms so I didn't forget to post something before Later? Way too much. With using Later to schedule out your posts, you can also view your Insta grid both before and after scheduled posts, and can login from your desktop so you don't need to save any image files to your phone. Magical.
     
  • Toggl (Time tracker): I've used Toggl for awhile now to track my time, and I love how super simple it is. You can track your time by client and project, and can also view a weekly or monthly color-coded graph to visualize exactly how you've been spending your time. If you're looking for a no-nonsense tracker, this is perfect.
     
  • Boomerang (Gmail): Ever felt like a crazy person emailing your clients at 11pm? Ever totally forget to follow up to an email because you didn't want to send a response back too quickly? I'm obsessed with Boomerang (not the Instagram app), a plugin for email that allows you to schedule emails into the future. You also have the option to send an email only if no one responds - which is an awesome way to remember to follow up with someone.
     
  • Canned Responses (Gmail): It took a solid year into my business for me to realize how much time was wasted on writing emails -- especially ones that could have been formed into a template. I was saying pretty much the same thing every time I responded to an initial inquiry, sent a proposal, or wrapped up a project; yet taking time to re-write my response each and every time. Enter Canned Responses - in Gmail, you can easily drop pre-written responses right into email threads. It's pretty awesome and make life much more quick.
     
  • Calendly (Scheduling): This one is a bit of a cheat, because I haven't actually started using Calendly yet. But I'm planning on doing so in the near future, and I already know it's going to save a lot of back-and-forth emails when it comes to scheduling. Calendly syncs up with your calendar, giving you the ability to send a link to a potential client to simply book time on your calendar, instead of you having to list out a bunch of different times you're available. Plus, the meeting is automatically on your calendar! 

What do you think about these resources? Any other great ones that I missed? Make sure to drop a comment below! 

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