The Right Tool at the Right Time
First Thing First!
Before we go on to chat about the “tools”, which is often a very exciting topic.; we need to talk about one thing first – Stewardship! Because the discussion of “tools” is often used as a great excuse for us NOT to move forward to what we should be doing.
Ouch! This is the butt-kicker coach side of me talking:)
I like this definition for kids about stewardship, simple and clear:
“The careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care.”
From the countless mistakes I’ve made and my study from many successful mentors of business and life, what I have learned is this:
To succeed, it isn’t about how much we have, but it’s more about how we manage what we have. In short, to achieve what you desire you need to become a better steward, and that means how you handle the time, resources, money, relationships, etc. in hand. So when it comes to the tools, please keep this principle in mind. The last thing I want for you is to waste your money and time to pile up more digital dust.
Now that we got that out of the way, here is what you need to know:
I only recommend what I have already used and has worked well for me.
I am a firm believer that you don’t need the most expensive gadgets; you just need the right one for the right time.
Many of the below links are affiliate links, which means I might receive a commission if you purchase. The price is the same whether it’s with the referral link or not.
Akismet checks your comments and contact form submissions against our global database of spam to prevent your site from publishing malicious content.
-social media plugin-
The easiest way to promote, share & track your content on Twitter (and it's free)
They are custom built for the platform: WordPress! The speed is fast and with nightly backups. 🙂 My favorite feature is “staging sites”. It means you can build up a site behind your current site without impacting the live status. When you are ready to switch, just one click away!
-customlized links management plugin-
Pretty Link makes managing your social links, redirects and affiliate links much easier. It makes it simple for you to shrink, cloak, track and share your links.
-social media sharing plugin-
A WordPress plugin that adds beautiful, lightning-fast social share buttons to your website or blog. You can choose whichever pages you'd like to share with both floating and before/after content buttons.
If you are like me and really don't want to spend too much time on the SEO game, but would like to get the fundamental SEO elements on your content, such as Title, Description, H1 tag, etc. Then this is a tool for you.
-email automation marketing service-
Emailing your entire list with the same message and without segmentation is a thing of the past. Drip is not only it’s an excellent email autoresponder, but also fantastic funnel automation tool without Infusionsoft’s price tag. Its visual workflow builder makes my life so much easier to create the best campaign to serve my subscribers on their unique journey.
-landing page + campaign builder-
It’s one of my favorite tools because it has saved me and my clients much time and money every single year. The “Drag & Drop” templates allow you to set up a proper trackable campaign in no time!
-landing page builder-
If you are on a budget to build professional looking and functional landing pages on WordPress, this is a great option for you. It comes with a suite of tools such as Countdown Timer, Guarantee Forms, Responsive Columns, and more!
-appointment scheduling tool-
One of the best things for the virtual business is that you can work with clients from all over the world! However, it also means you will encounter all different time zones. And it’s such a time and energy waste to ask “what time works for you?” Acuity Scheduling solves all that, and it also makes the process look very elegant as well. 🙂
-file organization+ sharing-
As my mentor, John C. Maxwell once said, “To find things which you forgot where they are because you are disorganized is the worst form of unproductivity.” As an international family who owns four different passports, relocated over three continents, Dropbox is the tool keep us in our sanity when it comes to file organization.
-idea capture+organization tool-
Got ideas on the go? Or even in the shower? Evernote helps entrepreneurs like us capture, organize, and share notes from anywhere. And best yet, it syncs with all your devices.
-leading automated English proofreader-
If you like me and have to constantly edit the spelling, grammar, etc., you will love Grammarly. It helps to eliminate errors which even Microsoft Word can’t find; it also enhances clarity and meaning of your context. Super cool, huh? 🙂
-personality power assessment-
It’s assessment shows the power of your personality. The Fascination Advantage assessment is the first personality profiling tool to show you how the world sees you, rather than how you see the world.
-productivity assessment of the actions from your natural instincts-
I have taken different kinds of assessments through the years. I have to say the Kolbe Index is truly unique. It does not measure intelligence, personality or social style. It measures the instinctive ways you take action when you strive. It helps me avoid wasting my time & energy in the “wrong” ways of executing things and allows me to follow my instinct – my natural way of thriving.
-visual workflow communication + planning tool –
Sometimes, words are just not enough; especially when it comes to explaining the process or workflow. Lucidchart is my pal to often impress my clients and my team with the beauty of clarity.
-screen capture + communication tool-
If you are a visual person, then you’ll love this screen capture tool. It has saved me so much time and effort when it comes to communicating with my team and clients.
This is the same headphone I use for my podcast, client calls, and team meetings. It's very comfortable to wear for an extended time and very reasonably priced as well. 😃
-sport + on-the-go earbuds-
I spent an extensive amount of time and effort to researching a high-quality pair of headphone or earbuds for both of my workout and travel time, and without breaking the bank. Boss delivers it!
I received a lot of compliment from my podcast VIPs and clients about how sharp my videos look. They thought I was using a DSLR. 😉 When you have proper lighting setup, this webcam can work wonder for you.
-ring light + stand-
Before you want to go all fancy with the lighting setup, check out this ring light set first. I believe it covers most of your indoor video shooting needs.
-podcast mic + shock mount + arm kit-
This is the very set I use for my podcast, client calls, course creating. It delivers quality sound in reasonable price. The set includes: Podcaster, PSA1 Arm, and PSM1 shock mount.
-lavalier mic for smartphones-
This is the mic I use when I am on the go. It works very well with my iPhone, even when I was walking on the busy streets.
-screen recording + video editing software for Mac –
Hands down it’s my go-to screen capturing and video editing software; it’s powerful and easy to use.
-graphic design tool-
I do use Adobe Photoshop, but when it comes to batching up social media images, Canva is my best friend; because with “Canva for Work”, the paid version, with one click, I can resize images to different sizes for various social media platforms.
-presentation + graphic design tool for Mac-
It’s one of my secret graphic weapons. 😃 Most of the graphics you see on this website were designed from Keynote. It’s much easier and quicker to work with layers than Photoshop. It has become my favorite image creating tool!
-social media management tool-
To create engaging social media content, build your email list through various platforms; we need to listen and engage with our audience. However, it’s such a time-consuming effort to cover multiple channels. agora pulse provides the all-in-one solution, such as scheduling, emptying social inbox, working with team members, etc. at an affordable price.
-social media scheduling tool-
I am often asked what’s the best social media scheduling tool with a recycle function without costing too much. Well, SmarterQue enables you to categorise your content calendar, recycle posts, and curate popular content at a lower price tag than their competitors. 😃!
Yes, I want to download this Tool Vault!
– DOWNLOAD Kelly's Tool Vault –
So you can save yourself countless hours of research looking for the right tools for your online business.
I only recommend what I have already used and has worked well for my clients and myself. So it's a 28 “battle-tested” tool list to increase your productivity and momentum of your business!