I often get asked about the different tools I use to run my business. And some people think I've tried many different tools to find the best ones. But actually, I've been using the tools listed below for many years and my tech stack is largely unchanged from when I first started my business in 2015. Here are the main tools I’m currently using as of March 2023.
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Our email, calendar, contacts and document storage is all powered by Google Workspace. This is the ecosystem that connects to other apps and services that we use (like Calendly). Most businesses use either Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 as their ‘ecosystem’ as these tools come with a suite of products that help you to do your work. I chose to sign up for Google Workspace back in the day as it’s what I was most familiar with at the time.
I access my email, calendar and contacts on my computer and on the go using Apple Mail, Apple Calendar and Apple Contacts. But the underlying data is all hosted in Google Workspace.
Pipedrive (affiliate link) is our CRM of choice. Of course, we provide consulting services to companies who need help setting up and learning how to use Pipedrive, but it’s also the CRM we use to manage our own contacts and deals on a daily basis.
Pipedrive is where we manage everything related to sales.
- It’s where we store all contact information (which syncs to Google Contacts).
- I can schedule appointments and reminders to follow up on a deal (which syncs to my Google Calendar).
- I can send emails from Pipedrive using templates (which are sent via my Gmail account).
- And every project and engagement we do is represented in Pipedrive as a deal so we can see a complete history of all the jobs we’ve done for every contact in one place.
You can check out all my Pipedrive training videos here.
Asana is where we manage all the other work we’re doing. When we win a deal in Pipedrive, Asana is where we set up and track the tasks related to that job.
Asana is where I manage all the business operations including admin, accounting, content planning and marketing. It’s also the tool our team uses as its primary means of communication. We comment on tasks with updates or questions related to our work. This means we can keep everything in one place rather than having to jump back and forth to our email.
You can check out all my Asana training videos here.
I use Slack to run my customer community. When a customer signs up to various programs and offers that I sell, they can get access to this community where they can engage with me and other members to get help with any questions.
To clarify, we do NOT use Slack for internal communication. This all goes through Asana.
I’m also part of a few other workspaces and communities related to my work.
All of our client scheduling is done via Calendly (affiliate link). Whether it’s a new lead booking a call to learn more about our consulting services, or an existing client looking to book a call with me or my team, all of this goes through Calendly.
I often get asked why we don’t use the Pipedrive scheduler; compared to Calendly it’s far less robust and powerful. We use features like a round-robin scheduler, which the Pipedrive scheduler doesn't support.
When a booking is made via Calendly, it automatically sets up a new Zoom appointment and link which gets added to the calendar invite. And we also trigger various automations via Zapier to update deals in Pipedrive or tasks in Asana depending on the type of booking.
Here's a video sharing more about how I use Calendly in my consulting business.
Zoom is my conference calling app of choice. Even though I could use Google Meet which I’m already paying for, I find Zoom better quality and more user-friendly. When you spend as much time on calls as I do, you come to really appreciate having a reliable and well-designed calling app.
This is another one of those examples where I prefer to pay extra for a good quality service; Zoom is 100% focused on making the best video calling software in the world. Whereas for Google, Google Meet is just one more thing for them and it doesn’t get a lot of love, as you can tell by the quality.
ConvertKit (affiliate link) is my email marketing software. It’s what I use to write and send my weekly newsletters. And it’s how I automate various email sequences that go out to subscribers interested in different topics and customers who purchase my products and services.
Years ago I used Mailchimp but decided to switch to ConvertKit as it’s a better fit for a content-based business like mine. The interface is well-designed and I like how I can build complex automations with different logic and paths to send the right email at the right time.
Here's a video sharing more about how I use ConvertKit.
Zapier is the unsung hero in the background that connects the different tools in my stack together. For example:
- When an introductory call is booked via Calendly, Zapier creates a new person and a deal in Pipedrive with all the notes. Here’s a video showing how to set up this Zap.
- When I update a deal in Pipedrive, Zapier calculates the sales commission for my team, it can update deal titles and create new deals for annual renewals.
- When payments are made via Stripe, Zapier marks the corresponding deal as won in Pipedrive.
- When I win a deal in Pipedrive, Zapier creates a new task and subtask in our ‘Clients' project in Asana.
- When a client books a consulting call with us via Calendly, Zapier creates a subtask on the client task in Asana.
1Password (affiliate link) is where I store all login information for all the online accounts we use.
Sometimes our clients will share login details to their accounts so we can help with account set-up and automation and we use 1Password to store all of this securely.
If you’d like to learn how to get started with 1Password, check out this video.
Easy Digital Downloads
Easy Digital Downloads is the e-commerce plugin I use on my WordPress site to manage all of my purchasable products and programs. I also use EDD to set up payment links for one-off projects and retainer engagements.
By centralising all customer payments in one place, I have one database to look at if I need to look back at a customer or client order.
Stripe is my payment processor. Easy Digital Downloads connects to Stripe so when a customer or client is going through the checkout page on my site, the payment is charged to their credit card via Stripe.
Stripe is great as it supports credit cards like Visa, MasterCard and American Express. It also supports express services like Apple Pay.
And what I like most is that I can set up my payout schedule to be paid by Stripe every weekday which helps with cash flow.
Xero is the accounting software I use to track all my income and expenses so I can file my annual and GST returns. Because Xero is connected to my bank accounts, I can quickly reconcile all incoming Stripe payments and business expenses.
When working with New Zealand clients, I can use Xero to create an invoice to be paid in my local currency.
TextExpander (affiliate link) is a tool I’ve mentioned many times on the blog. It’s where I store text that I need to access on a regular basis for things like email templates, Calendly links and affiliate links.
Here’s a video I made a little while ago sharing how I use TextExpander in my business