It's probably going to come as no surprise to anyone who has been around me or my business, Anchor Design Co., that I love systems. I think systems are the key to a successful business and more importantly creating sustainable practices in your business. Things that will make your life easier instead of more difficult, things that will last for a long time instead of being a Band-Aid fix for problems you have right now, systems are my jam and I think everybody needs them.
So today I'm going to walk you through the apps that are a total game-changer for my business and how you can use them to get more organized and more consistent behind the scenes.
I’m going to share my favorite software for daily tasks and organizing my entire business, my favorite email app and the two features I’m totally obsessed with, an all-in-one app for my sisters in direct sales, and finally a game-changing social media scheduler that has a feature that I literally searched for for an entire year that totally changed my life, at least when it comes to consistency on social media.
Ready to dive in? Let’s do this!
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007. 4 Apps to Organize Your Business and Increase Productivity
It's probably going to come as no surprise to anyone who has been around me or my business anchor design Co for any amount of time... I love systems. I think systems are the key to a successful business and more importantly creating sustainable practices in your business. Things that will make your life easier instead of more difficult, things that will last for a long time instead of being a Band-Aid fix for problems you have right now, systems are my jam and I think everybody needs them.
Sometimes systems are simple and they really just mean that is how you actually go about doing something. So it might be the system for how you write your blog post, or the system for how you answer emails. If you're in direct sales it could be the system that you use to onboard new consultants. sometimes it involves technology and sometimes it's just a process of some kind.
And while I love both today I want to talk to you about the tech side of it. The apps software and the online tools that you can use cheat to get more organized in the behind the scenes of your business so that the front of your business is polished and productive.
I think most people are not naturally organized. Even people who look naturally organized are often not that way by nature but rather have chosen to become that person because they know the benefit that it has on their life and their business. I fall into the second category. I choose to be extremely organized. Everything has a place and I try really hard to make sure that I mean teen the organizational systems that I've created. but that doesn't necessarily come naturally to me oh, it's something that I've learned to do overtime because I saw the benefit that it had on my life.
for example, my Natural Instincts when I walk through the door of my house is to leave a trail behind me. She was come off near the door, coat comes off on the chair, bad gets put down on the counter, and whatever else is in my hand gets dropped on the next flat surface that I can see. My husband is the same way. Our natural tendency is to leave a trail wherever we go. But we've learned over time that by doing so we're actually making life a little bit harder for ourselves in the future. We have to clean more often, we constantly feel like we're playing catch-up, and ultimately we feel more stressed and anxious because of the visual clutter surrounding us. So to overcome that we looks for ways to make it easier just stay organized. And we found ways to do it that fit into our lifestyle rather than trying to find the one that is most Instagram worthy or picture perfect. For example, our coat closet is not near front door at all. It's near our garage door. so instead of trying to force myself to pick up my shoes and bring them to the coat closet, we added shelves near the front door for shoes to go on. I Found A system that fits within my natural habits and life and leaned in to that instead of trying to force myself to do something that I wouldn't ultimately follow through on.
The exact same concept applies to my business and probably applies to yours as well. My natural instinct is to save everything I've ever done on my computer on my desktop instead of putting it into folders. My Natural Instincts is the text my assistant every time I want her to do something and then leave it at that. But I know that when I do that it's harder for me to find files in the future and tasks get missed. so like I did in my personal life, I found systems that help me stay organized without feeling totally intrusive. Systems that fit into the everyday rhythm of my business without making my life harder.
so today I'm going to walk you through the apps that are a total game-changer for my business and how you can use them to get more organized and more consistent behind the scenes. I’m going to share my favorite software for daily tasks and organizing my entire business, my favorite email app and the 2 features I’m totally obsessed with, an all-in-one app for my sisters in direct sales, and finally a game-changing social media scheduler that has a feature that I literally searched for for an entire year that totally changed my life, at least when it comes to consistency on social media.
Ready to dive in? Let’s do this:
The first app that I want to share is one that I've been using for a little over a year now and it completely changed my life. Oddly enough I had heard of this app at least a year or so before I started using it and for some reason I avoided it because I thought that it was going to be difficult to set up. I wound up being totally wrong and I regret not using it sooner. That app is called Asana.
Asana is a project management app. when you boil it down to its most basic form it's a way for you to organize the things you need to get done digitally. You can use it if it's you alone in your business or if you have people working with you. In my case I started using it alone and now I use it with my assistant and my software developer as well.
Within Asana you create what are called projects. a project is basically just a folder where you put all your tasks for a specific topic. For example I have a project called “ 2021 marketing plan” and inside that project I have everything I need to do for my marketing for the entire year broken down by month. Each month looks pretty similar because there are certain things I do in my business on a regular basis and it's really just the topics surrounding those things that changes rather than the thing itself.
For example, every month I release podcast episodes. I used to release blog post, but now I have this podcast and so that's my main form of content. So every month I have the same list of tasks for every podcast episode. That includes writing the notes, recording the episode, creating the social media content for this episode, Etc. All I have to do is duplicate that same list of tasks for each month and change the title of the task To the title of the blog post. This makes my life so much easier because instead of feeling like I have to reinvent the wheel every time I record a podcast episode I go into it knowing exactly what I need to do. Instead of wasting my time and energy figuring out what the tasks list is I can use that energy to complete each task.
in addition to tasks specifically related to my podcast episodes I also have Other tasks that I do every month. For example I send two emails week. One of those emails is for the podcast but the other email is usually something that's educational or inspirational. So in my marketing plan project I keep a list of what emails I'm going to send that much so that when the time comes to write them I know exactly what I need to do. I also make note of what I'm focusing on that month, if there's a specific product that I'm promoting or something behind the scenes that I really need to focus on updating.
everything for that entire month goes into this one project so that's all in one place. This allows me to see a bird's eye view of the whole month and everything that needs to get done really quickly and easily anytime anywhere. I also assign tasks to myself and my assistant with Pew dates on them. every morning as part of my starting to work day routine I log into Asana and check what tasks are due that day. so that I can start taking care of them. When I first started using Asana it was just me and a way to manage myself. Now I use it to manage the team that I work with as well, so I also assigned task to them so and a way to manage myself. Now I use it to manage the team that I work with as well, so I also assign tasks to them. I can then look at whether or not they are overdue or completed and in turn they can assign tasks to me when they need something to get done.
by using a project manager to organize everything that I do in my business I'm able to be more productive because I'm never wasting time wondering what I need to do or Reinventing the wheel to figure out how to do it.
And this was a huge turning point in my business to start using Asana even when it was just me. I really needed to learn how to manage myself before I could successfully manage anybody else. So by putting tasks into Asana and assigning them to myself with a due date I was able to accountable for things that needed to get done. When I first started using Asana there really wasn't much in there. Just my daily tasks, assigned to myself. but anytime I started something new in my business or needed to organize something I made it a priority 2 map it out in Asana and put deadlines on the tasks that I needed to get done. And now everything goes in Asana And it's truly the glue that keeps my entire team connected.
Now I know that without seeing a visual because this the podcast that might sound a little bit overwhelming and maybe even a little bit fade. So I have two things to say about that: the first thing is that if you would like to see how I used Asana go to the build it like a business Facebook group and let me know if that is something that you'd like me to share. I'd be happy to record my screen and do a quick training inside the group. Or just send me a message on Instagram, that would work too. And the second thing is that I literally waited at least a year before starting to use it because I had this preconceived notion that it would be difficult to set up or time-consuming to start using. And I could not have been more wrong. So with my own experience in mind I hope that that will give you the confidence to go and just give it a try. it truly has been a massive GameChanger in my business and has directly led to the growth of my company and I wish I had started using it sooner.
If you'd like to try Asana, it's a free app and While they have a free version I have never needed it. For the entire time that I've used it in my business I've used the free version and have never run into an instance where I needed one of the pro features. So this is a great free tool that you can use in your business. And although I don't use the pro features so I'm actually not sure if I get anything for you using my affiliate link I will share it with you anyway: just visit AnchorDesignCo.com/asana, A S A N A, to try it out for free. There's no free trial or anything, it's literally free forever if you want to use it that way like I have.
The next software that I use in my business that keeps me super organized is active campaign. This one's a lot easier to explain the Asana because it's email software... And for the most part we all have a general understanding of what email software is. It's the software I use to schedule emails to my entire email list. So not individual emails, but my weekly newsletters and launch email.
I won't get into why building your email list and using email in your business is so important in this episode because that is truly a whole episode in and of itself. So if you'd like me to dig deeper into that please let me know by sending me a message on Instagram or dropping a note in the building like a business Facebook group. If you already know that you want to use email in your business but aren't sure how to get started go back and listen to episode two of the building like a business podcast. In that episode I break down my entire welcome sequence for new email subscribers and literally give you my actual sequence so you can get a jump start.
But in this episode I specifically want to talk about why I love activecampaign. When I first started my business I actually used a different email software simply because it was free and I was afraid to make an investment in something that had a cost associated with it. Oddly enough I ended up having to upgrade. Free software pretty quickly anyway and wound up paying the same price for that as I would have paid for activecampaign. So that's just a really good example of me making a decision based on current needs and not future needs and ultimately putting myself in a position to have to waste some time switching from the original email software that I used to the new one when I finally made the switch.
But either way, the most important feature of activecampaign that I love is the automations And how I can segment my list so I know what each subscriber is interested in.
So when it comes to automations I use those for absolutely everything. And if you're new to using email software and automation is basically a series of actions that happened after a specific event takes place. For example, when someone signs up for my email list I have an automation that starts. So the action that takes place is that they sign up for my list and then the series of events that happens after that includes sending them a welcome email, adding a tag that told me how they joined the list, and then sending subsequent emails over the next couple of weeks. And this all happens automatically which is a massive Time Saver. Instead of having to manually follow up with every person who joins my email list I'm able to send a whole series of emails, and track data about what they're interested in based on what they click on within those emails oh, completely automatically.
which leads me to the second thing that I love which is the ability to segment. This is really just a fancy way of saying that I love being able to make note of what people are interested in automatically based on what they click on within the email. For example, if I send an email that has three links in it, one for my podcast, 14 the anchor card digital business card, and 1/4 my social media service The Savvy social tribe, each time someone clicks one of those links a tag is added to their contact with an active campaign. So if they click on the podcast link the tag might say “ interested in podcast.” or if they click the Savvy social try blink the tag might say “ interested in Savvy social tribe,” and so on.
Later I can then send emails based on what people are interested in. So this month, I'm launching a whole new version of The Savvy social tribe. So when I start emailing about it I can specifically send my emails to the people who have previously clicked a link relating to that service in the past. That way I'm only sending emails to people who I know are definitely interested. same thing for the podcast. Instead of emailing every single person on my list whenever there's a new podcast episode ready, I can just email the people who specifically said that they are interested about the podcast.
the nice thing is that this data is being updated all the time because every email I send is set to automatically tag people based on what they're interested in. So every time somebody clips on a link to the podcast I know that that's that's something they care about. And I also know who's not interested so that I don't send emails that aren't relevant to them. This helps me preserve my relationship with the people on my email list. I'm being respectful of their interest by only sending them content that's relevant to them. And in turn I'm also able to better serve them because I know what kind of support they need based on what they've clicked on in previous emails. Instead of throwing everything at everyone I'm able to give people exactly what they're looking for without overloading their inboxes.
If you'd like to try activecampaign You can use my affiliate link to get a special free trial. Just go to Anchordesignco.com/activecampaign. again this is an affiliate link but you already know that I would neither use a tool that I hated or promote a tool that didn't work because there's literally no gain and doing that. I will only ever share with you tools that I truly love and believe will serve your business in a sustainable way. So if you'd like to try active campaign for free just go to Anchordesignco.com/activecampaign.
Now before we dive into the last app that I’m completely obsessed with in my business - my favorite app for scheduling social media content, with a feature that I’ve literally been looking for for an entire year I want to share a bonus tool specifically for my sister's in direct sales. And that's the anchorcard digital business card. The AnchorCard Digital business card isn't All in One Mini website for direct I created sellers.
I created this tool after working with hundreds of direct sellers, from brand new to million-dollar earners, who felt overwhelmed by all the tools and systems available.
They often found themselves trying 5, 10, or more tools at a time that each solved a different problem. As a result they ended up with hundreds of dollars of monthly fees and a confusing amount of software to learn.
I created the anchor card digital business card to give them a simple tool that could multitask with one low cost.
Instead of stressing over tech and systems, they were able to get back to what they loved most: serving their team and customers.
the whole purpose of the anchor card is to take all of these little systems that you have in your business that are all over the place and consolidate them into one simple to use tool so that you can save time, save money, and make it much easier to stay consistent within your business.
One of the ways my clients love to use this tool is to share the business opportunity. Your AnchorCard includes an entire page dedicated to marketing the business opportunity. Is modeled after a long form sales page with the purpose of building up trust and excitement among the people that you share it with so that by the time they reach the bottom of the page they have all of the most important questions about joining your team answered and are ready to book an appointment with you to learn more.
We have clients from all different Industries and direct sales companies who use this because this entire page can be customized based on your business. you can do things like add videos from leaders in your company that people can watch to get inspired and see what's possible when they join your team.
You can overcome important objections by sharing information like what training opportunities available once they start their direct sales business, by showing them what business tools and products are included in their starter kit, and what consultant incentives are available when they join.
Your lead can complete an interest form at the end, so you can book a team-building appointment with her later and recruit her to your team!
This is just one of the features of the AnchorCard digital business card. You can also use it to get new leads using lead magnets, organic traffic, and surveys, You can use it to book parties and appointment and collect valuable information from your guests through an RSVP system. You can build up your customer Facebook group, and you can even manage your leads An update any of these features right from your own dashboard.
It's truly like having your very own website without having to pay for a designer, worry about upkeep, or have the Costs associated with maintaining a website.
If you'd like to give the AnchorCard I try I would love to invite you to try it for free for an entire month. You'll see on the website that we offer a 7-Day free trial, standard, but as a listener of this podcast I'd love to give you the VIP treatment and so if you use code episode7freetrial at checkout you'll get an entire month's for free. When you sign up you'll also get access 2 anchor card bootcamp which is a 70 series to help you get your entire AnchorCard set up in just seven days. By the end of one week you'll know how to use each and every feature and we'll also know exactly how to use each of them in your business. It's kind of like having a mini business refresh with actionable, specific steps to take each day.
The Third software that I want to share is something called tailwind. And I'm actually pretty new to this software, but I'm absolutely obsessed and so I want to share with you now rather than wait because it has a feature that I've been looking for for literally a year and I was over the moon when I found it.
Basically Tailwind is an all-inclusive social media scheduling app. you can schedule Instagram posts, Facebook posts, pins on Pinterest, And you can even send your Instagram posts to Facebook too.
Now I mentioned that there was a feature that Tailwind offers that I have not been able to find anywhere else and that is the ability to use recurring content buckets to plan your posts on Instagram. This one's a little awkward to try and explain on a podcast without showing you but I'm going to do my best and if you'd like to see it in action please let me know and I would be more than happy to do a video tutorial in the building like a business Facebook group.
Basically the way that this feature works is you can assign a series of topics that will repeat over and over again. Tailwind calls this your content plan. You can use this to organize what types of posts you're going to share and how often you'll share them. A lot of people are really hung up on creating a beautiful aesthetic on their feed. They want everything to look matchie matchie and cohesive oh, and while I understand the Allure of that it is not a Marketing strategy. at least not by itself. Your posts can look beautiful and cohesive but if they're not delivering value and connecting with your audience in a way that help stem sign up for your email list or buy your product then it's really not worth putting time and energy into.
So instead of aiming to make my feed beautiful I aim to make it strategic and overtime I've learned that there are specific types of posts that will help me do that. If you listen to episode 3 of the bill that like a business podcast then you know there are six types of posts that are proven to boost engagement on social media. And if you haven't listened to that episode before definitely go and check it out I'll even linked it in the show notes for this episode so you can If you listen to episode 3 of the Build it Like a Business podcast then you know there are six types of posts that are proven to boost engagement on social media. And if you haven't listened to that episode before definitely go and check it out I'll even link it in the show notes for this episode so you can ea easily find it.
With this feature on Tailwind there are two parts
First, you set up your posting schedule. These are the days and times when you will post. You can choose specific days and times, but Tailwind can also suggest the days and times that are best for you based on your Instagram account activity if you’re not sure. I set my account to post once per day, every day of the week, and twice on Thursdays.
Then, you set up recurring themes, again, which tailwind calls your “content plant” and the app with automatically assign each theme to a specific day and time, in order, based on the posting schedule you chose. Some themes could include “product post” or “personal story” etc - but again, if you’re not sure what themes to follow definitely listen to episode 3 of this podcast where I share 6 themes you cna rotate through to get more engagement.
I absolutely love this feature and had been searching for this for at least a year before I finally found tailwind a few weeks ago. I specifically wanted something where I could input time and themes and then have the app automatically create placeholders for each day so that all I needed to do was assign content to the appropriate placeholder and then it would automatically post for me. This helps me stay organized and intentional about my time on social media - I can schedule everything ahead of time so I’m spending less time worrying about what to post, I can be really intentional about the type of content I’m sharing by following along with my proven plan of content themes, and I never have to reinvent the wheel or worry about what to post and when. I did a little extra work up from by deciding what day and time I would post on a weekly basis and chose my content themes… and then the app keeps me on schedule moving forward.
If you’d like to try tailwind, you can use my link to try it for free you can visit AnchorDesignCo.com/tailwind. By using my affiliate link, you’ll also get a free $15 credit on your account. Tailwind is a really inexpensive app, at only $10 a month, and for me it’s so worth it to stay super consistent and intentional on social media. It’s only been a few weeks, but I can also see the return on investment through higher engagement and growth on my email list, which in turns leads to sales. So if you’d like to try Tailwind, just go to AnchorDesignCo.com/tailwind to get a free no credit card required trial and a $15 credit.
Phew! Ok! We made it you guys! That was a lot. And I know I started this episode out by saying these tools will make your life easier and right now you might not 100% feel that way. You might be feeling a little bit overwhelmed, like “Hello Keleigh, you just added four more projects to my to-do list… how is this making my life easier?”
And I completely get that. Using a new tool always comes with a learning curve, somethings big sometimes small. So I would encourage you to, instead of feeling like you need to dive into everything all at once, choose on based on what your business needs right now and focus on that for a month or two before adding another.
These apps and tools were game changers in my business, Anchor Design Co., but I didn’t start using them all at once! And you don’t even have to use every feature all at once, either. This is something I say to every single one of my AnchorCard customers: You don’t need to do it all at once. Decide which feature is going to make the biggest impact on your business today and focus on that- for a week, a month, whatever works for YOU and your timeline and your learning style.
So before we wrap this up, let’s do a quick recap of each tool and I’ll even make a suggestion for who should start with each app. I also put all of this into a PDF for you as well, so if you’d like to download a super simple overview of each tool, plus links to each of them, and my recommendation for who should start with what you can grab that on AnchorDesignCo.com/7 for episode 7. Ok, so let’s do a quick recap:
First, we had Asana.
Asana is a task management tool - it’s like having a planner but digitally and with more features. If you’re someone who struggles to stay consistent, needs support holding yourself accountable, or you just want to feel like you’re more organized and in control of your business’s growth then this is for you. This app is free and you can try it at AnchorDesignCo.com/asana.
Then we have ActiveCampaign.
ActiveCampaign is an email system so that you can send weekly newsletters, product updates, and build relationships with your audience. This is for you if you know the power of list building and are ready to focus on growing your email list. I think EVERYONE should be growing an email list, but it’s something that comes with some setup so just give yourself some grace when you get started. No matter what email software you use, be prepared to take time to set things up before you really start using it. You can try ActiveCampaign by going to AnchorDesignCo.com/activecampaign.
Third, I shared a special bonus tool for my sister in direct sales: The AnchorCard Digital Business Card which is an all in one mini website that helps you get leads, book parties, grow your team, and organize your direct sales business. The AnchorCard is all about simplifying your systems so that everything is all in one place and it comes with a 7 day challenge called AnchorCard Bootcamp to help you get started quickly. You spend about 10-30 minutes per day taking intentional action and by the end of 7 days you’ll know how to use every feature of the AnchorCard and have added important Income Producing Activities to your business. You can try the AnchorCard for free at myAnchorCard.com and if you use the code “episode7freetrial” at checkout you’ll be able to try it for an entire month, instead of our normal 7 day trial.
And last but not least, the newest tool I started using in my business: “TailWind.”
Tailwind is a social media scheduling app for Pinterest and Instagram, with the option to also share your Instagram posts on Facebook. This is for you if you want to be more consistent on social media by scheduling your posts ahead of time. Specifically, this is for you if you use or want to use Instagram and a Facebook page for your business. One thing I will say is that this app does not post to Facebook groups and in order to publish on FB you do need to also share to Instagram. So if you use instagram and facebook pages, then tailwind is a good fit for you. If youi’d like to try Tailwind for free and get a $15 credit added to your account visit AnchorDesignCo.com/tailwind. This is for
So there you have it! 4 apps and tools that are total game changers when it comes to consistency and systems. I hope that you were inspired by this to get organized and start implementing smart systems into your business, and that you left this episode with at least one tool in mind that you can start working into your business today. If you didn’t ahve time to take notes, or prefer to learn visually, head on over to AnchorDesignCo.com/7 to download my super simple guide for each tool and an overview of who should start with what.
And last but not least, if you haven’t already I would seriously appreciate it so much if you’d leave a rating and review for the podcast on iTunes and also share the podcast to your instagram stories, tagging anchor design co! Your ratings and reviews, and sharing on social media, helps the podcast reach more people who could use support in their businesses and also gives me helpful feedback about what episodes you’re enjoying the most so that I can continue to create content that will give you the most value!
Thank you so much for tuning in today and I can’t wait to meet you here again next Tuesday, same time, same place!
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Short & sweet episode highlights
The sort-of-embarrassing life habit that I have and how I used systems to solve it
The app I use to organize every task that I do in my entire business
My favorite email software and the two features I'm totally obsessed with
An all-in-one app every direct seller should be using if they want to grow their team, get leads, and book parties
A game-changing social media scheduler that has a feature I literally searched for for an entire year
Links mentioned in this episode
Get a 1 month FREE Trial of the Anchor Card Digital Business Card with the coupon code: epsiode7freetrial
Try Asana for free: AnchorDesignCo.com/asana
Try ActiveCampaign for free: AnchorDesignCo.com/ActiveCampaign
Download my free guide to the 4 productivity-boosting apps that I love to organize my business! In this free download I'm sharing the details of each app as well as a breakdown of who should start with which system.
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