In sport, as in business, the best tools make all the difference.

If you practice a sport, you know how important it is to choose the right equipment. I’m a rock climber and I use the best equipment possible, which helps me perform better (I’m no pro, but I’m working on an 11d at the moment!). So why do I invest $250 in a pair of climbing shoes? The answer is simple, the adhesion much better. Why do I go to Crossfit 4 times a week? Because this workout helps increase my physical strength.  At the end of the day, these investments contribute to my progress and my performance.

And there is a parallel to be made between sports and business.

Regardless of the phase you are in, whether it is the growth phase or a more “mature” phase in your business, having the right tools can have a significant impact on your own productivity level, efficiency within your team, the profitability of your activities, and even more.

Whether you’re in a growth phase or more “mature” phase in your business, having the right tools can have a significant impact on your own productivity, efficiency and business profitability.

[tweetthis]Having the right tools can significantly impact your productivity, efficiency & profitability.[/tweetthis]

Since I’m often asked about the tools I use to achieve a balance between work and family life, here are my favorite tips and tricks that I’m currently using.

I hope you enjoy them, but what I really want is that you take action and use them, starting with those that are free (so, no excuses!). Then, you will be able to choose among the paid tools, one at a time, according to your needs and those of your business.

Marketing & Branding

Sharethis (www.sharethis.com)

Motivate your website visitors to share your site with a ShareThis button, this type of call to action is very common today – a must!

Moo (www.moo.com)

Create and print business cards, stickers, and brochures with MOO. They offer different styles and finishes. This is where I got my business cards printed and I get very good feedback on their quality (in addition, the service is very affordable).

Ask for your batch of samples that contains almost all MOO products as well as the types of papers and finishes so you can feel them and choose what’s right for you.

Zazzle (www.zazzle.ca)

Are you looking for promotional items for your business? Zazzle is the place to visit, from t-shirts to coffee mugs. In fact, anything you can think of in order to promote your business, you will find it on Zazzle.

Communication & Social Media

Constant Contact (http://www.constantcontact.com)

A direct marketing company that offers email marketing services, social networking, events and online surveys. If you want to make sure your customers, potential customers and centers of influence keep you in mind, this type of platform is ideal.

In fact, this is the service we use to publish our monthly newsletter.

Hootsuite (https://hootsuite.com/)

Hootsuite helps you do more with your social media marketing. With the ability to manage all of your social networks and plan your future postings, Hootsuite greatly simplifies the supervision of your social media activity. This is the tool I use to generate our presence in LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

I love Hootsuite a lot. However, it does not replace the networking aspect of your communication strategy. You still have to keep a connection with people, comment their status, follow group activities, etc.

Productivity

Dropbox (www.dropbox.com)

A service that keeps your files safe, synchronized and easy to share. Save your files on your computer and access them from your phone while on the move. Everything you put in Dropbox automatically synchronizes to all devices connected to your account.

I use Dropbox constantly, allowing me to share access to different files with my team, all depending on the role they have on the team. It’s fantastic to have easy access to your client’s files while traveling.

CamScanner (www.camscanner.com)

An essential application to have on your smartphone. With CamScanner, your phone becomes literally a portable scanner – you can archive all your paper documents, receipts, notes, discussions on Whiteboard, wherever you are and at any time.

Not to mention that this allows you to get a better visual quality of your document.

Personal Development

Audible (https://www.audible.com)

Audible is the leading distributor of digital audio content and entertainment on the Internet. Audible is also the leading provider of spoken audio products for Apple’s iTunes® store.

I love books, but I never read enough for my taste! I download books and actually listen to them in my car or when I go jogging. For optimal efficiency, I often listen at a speed of 1.5x – try it, you’ll be amazed!

Grid Diary (www.griddiaryapp.com)

Probably my favorite application! Basically, Grid Diary is designed for people who want to keep a daily journal. Personally, I use it every day to measure my progress towards my personal and business goals. Very intuitive and easy to use, I complete my journal in the form of 8 questions, which keeps me moving forward, towards my goals.

Join in the conversation

Now I’d love to hear from you, let me know: Which tool will you use for your business? Which seems to be the most useful?

Share your comments with me by clicking here.

Until next time! Stay strong, you never know who you’re inspiring!

Sara-sig

More insights and actionable ideas?

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PS:. I’d really appreciate your feedback, did you find this useful? Is there a specific topic you’d like me to address? Send me an e-mail to let me know!