Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a small amount of money if you sign up for the paid version of some of these apps. However, these are all apps I personally use daily! I pay for these apps every month because they are super worth it to me and help me run my business and manage projects more efficiently.
There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes of running a branding business, and I am (and have always been) someone who takes process pretty seriously! I know how important it is to use the right tools to make sure projects run smoothly and get done well. Branding and web projects involve a lot of moving parts, so it’s important to manage them properly. I use a lot of different apps daily to help me manage projects from start to finish. I use apps for contracts, invoicing, social media marketing, project management, password management, inbox management, file sharing, etc. The list goes on and on! Here are five apps I use every day to make your brand and web project run smoother:
Streak for Gmail
What it’s for: CRM, Inbox Management
I cannot express how much I love Streak. It has changed my inbox life forever. Streak is an add-on for Gmail (or Google Workspace, the business version of Gmail which used to be known as G-Suite). It allows you to optimize your inbox in so many ways – from creating pipelines to organize your workflow, to saving email templates into snippets. It has an excellent “remind me” feature that allows you to set a reminder to email someone later on, even if that’s three months away. It also allows you to add threads and contacts into “boxes” where you can keep track of important information, like links to contracts or due dates. This app has helped me save so much time on emails so that I can spend even more time on things like research and design.
What it’s for: Social Media
I have been using the Planoly app for a few years now to plan and schedule mine and clients’ Instagram and Facebook posts. My favourite feature about Planoly is the visual grid, which allows you to see how your Instagram posts will look in a grid on your page. This is super helpful for planning content. You can schedule posts in advance so that they can go up while you’re in meetings or walking your dog. It is a great way to set boundaries around social media and keep on top of organization with your content marketing. One of the cool features that this app has is the ability to save hashtag groups so that you can easily add them to your posts later on. It also has pretty decent analytics and recommends the best times for posting based on your account.
What it’s for: Project Management
I’ve had an on and off relationship with Asana for years now, but I have finally found the way to use it that works best for me. I’ve realized that project management systems are really what you make of them, and I’ve optimized my Asana app to work best with how I work day-to-day! Working in design involves a lot of behind-the-scenes project management, so this app is a must-have. I use it to plan my week in advance so that I know exactly what I’m working on and how much time I have to spare. I also use it to manage projects with clients, share files with them and communicate with them about feedback and changes. It keeps everything in one place and helps projects run smoothly.
What it’s for: Contracts
At some point PDF contracts just don’t cut it. Hello Bonsai is great for sending digital documents to be e-signed, and keep track of them all in one place. While they offer templated contracts, you can easily add and use your version of your contract if you’ve had your lawyer create one for you. Contracts protect both parties involved in a project, so it’s important to get it right, and Bonsai helps with just that!
What it’s for: Password Management
If you aren’t using a password manager, what are you waiting for? I can’t live without a password manager. As a web designer and marketer, I need to keep track of multiple logins for different websites, social media accounts, apps, and email marketing accounts. Dashlane helps you keep track of all of your passwords securely in one place. It also helps you auto generate new, secure passwords to keep you protected.