Best Of, Tools of the Trade, Virtual Assistant, WAHM

Planners, Tools and Podcasts this Lady Boss Recommends

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As my busy life gets busier, I’m continually on the look-out for the things that act as workarounds, short-cuts, and hacks. After all, there’s only so many minutes in a day and I really need to never lose sight of what can make my already packed schedule flow smoother.
I also have a “thing” for planners and podcasts. Turn me loose in a bookstore in the planner and journal system, you’ll lose me for hours! I also love things that improve my brain like classes and podcasts and not far behind on my Drool List is business apps and systems. I’m willing to tinker with them all to see how they fit into my work and personal life. So without further ado, here are some winners that are in my “yes” category when it comes to ways to make life easier.

Pretty and Perfect Planners this Lady Boss Recommends

Over the years I’ve been very committed to Leonie Dawson’s Life and Business Planners. I still love them, but she stopped producing them in 2017. So for 2018, I knew I wanted something pretty, but something also streamlined and efficient that I would have to use every day. After much research, I settled on Erin Condren’s planners.

It was…OK. Not because it’s not a great system (it is!), it just wasn’t a good fit for my anal-retentive self. So for 2019, I’m going for the Simplified® by Emily Ley system. I love Emily Ley’s book on simplicity and decluttering so I’m thinking Simplified® will be perfect for me.

Simplified® by Emily Ley

Of course, I will never give up my love of the Bullet Journal system for keeping my biz and life on track! A bullet journal is a way of keeping track of everything you need to do in one notebook. It usually consists of four main parts.

bullet journaling

The Bullet Journal is an analog system, meaning you don’t need anything more complicated than a notebook and a pen or pencil. While it’s very customizable, and you’re certainly welcome to change things around. All you need to start is a simple dot or grid notebook and a kick-butt pen like the Uniball Signo.

If you want to “pretty up” your Bullet Journal, Washi Tape, 3M Post-It Tabs, and color pencils are a great way to give to style and flair.

Tools this Lady Boss Recommends

Social Warfare: Laura (my super-smart social media friend) introduced me to the Social Warfare plugin. This social sharing plugin works better than the average share buttons because it “sticks” to the bottom of the viewing area no matter where visitors are while reading a post. This is especially helpful for those who view your site on mobile because the share buttons are always right there in a very subtle way. In theory, it will increase the likelihood of shares to social media.
Social Warfare is also cheap-only $27 for the year (my affiliate link).
Tailwind: The penny-pincher in me resisted investing in Tailwind for over a year, but when it comes down to it, the time I save is worth the $120. PLUS, after struggling with Google Analytics for years I finally knuckled down and started committing myself to learn and using GA. Much to my surprise, Pinterest was the source of almost 50%. Wwhhhaatt??

Tailwind Visual Marketing Suite

And I’ve been totally half-assed about my Pinterest pinning in the past. Imagine what it will be like when I use Tailwind and be intentional about my pins?
Milo Tree is a crazy-easy way to save you tons of time and hassle while growing your Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and Facebook following via a simple WordPress app. The MiloTree smart pop-ups are the easiest, fastest, most cost-effective way to grow your social media followers and email list. LOVE Milo Tree and I wish I could put it on all my sites. This stealthy pop-up gently slides in from the side of your screen and makes following someone easy. Here’s an example of what it looks like on my site, Jump Into A Book.
Milo Tree

PicMonkey: By now you should know that images rule social media including blogs.

Picmonkey

Images catch the reader’s eye and raise the chance of engagement by as much as 44% (Source: ROI Research) Photos and images on Facebook generate 53% more Likes than the average post. (Source: HubSpot). Creating fun and “share-able” images is quick and easy with PicMonkey and their basic account is free. I love this site because it is a simpler alternative to PhotoShop for creating eye-catching images with text that tell a story, pique interest, and pull the reader in to want to know more. Basic PicMonkey is free, but the upgrade is worth the $3.99 per month.

Podcasts this Lady Boss Recommends

Simple Pins Podcast: Again, this was a heads up from Super Smart Laura and after listening to several of Kate’s podcasts, I am hooked. Smart, decisive and savvy ideas for upping my Pinterest game. I can’t wait to see where all of this new focus on Pinterest takes Franticmommy and my sister-site, Up North Parent.
Mark Dawson’s Self Publishing Formula
Podcast #6: Mark Dawson's Self-Publishing Formula

As a writer, I really want/need to take my writing to the next level and self-publish something. The Self Publishing Formula podcast is hosted by bestselling author and marketing expert Mark Dawson and former BBC journalist James Blatch, and contains a wealth of valuable information for authors (both self- and traditionally published). Most episodes feature interviews with other authors and marketing experts and are dedicated to a single topic, including book marketing, social media marketing, publishing tools, writing craft, productivity hacks, and more. Connect with Mark iTunes | Android | Website

tena talks a lot by tena pettis

Tena Pettis

Tena is a fellow Minnesotan and a total Mom Boss who Owns.It. I admire her TONS and she’s really killing it in the direct sales biz. Tena has amazing insights on women in business, marketing and family

Bonus Tip

Nothing is more annoying than being engrossed in a great article but when you click the call-to-action link, or any link that is part of the story, and have it go to the land of 404 Error. Talk about a buzz kill. Links to external or internal pages on your blog that doesn’t work create a bad impression of your website, but there is a way to easily cover your butt. Broken Link Checker is a free tool that goes through your site and finds any broken links.

What cool tools have you found lately?

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