When it comes to new tools and technology I’ve been known to nerd out a bit. Throughout my advertising career I was always on the hunt for new and “innovative” ways to drive efficiencies and productivity for myself and my team. So when we started our own business I knew a few tools we could leverage to get a jump start on our process. And over time those tools have evolved into a system that allows us to do all of the things. You know we do a lot of things, right?
The most important box that must be checked is adaptable eco-systems, meaning it must offer solutions across all of our devices. For us that means an iMac, MacBook Pro, iPad Pro and now the iPhone Pro. No no they don’t need to be the “Pro” line, but for accuracy I listed what we’re using. Most apps now offer cloud based solutions that sync all devices, so it’s not a huge challenge.
By no means is our system a one size fits all solution. It has taken years of testing, trial and error for us to land on a small list of trustworthy allies that are always there for us.
We are 100% dedicated to the Apple ecosystem but when it comes to business solutions Google just crushes everyone. And the two play nice together, so we play nice with both as well. A few years back we started our paid Google Business Suite account inclusive of the following apps we use everyday:
Cost: $50 annual per user
I first heard about Things years ago when it initially released as I was binging task management apps. At the time the upfront investment threw me off, so I elected for a more affordable option – one that was free. Clearly the free option didn’t work out in the long run. Fast forward to 2019 and I have re-discovered Things, which lives on all of my devices. I am now in the process of setting Danielle up with this as well, which will take some time. But it has helped me organize immensely so the shift should be a swift one.
Cost: iPhone ($10 – includes Watch app), iPad ($20) and Mac ($50)
Unless you’re a contractor or designer this app is likely not on your radar. Joist is a one stop shop for contractors and offers solutions to create estimates, invoices, accept payments, and most importantly know when your client has opened the document! Within the app we are able to create line items for each specific step or expense of a project, and add detailed notes to communicate what is (and what is not) included within the price. We’ve been very happy with Joist thus far, and paired with a detailed project spreadsheet for our use it’s a perfect pair.
Cost: $12 per month for a Pro Account
I’d be lying if I said we were a fan of QuickBooks. Nope, not a fan of this app at all whatsoever. As a matter of fact we rarely login. BUT, it is an essential tool to keep track of all expenses from a business and project perspective. We have the account setup and synced with all of our banking and purchase methods, and our CPA handles all of the organization for us. A CPA is mandatory to any successful business and an expense worth every penny. If they recommend another method for capturing and categorizing your expenses, by all means follow orders. For us, QuickBooks is the jam.
Cost: $20 per month for online account
We hope you find this helpful. Whether you own a business, have a passion project, or simply want to be more structured and purposeful with your day to day, these tools can help immensely. We also have a list of our favorite apps right now, all of which are helpful in us managing Clark + Aldine day to day. Have a favorite that we haven’t mentioned and should try? Comment below and let us know.