The Tales and Travels of Taylor Made PA – Tools of the Trade Part 1
Welcome to another edition of The Tales & Travels of Taylor Made PA and this month I thought I would share with you some of my favourite “Tools of the Trade”.
My Favourite Tool of the Trade – Part I
The one tool in my Business that I just couldn’t be without is my Microsoft 365. It offers me everything I need to run my Business and my Social Life. This includes;
Email and Storage
Apart from using Outlook for my Emails and Word, where I made the first draft of this blog and Excel where the plan for the next year of Blogs is created there is also;
One of the newer services from Microsoft. Teams allows collaboration, combining Chat, File Sharing and Online Meetings.
A fabulous Project Management Tool that can be added into your Microsoft Teams Account. Create buckets that allow you to track and manage your “to-do” list.
Allows you to add a Bookings Tool for potential and existing customers to book time in the diary. It saves on going back and forward by Email to find a mutually agreeable time. You can add in buffer time and create a start and end time for when you want to take appointments.
Save and share your documents. And collaborate with your colleagues and avoid having to worry about version control by working on the same document at the same time!
OneDrive offers 1TB of data storage!
There are lots of options out there, many free to use. Personally I like Toggl, now called Toggl Track.
Toggl allows you to manage you time and can be pre set with Clients and Projects so you just need to “toggl” in and out of time as you work.
You can create reports – both in real and digital time – that can be downloaded and saved and sent to clients.
The paid version will allow bonus features like clients being able to view the time being used.
Alternative options include:
Many Project Management Tools will also offer Time Tracking.
Many banks offer free tools as part of a Business Bank Account. Many accountants will also offer discounted tools for their preferred partner site.
I use an online Bank for my Business Account. Initially I used Coconut and have just started the transition to Starling Bank. Both were simple to open and took the matter of hours. I had tried to open a High Street Account when I was setting up my Business and found the process difficult and unhelpful.
For my Accounting I have been using Wave. It was a Free Service and has Apps for both Receipts and Invoicing which made it simple and easy to use. But unfortunately, Wave is Canadian and although has been GDPR Compliant via the Canadian Privacy Shield, it has recently confirmed that it is pulling out of the UK Market. It had already announced that it wouldn’t support Making Tax Digital and therefore would make IT changes to support changes to the UK Accounting System.
Alternative options include:
With the withdrawal of Wave, having discussed options with my Accountant, I am currently looking to move to Quickbooks which will also integrate with Starling Bank. Again, making things simple!
As you know I use Microsoft Planner with my M365 package but there are other similar tools out there. Many of which I use with my clients. Trello and Asana are the main ones. I have a preference for Trello personally from the two but both are excellent options.
Other options include:
There are many CRM’s out there. Free and Paid.
I have started off with Capsule which is a great starter CRM with basic features for up to 2 users and 250 contacts.
The Professional Version is just £12 per month for 50,000 Contacts and includes Integrations to Xero, QuickBooks, MailChimp, Wufoo & many more!
Alternative Options include:
What tools help you run your business?
That’s the end of Part 1 of my Tools of the Trade.
Are there any tools that you would recommend that help with your productivity?
Is there an App you couldn’t live without? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me about it!
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Until next time!