The Toolkit

The things I use to get stuff done

 

Price Legend

Free - Entirely free, or there is a free option that can do most of what you need.
$ - Under $25
$$ - $25 to $99
$$$ - $100 to $500
$$$$ - Over $500


Productivity Tools & Apps

Slack - Team Communication Tool | Free
Better than email, this is more like chat with way more features and an app to match. It's the 21st-century way for organizations to communicate. Let email die! It's more robust than GroupMe (below).

GroupMe - Group Communication Tool | Free
I use this all the time. Easiest thing to spin up a temporary or longterm group chat. It's better than text because you want get a million annoying notifications and it doesn't matter whether someone has an Android or iPhone.

Trello - Task/Project Management | Free
This is what I use to manage everything on my plate. I love this tool...in it every day. It's simple and flexible. I can manage to-do lists as well as big projects. And it's really easy to collaborate with others. Oh yeah, it's got an app, too.

Basecamp - Task/Project Management | Free
This tool has more features than Trello and is useful when you need something a bit more robust. It's one of the world's most popular project management tools and for good reason. You'll be happy with it.

Google Hangouts - Video Chat/Conference | Free
This is the easiest way to do remote meetings. It's the most seamless video chat tool out there because nobody has to download and install cumbersome software like the terrible GoToMeeting or WebEx.

Zoom - Video Chat/Conference | Free
When I want reliability and a little higher quality for more important meetings, I use Zoom. It's very user-friendly and a great alternative to Google Hangouts.

Google Drive/Docs - File Storage & Collaborate Documents | Free
You don't need the Microsoft office suite anymore. Google Docs lets you create Word-style docs, spreadsheets, and even slideshows. Plus you can store all of your files online to be accessed from anywhere. This is an absolute essential and if you're not a user yet, you're falling way behind.

WeTransfer - Send Big Files | Free
I often have to send files too big to attach in an email. That's where this tool comes in handy. You can send massive files easily and for free.

SignEasy - Sign Documents Online | Free
I hate paper...really do...so I sign everything online. It makes it so much quicker. You can sign and send docs with this tool and it even integrates with gmail so that you can sign a doc and re-attach it to a reply all without ever leaving your browser window.

Zapier - Task Automation | Free
Zapier is like a toolbox with endless possibilities. It syncs with practically everything so you can create little workflows to automate repetitive tasks...like copying an email subscriber to a spreadsheet list. Check it out.

Calendly - Scheduling Tool | Free
I despise going back and forth with someone trying to set a time to meet. This tool does all that for me by syncing with my calendar and offering available times. It even sends out reminders. Awesome.

Website Design & Development

Squarespace - Websites | $
My website builder of choice. This site is a Squarespace site. It's really hard to beat to have a beautiful and easy-to-use website.

Namemesh - Domain Name Finder | Free
Before you can build a site, you need to find a good url. This is the easiest way to see what's available and look at variations of your "perfect name" if not.

GoDaddy - Domain Name Hosting | $
They really are hard to beat. They have such great support and a lot of helpful features.

Shopify - eCommerce Sites | $$
If you're exclusively just selling products online, I've used and like Shopify. Great features for eCommerce.

Leadpages - Landing Pages | $$
If you need to spin up a pretty marketing page to advertise for really anything, Leadpages makes it super easy. They're templates are proven to convert visitors into email subscribers and sign-ups.

Teachable - Online Course Platform | Free
An all-in-one solution to hosting an online course. You can create landing pages, handle payments, and host all of your content.

Eventbrite - Event Management | Free
Great full-service tool to help you plan, promote, and sell tickets to your event.

Branding & Graphics

99Designs - Crowdsourced Design | $$$
A great way to get a bunch of different designers around the world to compete to win your design contest. I've used them for logo design and book covers. Good affordable option.

Creative Market - Design Templates | $
Lots of great fonts and other print templates that require no creativity on your part.

Canva - Graphic Design Tool | Free
An easy way to create nice looking graphics that are already sized correctly for social media.

Stock Images, Footage, and Music

TheStocks - Royalty Free Images | Free
An aggregate of several free, not-ugly, stock photography websites in one place. I'll always try here first and if I can't find what I like free, I'll go to a paid option.

StockSnap - Royalty Free Images | Free
A lot of beautiful images here, too. They are mostly scenic, but good for overlaying text on.

Colorstock - Diverse Stock Images | $$
A collection of images featuring people with diverse ethnic backgrounds.

Lightstock - Stock For Churches | $
Great if you work at a church or do work for a ministry. No, it's not your typical cheesy Christian photos. It's actually good...mostly.

Stocksy - HQ Images | $$
Everything on here is beautiful. It's pricey, but it will look good.

Iconfinder - Flat Vector Icons And Such | $
There are a lot of great free icons, but the ones you pay for a usually only a buck. This is great if you're building a site or slide deck.

Pond5 - Images, Music And Videos | $
They have a huge database of stuff, but it can be hit-and-miss. You'll have to search a good bit to find something you'll love.

Videohive - Stock Video and Video Graphics | $
Some good stuff, animations, and other random video things. A lot of it is no-good, but you can find decent things here if you're looking.

Music Bed - Professional Quality Music | $$
Licensed music by curated musicians, bands, and composers. Good if you want something that sounds pro and have the budget.

Audiojungle - Good Quality Music | $
Royalty free music and audio tracks. Found some great stuff on here for cheap. It takes some time to dig through and find the gems, though.

Print, Publishing, and Signage

OvernightPrints - Bulk Printing | $$
Fast, good quality, and affordable. I use them for things like business cards and flyers.

Popsigns - Handheld Signs | $$
Great for events where you will have someone greeting.

4imprint - Branded Handouts | $$
I use them quite a bit for things like magnets, pens, and other branded merch to pass out.

Displays2Go - Stock For Churches | $$$
Great for bigger signage like booths and banners.

Blurb - Magazines And Books | $
Beautiful and affordable prints where you can purchase and sell one-off items.

Real Thread - Custom T-Shirt Printing | $
Great online experience to order custom t-shirts.

Email Tools

Streak - Gmail Tools | Free
I can't live without streak. It's a Gmail plugin that let's me do really cool things like see if someone has opened my email or schedule when an email should go out. It's essential for any Gmail user.

MailChimp - Email Marketing | Free
This is my go-to email marketing tool. It's super user-friendly and robust. This is how you manage a big email list of customers/fans and communicate with them in beautiful looking templates.

BriteVerify - Email Verification | $
If I have a big list of emails that I want to ensure are "real" before sending to them, I make sure to run them through BriteVerify. It cleans out all the bad emails before you upload your list.

InfusionSoft - Email Marketing Automation | $$$
I think InfusionSoft is way more complicated than it should be, but it serves a purpose. You can do a lot with automating and scheduling emails using advanced rules to really customize communications if you're trying to build a customer base.

Social Media & Blogging

Buffer - Social Media Manager | $
My go-to option for scheduling out social media posts across almost every platform (except Instagram).

Busy - Instagram Scheduler | $
Instagram just has to make things difficult and not let you schedule posts. This company will do it for you. They literally have robots that have to manually do it to work around the barriers Instagram put up.

Medium - Blog Platform | Free
My blog is a Medium blog. It's just way to beautiful and easy to use. Plus they have an app that's helpful.

VSCO - Image Editing | Free
Great mobile app to apply filters and edit images for social media.

Sales, Marketing, and PR

Google AdWords - Online Advertising | $
This is the best way to start advertising across the internet online...not just Google, but multiple sites.

AdRoll - Ad Retargeting | $$
You know how right after you visit a site, you start seeing ads for that site everywhere? That's what this does.

Contactually - Relationship Management | $$
This is a great way to keep track of all your contacts. You can set reminders to reach out, send template emails, and put them in workflows.

ToutApp - Sales Email Management | $$
If your serious about development direct business and outbound sales, this a great tool that offers a lot of automation and analytics.

Startuplister - PR Kickstart | $$$
With this tool, you can submit your business to journalists at some of the biggest and best media outlets and publications. A great way to get some attention.

Product Hunt - New Product Directory | Free
My favorite site. Seriously, I could browse all day. Product Hunt has built a very large following and is the place that the latest and greatest products to hit the market come and make their debut.

Payment Processors

Paypal - Payments | Free
Lots of useful tools in Paypal...like sending and managing invoices.

Square - Online & In-person Sells | Free
Great tool if you're selling physical goods in person. Square has an app and a card swiper that plugs right into your mobile device or tablet.

Cash - Send & Receive Payments | Free
Cash is so simple, beautiful, and easy to use. It comes in handy often when trying to collect or send money.

Venmo - Payment Sharing | Free
I use this all the time. It makes it so easy to request and send money to friends and family. Thing I use it for most? Someone paying me back for spotting a meal. It also makes it super easy to split rent/utilities with roommates.

Stripe - Payment Portal | Free
Stripe is an incredibly flexible tool to include payments in a website or app. It's more of a development tool, but one of the industry leaders. You can even setup recurring payments.

Legal, Accounting, Finance, and HR

Clerky - Legal Paperwork For Startups | $$$
This is a more standardized streamlined way of doing things like incorporating your business or creating NDAs.

Zenefits - HR Management & Payroll | $$
This tool helps you do things like offer health benefits, manage payroll, onboard employees and a ton of other helpful HR related stuff.

QuickBooks - Small-Business Accounting | $
Manage expenses, keep the books, and have clean statements for tax and audit purposes. QuickBooks is one of the industry-leading platforms and I just really like the products Intuit put out.

Bench - Outsourced Accounting | $$$
If you'd rather not keep the books yourself, you can have a Bench team do it for you. Get rid of the headache and outsource to them if you prefer.

Gust - Comprehensive Back-Office | $$$
Gust is more of a one-stop-shop. They can do legal, accounting, and finance for you so you can focus on growth.

Docracy - Legal Document Templates | Free
Great open source to find templates for quick and easy legal documents.