Running a full time business as a content creator has been an amazing experience so far! Career wise, it really fits my personality and my skill set. I am so grateful for what it has given me both professionally and personally. That said, it has been a challenge to figure out how it all works from an administrative and business perspective. My previous corporate experience in advertising has really helped with this because I understand the value of creating structure, establishing processes and staying organized. In a solo company, I need to build those for myself so all things Eat Well With Sari can stay on track, grow and thrive. No one else is going to do that for me or tell me what to do! Today I am sharing some of my most used tools, apps and websites that help me run my business daily! Here we go…
Ever wonder how people get their feeds to follow a cohesive pattern and appear perfectly curated? The answer is Planoly. Planoly is an app that allows you to plan your instagram feed. You can upload images and videos to preview how it will appear in your feed when you eventually post. Whenever I have a finished piece of content – whether it be for a brand, or just an organic post – I upload it to Planoly so I can play around with it’s place in my feed until I want to post it. This helps me build a library of content that I can draw from and also establish a calendar for my posts. There is a free version and a few levels of payment options per month. I highly suggest trying this out!
Canva is a graphic design website that allows you to design collateral for your digital business and beyond. It basically enables you to be your own designer! I use it to create all my email graphics, pins, client proposals and any other branded content I would need. I worked with an incredible designer 18 months ago to rebrand Eat Well With Sari and now I use those brand colors and assets to create any visual extensions of my brand using Canva. I do recommend working with a designer to create your assets first. That way you know it is an original design and you can properly represent your brand.
Evernote is a notebook app where you can organize all your notes in one place. I used Evernote in graduate school and have recently downloaded it again (after hearing about it on a podcast) to help me stay organized with all my writing, blogs and lists. Before this, I was using the Notes app on my iPhone a million times a day and I found it just wasn’t organized. Now I have several different “notebooks” in Evernote that keeps everything organized and easy to find. For example, I have one for recipe development, my to do list, my blog post ideas etc. It also syncs to my computer which is super helpful!
I use google apps every single day – including sheets, docs, gmail and calendar. These are all part of my google drive. I love how they are all connected and store documents, emails and pictures in the google cloud. I use sheets to create any spreadsheets that I update regularly so I can access it from my phone or computer. For example, I have a master spreadsheet of all my current projects / partnerships that keeps me organized throughout the month and in check with my workload. I use google docs to send blog posts for approval or write client notes. Gmail and Google cal are the more obvious ones, but I can’t go without mentioning them.
This is probably the most important app I use to run the financial side of my business. I know finances aren’t sexy, but they are so important. It has taken me quite some time to figure out how to get everything set up with QB, but now it is a pretty seamless experience. I use QuickBooks to create invoices, accept payments, keep track of all my expenses and manage my budgets. It is synced to my business bank account and business credit card (registered to my LLC). That way I can match checks / direct deposits to invoices and categorize all expenses & purchases used with my business credit card. It also makes tax season a million times easier because it is all organized already! I pay for this app monthly and it is 100 percent worth it.
MailChimp is a CRM /email marketing tool. This is what I use to create and send out my newsletter “Sari’s Scoop” each week. I am new to this app because I just started my newsletter again, but I loving how streamlined the process is. You can create and save templates to use each week. It is also a great way to keep in touch with your email list and share news about your business.
Adobe Lightroom and VSCO are photo editing apps and I use them to edit all my photography. Taking good photos and editing them, especially of food, is a huge part of my business. That said, it is really important that I have the tools to make my photos look the best they possibly can! I wrote a whole blog post about editing photos with your iPhone and you can check that out here!
I have recently been getting more into Pinterest for my business because it helps a ton with drawing traffic to my blog. Tailwind helps me easily upload my images to Pinterest from my website and plan my pins. I am actually taking “The Pinterest Lab” course by Jenna Kutcher and it has been vey helpful.
That is it for now! Thank you for reading and I hope you found these helpful! If you have questions, leave a comment or send me a DM on Instagram.