Are you tired of spending a fortune on expensive business apps that drain your budget? Look no further! In this video, Scott Friesen shows you 5 free business apps that will help you save money and streamline your workflow. From project management to customer communication, these apps have got you covered. And the best part? They're all completely free!
If you run your own business, you know how important it is to keep costs low. But we're fortunate to have so many tools available to us that are absolutely free that will not only help you to stay organized and save time but also make you look professional and experienced to your clients. So in this video, I'm going to walk you through an entire business scenario. Everything from brainstorming, project management, and communicating with my client, and do it absolutely for free with these five tools. In this scenario, I am a consultant and I'm helping my client with a number of different projects. We've just finished our first big call together but now I want to put those ideas into a more formal timeline, and for that, I'm going to be using Miro. When it comes to visualizing your notes or putting something together in a more meaningful context, Miro is a fantastic tool. So after my initial consulting call with my client, I've wanted to take all of my notes and put them into a more formal timeline, and Miro is a fantastic tool for doing so. Here I can zero in on exactly what we're going to do in the month of May, and I can easily and quickly edit everything that I need to here. If I want to change colors, if I want to add graphics, if I just want to throw a bunch of new ideas on the board, I can do that here as well. And if I need to change things, everything is essentially just drag and drop so it's very easy to manipulate. Or if I need to add other information on the fly, I can do so quickly and easily. I'm going to add an about us page as one of our key goals for this refresh. But now that I've finished producing my free timeline within Miro, I could just simply share the link, but I want to give my client some context because maybe they've never used Miro before. And I want to explain some of the intricacies or details of this timeline. Now, I could try to explain myself in a very lengthy email but it's going to be so much easier if I can communicate to this verbally. And so for that, we're going to use another free tool called Loom. Now, Loom, we can either record video directly or we can also share our screen. So if I want to pinpoint certain things within that timeline, I can do so at the same time. But for this example, I'm just going to record a very simple message so that they know exactly what I'm talking about and they can get clarity on where we're going to move next. So now that I'm signed into my free Loom account, all I need to do is come down here and select record a video. And in just a few seconds, it's going to bring up the video recorder dialogue. Now I can always choose as to what exactly I would like to record. Do I want to record both the screen and my camera? Maybe I only want to record the screen if I'm a little camera shy. But in this this case, I'm going to select camera only. Down here in the left hand portion of the screen, I can drag this anywhere that I want to so if I want to get it out of the way of my screen recording, I can do so. But now the very next step is just to hit start recording. "Hi Jane, I just wanted to give you "a little more detail "about the project timeline "which I'm passing along. "As you'll see in blah, blah, blah, blah, blah". And of course, I can go into as much detail as I want. Now this message is a lot more specific. They may be getting the differences in my tone and body language which goes so much further than simply sending an email. When I'm all finished with my recording, all I need to do is hit this finished recording button and then I will be brought to my editing page where I can go ahead and review the video. I can edit out portions of the video if I want to as well. And then of course, rename it, and share it directly with my client. And best of all, I can manage all of my previous recordings here within the Loom interface as well. So if I want to see how many people have actually watched it, even allow them the ability to comment directly on the video so that they're not just limited to replying via an email. So now that I've clearly communicated the project timeline with the client, let's get started in our project management phase and actually start recording and working through the specific tasks. And for that, we're going to use a free tool called Walling. Now, Walling brings together sort of the best of both worlds. Whether you're wanting to organize your ideas or whether you want to manage entire projects together, you can do it all right here within Walling. In this case, as a part of our redesign project, I've listed some of the goals here, and maybe if I want to group them together, that's easy, I can drag and drop things almost anywhere. Down below, I've put together some of our copywriting examples, and I've even attached a few documents as well. Next up, I've got a section called our "Target Audience" because I don't want our client to forget what we are focused on as a part of this project. And then lastly, I've got a section called "Tasks". This is where the rubber is going to meet the road. Now as you can see, each of these different sections are laid out somewhat differently. Here I've got more of a traditional conbon or board style view where I've got tasks that we have planned, things that we are doing right now, and then also things that have been completed. And the great thing is is that I can be as granular and as detailed or as vague as I need to be. So here for example, I have completed this particular task, I'm going to check that off, but I still have one more that I need to complete before I can drag this over into the done column. Walling is an incredibly flexible tool which also allows us to bring in information from other places. So whether that's a website that you're wanting to reference or maybe it's something that we've used already previously. So here under my goals section, I can double click anywhere and start a new brick. In this case, I'm going to call this the project timeline. And because we've already created that timeline, I'm going to choose to embed a link. All I need to do is paste the link that we used for that mirror board, and now we have direct access to that timeline directly here from within Walling. So if you need to bring in other tools, whether they're free or paid versions, you can always do so right here within Walling. Now, Walling is free with unlimited bricks, meaning you can create as many of these tasks or items, or files or whatever your bricks are going to represent absolutely for free. But now that we've actually started working on this project and have gained some momentum, I need to come back to this task and make sure that I can complete it. In this case, I need to send a customer survey and also take a look at some other data. So let's take a look at another free tool which is going to help us along. And for that purpose, we're going to be using Google Drive. Now, you probably already know many of the features and advantages of using Google Drive, but let's not forget that it is free for up to 15 gigabytes of data. So whether you are sharing and creating documents or in our example, we're going to use it as a survey, we can use that right here within our Drive account. So here for example, I've created a customer survey and Google Drive makes it simple and easy for us to do so. I want to get some detailed feedback about what is their favorite social media platform because this might frame the way that we design that website and make changes as a part of the launch. The great thing is is that not only can we manage all of our surveys and forms right here from within Google Drive but we can also manage all of those responses as well. And if I need to, I can come up here to the top right hand corner, I can choose to share this link. I'm going to select copy in this case, and then I can go back and paste it within my Walling account for example so we can quickly and easily reference this information. But remember, there are so many additional things that we can do here within our Drive account. So if you don't want to pay for a costly Microsoft subscription, you can use Google Drive instead to create your presentations or manage your spreadsheets. In this example, maybe I want to explain to the client the benefits of using a conbon board. Remember, we set something up within our Walling account and I want to make sure that they're familiar with how to use it. So in this case, I've produced a very simple document that I can share with them so that they can read it on their own terms. But now that we've done some actual work and shared some information with our client, it's time for a follow-up meeting. So how can we find the ideal time to meet, make it as seamless as possible for both parties, and do it for free? Well, the free version of Calendly still allows us to create one key specific event type and allow us to use it as often as we want to. So in this case, I've created a 60-minute one-on-one meeting, and if I need to come in here and review the details or change those details, I can do so in a matter of seconds. For example, one of the things that I often recommend people do is review how many days out can someone book me? Maybe 30 days in advance is a little too much for my case so I'm going to change that to 21. I'm going to select save and close. And now what I can do is come up here and share this link with anyone. I can come up and select copy link and when I paste that into an email or my project management system, or really anywhere that I like to, they will be brought to my Calendly booking screen so they can quickly and easily decide, yes, this Friday and 1:00 PM is best. After selecting confirm, all they need to do is enter in their name and their email address, and now both of our calendars will be notified. I don't have to do anything further. This meeting will be booked directly on my integrated calendar. But there might be an even easier way for you to send your Calendly invitations. If you install the free Calendly browser extension, not only can you access your meetings from anywhere within your browser, but you can also add times directly to your email. So rather than just sending them to a link, I can choose this option and say that I only want to give them the options of next Monday and Wednesday. I'm going to select finish and share. And now what you will find is that it is copied to my clipboard. I'm going to come over here to my email and hit paste. And now I've given my clients something easy for them to access so they can book our next appointment time directly from their inbox. Remember, staying organized and looking professional doesn't have to cost you a thing. To learn more about these five free tools, be sure to click the links in the description down below. And remember, being productive does not need to be difficult. In fact, it's very simple.
Whenever you're ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:
1. Streamline Academy: Simplify your technology and transform the way you work with Streamline Academy. You’ll learn how to select the right software, optimize your systems, and stress less about your day. Start your FREE trial.
2. One-on-One Consulting Session: Maximize your time and your software with a personalized consultation. Gain insights, strategies, and expert productivity advice. Book here.
3. Promote your business to 325,000+ subscribers by sponsoring a video or newsletter. Learn more.