Claire Bradford: Secret weapons for business

ISN’T it great when stuff just works?

Thanks to the advent of smartphone apps, web-apps and websites that act like apps over the past few years, there is a huge range of genuinely useful resources that are accessible across various platforms. Not only do they make your life much easier, but they’re often free, too.

Here are some of my own secret weapons that I use a lot in my business:

n Doodle.com is a free scheduling tool, which allows you to create an event and then invite those involved to a poll to find the best date and time. I have used this for what it is designed for – to schedule coaches’ get-togethers – but I often use it to schedule individual clients in, by sending them a selection of times I have available. You don’t need to create an account, but if you do, you can sync it with your online calendar, making the process even easier. It’s simple and it works.

n Workflowy.com is free, intuitive and a very ‘clean’ way of keeping lots of lists all in one place. You can access it from your phone, tablet or computer and your lists are all there. The front page of my workflowy consists of just two items – work and home, then each one divides and subdivides many times, so I’ve got everything from my business visions to my shopping list easily available but without cluttering each other up. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

n Eventbrite.co.uk is a website that allows you to create, promote and sell tickets for events. You can create a personalised URL for each event so that people can go straight to the information they need and pay for their tickets in one go. It will email attendees for you, allows you to set up promotional codes, and tracks your web traffic, too. It’s free for free events, but paid-for events are subject to a small percentage of ticket sales, which you can choose to add on to the ticket price, if you so wish. Much cheaper than hiring an event planner, or installing a shopping cart on your website.

What are the online secret weapons your keep in your arsenal and find invaluable? Email me at claire@straightforwardcoaching.com, visit www.facebook.com/womaninbusiness or tweet me @coachbythecoast. I’d love to hear!