Today I am going to tell you about five of my favourite programs/apps that I regularly use to help me with my online craft businesses. They are all free (some have premium versions too) and easy enough to use that I manage! If you would like to know more about how I use these programs, let me know and I will do more in-depth posts about them.
This is mind-mapping software. Whilst one can easily mind-map onto scraps of paper, they soon become confused, disorganised and messy. XMind makes it very easy to add and remove things, move them around and generally organize one’s thoughts. It is very simple to use, fast and flexible.
I use this program for every craft business project I do. I also use it to help me plan the books I write, get organized for family events and much more. I am currently (January 2018) running XMind 8 Pro on a Windows 10 computer. It will also run on IOS or as a web-based service.
If you would like to see how I use XMind when setting goals for my craft business, check out Goal Setting for Craft Sellers. episode 014 of the Craft Seller Success Podcast. You can listen to the 30 minute podcast or read the full transcript, here on the Tin Teddy Blog.
Lots of people swear by Evernote, and I can see why. It is a friendly little program/app that lets you easily record notes, reminders, lists and so on. You can also easily save links, pictures and more to Evernote. You can run Evernote on multiple devices (limited to 2 for the free version of the software). I have it installed on my Windows 10 computer and my Android tablet, there is also a version for Apple IOS. Eventually, I may well move to the paid version so as to be able to use it on my Android phone too.
The notes are backed up to a cloud server so I can make a note on my tablet and it will be there for me when I log into my main computer, and vice versa.
I have recently started using this great little program and am thrilled with it. Todoist runs on multiple platforms and allows you to create to-do lists, projects, goals and priorities. It is very simple to use but has numerous sophisticated extras if you wish to use them.
You can also create what Todoist calls “processes” which are procedural checklists for things you repeat. I have set these up for all sorts of tasks such as the stages I need to go through when publishing a book, or the steps required for listing a new product on Etsy. Having a handy checklist ensures that no steps are missed and helps keep me on track.
Todoist is free to use for the basic version (which is what I am using). For the very reasonable sum of $30 a year, you can upgrade to the premium version which has extra features.
I have been using Gmail as my main email program for the past 4 or 5 years. I like that I can read my emails from my main computer, my tablet or my phone – or even from someone else’s computer if I needed to. Whilst I am sure there are more sophisticated email programs available, Gmail works well for me. I can pick up all my emails from various email addresses in one place. The phone and tablet apps are particularly clean and pleasant to use.
This marvellous software/website is a real blessing. Grammarly will check your writing for typos, grammar and usage errors. It is fast, intelligent and easy to use. You can install it as an extension to your browser, as an app or use it via the website. It can also work with word processors such as Word and Scrivener.
I use Grammarly to check my blog-posts, social networking posts and emails as well as for the books and articles that I write. I checked this article with it before hitting “publish”.
There is a premium version available too, with more advanced checking. This is quite expensive (from $11.99 a month) but well worth considering if you are doing a lot of writing. The free version will check grammar, spelling and sentence structure. The premium version also checks advanced punctuation, enhancement and style.
Link to Grammarly website.