As you may have read in one of my articles, there is no app for productivity. No so called “productivity app” on the market will magically make you productive despite how many of its great features you utilize. There are, however, great programs, apps, and websites available that when used correctly, can significantly decrease the time it takes you to complete routine tasks and activities. I've added the awesome resources I use to run my business here - in my Straight Talk Toolbox. Take a glance inside!


Audible is the solution to wanting to read more. As entrepreneurs, we need to consistently feed our minds with knowledge but we don’t always have the time to sit down and read a book. Audible makes it easy to listen to books while driving, working out, or making dinner.

*Tip | Change the listening speed of your audio book to 1.5x or 2.0x so you can finish your book more quickly. Narrators typically talk slower than your brain is capable of processing so by speeding it up you can maximize your time.


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Canva makes graphic design simple for everyone! Many other sites are hard to learn and navigate because they offer an abundance of features an average entrepreneur doesn’t need. Canva’s simple platform enables you to easily create designs for web or print: blog graphics, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers, posters, invitations, social media posts, and so much more.

*Tip | Upgrade to Canva For Work to access even more time-saving features like templates, branding, file folders for organization, and so much more.


CoachAccountable

CoachAccountable enables you to easily share notes and action items, track metrics, schedule appointments and reminders, create courses, and facilitate group discussions with your clients.

*Tip | Utilize the forms and courses feature to create automated weekly check in to get weekly updates from your clients. 


Dropbox is a file-sharing program that saves me time by keeping my files organized, secure, and accessible on all of my devices including my phone while on the go.

*Tip | Utilize the selective sync feature of the Dropbox desktop application. It enables you to select only the folders you want to sync with your computer which saves you hard drive space.


This premium habit tracker sends you reminders to engage in desired behaviors or not engage in negative behaviors at your chosen times. It tracks your success and can help you organize your life by giving you an overview of everything you need to do on a regular basis.

 *Tip | Set attainable deadlines. If you set a goal to meditate every day for the rest of your life, you will likely fail. Instead, set a goal to meditate for 15 days straight. Call it a win when you do then set the goal again until it's become a habit.


Last Pass offers secure, online password management. If you’re always looking for your login and passwords, you’re wasting valuable time! Last Pass is the solution you have been waiting for to organize your passwords securely and share them with your staff.

*Tip | Properly categorize your passwords so you can share the ones you want your team to have access to and keep private the ones you don’t.


I use Later to schedule and manage all of my Instagram posts efficiently. Later visually displays what I have scheduled, thus making it clear what I need to schedule next.

*Tip | Use the saved captions feature to copy over frequent hash tags and text for posts.


Libsyn

Libsyn is a one-stop shop for your podcast hosting needs. It features publishing tools, media hosting and delivery, RSS for Apple Podcasts and iTunes, and stats – everything you need to get out into the world and start publishing your podcast recordings.

*Tip | Maximize your efficiency by identifying all the places you want your podcast to be, then set those up so when you hit Publish, your podcast automatically goes to all those places.


Loom

Loom takes delegating to a new level by enabling you to quickly record whatever you’re seeing or doing on your screen then share it instantly with a simple link. You can capture your screen, record your front-facing camera, and narrate your video all at once. I’ve used it mostly for short-cutting explanations and sharing them with my team.

*Tip | Use the front-facing camera to record short videos and send them to prospective clients that have already showed an interest in working with you. It personalizes the solicitation far more than a one-dimensional email.


MeetEdgar is a social media efficiency must have. Instead of publishing your social media updates just once and throwing them away, MeetEdgar carefully catalogues them in a library that builds over time. You can create different posting schedules for your different types of social media posts that pull from your library and reuse them. This site works with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

*Tip | Save even more time by creating your posts in Excel and utilizing the bulk upload feature.


Ontraport

Ontraport is a unrivaled visual marketing automation and reporting platform. It is the only platform that shows how your entire business works on a single campaign map, not just how a single email performed or page converted. Ontraport also features groundbreaking technology that projects the impact from changes you make in your campaigns, thus aiding you in making better data-based decisions. 

*Tip | Be prepared for setting up your account to be a huge undertaking. Schedule it as a project on your calendar that will take a few days, not just a few hours.​​​​​


I use Microsoft Outlook to manage my emails, calendar, contacts, and tasks. It’s a single program that provides all of the small business essentials.

*Tip | Take the time to learn the powerful features this program offers to keep you organized.


I highly recommend the online version of QuickBooks accounting software. I waited way too long to upgrade and now that I did, my accounting has never been so efficient. Some of my favorite features are online payments from clients, auto-syncing transactions which means no data entry, and my profit and loss appearing on the dash board every time I open the program.

*Tip | Sync your bank accounts and credit cards so your transactions automatically get entered in QuickBooks. Then, all you need to do is review, edit if necessary, and approve your transactions.


RocketBook

RocketBook is a magical notebook that works in conjunction with its app to crop and enhance each page of your notebook, transforming them into digital notes that are more crisp and vibrant than the real thing.

*Tip | Send your notes to specific locations in the cloud services you already use by utilizing the symbols at the bottom of each page.


ScheduleOnce is an online scheduling solution that eliminates the back and forth emails to find a mutually agreeable time to meet with clients. Just email a link or post one on your website to allow clients access to your calendar.

*Tip | Set up multiple “services” for the different types of meetings you regularly have. Each of those services can be customized with different scheduling options and rules. For example, I only offer Complimentary Discovery Calls on certain days of the week. Doing so gives me maximum control over my calendar and honors my theme days.


TextExpander

Text Expander is a short key generator that enables you to create short codes to expand text. What is more inefficient than typing the same long phrase or business name multiple times a day? Nothing if you ask me. I never realized how much time I was wasting typing my name, title, and email address: Amber De La Garza, The Productivity Specialist, [email protected] until I tried Text Expander. Now I can type all of them using eight keys total instead of 80! I also use it for template emails and common replies to emails.

*Tip | Use unique short codes so Text Expander only activates when you intend to use it.


Thrive Themes 1

A business toolbox in itself, Thrive Themes helps you build beautiful websites without a single line of code. That means no more pricey website designers who nickel and dime you for every little edit. The program includes their full suite of WordPress Plugins that work seamlessly together, courses, templates, content, and unlimited support.

*Tip | Don’t do the initial set-up yourself. It’s complicated so you should partner with a skilled web designer. After the initial set-up, however, you can edit your website, changing words here and adding elements there easily without being tech savvy.


Trello

Trello is a system of digital boards, lists, and cards you and your team can customize to manage all of your different projects and tasks. You can add comments, labels, and due dates, create checklists, attach files, and more. Trello makes project management logistics a breeze.

*Tip | Color code your cards with labels to easily categorize and prioritize them at a glance.


Voxer

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Voxer is a powerful push-to-talk app that acts like a walkie talkie and enables secure, real-time communication. No having to dial numbers or text messages. Just push the button to connect. I use it to stay in sync and communicate effortlessly with my team.

*Tip | Use this app for everyone on your team who you regularly communicate with, especially if you have a BIZ bestie like I do.


Wavve

Wavve is a technology that enables you to share audio from your podcast, music, and recordings as videos on social media using visible sound waves laid over your images. Utilizing Wavve cards can improve engagement and increase listens.

*Tip | Use your brand colors for each card's waveform to enhance brand visibility.


Zapier

Zapier is like glue for your apps. The program seamlessly connects the apps you use every day, enabling them to talk to each other and put workflows into action automatically with a just a few clicks.

*Tip | If you find yourself or members of your team duplicating data entry from one program to the next, use Zapier to connect the two programs. 


Trello

Zoom is a video and web conferencing service that makes your online meetings and mobile collaboration friction-less. I personally use it for all of my virtual meetings, one-on-one coaching sessions, group coaching sessions, and webinars.

*Tip | Use the Outlook add-on to create Zoom meeting links directly in calendar invites.


*I not only recommend all of the tools above but I also use them in my business daily. Some of the links are affiliate links and whether or not they are, I stand behind my recommendations. I appreciate your support in using the links provided.

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*I not only recommend all of the resources above but I also use them in my business daily. Some of the links are affiliate links and whether or not they are, I stand behind my recommendations. I appreciate your support in using the links provided.