Every year, I like to share a list of the tools I use for my business and in my personal life.
I do this because these tools make my life easier and I want to share that information in case anyone else might be interested in trying one or more of these resources themselves. I also like to be transparent about how I get things done and make my business run smoothly.
I’ve organized all of my investments into categories to make the content easier to digest. The categories are…
- Small business tools and investments
- Life/Convenience investments
- Other investments
- Free tools
- I’d pay for this even if I didn’t have access to it
You can review the entire list or you can scroll to the category you’re most interested in.
Let’s take a look…
Small business tools and investments
If you do the Low Hanging System, you know we sell items and then purchase those items from print-on-demand companies once they’re made. So I have to pay my warehouse for that service.
Some of my biggest bills go to CustomHappy.com and I pay my warehouse directly for my products’ sales. (I have a couple companies, so Rachel Rofe Enterprises pays CustomHappy, as it’s a different entity.)
You definitely don’t need to run ads to be successful with LHS. But in the training, I talk about how you can do this if you choose to.
If you want to scale up, running Amazon ads can be really profitable and it’s something that I’ve been doing. So the fees for that have been on my credit card bill.
IFTTT is a great tool that lets you automate specific business and personal tasks. I wrote about this tool in a blog post a few years ago, which you can check out here.
IFTTT has a free version, but I pay for the Pro edition ($5/month) for certain automations, including…
- Create Evernote “idea” list from Feedly tags
- Track my daily Fitbit activity in a Google spreadsheet
- Stock rise alert
- Get an email when my company is mentioned on Reddit
Zapier is similar to IFTTT and I use this tool to automate certain processes to make them easier. The automations I set up range from copying my Google contacts into Evernote to logging all of my Etsy sales.
To learn more about all of the options you have with Zapier, click here.
Many people became familiar with Zoom right after the pandemic hit. There’s a free version that you can use to chat with friends and family. But I have the paid version, which I use primarily for my CustomHappy manager meetings.
ConvertKit is the main email service provider I use to create and send my newsletters and promotional emails.
MerchantWords is really good for keyword research. I usually use SpotNiches, but if I need something in a pinch, MerchantWords is perfect. (If you decide to use MerchantWords yourself, use this link and coupon code LOW to get 40% off your first 3 months.)
I’m a big fan of working with coaches. Coaches are people who are already at the point where you want to be and you can learn a lot from them. Working with coaches shortens the learning curve on figuring out how to do certain things and it makes everything flow a lot more smoothly. (This is why I offer a coaching option with the Low Hanging System.)
Dropbox is a tool that makes sharing files between myself and my team super easy. I use it a lot with both of my companies, including the warehouse, and it’s great for hosting large volumes of documents and product designs.
I use My Fancy Hands to get help with both my business and personal life. The service operates as US-based virtual assistance and it can help save you a lot of time. You can check out a blog post I created about using Fancy Hands here.
PicMonkey is one of the tools I use for making designs for my LHS products. You don’t have to use PicMonkey for this, but it’s cheap enough, and I find it really helpful. I use PicMonkey and Picsplosion to make nearly all of my desktop-based images.
Evernote is incredible. I use this tool to document practically everything in my life. It really helps me stay organized. With Evernote, I create notebooks for all of the different aspects of my life.
For example, I have a notebook for the weekly email content I create. I have notebooks for the warehouse. I have notebooks for Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, and I have notebooks to keep track of vendors’ pricing options.
Whenever I buy courses, I create notebooks for them. Then, I put my course notes inside the notebooks so I can easily review them and find the most important information.
Additionally, I have notebooks for personal things, including a health notebook, which I use to keep track of information I get from doctors, so I’m able to keep it all straight.
There are so many things you can do with Evernote, and the tool makes it really easy to search for specific information within your notebooks.
AppSumo is a site offering daily deals for digital products and online services. I’ve bought a lot of random things from AppSumo that ended up being helpful. So if you haven’t signed up yet, I would definitely recommend doing so.
You just have to make sure you’re buying things you’re actually going to use because it’s easy to go crazy grabbing up all of the cool things available.
I use Screencast and Screencastomatic to take pictures and record videos. These tools make communicating with my team faster and easier. Making a recording of yourself speaking instructions or feedback is way more convenient than typing it all out. I even recorded myself dictating a portion of this blog post before having it transcribed.
If you don’t have a ton of products with your LHS business, you don’t necessarily need Inventory Lab. But since I have thousands of products, I love this tool. I use it to quickly identify my most profitable SKUs and ASINs. I check what my FBA inventory is looking like, and it shows me all kinds of other useful information as well.
Because Amazon can be hard to read, I think it’s worth paying the $49/month to use InventoryLab to help me read reports more easily.
Hosting – LiquidWeb
In the past, I tried streamlining my hosting payments for the different websites I have. I used LiquidWeb along with a few others sites to put everything into one particular hosting service. I’ve also looked into Amazon’s services but I found they were a bit scattered.
HaikuDeck is something I use for my courses. It makes nice PowerPoint slides super easily. HaikuDeck is good for anyone who creates information products. The Pro plan costs around $120 a year.
I use ClickFunnels primarily to automate processes and make them easier.
YouTube Premium used to be YouTube Red. It by-passes all of the ads that show up with videos, which I prefer since I use YouTube a lot. I love it for learning purposes. I get to discover awesome things, so paying for premium is worth is to me.
Training and education courses
I’m always investing in different training and education courses. Like I said, I love to learn, so I like buying courses to learn specific things. I’d say I’m pretty picky about the types of things I buy, though. So for other people, I recommend having a goal that’s outlined and then making purchases accordingly.
I used LibSyn when I was doing my podcast regularly, which I would really love to start up again, as I’m still getting downloads every month.
I use Rev.com for transcriptions. Every week, we have Jumpstart calls, during which we do Q&As and I like to get these transcribed for people.
Bonanza is one of the marketplaces I get sales on.
I use Fiverr for a lot of random things for my business, including help completing case studies, SEO keyword research, and having content written.
I make affiliate payments for various courses, and I’m always happy to pay these because affiliates draw a lot of traffic.
I use Namecheap either for the domain names I buy or for renewing the domain names I already have.
PayKickStart is a shopping cart, which I’ve started using more than Zazaa because it offers more flexibility.
Upwork + my team
I use Upwork to pay people on my team for their services. I also use PayPal and Citibank to do this as well. Staffing is by far my biggest business expense, as having an awesome team with phenomenal service is super valuable to me, so I pay a lot for that. If you’d like to learn more about outsourcing, click here.
Envato is a site where people can buy and sell creative assets, find design templates, learn new skills, and hire freelancers. I use it to help create and sell my digital printables, which you can learn more about here.
Putler is a multi-channel ecommerce analytics tool that I use for my Etsy analytics. I’m not totally sure it’s worth it, though. It has a 14-day free trial, but after that, there is a fee.
I use GoTo Webinar for my webinars. With it, you can host live or pre-recorded events. Pricing starts at $49/month.
I believe travel is an investment in yourself, as seeing new places and meeting new people allows you to broaden your horizons and expand your world view. I’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately. Some trips are just for fun to spend time with friends. And other trips are more business-oriented to attend events or masterminds. My travel expenses include airfare, hotels, and Wi-Fi access.
Clear is a company that offers high-speed internet, which I primarily use when I’m at the airport.
I got a Peloton a while back, and I absolutely love it. If you’re into cycling, I highly recommend Peloton. You get a fantastic workout.
In addition to using my Peloton, I also invest in a trainer at the gym. My health is really important to me and I try to be consistent with my exercise.
In addition to exercising, I also see a nutritionist who helps with my dietary concerns so I can eat foods that give me energy and make me feel better.
With Instacart, you can get items from Whole Foods and other grocery stores delivered to you, which saves time and is super convenient.
With this service, every week, I get fresh water delivered to me so I’m drinking less bottled water, which is better for the environment.
I frequently like to mix up my work environment by getting out of my house or hotel if I’m traveling and working at a local coffee shop.
Other investments I make
I tend to make a bunch of random donations. I won’t list them out, but they include organizations like GoFundMe and charities that tug on my heartstrings.
Gifts for people
I try to live by the principle of paying it forward. So I love giving gifts to my friends and family, especially my nephew.
Crypto + Crypto tools
I’m been super into crypto lately so I’ve been investing a lot of money into this lately. If you’re interested in getting involved with Crypto, check out Coinbase.com (please note, this is not financial advice).
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are special digital assets that I’ve also been learning more about and investing in. (If you’d like to learn more about NFTs and how they work, click here.)
Rental property stuff
I work with a manager who helps me oversee and take care of my rental property.
I use Robinhood for my stocks, and I prefer Robinhood over other platforms because it gives you free trades. I also use eTrade for my Roth IRA.
Acorns is a cool investment tool that rounds up your purchases. So, for example, if you spend $9.88 on a purchase, Acorns takes that $0.12, saves it for you, then invests the money it rounds up. Acorns is a cool way to save money on autopilot without having to think about it.
WealthFront is amazing. It’s another way to invest money, and I’ve had an ROI of over 30% on the money I’ve put into it.
A big chunk of my money has been going to cryptocurrency and CoinBase lately.
Free tools I love
Trello is a tool I use to organize a lot of random thoughts. It’s how I brainstorm weekly blog posts and emails, communicate with my warehouse team, and organize projects with people I’m working with. I have sections on Trello about things to talk about in my upcoming meetings, things to follow up on, and tasks for my team members to complete.
Google Photos is incredible. You can put all of your photos in there and organize them by albums. You can also search by location, date, or even person.
I’ve been slowly moving every picture I have to Google Photos because of the search feature alone. It’s really awesome.
There are some things I wish Google Photos would make a little bit easier, though. Sometimes, it takes longer than it should for certain tasks, but overall, it’s a valuable tool.
I’d pay for this even if I didn’t have access to it…
SpotNiches is something I own, but I would absolutely pay for SpotNiches even if I didn’t own it because it’s super valuable in terms of finding competitive keywords and profitable niches for the Low Hanging System.
I hope you find this list of the best small business tools and personal tools useful! If you try any of these resources yourself, I’d love to hear about your experiences! And if you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends and followers.
Also, if you’d like to learn more about a collection of super useful and high value tools and resources, including Trademark Inspector, Too Easy Tags, and the Etsy Analytics Tool, which are part of my Low Hanging Mastermind, click here.
If you’re part of the Low Hanging Mastermind Group, you’ll be first to get insider access to all of my favorite tools, as well as BIG bonuses such as software that can help accelerate your Amazon and Etsy sales.