2016 Three Software Tools Every Entrepreneur Should Be Using Now!

These are some of my FAVORITE programs that have allowed me to leverage more in my business across the board.

Workflowy
Cost: Free

This is an advanced outline tool. I know this sounds boring, but this tool has made a huge impact on my business. At first I didn’t see the incredible value of this software, but the more I dug into it, the more I fell in LOVE with all this program can do. Workflowy works on my phone, my tablet, and my computer. It’s always connected and synced. You can share them with others in your company, too. Best of all, you can tag and search through your outlines, making it easy to find everything you need.

Lucid Charts
Cost: Limited Free Trial

This software makes it easy for you to diagram each step of your business process - from your sales funnels to your email sequences and everything inbetween. This works really well with Workflowy. When you’ve got an idea on where you want to go in Workflowy, you can create the step by step process in Lucid Charts to give you a more visual idea on what you’re doing. It’s an easy tool to figure out.

Asana
Cost: Free

This program has evolved with me and my business and is an AMAZING tool for keeping my team on-task and scheduled in a clean, close place. Asana syncs with your Google account and allows you to comment, tag, and share projects with people across the office or across the world. You can keep all communication on a project in one easy-to-find space. I’ve used it for years and it’s been an amazing asset to my company.

Transcript:

Hey everybody! It's Joel Bower, co-founder of Skirmish Strategies and business leverage expert. Today I'm going to talk about 3 softwares that I use that are absolutely just making my business so much easier. They're really allowing me for some great leverage by either getting the ideas out of my head, or planning them correctly on paper, to tasking them out to myself and my team to make sure things that I'm thinking turn into reality.

Let's start with the first tool that I want to recommend. That tool is called, "WorkFlowy." WorkFlowy at first, the best way to describe it is an advanced outline tool. Now I know that sounds boring, "Outlines. Wow, that should be great Joel, I'm so glad I got on this video and learned about an advanced outlining tool."

You will be surprised. When you get in there and you first start using it, yeah you go, "Okay great, I can make lists, fantastic. I can make sub-lists on that, that's interesting."

That's what happened when I got in there too. I was like, "Okay, where am I going to use this?" I go through, and I do like outlines, I like really planning out and thinking what I'm going to be building, or what's going to be entailed in a program, or what I'm going to do in a marketing strategy. I like to get first the ideas out of my head. I do that for a really good reason. It's because it allows me to not have to hold that inside my brain all the time, hoping that I'll remember it when it's time to actually use it.

WorkFlowy allows me really open up any app. I can do it directly on the web, or the Chrome browser, I can do it on my device, on my phone, on my tablet, and it all works together and is always connected. It also allows you to share any of those lists you create outside.

Now the reason it's called an advanced tool, or why I call it advanced outline tool, is it also allows you to tag, and it's also searchable. You can get in there, really drop the information in there and you don't have to worry about how you're going to find it later.

Now, when I was doing outlines before, I'd have them in word documents, or Google Docs, and they'd be all over the place and I had to go hunt them down. It was only for that one project, but do you know how many times I've been in one project and go, "Hey, this seems really similar to something over here. Maybe I can go grab that material." Then suddenly I have like 5 documents open.

WorkFlowy is all in one, and if you tag correctly you can see only the pieces that are relevant to the thing you're building right now. It's a free tool, there is a paid service but it's only if you go past a certain size. You can get everything out of it just using the free tool. It's absolutely amazing, go try it, get the thoughts and ideas out of your head, start planning on an actual piece of paper and taking it from that idea stage, into a little bit of a reality by getting it at least on the page.

Now the second tool is a great followup. After I've kind of thought through and said, "Okay, here's what I want in it, these are the pieces that I want to be in a program, or in a new marketing system that we're doing, or in a new service that we're offering to clients." When I'm thinking through that and I get out of WorkFlowy, now it's time to actually thinking about how the process is going to work through step by step.

I use a tool called, "Lucid Charts." Lucid Charts allows you to really kind of diagram each step. As you start in the process you might look at, "Okay, here's where they come in, here's where someone might sign up for something. Here's where you deliver it, here's what happens if they don't sign up," and so on and so forth. You can kind of plan really what the process looks like, and get a clear idea.

Now I have the outline at the beginning using WorkFlowy, thank God. Now I'm going to use Lucid Charts and I can start to see that. Then I can break down the tasks and the things that are really manageable. Things that I can think, "Okay, great, when I was thinking about a whole marketing channel, that's videos, that's landing pages, that's copy, that's content, what are the bonuses going to be? Am I going to sale anything?" It gets kind of overwhelming.

By taking the step by step process you get to really just think about 1 chunk at a time, and then where it's going to go next. Lucid Charts, if you've never done any diagramming, it's a really easy program to use. You start grabbing squares and saying, "This is what's going to happen, this is what's going to happen next." Pretty soon you find yourself in a pretty advanced kind of layout of what's going on.

Now, Lucid Charts is sort of free. Their trial is very limited. One of the things, the only complaint I really had about Lucid Charts so far is that they're a little pushy with their marketing, and they don't need to be. I wish they'd drive a bigger experience first, let me actually try the program instead of pretty quick into it. After you've made like 5 charts they're already telling you, "You can't do anymore until you've upgraded." If somebody from Lucid Charts is out there I want to tell you I love your program, but serious think about your marketing a little bit different. Take care of the client, give them a real experience first and then you can get a little heavier handed in your marketing pieces. I felt like I couldn't even really anything real in it. I felt that as soon as I started to expand to anything that I was actually building it was not usable. It almost totally deterred me from it, and that would have been sad because I really do love the program.

If anybody is from there, look at it. Don't let that deter you, get in there. If you've never done charts, or diagramming, or process maps, really go in there and check it out for the first time. It's really cool, it's like a very focused mind map where you know where you're going. That's the second program.

The last program that I'd recommend right now is a program called, "Asana." I have been using Asana for a long time, and it keeps evolving with our business. It is such an amazing tool for really planning out what needs to happen in a project, and how to task it out to everybody on your team, and be able to see what's going on. It allows commenting inside that's directly just for that project, it allows you to quickly schedule, put deadlines on things and have everybody see it. That kind of collaboration with your team where they get to feel like they're part of something bigger, and they get to see all of it, Asana really allows that.

It just kind of happened that each of these software pieces kind of play together, but I do my early planning, get my brain dump out there. I do some sort of chart, and then I dump it into Asana. As I was breaking down the task, well those become Asana items. Now I schedule deadlines, now I can assign it to the people that really should be doing it, maybe it's not me, thank God. It happens. That's a great way for me to still not lose control of the project.

If you've been in that old stream of emails when you're working with someone, or collaborating anywhere and you're like, "Where was that one piece?" You're searching, and for some reason the search doesn't have any of the words that would make sense to be in that email. This at least you know the comments are for the actual activity item, or for the project. It's an amazing tool.

It is free, I think it's up to 5 users. It's an amazing tool, I don't know that.... we've used it for years for free, and I don't think .... yeah, we haven't even had to upgrade to their full service. There is some pro features, but we've never needed them. The free is so great, absolutely use that program. If you're not doing any kind of thing of tracking your schedule or planning, Asana is the key. If you are, I've used a lot of them. Asana is definitely the best that we've experienced, and really allows us to grow without feeling limited by our software.

Go out and check those softwares, the first, WorkFlowy. The second is Lucid Charts, and the last is Asana. We're always looking to leverage more in our business, and software is one of those key places. These are just the ones .... I mean, just the ones. These are the ones I'm using right now, these are the ones either I'm really excited about, or we're doing something new. Asana, we're just doing way different things than we were doing before. It's really making our lives easier, and allowing us to do so much more than when we were trying to track it either by phone calls, or sending emails and then trying to find them.

These are amazing tools and there's so many more. What I'm going to do is I'm going to keep doing segments like this. As I learn about softwares either that I'm using, or other ones we haven't discussed yet, or my teammates are using them, I'm going to put them on videos like this. Then you can just go to SkirmishStrategies.com/Resources and you can find them all there. They'll tell you a little more about it, or a bit of a synopsis from what I just covered. That way you can easily find them if you don't remember them from this video.

Go to SkirmishStrategies.com/resources, find all there. I just want to thank you so much for taking the time, of really watching this video and just finding little tips just to get a little bit better, a little bit stronger in your business. You're really setup to do some cool things if you can figure out how to use tools to really make your life better, to make your business better. That's what we're going to do here.