The modern solopreneur has to be a jack of all trades. And as solopreneurs need to have an abundance of knowledge at their fingertips, this is where the right toolbox becomes invaluable. You may think that when you are trying to make sense of your business, find somewhere to store notes, improve communication, and solve problems big and small, the number of tools you have at your disposal will make short work of these. But with this in mind it’s worth noting some of the common solopreneur problems, and what the right tool can do for that problem.
Minor Technical Problems
A nightmare if you are in the middle of an important deadline and you find that your computer is not playing ball. You may not be technically inclined, but this means you’ve got to have the right information to hand, whether this is for clearing the cache or cookies, or dealing with the dreaded black screen of death. A solopreneur needs these best resources.
There are some amazing guides out there to fix tech problems quickly, but while a simple Google search can find a lot of these things, you need a tool like Slack, because it can incorporate a number of files in one easy-to-use package. Slack is one of those tools that integrate with the vast majority of programs out there.
We are in the middle of a number of tasks, we can get into the flow with regards to typing, but sometimes, some things take so long to type that it becomes painstaking. If you find yourself hunched over your computer for 12 hours a day, this is not going to be good, and your fingers will inevitably cramp, and this is if you have amazing typing skills in the first place! We can spend all day trying to write an effective email, that we inevitably type draft after draft thinking that we need to slave over it. However, sometimes we are not able to get our thoughts onto an email properly without typing it a number of times. This is why it would be quicker to do a draft and come back to it later.
The solution? Voice typing. If you need to get the salient points onto a draft document, having a program like Dragon Dictation, or even the voice typing function on Google Docs means that you can get all of your thoughts out onto a document, focus on another task, and come back later. The great thing about modern voice typing is that they are adaptable and will learn your accent, your manner of speaking, and this means it makes very quick work of typing out an email. You will be able to speak faster than your typing skills, but it also listens to you incorporating grammar. And with programs such as this, you can use them to dictate into your phone while you are on the go, meaning that you can effectively multitask. Sometimes, we can feel that a drive to a meeting is an unproductive one because we have to focus on the road. However, setting up a way to dictate on your phone, as long as you’re safe, will mean that you can get a lot of thoughts out while you are doing something else.
It’s not easy to take notes when you’re trying to multitask, and while this means that voice dictation can help you dictate notes onto your phone, you need the right program to help you. And this is where Evernote steps in. When we need to be in full flow and reel off idea after idea, we need the right program to absorb our notes, but also can sync with other devices. When we are trying to capture information, we have to access it from anywhere.
There are a number of Evernote packages that can operate as a notepad while you are on the go. It’s so important that when you are collaborating with other clients that you all have the same canvas to operate from. Collaboration tools like on Google Drive are invaluable, but Evernote goes one step further and allows you to capture notes, as well as text, images, and becomes a way for you to come up with ideas remotely, and collaborate on these things effectively.
When you have to access so many different programs, laziness can creep in, and you end up using the same password. However, using the same password means that you’ve got to have an incredibly complex one, but this doesn’t mean you are protected forevermore. The same applies to your credit cards and account information.
You will be spending a lot of time paying for items and inputting sensitive information. A tool like 1Password is perfect for this, because it stores everything in one handy-to-access place, and you will never need to remember another password again. It also comes with a browser extension.
Keeping Control of Your Finances
As if you didn’t have enough to do! If you are trying to push your business forward, but you’ve also got to keep track of every financial component, it is important to be aware of your finances at every step.
The resource Mint is an excellent way for you to link all of your credit cards, accounts, and loans, giving you a comprehensive view of your finances. If you struggle to keep track of your expenses, this is a great tool for peace of mind.
Another part of the solopreneur’s lifestyle is checking in and out of hotels, however, it’s an experience that soon wears thin, especially if you need to get a good night’s sleep and the person in the room next door is not intent on sleeping anytime soon!
You need to stop getting hotels when you travel and go through a site like Airbnb so you can get yourself an apartment or room so you have more privacy, not to mention freedom. It’s nice to have those tastes of home, so you can go to the local store and put food in your fridge, and cook, rather than having to dine out!
It’s high pressure all of the time, and when we are out and about, in and out of people’s lives, we can feel the stress creep upon us. However, this is where a tool like Headspace becomes invaluable. It’s important to learn how to relax when you are on the go. You may be someone that immediately relaxes into a place, or you may find that you operate on little sleep, but if you are firmly the latter, this soon catches up with you!
Headspace comes in a handy app and provides a multitude of resources, so even if you are not of the meditating mindset, you can easily learn to relax. You may think that being on edge gives you the edge, but you will age pretty quickly. Make sure that you incorporate periods of important relaxation. You may find that you thrive on working 18 hour days, that this won’t be good for you in the long run.
There are a number of ways that solopreneurs can benefit from streamlining their lives. There are so many out there, but when you are a solopreneur, you are spinning so many plates. Solopreneurs need to operate with a more streamlined mindset, and you will find that these tools won’t just help you in the short term, but they will help you to be a better business person.