Resources

Hi guys,

Welcome to my Resources section. Apart from my business partner and some freelancers I work with, I practically run and manage my businesses all on my own. Without the help of some of these tools, I’m pretty sure I would get burnt out quickly. So, here’s a curated list of websites and tools I’ve used or still using that I strongly suggest you check them out either in optimizing your business or simply to keep your life organized and more manageable.

Before you go ahead and look into the resources I have here, here’s an important disclosure I suggest you to look into first.


Domain and Hosting

exabytes

I’ve been using Exabytes as my domain and service provider since the very beginning. It’s affordable and for existing users, they’re always offering their services at discounted prices. I use WordPress as my content management system which you can also easily set it up with a few clicks via Exabytes.


Communication

skype

I’m sure you’ve heard of Skype before. It’s an online messaging service that lets you chat, voice call and video call people from all over the world.

whatsapp
Whatsapp is a great alternative to sending messages without having to pay for SMS. Ever since it was acquired by Facebook in 2014, it has evolved tremendously. I’m also thrilled that the communication in Whatsapp is encrypted allowing me peace of mind so I shifted all business communications to Whatsapp. The release of the web version was awesome as I can choose to type rather than text.

Project Management/ Collaboration

asanaAsana is a great platform for me to collaborate on various projects with different team members. It’s free to use and I like it for its simplicity.

trelloTrello is a free project management and organization tool. I enjoy using Trello because it gives you an overall view of the project and has flexible features that simplify organizing. You have the freedom to edit and move the cards around.

Productivity

onenoteI have never looked at OneNote until recently (2016) when I signed up for Office 365 and OneNote comes with it. OneNote is a note-taking app similar to Evernote that I’ve been using for years. After a few tries, I shifted all my notes from Evernote to OneNote simply because of its superiority in organizing notes. Also, the fact that I’m paying for Office 365, I have more space in OneNote.

evernoteEvernote is probably the most well-known digital notebook. I’ve been using it for years. It’s ideal for note taking, clipping webpages and organize your digital life. Before OneNote, I had only Evernote for everything from taking notes to organizing all my content. The free basic account was sufficient for me that I didn’t have to go for the Premium edition. However, I’ve also used the Premium account for a short trial period and it was absolutely amazing.

Time Management

toggl

Toggl is an online time tracker/timesheet app that keeps track of how much time you spend working on each particular project. It’s ideal if you’re a freelancer charging your clients by the hours. It’s free to use and you can easily sign in with your Google account. I use this for my social media management projects where I’ll send a time tracking report to my client at the end of every month to bill them for the hours spent.

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage has become an essential for every businesses. Here are the three most popular online cloud storages you can consider.

onedriveYou’ll get 5GB free upon signing up. For paid plans, you’ll get 50GB for $2 per month. For subscriber of Office 365 Personal like myself, you’ll get up to 1 TB for $69.99.

dropbox

You’ll get 2GB when you sign up for free account but unlike OneDrive, you can earn free storages with Dropbox. I practically maxed out my invites and now I have 20.38GB free storage. Dropbox is ideal for collaboration as well so that’s why I’m still using it even though my OneDrive is more than enough to store most of my files. For paid feature, Dropbox offers 1TB for $10 per month.

googledriveGoogle Drive gives you as much as 15GB for free but that’s because this storage is used up for your Gmail as well. I use Google Drive for collaboration as well. It’s easy to create documents and spreadsheets to share among my team members. At the same time, I also like to Forms feature I could use for my business and to conduct survey. For paid plans, Google Drive offers 100GB for $2 per month and 1TB for $10 per month.


Finances and Payments

paypal

If you’re running business internationally, there’s no way that you don’t use PayPal. I use PayPal to bill my international clients as well as for payment from my Etsy stores, Zazzle, Spreadshirt and all my affiliates. PayPal charges a small fee of 3.9% transaction plus a fixed fee based on the currency received.

wave accounting
Gone are the days of using Word or Excel to prepare invoices for our customers in particular when everything is online these days. I use Wave Accounting to issue invoices to my local and international clients. They can opt to pay me via PayPal, bank transfers or cheques. This is an option to PayPal in particular for my local clients.

E-Commerce Platforms

woocommerce
WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin you can install and instantly turn your website to an e-commerce store. If you’re familiar with WordPress as content management system, I would highly recommend this if you don’t have the luxury of having 4-5 figures budget to engage in a web development company.
shopify
Shopify offers a complete platform for you to set up your online store. You don’t need to apply for payment gateway and SSL certitificate or worry about your e-store design as Shopify offers more than 100 templates.  For as low as $29 per month, you get to open your online store almost immediately instead of spending 4 figures or more in designing and developing your e-commerce store from scratch.

Online Marketplaces

Etsy is an online marketplace for the creatives. You can sell handmade and vintage items as well as craft supplies. I’ve been selling on Etsy for years and this platform has always been my main income generator. If you’re crafty and would like to share your crafts to the world, I would highly recommend that you start a store on Etsy.

shopee

Shopee is new. I believe they’re benchmarking Etsy but still have a lot to improve. However, Shopee doesn’t restrict you to sell only handmade or home produced items. You can practically sell anything on Shopee. I use Shopee to target Malaysian and Singaporean customers.


Print-On-Demands

zazzle

Zazzle is the most popular print-on-demand website I’ve ever come across. They have practically every items you can possibly think of. The best part is that you can personalize the items you want to purchase or you can just select from the existing designs. Apart from my Etsy stores, Zazzle is my consistent income generator as I’ve been selling my designs here for years.

printcous
Printcious is new and the Asian version of Zazzle. It’s amazing that we could now personalize our gifts and business merchandise at affordable prices without having to purchase in bulk. I use Printcious to sell my designs to Malaysia and Singapore. At the same time, I also use them to personalize my gifts or merchandise to friends and clients.

Other Resources

When I was a project manager for a web development company, I use Awesome Screenshot to easily communication changes and feedback on visuals created by the web designer. I also encourage clients to use it to communicate the changes they want to make. This is way easier as compared to writing everything in text.
An amazing place for you to obtain public domain or royalty free images for your blog. Although they allow for commercial use, I usually just use them as featured images for my blog posts.
Author’s Note:
So there you go…my list of resources. Check back from time to time as I’ll expand the list as I discover more new stuff that are useful and helpful to small businesses.