I love saving time in my creative business. I bet you love to save time in your creative business. Who doesn’t?!
I also love seeing where other business owners spend their money, and I bet you do too!
These are my favorite time-saving tools because they’ve more than paid for themselves in cutting my work hours. I’m a huge fan of anything that makes my life or business easier and saves me time!
Of course, depending on your business, what works for my business doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll work for yours. But hopefully this will give you some insight into my favorite time-saving tools. As well as whether they might be a good fit for you.
BTW, the links below are affiliate links, so if you find this helpful and want to sign up for any of my favorite investments, you can use my link which gives me a commission at no additional cost to you. That said, I would recommend these whether I was an affiliate or not, because they have been great for my business.
If you really want to save time in your creative business, this is my top pick. Yeah, it’s my own program, Systems for Services. You know I’m a systems geek who loves to systematize and automate as much as I can in my business, and Systems for Services does just that.
If you have a service-based business, Systems for Services will walk you through everything you need to do to systematize your offerings and deliver projects on time, without scope creep.
This is the process that allowed me to cut my work hours down to less than 20 per week while running a web design business, and charging premium prices. It’s everything you need to need to cut your work hours without cutting the quality of your work.
Keep your business organized with Dubsado! Dubsado takes the stress out of keeping your projects on track and organized.
With Dubsado you can create intake forms, questionnaires, proposals, invoices, and even contracts. It lets you automate things like recurring payments, invoice reminders, and even create entire workflows.
A few years ago when I tried Dubsado I was less than impressed with their actual project management, but that’s changed. Now you can easily assign tasks and deadlines to your clients so they always know what they need to do next.
And did you know you can even use it to schedule calls with your clients? It’s truly an all-in-one for managing client projects!
Using a tool like Dubsado will drastically speed up your projects and if you use it with Systems for Services, you’ll have a streamlined and professional creative business in no time!
I’ve had ConvertKit for years now, and it continues to be a worthwhile investment and my favorite mailing list provider. One of the big reasons why I love ConvertKit so much is because they are continually improving it based on user feedback. They recently gave sequences an update making them even easier to navigate and use.
ConvertKit is great whether you sell products or services, mainly because automating emails is SO easy (which saves loads of time). And yes, if you’re a service provider you should be automating your emails just like someone who sells products. A great nurture sequence allows you to turn browsers into buyers, and ConvertKit makes setting up that sequence really easy. This is a HUGE time-saver as you can put your selling on autopilot.
And in my case, since I sell products as well, ConvertKit is great for segmenting customers so I’m not doing things like telling them to buy something they already bought.
ConvertKit is definitely one of my favorite business tools, and best investments!
Speaking of emails, when an automated one won’t do, and client communication has you at a loss, Say What?! has your back.
Say What is a collection of over 125 email templates that cover everything from everyday client communication (like, “Hey, here’s your invoice!”) to sticky client situations (like, “Hey! Your invoice is WAY past due!”).
These easy, copy+paste templates can be tweaked to fit your unique client situations and save you tons of time and even more stress when it comes to crafting a response.
You can use them as canned emails to save time, and integrate them with Dubsado so you never wonder what to say again!
Beaver Builder is my favorite tool for building websites quickly and easily. Both my own and for clients!
Using Beaver Builder means you can get the power of WordPress (it’s a WP plugin) with the drag-and-drop-ability of something like Squarespace.
In fact, I built SuccessfullySimple.com using BeaverBuilder, completely ONE-HANDED, while holding my baby. Doesn’t get much easier than that. Highly recommend whether you are building sites for yourself, or for clients.
I’ve been a Teachable customer for YEARS. I used to host my own membership/course site (I’m a WP designer/developer, after all), but honestly, Teachable is just SO MUCH EASIER.
Every once in a while I get distracted and go check out other platforms. I just did a big trial of Podia, Kajabi, Wishlistmember, Teachery, and Thinkific, and the verdict: I ain’t moving.
Teachable just takes the hassle out of hosting courses. That way, I can worry about the course content and teaching my students, and not worry about things not working. Huge time saver, and a great experience for me and my students.
If you’re thinking about teaching courses, do yourself a favor and just start with Teachable. It’s 100% worth the investment and will save you a ton of time and headache.
Don’t want to have a course? Teachable is also great for offering coaching! You can sell coaching through the platform and use the course setup to offer supplemental material to your clients.
I’ve tried Tailwind before, but never really used it until this past year, as I launched Successfully Simple. It’s made growing Successfully Simple much easier, and has automated getting traffic to the site.
We get about 40% of our traffic from Pinterest right now, and that’s all because of Tailwind. Most of these are new visitors to our sites, and we wouldn’t get them (or have the chance to get them to join our mailing list) if Tailwind didn’t automate everything for us!
At first I was really iffy on Tailwind, but I think between looping posts and getting posts repinned via groups, it’s made a huge difference in growing my audience, and takes just an hour or two a month to manage. Talk about saving time!
I’ve tried other Instagram scheduling tools, and Later is just WAY better. I love the visual layout and preview, and it doesn’t fail to post all the time like other schedulers I’ve tried.
Since I know my audience is on Instagram, Later has been really key in posting consistently and starting to grow my following on Instagram.
I batch create posts once a month, and Later takes care of all the posting for me! All I have to do is pop on once a day and respond to comments and DMs. Later even lets me schedule stories in advance!
I know, I’m a designer, but I’m using Canva? Yes. And I even cancelled my Adobe subscription.
No, I’m not pretending that Canva is as powerful as Adobe, or takes the place of something like Illustrator, but 99% of the time now I’m just doing Pinterest or Instagram graphics, and Canva is perfect for that.
In fact, it’s probably better than Adobe if that’s all you’re doing.
With thousands of templates to choose from, it’s easy to make multiple graphics in just a few minutes. No design skills required. Which is perfect when you’re busy or have limited time.
Will I have to get Adobe again? Probably eventually if I get back to doing a lot of design work for clients, but since I’m not a brand designer, maybe not. For now, Canva is covering all my needs and I’d say that if you’re not a designer, it’s much easier and faster than trying to learn Adobe.
Pixistock is a stock photo and Canva graphic subscription that I really love. Of course, it may not be your aesthetic, but I can usually find great images that match my aesthetic, or edit the graphics to match very easily.
Pixistock saves me literally hours when it comes to creating social posts that look great, and my audience engages with. There’s a huge library to choose from, and everything is great quality. If you’re looking to save time in your creative business and you currently spend hours and hours looking for great stock photos… Pixitstock is for you.
Each of these purchases has saved me hours and hours of time in my business and reduced my workload and stress levels. I love all of them, and highly recommend them for anyone who wants to cut their work hours.
If you want to save time in your creative business, definitely check them out, and maybe they’ll be your favorite tools too!