Writers can’t just write – unfortunately. With the help of these apps I can minimise the time spent on boring administrative tasks and put more time on what I love the most.
The world is full of apps and solutions that are supposed to make our life easier, effortless, and so forth. In reality, it’s not always easy to find the apps that work for you. Good luck finding ones that are so user friendly that learning the ropes doesn’t actually take up more time than using the actual app.
Here are four that after two years, I still use daily – and how they actually make my life easier. And the best part? All the features I use are part of a free plan.
Boomerang pauses my inbox
Does your writing ever look like this: open a new document, write a few lines, check email, answer a few messages, rearrange your folders, back to the text document, back to Inbox… And all of a sudden, the two hours you had blocked for writing have gone by and you have maybe one full paragraph ready?
Oh yeah, I’ve been there too.
Then I was hit by Boomerang. When I need to concentrate, Boomerang (for Gmail) pauses my inbox for a certain period of time, and I can safely check client briefs, contact details, or other useful information from my emails without being pulled away by some new emergency that has found its way to me in the meantime.
Calendly books my meetings
Meeting bookings take time. Are you available on Wednesday? Oh, you’re not. Monday would be good for me – except that while I was waiting for a confirmation, another meeting came up. How about the last Friday of next month or January 2023?
Enter: Calendly. I set up my availabilities and send people a link, so they can book their meetings with me while I’m working on other things. If I schedule meetings in my calendar in the meantime, Calendly checks in and updates my availability. No double-bookings!
Zapier keeps my systems on the same page
All these apps can also be a lot to handle: client contacts are in emails, meetings in a calendar, task manager is a whole other app… So in theory, all the necessary info exists but not necessarily where you would need it at any given moment.
And… Zap! Zapier automates repetitive tasks and saves a ton of time for people who can’t afford assistants. I use it mainly in two ways. Firstly, it copies all my events from my calendar to my task list in Asana, so I don’t forget important meetings and calls while planning my day. Secondly, when I create a new project in my project management file in Google Sheets, it automatically creates a new project in all the other tools I use, so all the apps are updated all the time.
Wave organises my receipts and sends out my invoices
When I started my business, my accounting and invoicing tool was Google Sheets. What happened? I postponed dealing with anything related to it until December 15th – and spent two entire days wrapping things up at the end of the year.
Now I’m surfing Wave. When I have an expense receipt to process, I either scan it or if it’s an email receipt, forward it to my Wave account.
Another feature I love is recurring invoices and how much time it saves to create recurring invoices for monthly contracts. All I need to do is to approve and pouf, it’s gone!
Still the thing I probably love the most is their slogan: “Inside work there is passion. Inside you there is a brave entrepreneur.” It makes me actually feel good about accounting – like all these apps make me feel good and empowered about something I wouldn’t rather spend time doing.
Which apps do you find useful? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to find new ones to try.