037: Tech Stack: Choosing the Right Tools for the Right Task [Part 1]

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Not all apps are created equal. Sometimes you need a simple note-taking system or to-do list, other times you’d prefer a full-blown project management software. Maybe you need time tracking or collaboration. So what tools do you use for what tasks in your business?
This will vary from business to business because we all have different needs and we’re at different stages, but the key is to know what types of things you need to do in order to run your business well. Today, I’m going through a list of tools you might want to have in your tech stack – but don’t get overwhelmed, you won’t need them all. So pick and choose the ones that make sense for your business or personal productivity.


Links Mentioned In This Episode:

Best For: Managing your to-do lists:
Best For: Collaborating on documents & File sharing
Best For: Scheduling meetings
Best For: Project management
Best For: Taking and organizing notes
Best For: Password management
Best For: Team communication
Other Helpful Links:
Instagram (@mirandamerten)


Welcome to Coffee Powered Systems, equipping women with actionable steps to overcome, overwhelm and streamline business and life. So grab your favorite drink and come hang out with me. I'm your host, Miranda Merten. Welcome back to another episode of Coffee Powered Systems, grab your favorite drink and come chat with me as we talk about everybody's favorite topic, the tech stack. What is a tech stack? Essentially, it is all the things that you use to run your small business or manage your personal productivity.


And today, I'm going to discuss with you some things that you might have in your text or things that you might use daily or weekly or monthly just to keep everything running. And I'm going to do this episode in two parts because there is so much to go over. And I don't want you to feel like this is the be all end all list, because I might miss some things. And there is just so many things that you can use in your business and in your personal life that I don't want you to get hung up on all of these.


But I do want you to start thinking of the things that you might need to use and start thinking of why some things differ than others, because not all apps are created equal. Sometimes you need a simple notetaking system or to do lists, and other times you prefer a full blown project management software. Maybe you need a time tracking or collaboration tool. You know, if you're working solo, you might use time tracking. If you're working with the team, that's when collaboration comes in.


So the tools that you use for your business are going to depend on what your business does. So it's going to vary from business to business. And we all have different needs and we're all at different stages. And the key is going to be knowing what types of things you need to do in order to run your business well. So today I'm going to go through this list and don't get overwhelmed. You won't need them all. So just pick and choose the ones that make sense for your business or your personal productivity.


So let's start out with tools that you might use for managing your to do list.


Now, when I say to do lists, this is going to be the simple things like you just need to have a curated list for the day. You sit down, you write what you're going to need to do. You kind of just want to keep it simple. Check, check. This is what I need. You do want to have some automation in there so that if you don't complete something, it automatically takes it to the next day. Maybe something with repeating tasks will also be handy in this situation.


So I am going to drop all of these links down in the show notes for you. So don't feel like you need to take notes, but make note of this episode. Bookmark it, save it for later so you can go back and click on the links when you are ready to get this particular thing that you need for managing your to do list to do list tick tick TuexDuex any new and amazing Marvin. I have tried all of those.


I love them. They're super simple to use, easy for onboarding. Some of them are just straight up lists. Enter your items, check them off to do has a different interface that you might enjoy. It shows all the days of the week and it's basically like if you were to get a notepad out and write everything down and it transfers to the next day if you don't finish it, I love how it looks. So that might be something good to check out.


Amazing Marvin and to do list. Also, you can use those for managing bigger projects. So and actually a lot of these you can probably expand to using long term if you have bigger projects. So if it evolves with your business, that's also a good thing to look out when you're looking for new tools that you want to take on, look to the future. What might you be adding in the future? What might you be doing? Maybe if you like this one so much, you want to expand it to more than just a to do list and you want to use it for bigger projects.


Keep those things in mind. Next up, you want to have something for collaborating on documents and file sharing it. Now, if you are a team of one right now, you still do want to have a place where all of your documents live and all of your files. And then if you do start to take on a team or just collaborate with someone else, it's going to make it easier for you to just drop them in there, add them as a guest to the link and you can share the files.


So the most popular ones for collaborating and file sharing are, of course, Google Docs and Dropbox. There are others out there like Box, B, O, X and also some. Newcomers, well, not really new, they've been around a couple of years, but a lot of people are jumping on the bandwagon now for Notion and Coda, those are amazing. All of those who can use for kind of a team wiki or storing all of your docs and files.


They all give you links that you can drop for sharing as well.


Next up, we're going to need something for scheduling meeting because we don't want to do the emails back and forth, and you also want to have a scheduler linked to drop people if you just need them to get on your calendar. It looks more professional than, you know, going to them and say, hey, I'm available Tuesday at 3:00 or Friday at 1:00. And then they have to come back and say, well, I'm not available at those times.


You have something else if you can just drop them. And scheduling link, not only is it easier for them, it's easier for you. And a lot of these now are automated. So once they fill out the link, it goes to everyone's calendar that you can set up a reminder emails and you don't have to do anything else. So I definitely recommend setting up a booking link or a scheduler. And for those I would recommend, simply book me.


If you go to my website, mirandamerten.com forward slash book-me, you will see my scheduler for simply book me, which is the one I'm using right now. And it is amazing. I love it because it's beautiful and it has so many features. It does take a little while to get set up on the front end. But once you get it set up, it's beautiful. Acuity is a popular one that you will see used a lot of places.


Calend.ly is another popular one and Bookafy. I did do an episode about Book of my way early in the podcast, so I'll drop the link to that one down in the show notes as well if you're interested. All right. Next up is project management. One of the biggest things that you will need is a good project management tool, and there are so many out there, so I'm not going to harp on which ones you should use.


I've tested a lot of them. I will do an episode in the future, kind of a round up to give you the different features and the ones you might use and the ones you might not like to use so you can decide on which project management system is going to work for you. But I'll give you some of the most popular ones here. Click up Asana, Airtable, and Zenkit. I did do an episode about Asana and ZenKit, so I'll drop those down in the show notes as well, and I recommend them all.


They all have little different setups and little different features and views, but they're all wonderful. They all do pretty much the same thing. It just depends on what you like to look and how you like to work. All right, moving on, we're going to go to taking and organizing your notes. Don't know if you have something to organize your notes with. Note taking is not just for high schoolers. You can use these tools to make a wiki or doing your SOPs for your business.


And the most popular one that you've probably heard of is Evernote. The great thing about these note taking apps is that you can also attach the Web, clipper as well. So if you come across some articles that you see or you want to read later or, you know, you're researching for your next blog post or YouTube episode, you can go ahead and press one button clip it and it goes right into a folder for later. It definitely keeps everything organized that way.


I know I come across a lot of things online. You just don't have the time to read everything in the moment. So having something like that is super helpful so that you know exactly where to go when you're ready to research that thing or ready to open up your folder and read everything that you've clipped. And that's a good practice to start doing if you aren't doing something like that already.


So Evernote, Notion and Coda are all fantastic for organizing your notes, creating team wikis, clipping web files, storing your links, all of those fantastic things. All right. Next up, I would recommend a tool for password management. I would not recommend I know a lot of people do it, especially within your team. You want to just go ahead and share the dock. You put all your passwords on the document and you share it through Google Drive or wherever you're storing it, not super secure.


You know, the chances of you getting hacked and somebody finding all your stuff is probably not very high. But why would you take the chance? So I would recommend to go ahead and use a password management tool. You can add people to your account or share a link with your people, and sometimes you can do them privately to where they don't even see your passwords. So that's an option. I know last past does that one password. I would recommend those to the number one and password and last pass and the last one I'm going to talk about for this part one episode is team communication.


Especially this year, you've seen online team communication increase like so much even before this, it was starting to climb and people were getting into the chat apps and discussion tools and, you know, video and audio. And you're going to come across this even if you don't have a team. These are fantastic for communicating with your clients. You don't want everybody texting you. You definitely don't want a bunch of emails going back and forth. It just clogs up your inbox.


You missed some important things. And then people are shooting off emails for, like these five word questions. And it just it's a lot to sift through. So you want to have a way for people to communicate with you. If you have a designer on standby, it's a good way for them to just shoot your quick message and say, hey, is this what you need? So for these, I would recommend Slack Voxer, which is a walkie talkie app.


You can leave audio on Chanty, which is also a messaging app like like Slack and of course, Zoom, which is a video tool.


And Zoom is the most popular one right now.


But you can also use Google, which you can't you can't avoid it if you using Google Calendar, they always try to pop their Google link onto your calendar and then you have to erase it if you're using Zoom. But Google me is another great alternative. It's super simple to use. All right. So that is going to wrap up part one of this tech stack episode. Keep your eyes peeled. It won't be next week, but in a couple of weeks, I'll throw you part to where we are going to dive into some other things that you might need, maybe for social media, your website, automation tools, analytics, there's so much that you could use for your business.


So we're going to go over some more things in that next episode. But also, as I leave you here today, I do want to remind you some of these things do more than one thing. You know, I'm dropping a lot of knowledge here and giving you a bunch of different avenues that you can take, but also make sure that if you do go into some of these things, like some of these project management apps, do you have a section where you can collaborate with your teammates or they might have a section that you can drop your files in and save your files or even time trackers?


The point is, one thing might have five different other parts to it that you can also use. So don't go getting 10 and 15 separate apps without looking at what your top, you know, three to five actually do because you might be able to combine things and not have 1500 different apps everywhere. All right. So that is one tip that I will leave you with today. And if you want to get started this week, your action, I would highly recommend for you to just go down to that list, pick one topic.


Maybe it's something that you're already interested in looking at. Maybe you're thinking about switching, or maybe you just wanted to look into something new. Maybe you don't have a scheduler and you really have been looking at adding that to your business tech stack. Go ahead and go down to that section and go through the ones I've mentioned or do a little research. There's plenty of them out there. I just dropped three or four to get you started, some of the most popular ones and some that I have tried and just to get you started.


So I want you to pick one and get it set up this week. OK, so that's all I have for today. I will see you next time.


Thanks for listening to Coffee Powered Systems. You can find links to everything mentioned in the episode. Down in the show. Notes are on the website at mirandamerten.com. If you enjoyed this episode, rate and review it in iTunes or where you enjoy listening so others can find it too. And join me here next time.


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