Tools for Creatives : Programs to run your biz!

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Happy Monday! I thought I’d start your week off with 5 programs that I use that are essential for running my business. These programs help in so many ways from my work flow to my intake process to delivering approved final files to my client. Check them out and let me know if you have any recs for programs you use! I’m always looking to streamline my process →

Pancake App
I’ve been using Pancake for a few years now and love how it’s evolved. I use it mainly for entering in new clients and writing up estimates/invoices. It’s fantastic! And super simple to use. Clients have the option to pay through their invoice and you can break up payments simply through the app as well.There is also project management and time tracking through here. I also love that you can set it up on your own domain and customize your invoices.

Square Cash
I am seriously obsessed with this app. It’s essentially an easier way of getting paid and you don’t have to worry about the 2-3 business day wait that you have to do with Paypal. PLUS the transaction fee is much less than Paypals and the money goes directly into your bank account. It’s not setup with Pancake yet(because it’s so new) but I’ve been sending my clients their invoice and at the bottom of the invoice giving them my “cashtag” which is my unique url so they can pay me directly by entering in their debit card info.

HelloSign
Before Hello Sign I would send my client their contract, have them print it out, sign it and mail it back to me if they didn’t have any pdf signing software like Adobe Acrobat. Hello Sign has helped me SO much in that I can just upload their contract(they also have templates you can use too!), I mark the areas they need to sign and date and it emails the client directly so they can sign it online. It has helped my intake process tremendously and you get 3 free contracts a month to use!

InVision
Aaron introduced this site to me and I am such a fan. Invision is essentially a prototyping app for websites, applications and mobile apps. I’ve been using it for a current clients website and love that you can make it interactive. You can set hotspots for links to show the client what the link will look like when you hover over it as well as fun things like making the navigation bar at the top stick to the top when you scroll. It’s amazing, if you design websites for clients I definitely recommend trying this out. It makes your whole experience with your client that much better because they’re getting to kinda test out their site before it goes to development. You can also have your client write in changes on the site as well.

Dropbox
So we’ve had the client pay their invoice, sign their contract, approve final files for their project, now I upload all of their final files for their project on Dropbox and give them a direct link to the folder for them to download. Then I set the link to expire after 30 days. Once the link expires I then move their completed project to another folder within dropbox labeled “Completed projects.” I am such an ocd file organizer and love being able to back up everything onto Dropbox. Also! I sometimes go through phases where I love to clean out folders of stuff I don’t need anymore, Dropbox actually keeps a record of everything deleted in case you get a little crazy and need that funny dancing cat + Shaq gif you got rid of.

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  • I’ve always used HelloSign for my contracts…so quick. I will def have to try Pancake. Invision is incredible. You can also use it with Sketch, which is WAY more efficient than PS for designing for the web. Thanks for sharing! xo

  • This is so helpful, thank you! I currently use PayPal and really like the convenience of it because it stores all my invoices in one place and creates a seamless invoicing system, but I hate having to wait so long for it be deposited to my bank! Have any of your clients complained about not being able to pay with Amex or another credit card not accepted by Square Cash? Thank you!

  • These are great resources! Thanks so much for sharing! I was so excited when I started using HelloSign – it’s so great! I’m a little late to the Dropbox game and am kicking myself for not using it sooner (what was I thinking, haha). I’ll have to check out InVision; it’s sounds amazing and fun!! Thanks again! 🙂

  • Love!! Thanks for the link to HelloSign!! I’ve still been sending paper contracts, and having them agree to terms online. This is an excellent solution. Also, I posted a blog kind of like this today, ha. I promise I didn’t copy … Great minds?? 😉

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  • I have never heard of Pancake or Invision App but I will check them out. I also love finding new programs that can help me streamline my business.

  • Thanks for sharing – I need Pancake and HelloSign in my life. Does Pancake not do the features HelloSign offers?
    i.e. accepting / signing estimates?
    I was also considering Hiveage, but I have no idea what else is out there.