BizSmart Toolkit

​When I get asked, "What do you use in your business?", I routinely refer people to this page to view the list of tools and apps I use to increase my productivity and grow my business.

Please Note: In the spirit of full disclosure some of these tools may be my affiliate link, which means I may receive compensation for referrals as their "thank you" for sending you their way. However, you have the "Donna Guarantee" with every purchase, because I only write about those things with which I have experience and/or use myself.

CRM System

I've played around with a number of customer relationship management systems. I find most to be bulky, hard to use,or just simply unwieldy. Then I was introduced to OnePageCRM and customer relationship management just became easier. Everything you need about a contact is on one page, just as the name implies, and setting up a follow-up system for leads and prospects couldn't be easier. I do wish it integrated with more of the other apps that I use, but for now, it's working for me to help keep me on track. Paid plan only

Email Inbox

use Gmail to manage all of my email -- the free version, not the paid one. Over time, I had discovered a number of tools that let me do things that Gmail didn't offer, like the ability to create stylized email signatures that I can change based on the email address I'm using; send an email at a later date or a specific time; see who has opened any email that I have sent and how many times it was opened; and ability to create a variety of email templates.I was constantly seeking a solution that would provide all of this to me, instead of having to piecemeal it together, and finally discovered Mixmax. The app offers a number of other benefits that I haven't had occasion to use. The downside of this app is that it doesn't play well with other Gmail apps, but the pros of usage definitely outweigh the cons.Paid plan only.

Graphics, Free

UnSplash offers free (do whatever you want) high-resolution photos. When I viewed the photos, I thought they would be perfect when you need an image background for an opt-in page. 

To Do List

I've gone back and forth over the years with productivity and to-do apps ranging from standalone software to online systems to paper and pencil. Currently I'm using Yanado. This is a Gmail plugin and you can manage all of your to-dos inside of Gmail. The program allows you to make an email into a task, as well as simply add a task to the list. I've used similar programs inside of Gmail previously, but they either conflicted with MixMax (see below) or they took an email "hostage" to a task and you could only see the email as a part of the task rather than being able to see it in your inbox. I'm loving its ease of use.  Free and paid plans. 

Website Backup

BlogVault makes backing up a WordPress site a snap! Once you install the plugin, Blog Vault goes to work to back up your site immediately. And, you can check the validity of the backup by doing a test restore to make sure that your blog is restored perfectly. The only thing that Blog Vault doesn't save is backups of your blog from another service. In the backup process, Blog Vault records only the changes made to the site, which minimizes your site load, and it offers a list of backup versions from which to choose. You can also download individual files from specific days. Paid plans only.

Website Hosting

After experiencing numerous problems with my previous website host. I was introduced to a2Hosting.

Website Security

Bored hackers are just sitting around waiting to hack into the next website. I've had sites hacked and infected with malware and so I have a couple of WordPress security plugins installed. When my site was infected several years ago, I had to pay my hosting company to have the malware removed. I've since changed hosting companies and have one now (a2Hosting) that goes above and beyond in the security department. However, the company that I use for my site backup, BlogVault, recently offered a new anti-malware service, Malcare,that provides early malware detection and acts on it before any damage is done. Best of all, it doesn't bog down your server in the process!
Paid plans.

Writing

I write pretty well, but after a certain period of time, I can no longer see the mistakes in my writing. That's why I purchased Grammarly to be my second set of eyes and ears. Grammarly catches punctuation, spelling, word usage and sentence construction mistakes. I highly encourage you to get a paid plan, as you need that to install the Grammarly app into Microsoft Word. If you get on their email list, you'll get notice of their periodic sales, which usually save you a great deal of money on your first year of service.Free and paid plans.
 

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Malcare WordPress Security