Business Tools: The Essentials
Posted on August 14, 2013 in Build Your Brand by Katie Oskin
My Personal Business Tools I Can’t Live Without
Last week I received two emails from different people who wanted to know what tools I used for my online business. So today I thought I would take a moment and tell you my three most beloved tools for my online business.
Karen writes: “Hi Katie, I’m interested in what tools you use for your online business. I’m looking to invest in some good tools to help me with Etsy and don’t know where to start.”
Julie writes: “Hi Katie, I’m looking to take my Etsy business to the next level and I’m wondering what the top 3 things are that you can recommend to help me achieve that. Any help is appreciated! Thank you!”
Because I have several “holy grail” items for my business I have broken them up for you: The Essentials, The Helpful, The Bonus Features. Today we will talk solely about “The Essentials” Collection of business tools. And just for those of you who can’t wait and want to see my top recommendations, I have added a section in my Amazon Store so that you can see my top recommendations and some non-clay things I use every day for my business.
The three things you see pictured here are what I consider to be my “essentials” of running Kater’s Acres online. Those three things include my MacBook Pro, my iPhone, & a notebook with colored pens.
Here’s why each of those items are so important to my “daily grind” of running on online store.
MacBook Pro from Apple
When my beloved laptop of 9 years died in Sept. of 2010 I was forced to buy a new computer. Like any good consumer, I searched reviews, looked up the good things (and the bad) and made a list of all the possible “suspects” that I could purchase. The one thing that every PC had that I didn’t like: limited 1 year warrantee and hundreds of reviews that their computers “died” after just 2 years. There was no way I was going to spend $600-$800 to have a computer DIE on my in it’s second year. So I went to multiple stores and talked to every computer person I knew. Time after time, when I told them my old laptop made it 9 years, every “expert” told me there was no way I could get a laptop to last that long … unless I bought a MAC.
And that’s when the search for an Apple computer began. I have two very close friends who have had Apple computers (each with their own laptops that are now over 9 years old each) and I wanted to get their advice. Their advice was, spend the money and don’t look back, you will never regret this purchase. So, I opened up a new Visa Card through Apple that allowed me a full year to pay it back with 0% interest. And I bought one … they were right. I will NEVER go back to an IBM computer, EVER! Apple stands behind each of their products 100% and their customer service can NOT be beat. I am a 100% Apple convert and will be as long as their products, customer service, and Genius bar reminds the best in the world.
Apple is the gold standard in technology. I can not be without my Apple computer. Making the switch to Apple from IBM was easy and the best part … it works and functions easily straight from the box. And set-up? Even a computer novice can do it! But the bottom line is this, you need a computer that is trustworthy and that you can use. Whatever you decide is best for YOU, that’s what you need to go with.
iPhone 5 by Apple
This is a definite “can’t live without” business tool that I can not get enough of; in fact, I love my iPhone! I’m sure that many of you can say the same about your smartphones too; whether Droid or otherwise. The reason I have an iPhone is simply because I have a MAC computer (as noted above) and they sync through the cloud, everything talks to each other, and I don’t have to do anything to get documents, notes, reminders from one device to another. It’s simply magic and I love it. This being said …. the reason I love my iPhone is because even when I am gone for the day (or weekend) my store, conversations, website, and everything are only an app away with my phone. I can run everything from this small device very easily. It takes all my tutorial photos for me too! I just take my phone to my studio, shoot my tutorial as I make it, come back to the office and WHOOSH! all my pictures are magically already on my computer; no cables, no transfers, it’s just there. Now that was easy … I like easy!
I have talked before about how essential it is to have a notebook to help your creativity and your business. Check this post here for more information. A notebook is essential, whether it’s doodling, jotting down ideas, pretty up a to-do list, or sketching future creations, there are just some things that no amount of technology can duplicate. One of those is the feel of a notebook and pen in your hand. My notebook is a source of creativity, release, inspiration, and much more. When I am home, my notebook is close by. However, when I leave my home to work or play, I use the EverNote app to collect all those important musings.
My notebook has gorgeous, thick, heavy, watercolor paper. Since I use pens that are strongly colored, I want each sheet to be white, but still want to use the back of the pages, so a watercolor notebook (which a spiral edge so I can fold it back) are essential to me. In addition, if you can’t tell from the picture, I love color, it makes me happy, so a standard blue pen or black pen will not work … but a set of gorgeously colored pens that won’t smear or run? That too is magic from Staedtler® Triplus Fineliners. If you have not tried these gorgeous pens yet, you really should. You can get the for about $11.50 which is about $1.10 per pen and well worth it. I’ve had this set for about a year and they are still going strong.
That’s it for today! If you have questions that you would like me to answer, feel free to send them to me here. Join me next week to Build Your Brand on Etsy & experience success.
DISCLAIMER: I am an affiliate for Amazon. However, I am not affiliated with Apple in any way, I just love their products!