I'm big on organization and planning
If you came and had a look at my day, 80% of it would be planning and organizing things so that when I spend 20% of the time executing, things run smoothly.
I wasn't always like this. Then I made several blunders because of being unorganized, including forgetting to submit my work on time for a client because I forgot the deadline. That was 3 years ago.
Since then, especially since I started working for myself, I made it a point to get my sh*t together. Firstly in order to avoid blunders and secondly to keep my head clear of clutter.
Here are the tools I use on an EVERYDAY basis to ensure things flow smoothly:
Notion This is my workspace. I use this app for everything from ideation to planning to finalize concepts. The best part about this app is that it allows me to store everything in one place. Earlier I used a combination of Google Keep, Apple Notes, and Google Docs to store things. Now it's all in one place. There is a slight learning curve and this app is super in-depth which some people can find confusing. However, once you get the hang of it, it makes things a lot easier. The best part is that starting from 2020, Notion added several of the paid features to the Personal Plan which is free to use for a lifetime.
Todoist This is my favourite task-list app. I use this app to create my daily to-do lists for both work and personal tasks. Also, once I have a goal all planned out in Notion, I break it down in smaller, achievable steps and then schedule those steps using Todoist. I love the interface and the customisation it offers. Plus it syncs perfectly with my calendar so I don't have to separately create events for all my tasks. This is one thing that is not there in Notion: Syncing with the calendar. Plus I find creating to-do lists on Notion a little more cumbersome than I'd like. I use the pro version of Todoist as I like the pro features quite a bit: reminders, labelling and automatic backups. I wish they had the reminders on the free version though. I've tried several different apps including Google Tasks, AnyDo, and TeuxDeux. But I have finally come back to this.
Calendar I use the Google Calendar synced with every other calendar application I have on any other device. Since I mostly schedule my work using my laptop, I have the native Apple Calendar synced with my Google Calendar. All the work I schedule in Todoist, it automatically gets synced. The rest of the stuff, including events or other commitments, I manually set up once a day (usually in the morning) so that I have a clear idea of where my day is going.
Trello This is the app I currently use for managing work for my clients. It allows me to get the clients on board without paying an additional free plus it's free for the clients to use. So they're not spending additional money just to have a collaborative workspace. A collaborative workspace is one that allows everyone who is part of the space to view and make changes in real-time. It gets really easy to manage the workflow and stay on top of things without having to message and communicate for every small detail.
Instamojo For payments that are not made through my website, I use Instamojo. It's an amazing app for any small business owner in India. They have extensive options: - Accepting payments from different modes including Debit and credit cards, UPI and more - Generating invoices - Creating payment links - Integration with a host of different apps. For people who want to sell online and don't want to necessarily create a store, you can just setup shop on this app. I use it for ease of access. The android app is just as great as the web version. It takes 5 minutes to set up and allows me to keep track of my finances.
Freshbooks I use this to keep a track of the inflow and outflow of cash in my business. It's very easy to use, is super-customizable and allows you to link your bank account to the app so that the tracking can be automatic. I use the free version as of now because that's what I need. As and when my need increases, I won't mind upgrading.
These are my 6 go-to tools at the moment. If I stop using something and switch to something else, I will be sure to update it here.
P.S. I have linked all of the titles to the apps. You can click and check them out. If you do sign up using these link, I will get a small reward for it.