Check out these digital tools that will help you make your side hustle work for you.
Side hustles — a term commonly used by one of my favorite bloggers, Jenny Blake — are the new black.
It’s now more common than ever to have your own side venture in addition to your 9-to-5. Given the volatile nature of the economy recently, it’s no wonder so many of us have created an extra source of income.
But for most of us beginners, running a side hustle can be difficult. After all, many of us have never been our own bosses before, so we’re kind of clueless as to how to make a business work. We quickly learn there are only 24 hours in a day — and most of those hours are taken up by our day jobs.
So how do we find the time to get the ball rolling on our side biz? How do we avoid overworking ourselves and inevitably running ourselves into the ground? How do we use what little time we have in the most productive way possible?
It’s simple: By implementing systems and using services that free up our time and help us get the important stuff done. Fortunately, the internet offers several options to help us do just that.
Some of these services aren’t free, but they’re generally inexpensive for what you get. Besides, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in creating my own side business, it’s that you have to invest money to make it.
How many times have you corresponded back and forth via email for what seems like an eternity to set up a meeting or Skype call? Rather than asking the other person what works for them, send them your schedule and let them set up an appointment.
When you sign up for TimeDriver, you can sync your Google Calendar, create an event (i.e. Skype call), and send the link via email. Your client can then see your Google Calendar on the TimeDriver page and schedule an appointment when you’re free — making the entire process simple, easy and to the point.
AskSunday (and other virtual assistant services)
If you’re running a side business, chances are you’re experiencing work overload just from making calls, sending out emails and creating spreadsheets. Little things really do add up and end up taking a lot of time. If you find yourself overwhelmed by research for a project, consider a virtual-assistant service like AskSunday.
For a monthly subscription — which, by the way, is tax-deductible — you can have your own personal assistant for a fraction of what it would cost you to hire a freelancer or full-time assistant. They’ll do everything from social-media management and outbound phone calls to scheduling and research.
If you’d rather pay for a certain tasks, check out Ihabilis.
Email can be the ultimate time-suck, but Gmail’s many free features will help you tackle inbox overflow. Add-ons can determine which emails are important for you based on what you read and reply to, help you send prewritten or “canned” messages, and automatically send you to the next message as soon as you finish with the previous one. Gmail also offers great labeling and filtering systems that keep your inbox neat and tidy.
Evernote allows you to clip all your notes, pages, reminders and websites into one notebook that’s easy to organize. No more sifting through bookmarks, looking for that one article you need or invoice you forgot to email. No more having to search for that how-to video or perfect photo. It’s all in one easy to use place.
Don’t let your side business run your life. Use these digital tools to take control of your business, and make it work for you.
What digital tools help increase your efficiency?
Amanda Abella is a member of the Brazen Life Contributor Network.