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Here are the 6 tools I use in my business to help keep me and my team organized, without having to feel stressed 24/7.
What It Means to Be Productive
First, I want to say a disclaimer about productivity.
The world defines productivity as, “Getting a lot done within a short amount of time” or as, “The effectiveness of a productive effort”.
To me, “productivity” simply means being intentional with your time and doing what you say you’re going to do.
It doesn’t have to measure “how hard” you’re working. You can plan your day and say “I’m going to be a potato from 8 am-noon because I need to cry” and BAM, that’s productivity.
Or you can say you’re going to finish batching “5 Instagram posts for next week so I can take the weekend off and not stress about work until Monday” and BAM, that’s productive.
Productivity doesn’t have to look like getting a lot done.
I like this definition better:
“the state or quality of producing something”
Because like…when I’m sleeping, I’m literally producing energy for me to work for the next day. Sooo…yeah. Just wanted to say that, in case any of you struggle with work addiction like I do and find it hard to do nothing.
Reminder: Doing nothing can actually be productive and that’s okay!
Just make sure you’re prioritizing your self-care. Your mental health comes before the list of things you want to get done on any day.
Now that I’ve said my piece, let’s talk Trello vs ClickUp.
Trello or ClickUp?
If you’ve been reading or watching my content for any amount of time, you know that I’ve always used Trello for my business and life.
I have videos on my channel using Trello, showing how I plan my Instagram content, YouTube videos, and even show some personal boards like Christmas lists, go-to meals, literally everything.
But then in a recent video, I shared with you all that I switched from Trello to ClickUp and y’all were like “Ummm what??!? I thought Trello was your one true love!”
It is! But there were complications that started to show up in Trello as my business started to grow.
So, let me talk about each of these individually and which one I would recommend for which type of person or business.
1. Trello: The Perfect Small-Team Project Management Tool
Trello is a web-based, kanban style, list-making application used to keep track and organize everything from finances to blog, youtube, social media, launch strategy, podcast, etc.
Let me break that down because there was probably a word in there you didn’t quite catch.
“Kanban” is a process that is commonly used in project management. It’s a visual-based system for managing work as it moves through a process.
In Japanese, the word “Kan” means “visual” and “ban” means “card,” so Kanban refers to visual cards.
The most traditional kanban format looks like: to-do, doing, done (see below).
Then, you track your progress or tasks (or cards) on each board.
How Much Does Trello Cost?
Trello is FREE and available for both mobile and desktop.
I used the free version of Trello the entire time I used Trello (nearly 5 years) and never ran into any problems.
If you decide to upgrade, the way the payment works is per team member. Their Standard Plan costs $6 per user, per month, and their Premium Plan costs $12.50 per user, per month.
(If you want a Trello 101 rundown, check out my step-by-step tutorial on Trello right here.)
2. ClickUp: The Perfect Large-Team Project Management Tool
ClickUp is a cloud-based all-in-one work platform to manage people, projects, and everything in between.
It combines important business applications and centralizes company information into a single online solution. You can assign tasks to team members, manage projects for clients, and integrate other systems like Gmail, Airtable, Google Calendar, etc.
This is what my ClickUp space looks like right now.
I have spots to organize my team directory, plan out youtube videos, Instagram posts, prepare for course launches and so much more.
The larger your brand or business gets, you’ll end up having more and more tasks that need to get done in so many different areas. Not only that, but ideally, you’ll have multiple people to help you out with those tasks.
ClickUp is perfect for organizing the tasks that come with a large, growing business and team.
How Much Does ClickUp Cost?
ClickUp also has a free version, which does limit how much space you have.
Their basic subscription is $9 per team member, per month.
Trello vs ClickUp: Which One I Recommend
If you’re an individual business owner who is struggling to keep track of all the things in your business or if you’re someone who works best when the visual presentation is clean and organized, then I would definitely recommend Trello.
The simplicity of the platform makes it so easy for ANYONE, no matter what your background is in business organization.
On the flip side, if you’re someone who has multiple moving parts in your business (multiple platforms, multiple projects, different streams of income) and you also have a small but mighty team of people (3 people or more), then I would recommend ClickUp.
The reason ClickUp is better in this aspect is because the way you can communicate with your team is way more seamless.
Assigning tasks and making sure stuff is getting done is so easy. You get a “home view” so if you have anything on your to-do list for that day, you can see it right there. There’s no need to board-hop to see what needs to get done.
One of the issues I had with Trello was having to hop between different boards to see what I needed to on any given day. I just wanted one place where I could see what I needed to get done that day. That’s what I got with ClickUp.
PLUS, the integrations are more advanced.
As an example, my social media assistant makes my Instagram content calendar in Airtable. My brand collaborations manager organized my collabs in Milanote (because that’s what they’re comfortable using and I love that for them!). To keep my business centralized, I just link Airtable and Milanote to a workspace and I can see everything they’re working on without having to app hop.
Other Great Project Management Tools
Now the thing with project management tools, is that it can be REALLY hard to find that “perfect fit” or one that fits your visual and learning style and has all the features, you may need.
3. Sunsama: The Perfect Visual Life Organizer
I started using Sunsama right around my course launch when I was super stressed about everything I needed to do.
The thought of having my own personal to-do list sounded amazing… and that’s when I fell in love.
I talk about them on my Instagram stories all the time, too, so if you follow me on Instagram, this probably sounds familiar to you!
Sunsama organizes all your tasks, to-dos, and meetings day-by-day in ONE PLACE, which is exactly my visual preference for planners and calendars.
Sunsama can be used on both desktop and mobile as an iOS and android app, but the apps can only be accessed with a paid plan.
I know I already said ClickUp puts everyone in one place but let me show you what I mean with this one!
How Much Does Sunsama Cost?
The Sunsama plan for one user is $20/month.
It is on the pricier end compared to other tools I’m sharing in this post. But, as you saw in my video breakdown of the platform, it’s well worth it for the peace of mind you’ll get from using it.
If having visuals helps you organize your life as it does for me, then I’d recommend giving it a try. You can start by using their 14-day free trial. If you decide to keep your subscription after that, just forgo four-to-five coffee shop trips each month and you’re good to go!
4. Slack: The Perfect Communication Tool
The next tool I use a lot in my business is Slack, which I use for communications with my team.
I absolutely love Slack. I used it when I worked in corporate and it’s just fantastic.
With Slack, I’m able to communicate with my whole team (and them with each other!) all on one platform.
I hate using WhatsApp, Voxer, texting, etc. for work. Since Slack can be used on desktop, it gives me the ability to keep apps I use in my personal life outside of my business life. And my team can also use it as a mobile app if they prefer!
It’s a win-win!
An amazing benefit to using Slack is how easy it is to stay organized with your communications.
You’re able to have individual/direct messages with each team member if you need to, and you can have separate channels dedicated to each topic you may need to discuss with everyone.
For example, I have a Slack channel dedicated to YouTube, where anyone on my team who works on anything related to YouTube has access to it and we’re able to collab on certain projects. I also have an Instagram channel where different team members who help with those tasks can all collab and communicate with each other.
How Much Does Slack Cost?
When paying monthly, Slack costs $8 per user, per month.
If you pay the upfront yearly cost, it calculates to about $6.67 per user, per month.
I use the pro plan and have about 7 members on my team, and trust me when I say it is so worth it. Using a tool like Slack will help your team’s communication tremendously.
5. Airtable: The Perfect Spreadsheet Tool
Airtable is a modern spreadsheet tool with database functionalities.
I heard a lot of people talking about AirTable a while back, so I tried to use it. I quickly got overwhelmed, ran away and hid under a rock.
Then, my brand collaborations manager created a system for us to better track payments, which was organized on Airtable, and I was like, “oh shoot! Okay! Not bad!”
Now I use it for multiple spreadsheet-related things like payment tracking, Instagram content calendar, Brand Directory spreadsheets of all brand emails, and so on.
If you’re like, “wait hold-up brand directory spreadsheet!?” then, yes I do.
I have a Brand Directory inside of my Instagram course, The Modern Influencer, with over 200+ “ready-to-pitch-to” public brand contacts. If you’re an Influencer, or you want to be an Influencer, then check out my Instagram course because there are lots of goodies in there.
Anyway, on Airtable, I also have an onboarding form in there that I have my new team members fill out when they join my team.
And the best part? It integrates perfectly with ClickUp.
When someone fills out the Airtable form, their data or responses are stored in ClickUp. I really love the balance and relationship that Airtable and ClickUp have. Their chemistry is unmatched!
How Much Does Airtable Cost?
Airtable has a free version, so you can make an account today and get started right away.
Or if you run out of space, you could upgrade as needed to $10 per seat, per month, or $20 per seat, per month for large teams and companies.
If you’re a data nerd or spreadsheet lover (can’t relate), then the cost is definitely worth it.
6. Milanote: The Perfect Tool For Creative Freedom
Okay, now personally, I do not love Milanote more than Trello or Sunsama.
But I will say, it’s been really helpful for me and my collabs manager and making sure everything is getting done on time. AND many of my students prefer to use it AND my husband uses it for his business. So, you can consider this to be an honorable mention.
Milanote is an easy-to-use tool to organize your ideas and projects into visual boards.
I love how you can start with a clean slate and then you have creative freedom to make and do whatever you want.
The pro with this tool is that if you don’t like any software (like my husband didn’t like any of the tools I showed him), it’s really a GREAT DIY space that you can turn into your own so you can work with your own style.
How Much Does Milanote Cost?
I use the free version of Milanote and haven’t had to upgrade yet.
If you end up needing to upgrade, it would be $12.50 per user, per month.
Any Other Tools?
So, there you have it!
Those are my top 6 organization and productivity tools I recommend for anyone running a business or personal brand.
Feel free to use any or all of them as you see fit. Whatever you need to maximize the organization of your brand and maximize your mental clarity.
Are there any tools I think I should’ve touched on? Let me know in the comments what your favorite tools are! I’m always open to suggestions!
Follow your joy!