I am writing this on New Years Eve, which is always a time of reflection and looking forward.  I encourage you to honor your accomplishments (Gretchen Rubin calls this a Ta Da List).  I often feel people miss opportunities to acknowledge what they have learned, friendships made or even the goals they have crushed.

Now that you have done this, as you move into 2018, what do you want to accomplish?

  • Find new clients / fire the ones that bring you down.
  • Learn new skills, CSS, MailChimp, SEO
  • Develop at least one strategic business partnership, a thought partner, someone who you can refer business back and forth with or a technical czar to your design eye.

I thought I would share six tools that will assist you in crushing it for 2018.

17Hats – I did a post and an interview on 17hats with more to come later this month.  I have used lots of tools and platforms and this one is simply the most powerful at keeping you organized, making new business proposals a snap, easily sending / receiving client contracts, work flows, time tracker, billing, it’s really a one stop solution for a single person shop.  They were having new customer specials over the holidays, but either way it is very affordable.

Quickbooks Online  – I have used this for years and it just works.  I have a login for my accountant and she just logs in at the end of the year and does her thing.  I can promise you PROMISE no one likes finances less than me.  I have yammered on about it loads and won’t bother you any more, but the reality is you need to be organized or it will just give you anxiety and really what’s the point of being in business if you aren’t running your business?

Fire TV with Voice Remote – or the Amazon Firestick #blindside right?  I know you weren’t expecting this, as it doesn’t have anything to do with building websites.  BUT what it does have is the #1 thing that everyone is talking about for 2018, voice recognition.  Will VR be important to web design?  Probably and from what I hear the Firestick  is amazing and the UI is super friendly.  I think at $40 the Firestick is a good business investment, it’s important to stay on top of trends.

Automate – whatever you can.  17hats can help there and Facebook Live to WordPress is an App that I set up for one of my clients who has been doing a Facebook live every day.  She is an interior designer and the competitiveness in that category is brutal.  She loves the ease of Facebook Live, but was feeling a bit blue that the content wasn’t helping her website with seo or her blog subscribers.  I promise you, this was beyond easy to set up and works like a treat.  I can’t recommend it enough.

Desk Yoga – again #blindside.  Sitting at your desk for long periods of time is bad all around.  Moving is good for your mind and body.  Anita Kaiser has 5 mini yoga break lessons that are between 5-10 minutes and it only costs $10.  We are are guilty of getting caught up in our projects, stumped by something and suddenly hours have passed and we haven’t looked up from our screens.  Be kind to yourself and take a 10 minute break to recharge.

Finally, my FAVORITE, serious favorite is the Divi Cloud Plugin.  As today is the first of the month there are a total of 20 new layouts in the Cloud which you can download with just one click.  I frequently download layouts, sections and modules – but I also save my own designs to My Cloud and share them back and forth among projects.

I wish you all the best for 2018.  I would be grateful to learn what you suggest we implement into our businesses this year.  Please share your favorite platforms, tools, recharging tools, any of it!

EIleen Lonergan
Eileen Lonergan was an integral part of this company. Unfortunately, Eileen Passed away on the 31st of October 2018 after a short battle with Cancer. She leaves behind the legacy of the Divi Theme Users Group and hundreds of people that she helped through coaching, building outstanding websites and just being - accessible. We miss her every day!
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