So after asking our Virtual Fitness Mastermind members if they’d have an interest in me sharing the tools and things that I use to stay productive and operate my business, I decided to put a list together for you. Here it is in no particular order:
MacBook Pro – My laptop is essentially the hub of activity. I became an Apple convert a few years back and really, really like this computer.
MacBook – This is a brand new addition and I like it so far. It weighs about as much as an iPad but it’s perfect for travel and has all the functionality of my MacBook Pro. Just getting used to it though.
iPad Mini – I do much of my reading on this and use many of the apps that you’ll be seeing below. I love my iPad Mini enough that when I left one on a flight a couple of weeks ago I didn’t wait to see if the airline found it…I bought another one the next day. Just an FYI…I have a regular iPad but don’t enjoy it much. Too big for comfortable reading.
iPhone 6 – Coaching calls, apps / tools, texts…consider it my portable office.
I have other stuff…but this is what I really use.
Paper Planner – I used the Franklin-Covey Planner beginning in 1994…but I wanted to start using a weekly view planner vs a daily view when I made the move to operating my ideal business and am testing the Passion Planner and really like it so far.
Moleskin Notebooks – I use the Pocket one to keep handy and jot down notes as well as do a new exercise that I picked up from James Altchuter, writing down 10 ideas each day. I use the Large Size to take notes at conferences. Moleskin is more expensive than a typical notebook, but the soft covers fit in my pocket and are durable.
Dry Erase Board – Anyone who has been to my home office know that I use this to map out everything. When I’m on a coaching call I often write down notes here. I’ve got a BIG board so I can have a variety of things in front of me at once.
Software / Apps:
Infusionsoft – This is the primary solution I use for email broadcasts, shopping cart, campaigns, etc. It’s pricey but good if you use it for more than just simple email broadcasts.
Active Campaign – I’m using this as my backup email system and testing it as a more affordable solution for fitness pros. So far I like it and hopefully will be able to work with them to provide done-for-you email campaigns to trainers in their system soon.
Gmail – That’s the email application I use personally. Even when you reply to [email protected], it goes to my gmail account.
Google Drive – I house a lot of documents as well as shared docs with coaching clients and people I’m working on projects with through Drive.
Microsoft Office – I’m kind of a creature of habit so I’ve not migrated to all the cool Apple stuff…I still use Word, Power Point and occasionally Excel.
17 Hats – This is what I use to send out consulting contracts, invoices, questionnaires and manage my client files. It’s a really cool little tool that really works well for things like consulting.
Rainmaker Platform – This is the platform I built www.PatRigsby.com on. It’s basically a platform that works in conduction with wordpress and allows a technophobe like me to manage a site and even create quick sales pages, membership sites, squeeze pages and track stats.
ClickFunnels – I’m migrating all of my sales pages to ClickFunnels. It’s a really cool tool that keeps getting better…sales pages, squeeze pages, membership sites, you name it. I think it’s hands down the best option for building pages quickly and easily.
Memberium – This is the platform I moved Virtual Fitness Mastermind and all of my products to. It syncs Infusionsoft and WordPress and to this point the feedback for the new VFM has been incredible!
5 Minute Journal – I’ve never successfully journaled before, but after listening to Tim Ferris tout this I decided to give it a try. I love it. I do it on my iPad for about 2 minutes in the morning and in the evening and I think it’s very valuable for productivity. If you want to get dialed in on the most important things you need to accomplish each day…this will help.
Lumosity – I’ve been using Lumosity for a couple of years and really like it. I feel like it helps to keep me sharp and improves my focus in about 5 minutes a day. I do this on my iPad in the mornings, usually right after the 5 Minute Journal.
Kindle App – I do roughly 70% of my reading on my iPad Mini using my Kindle App. I love hard copy books, but they take up a LOT of space at my house and I like having a library at my fingertips. I’ll admit that I do read in bed a lot (not ideal for quality sleep) and this allows me to do it without keeping Holly awake too.
Blinkist – This is a really cool app that delivers book summaries in text and audio. It syncs with Kindle and Evernote but I’ve not used those features yet. I mainly use this on my phone and am getting about 1 summary in a day in addition to any reading I was already doing. While I sat in the waiting room at the dentist the other day I got through a summary. Pretty cool.
Facebook – I use Facebook primarily for staying in contact with VFM Members, but also am getting better at connecting with other people as well. I’ll admit, I’ve never used social media as much as I could to stay connected with others – preferring other channels…but I’m getting better.
LinkedIn – I use this to improve my professional network…by adding professional contacts and engaging with them. I’m convinced that LinkedIn is under utilized by fitness pros.
Voxer – I’m using this to stay connected with consulting clients and really like it so far. You can talk and text…do group broadcasts, leave short audio messages, use it as a walkie talkie…pretty neat.
UpWork – I hire freelancers here for things like web design, data entry, etc. If you are diligent as looking at people’s reviews and their portfolio you can hire some really good people cost effectively here.
Fiverr – I’ve been using Fiverr some lately for graphics and things. While I’ve never actually paid just $5 for something, you can get things done inexpensively and quickly here. And what’s nice is that the freelancers here want their reviews to stay high so they will keep tweaking things until you’re happy in most cases.
I also listen to a lot of podcasts…but didn’t really have a fancy app for that or anything.
Clickbank – Most all of my offerings have moved to the Clickbank platform to make it easy for affiliates to promote and get paid and really to keep things simple.
Stripe – I’ve started to use this as a payment solution for consulting and really like it. Easy to use and starting to integrate everywhere. Their fees are good too. I like it better than PayPal.
Mint – I use this app to stay on top of my personal finances on my phone. I’m not a guy (sadly) who has ever sat at the kitchen table and balanced my checkbook…so I use this to stay on top of things.
OneReceipt – I’m also not awesome at staying on top of receipts…so I use this and snap a picture of all my business receipts and make notes on the spot. It also is synced with my inbox so it grabs all the receipts that come through there.
Capital One 360 – I automate a lot of my ‘money stuff.’ Bill pay, sweeps into savings accounts, investment accounts for the boys, investment accounts for me and my retirement account. Most all of it is done through Capital One 360. As a service business owner you’d better be putting some money away (even if it’s $50 a month to start) and this makes it easy.
Acorns – I just started using this cool little app. Basically, when you make a purchase it rounds that purchase up to the next dollar and sweeps the difference into an investment account. So basically it’s like saving your change but putting it into an investment account. It’s not going to make you rich or anything…but it’s an easy way to save.
Late Additions (I forgot these originally):
Streak – It’s an app in Gmail that basically turns Gmail into a simple CRM. Nice to track prospects.
Google Calendar – I mentioned Gmail and Drive, but not Google Calendar. Funny because this one gets a LOT of use. Dozens of calls and appointments every week…not sure how I forgot it.
Time Trade – I use this to allow clients, VFM members and other people to schedule appointments. It seems like there are a number of tools that do this same thing, but this one works fine for me.
1 Year Wall Calendar – I like having the year at a glance on my office wall. I can see when I want to run launches, look at travel days or block off vacations so everything is right in front of me.
There are some things that I want to start using more like Evernote, IFTTT, Twitter and a few other things…but this is what I’m using right now. Obviously, this is not a comprehensive list of resources, so if you’ve got something you’re using…please share below.