One of our favorite topics: Tools! From accounting software in the cloud to easy screen capture software you can use to create online courses to never having to remember an online password again, below are the top seven tools we could not live without.
Links mentioned in this episode:
- StudioPress (rock solid premium WordPress themes)
00:24 Nanci: We’re going to go through our top three tools that we feel like we couldn’t live without to run our business and I think there may be a bonus tool. We’re going through to seven tools today that we use.
00:36 Julian: I have to say off the bat it was difficult just to choose, to narrow it down. There are so many, and I think we’ll have an ongoing series discussing tools throughout the future episodes.
00:48 Nanci: For sure, we had a resources page at slashpodcast.com/resources and a lot of the tools that we knew and loved and used every day are there. So, we highly recommend them. The seven tools that we are talking about today are there, but they will also be in the show notes for this episode. I want to know Julian, what is your top tool? Number 1 tool if you had to choose, because you’ll do it right now.
01:11 Julian: Freshbooks! I love Freshbooks because it helps me get my business organized. Freshbooks is an online accounting software that organizes your invoicing for you. It does a lot more than that, but it is a tool to help you invoice and keep your accounting books up to date. It is available in the cloud, so you have an online version on your desktop or laptop or an app through your phone, and It regularly syncs as you sync. I think that there is a pre-starter version.
01:42 Nanci: Oh that’s right I should say that because I don’t do a lot of freelance work anymore. So I just downgraded actually to the $9 a month which allows you five clients, and that’s more than enough for me. So $9 a month and I have five clients, and I have to say I also love it. One of the things, I use it for is you can track your expenses. Just recently, I took the big girl stuff of opening an account for my business, bank account, and credit card. I link the credit card and the bank statement to Freshbooks and the end of the month they spit me an expense report for my accountant. It’s great!
02:19 Julian: And that’s automatically fit in your Freshbooks accounts, and you could share that with your accountant so you don’t even have to upload or anything they can just log in and see your books.
02:53 Nanci: I was listening to a podcast the other day he doesn’t even have clients, and he pays just for the expense tracking.
03:01 Julian: Yeah, I think its $19.95 a month, but maybe that’s a US rate. Hold on a sec, all prices in USD $19.95 a month for 25 accounts.
02:44 Nanci: But there is one for $9 right? For five accounts? I think they sort of secret. I think there’s a little link that says “less than five clients click here.” I’m always looking for the DR.
02:55 Julian: It must be. I mean I pay the full pop, what we’re saying is the pricing depends on the number of clients you have so you get full functionality out of the software, but the price changes based on the number of clients you have, as it should.
03:11 Nanci: So it grows with you. As your clients grow, its potential grows with you.
03:14 Julian: Just at the high levels, the accounting software it organizes your books for you. It makes tax reporting very easy, if you have quarterly tax reports in Canada, you are collecting GST and provincial sales tax within few click you can output your numbers and just fill that in online and pay your quarterly taxes almost with no problems. You can keep track of the invoices you send. You can get all kinds of report. You know how much revenue you make per item, per product, per service, per client, and know when is your most profitable time a year. What’s your least profitable time a year, so it allows you to do some financial planning regarding where do you need to target some marketing if you notice every year around mid-September your sales are falling off or shooting up? You can track your expenses automatically; you can take a photo of any receipt, any PDF online receipt you’re receiving attached it directly to the expense, so your books are always up to date. There’s no shoe box of unlabeled misfiled expenses if you ever get called and asked to report your income.
04:18 Nanci: One beautiful thing I love about it too is the multiple currencies, the five clients that I have three are in the US, and two are in Canada. So it sets a default currency per client, so if I say open an invoice, it is automatically in Canadian. Also, super important it connects with Stripe or PayPal so you can accept credit cards.
04:42 Nanci: And it’s optional you have per client you can actually have per invoice because it take like payment processing an average 2.9% so if you got a big check coming in for 5000 maybe it’s worthwhile to uncheck the box and wait for the check first as paying 2.9% on 5000. Just to say you have options with Freshbooks, it is great.
05:04 Julian: One of my favorite features is it shows you how long clients take to pay because as a freelancer this is a problem everybody faces at some point or another that they have to depend on clients. The amount of time you are waiting to get paid is the time and value of money. If you have big clients, typically the bigger they are, the later they pay. So you can see it lands, for certain clients, it takes 90 days which is unfortunately not that uncommon. You know you can take that into account, regarding how much you price your work for those clients. Personally, I charge more to clients that take longer to pay, but they do not necessary knew that they do now. I will factor in; I’ve already paid the sales taxes on revenues generated before I proceed with any. And you can see other clients that maybe pay you to know within seven days, so you can reward the clients who pay earlier. You can also use the software to create estimates or fee of a proposal. Another nice feature is the time tracker, so when you’re working at your desk or working on your computer, you can open up the time tracker sign to a project and assign a particular task within and everything, all those things you create yourself. If your client says if you’re working by the hour, and you’re working on editing or copywriting or web design. You can create items under those time titles and if a client’s asks for it you can say “here we go this is the amount of time to the minute that I have worked on your product” or more likely you can use that to educate yourself in terms of time estimating so when your ask a bit on the job that requires time estimation you’ll know. When I work on editing photos for clients after the wedding, it takes me 8 hours so build that into your pricing. It’s all around, highly versatile, useful tool. First it’s excellent for helping you organize your client relationships financially, for getting your invoices out, for knowing who’s paid, where you stand, and you get the point in time in terms of your accounts receivables, your accounts payable’s you’re using the same functionality to track your expenses, and I don’t think I can live without it.
07:12 Nanci: No, I only have a few clients, and I couldn’t live without it. The other thing is the clients love it. When you send them, an invoice there is a link, customize link that they click and it gives them a history of invoices that they paid you and then if it is an option they can go on and pay you online there. I had a client email me, about 10 minutes after I send him an invoice last week saying, what’s this cool, slick system that you’re using I love it and he probably has 30 or 40 clients that he bills every month. So it’s kind of a nice plug for me that makes you look professional, which is pretty great.
07:44 Julian: You can customize your invoice, you can add your logo, you can put links to your website, and there are areas to add text at the bottom notes that your clients can see. Here is a tip; this is what I use to advertise. I put in additional services or optional add-on or things that my clients never thought of when then first hired me but when they see it you know over time they might say “you know what I also want to add this extra service” ex-suppose to be a passive way of putting your name in front of your existing clients
08:13 Nanci: Versus what I do Julian I wish we talked earlier -“Thanks for your business” that is what I put in that. haha
08:19 Julian: I keep that, but then I add a whole bunch of stuff underneath. All right, so Nanci how about you what’s your number 1 tool?
08:24 Nanci: I have to say my number 1 tool is WordPress because my business is 99% online and the 1% that’s not online is building WordPress websites for other clients. WordPress is an open source platform that allows you to get a website up on the internet. I just checked yesterday, for this podcast and 19% of the world’s websites are powered by self-hosted WordPress. Now quickly the difference is if you go to WordPress.com you sort of like a cloud, you can set up and choose a theme but it’s not your website, it’s a site that you have access to that’s controlled by WordPress.com. Self-hosted is where you go to something like SiteGround or GoDaddy, and you install the WordPress software, and it’s yours. You can take it. You can go anywhere you want with it, like transfer hosting and all sorts of additional customization on self-hosted. There’s a myriad of plugins that you can install with WordPress that allows increase functionality and design to make your WordPress site hum and to meet your needs and WordPress.com is very limited which plugin. So just to say when I talk about WordPress from now and moving forward in the podcast episodes, I’m always talking about WordPress self-hosted and quick plug for SiteGround which hits the intersection between quality and value regarding hosting. A tiny bit of history, WordPress started out as a blogging tool and what happens is there’s still a huge segment of the population that doesn’t think it’s for websites and they think is for blogs, and that’s not true. Huge, huge corporations used WordPress to power; one of them is DailyMail– the largest content producers in the world DailyMail online uses WordPress just to host their content. So WordPress on its own is pretty bare bone, its free but then you need put a theme on it, and some added security or functionality and what you want to do is you want to choose a theme developer that’s professional, and they’ve been a game awhile, and they are going to be in the game. The last thing you want to do is just go to somewhere like Codecanyon, see a theme that you love and it’s like $19, and you’re like great you install it. You do it yourself, or you pay a couple of thousand dollars for customization. 6 months, the website is not quite working, and your hosting developer tells you that your theme needs to be updated because it’s not compatible with the newest version of WordPress. You find out that the developer who took your $19 six months ago has moved on or out to his mother’s basement. So you want to go with the company that’s dedicated to supporting their themes, and every single website I ever build is on the Genesis Framework. It adds I think over 500,000 WordPress sites used Genesis and they have dozens of themes that you can choose from, it would be almost impossible not to find a theme that they sell that you could not customize to build what you want. So in the theme, no pun intended to start as you mean to finished choose a professional theme developer, Genesis also includes tons of plugins that are already there pre-installed or available in the WordPress download for free that are guaranteed to work with their themes and cost no conflicts. I could not run my business without WordPress and whenever I install WordPress the second thing I do is install Genesis right away.
12:19 Julian: Thank you, Nanci. I want to add one thing about Freshbooks and then ask you the same question. Referrals, in Freshbooks, if you refer, as you were saying your client loves it so if you then refer that product and your client subscribe you are given a free, I think a free month use. So that’s a nice feature too because it is the kind of product that sells itself. I mean we were actually, despite appearances is not a paid advertisement were just literally speaking of the products we use and love to use for our businesses. Does WordPress offered anything like that or because, if you do a paid version are referrals built into it?
12:56 Nanci: No, WordPress is open source, so it’s free for the whole world. The absolute bare bone get a website up is no charge. Genesis does have, affiliate marketing we could probably do an entire episode on it the same thing you got a referral link, and if you send someone to buy a Genesis theme you get a small commission, but it’s important to note that, the fees are not increased because it’s the same price no matter what. So it’s not like if you’re going to someone’s affiliate link that somehow you’re paying more for that. The company is the one that takes the financial hit on the referral.
13:29 Julian: So let me tell you about my next favorite, and again these are favorites because these are sites, that are tools that we use every single day. So my next favorite is Dropbox, which is an online file store system. It is a hard drive in the sky with a lot functionally than that just that. What I love about Dropbox is having access to in any file that I need to pull down from anywhere without having to keep it on my computer. There is a phone app, which is correctly synchronizing with the online version so if you got a lot of documents, PDFs, or whatever you’re reading on the go, and you can just go and get it. You can share a Dropbox if you need to transfer large files to clients that you’re working with or collaborators, you can have a shared Dropbox folder which is like, all of you having to subscribe into the same hard drive, having access to the same hard drive.
14:24 Nanci: Well that’s actually how we run SlashPodcast. So Julian records a track, I record a track, and then we download into a shared Dropbox folder that we shared with our video editor. So were not sending huge files back and forth they are all going into the Dropbox folder, which is shared, and she pulls them out, and then when they’re finished, she puts them back in edited.
14:44 Julian: That’s right, so it’s a beautiful way of cutting down on email weight. Your sending links not files and its cheap there is a free version at has 2GB free. Anybody can, you can go right now to Dropbox and create a free account, or somebody sends you a link through Dropbox, and you want to access it to your own Dropbox, and now you have it. It’s a simple click on a few buttons, and you are going to have Dropbox on your computer, and then there are paid versions which are the current price is $10 a month, and you get a terabyte of storage which is a lot.
15:16 Nanci: You as a photographer you must have huge files. Are you even close to a terabyte? Julian: More like halfway through, so yes. Haha Nanci: No Cause I’m like 8% like I have video files and pictures and a ton of data. Anyway, I’m just saying I feel like I used it a lot and I’m like in 8% of a terabyte.
15:33 Julian: Yeah I’m getting closer, but I still have at least a little bit under half left. I mean it’s great to not only for business, think of it this way the ideal storage system for anything digital would be a hard drive in your house or your possession, another hard drive off premises – worst case scenario your house burns down and a backup in the cloud. I treat this as my part of my digital hygiene so I put my family photos and my family videos things that I could not forgive myself forever losing. It is encrypted, it is safe, it is secure, and I know worst-case scenario I’ve got a backup of my important digital life in my Dropbox account. For $10 a month, I think that’s a good deal.
16:21 Nanci: I like what you said about digital hygiene, the same thing all our family photos, videos of the kids that are irreplaceable are there, but just in terms of running a business the sharing is just incredible enjoyed it. You can share a folder like I was explaining with the podcast episodes or you can -I think Julian touch on it, you just share a link. So what I’ll do if I get a bunch of documents from my accountant in the mail I’ll scan them rather than having a shared folder with my accountant ill just grab a link, send the link to him and then he can open it just by clicking the link. So lots of possibilities for sharing and efficiency.
16:56 Julian: So what about you Nanci, what is your “could not live without” tool?
17:00 Nanci: I definitely could not live without ConvertKit. At its bare bones, ConvertKit allows you to collect email address and email all your prospects or your lists. A little background for years there was MailChimp which I think a lot of people know or have received emails from MailChimp whether they know it or not. MailChimp is free, it starts out free and same thing you put a little you know ‘click here to subscribe to my newsletter’ or download my ebook and when you enter your email address and your name the information goes to a MailChimp list and then the person can email you until you opt out or cancel that relationship they can email you on a regular basis. On the higher inside, was something called InfusionSoft, which was incredibly expensive and complicated. It was not rare to need to hire a full-time employee just to run your InfusionSoft. It was $2000 a month initiation which included training and then $400-500 a month after. So those were your choices for years, was MailChimp or InfusionSoft and those are like big huge like I am ready to take the jump from MailChimp to InfusionSoft. And along came Nathan Barry, Nathan Barry was like “it doesn’t have to be this complicated, ” and so he started a web app which we were just talking about in our things you can create and one of the things he found in his own business communicating, he was a designer, in communicating with clients and selling online products on design was he thought that there was an opportunity. MailChimp didn’t have the functionality that he needed and InfusionSoft was just crazy. So he started, something called ConvertKit, and it’s really taken off, if you go to nathanbarry.com he has a whole like the chart of the revenue stream, and so I just like to tell you more about why I need it is you can tag subscribers. If I have seven lead magnets, we talked about lead magnets in a previous episode. If I have seven lead magnets and I am at MailChimp, the same subscriber is on seven lists, and it’s super inefficient. Since you pay at ConvertKit and MailChimp by how many subscribers you have, at Mailchimp you are paying for the same person seven times, it just doesn’t make sense. So now, I would have one subscriber, and that person would have seven tags on them. If you want to email a list, like email everybody that downloaded this lead magnet and this lead magnet but didn’t download this other lead magnet and I can get a list, like here are the 47 people that meet these specifications that you just specified, I don’t think you can do that in MailChimp. Julian: It’ a monthly subscription based service? Nanci: Yeah, same with Freshbooks it grows with you, so it’s $29 a month for your first 1000 but also has this great function which MailChimp doesn’t have, which you can forge your list. You can email everyone on your list that. You can say, like who hasn’t opened an email from me in the last year? So, you send out a monthly email, who hasn’t opened in the last year and it will give you like 460 people. As an example, you can email those 460 people and say, “unless you reply to this email, I’m going to remove you from the list” and I mean if they haven’t opened the last 12, higher probability they’re not gonna open that one either. You can be removed, and it’s like what you called list hygiene, you can remove the 460 so you’re not paying for them. Julian: You lose those addresses? I mean they may not be worth anything anyway, but once you’ve removed them from your list you can export them? Nanci: You can export any list, anytime to Excel and .csv or something. So it is up to you if you want to keep them for sure.
20:35 Julian: Oh you know like a zombie list of something, I’m sure I’m on a list like that where I sign up for service, I had a specific goal. I think there are one NakedWines, this is a wine subscription, and I use it once a year if that I would buy some wine or case of wine. They sent me a bottle of wine from the States but I’m not an active subscriber but I know that I’m on there every December I sent Julian an email “you might buy a case of wine.” I mean there is still value even in an almost dead list.
21:08 Nanci: But the nice thing about ConvertKit is you can pull them out and keep them in excel and then sorry Nathan, you can import them send an email and export them again. And probably not pay for them that month. Anyway, I like ConvertKit when you send an email, let us say you send an email to 900 people on your list; you have the option to resend it to the people that didn’t open it. If you send an email to say 900 people on your list, you have the option a few days later, or week it’s your choice to resend to the people that didn’t open it, which I think, is great. My open rates are about 47% on the first send and 28% on the second send. Julian: So your fees $29 a month covers the size of your list, and you can send to that list as many as you want. Nanci: Unlimited, but I haven’t even got to the best part yet. ConvertKit has email drip automation, so when we talked about creating e-courses, for example, I have an e-course called investing boot camp it is nine emails drip out over 30 days so about every 2-3 or 4 days you get another email, that is entirely 100% built in the simplest easy to use drag and drop interface in ConvertKit. So it’s just a big thing email 1, email 2, email 3. Send this email two days after the last email, four days after the last email. And you can drag and drop them, change the order so in terms of setting up an email course. Which we’ve talked about is incredibly powerful as a Lead Magnet or as a minimum viable product it’s so simple, you just go in, type your email, and you put them in sequence.
22:47 Julian: So you can use ConvertKit to create an email course?
22:49 Nanci: Yes! That’s it. It’s just done, unlimited e-courses.
22:55 Julian: And can you send out the emails, let’s say it staggered series of 9 emails and said the triggers in time. Can the trigger be a behavior so if the third email the recipient clicks, does that trigger a different set of emails that they get?
23:11 Nanci: Yes exactly, so it’s like an if this, then not, so, for instance, I have an automated sales sequence it’s not a course, but it’s the same idea. If you sign up for a Lead Magnet you get four emails from me, one every three days leading you closer and closer to the sale, well if you buy on email two, I don’t want you to get email three and four you already bought the course. So it’s if buys which trigger a new tag then exit this sequence and start the sequence “welcome to the course” I’m so glad you bought the course, I’m so into here, and that’s a different sequence of onboarding we call it. Julian: This sounds like a great tool for automating communication. Nanci: I couldn’t even imagine trying to do it manually like I mean I was in sales and so we used to do it manually. We would have 300 trials that we were working on, and we had no system like this but going back 15 years and it was trying to keep it all track of what I have sent them, what I haven’t sent them if we had ConvertKit or something similar. And there are other options. Julian: I’m glad you didn’t Nanci because you might not be here today, you might still be a CEO of that company. Nanci: There are a couple of different options like there is an active campaign, there’s stripe there were a few smart, agile entrepreneurs that saw that they are needed to be something in between MailChimp and InfusionSoft. I have nothing against MailChimp or InfusionSoft they are both excellent, but the sort of people that were trying to talk to here on this podcast are what that intersection between quality and value is? Where I have the functionality that I need to run my business but I’m not spending an extraordinary amount for services and functionality that I don’t need and ConvertKit for me hands down 10 out of 10 couldn’t live without it. Julian, you owe me a third tool.
25:07 Julian: I’m so happy you said that Nanci. My third, I can’t rank them, they all have different purposes, but my 3rd tool is. Nanci: It’s a bit like ranking you children. Haha Julian: My third but not my third favorite but my third on this favorite list tool would have to be Scrivener, which Nanci pronounces Scrivener, so we don’t know. Nanci: I’m sure its Scrivener, I always do everything backward. Scrivener is writing software, and it has a lot of different kinds of tools embedded within it. Then if you’re trying to write a script or a non-fiction book or produce a play with all these different templates, you can use, where I found it to be most useful for is simply helping me not go down and write that damn book which I’m working on Gigonomics soon to be published. This got more of the features were you could; I’m like these other products were talking about, this is not a subscription, it’s a one-time buy, which I also like actually, it’s nice sometimes to just pay for something and not having to you know keep paying for it. You can go with the full-screen mode when your writing., It’s a word processing software with a lot of bells and whistles, but they are basic and the functionality I use all the time is a full screen, blank screen, timed writing, you can set character limits, so let’s say your objective is to write 750 words a day or 500 words a day it gives you nice little notification when you’ve hit your word limit for the day, so you know you’ve kind of check the box. It has a syncing if you store the file in Dropbox so you can automatically have it on different computers and you’re working on your laptop and cafe’s some days and some days at home, and it’s the one tool I found that is empowered me to get serious about writing. You know when I go into the software I feel like entering a meditated mode where you know, okay Scrivener is on, I’m writing, and you know although you can write on anything actually, the notebook would work, anything whatever word processing tool you wanted would probably serve the same function. There is something about Scrivener that is turning it on getting into the frame that has distraction free mode helps me focus and the fact that I’ve been able to write a book is probably because of Scrivener.
27:25 Nanci: I’ve used to this as well, not to the extent that you have. What I love about it was Word is very linear and Scrivener it’s sort of works more the way that the creative brain works it even looks like a cork board I remember, index cards and chapters and you can drag the index card then have links to research, and it’s almost like three-dimensional. At this point, I would say like Word isn’t even two dimensional compared to Scrivener which is at, which is three-dimensional. I wrote “Investing Bootcamp” the nine emails in Scrivener first. Same reason, I mean I thought about writing them in Word, but thought that “you know what I’m going to try Scrivener” same thing something about opening it. Whether because you can see everything else or you can jump around far easily, far easier that you could write in Word. I banged out, you know 9000 words in about 4 days and I was able to go to the whole editing process in Scrivener, and then I just transferred over each email content to each lesson in ConvertKit and hit the button and you know it started running. And it was, not to be dramatic but it was incredible feeling to complete something and actually have it up and running as an email course in under one week. For sure, it was the combination of Scrivener and ConvertKit that made that happened.
28:45 Julian: Another essential part of its powerful functionality is the export function. So you write in Scrivener in this writing goal, but then you can export that file as PDF, as an EBook, you can compile if you got a series of long or formed documents. Its design really for long formed concentration, you can compile that’s the term they use which compiles your output as a book, and then you can choose it to show off as PDF or a Word document or follow a particular standard format so that we can format it like a script. Nanci: You mean like a Kindle book, there is I think there are 15 of different file extensions that you can export as. Julian: There are all kinds of formatting options which can be quite a headache first for the non-techie writers to get their minds around it, it does it all for you. I think they say it best on the website. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you to get to the end of that awkward first draft, and that’s a ringing endorsement because that’s the hardest part of writing is getting to the end of that first draft, and Scrivener helps you there.
29:50 Nanci: I know at the end of the nine lesson at the end of the 30 days of my course, I wanted the students that took the time to you through every lesson, to be able to download a PDF and not have to keep visiting nine separate emails. So I exported from Scrivener in Word I think of even a text file, and I sent it to our designer Meredith, and for $100 she sent it back all gorgeously well designed and everything. The whole process starts to finished for sure is Scrivener.
30:24 Julian: Where waiting to hear bad about Scrivener which does not have an affiliate marketing or being a referral but feel free to let us know, how to correctly pronounce the name. Nanci, what is your least but not the last or last but not the least favorite tool?
30:40 Nanci: Screenflow! Screenflow is a web app or a platform also a one-time fee, which is great I think it’s about $129 CAD or $99 US and it simply records my screen. The bulk of my income is from selling an online course. I could not have created the online course if I didn’t have Screenflow. The way that my course is created, I have slides, so I talked through the slides, I am moving through the slides the same thing if you are doing a webinar. If you’re doing a live webinar that got super high value packed information, all you do before you launch the live webinar is hit record in Screenflow, and you can sell the recorded version over and over again as a product on your website. One of the other tools I used, I would recommend it, it’s not on the list right now is I can also convert my screen into a whiteboard so I use a Wacom tablet and I’m drawing and writing. I do that when I’m teaching math, I think it’s better if we work through the math problems together and the same thing ScreenFlow records the screen which is a white board that I’m writing on with my handwriting and that’s now my favorite way to teach is on the whiteboard. It also has easy editing. They have tutorials it took me a few hours to learn the basic editing, how to add images or an intro or an outro. So when I am recording my online course, and it’s taking me an hour to go through sometimes some pretty complicated investing theory, I can just take a break start again. I don’t have to worry about paying a video editor because Screenflow is that great that it almost meditative for me to know, if you can push through Nanci and just get this module recorded you get to edit because I actually really like putting on my headphones and editing through Screenflow and it’s that easy to use. One last thing I mean we have a developer for the web in Romania, we have a VA in the Philippines, and we have a designer that’s about 20 miles away here in Canada and sometimes instead of sending them an email or trying to take a screenshot and explain to them. I just make a quick video, you know we need to do this, we don’t like this, don’t forget this, this is how you upload and how I want the document to look in the end, anything it takes 3 minutes to record the video and fire them up the video. So just in terms of efficiency in working within the team, it help us but definitely for sure, I used it to make money. Three is a complete number, and the next complete number is seven. So we need a bonus tool, six isn’t enough we need a bonus tool.
33:30 Julian: I got a bonus tool for you that I think I am appropriate as you get into developing your freelance life. You going to end up with a lot of different tools that you like to use and each one I’ve required a login password and over time you may end up with a massive amount of different logins and passwords that difficult to keep track of and where do you keep all those passwords. Nanci: And probably should not be all be the same. Julian: Yeah don’t adminpassword11111 is not a good login, so the software that I use called LastPass and there’s a free version and a paid version. The free version is fine so far it has been working up for me. What LastPass is it’s like an encrypted vault for all your passwords. If you sign into let’s say your online banking account, once you download the software it automatically ask you would you like to save this in to your LastPass vault, you say yes and you could then file it under banking in encrypted folders and there you go, now you got it in your vault so in the end what you end up with is this series of all your logins and passwords stored in the vault and all you need to remember is the one password to your vault so if you forget that then there are measures to retrieve it but its tough so don’t forget that. Nanci: It involves like a urine sample and just doesn’t forget it. Julian: All you need to do is invent one password, and the software helps you create the optimal password that is super strong that just the vault auto generates as you go to different sites. You can create a new password, in fact, it is so sophisticated you can have passwords that you never even see because it just generates the password for you, stores it into the account it’s all encrypted and then whenever you logged in. All your login is logged into LastPass and then launch through LastPass to whatever site you’re going to and presto, you’re in. So you know, one password to rule them all, that’s security I think it’s probably it’s highly recommended don’t just take my word for it, do your research but it’s one of the most highly recommended password managers out there.
35:40 Nanci: Once you start using it, you cannot believe that you ever live without it and you start to remember all the time, literally all the time in a day you wasted looking for a password, resetting your password over and over again. We just this VA in the Philippines and I wanted to create a document for her to have all the passwords that she would need to log in, like the WordPress login to work on our website and I have 109 logins stored in LastPass. I, was blown away because they just add up slowly every time you get a new account like you said the pop-up ‘would you like to add this’ yes fine and it was so easy I mean one thing that would have been nice, but maybe this is a secure feature is just to export them all.
36:27 Julian: Well you can create a document so that the software will work automatically, just create a password launch codes for you. You can put on the list the only one you want them access too. Nanci: Yeah there was like 30 out of 100. Julian: Just create a document, any document and then logged that document into the vault, there’s one option is documents and save it into the document. Just share access to the document give a specific password to the document, and then you can share that one document they don’t have access to, they can’t get outside.
37:02 Nanci: I cut and paste. I thought that was a miracle that I was able to cut and paste without actually having to try to remember and was this is so fantastic six months ago, I would not even know which one I needed to give here, but I can just scan the whole list. She needs this and this.
37:19 Julian: For example, you can have photocopies of your passport and your critical ID for you and your family securely stored on the document in a vault and therefore, when you are travelling if you lose your passport you can use the replicate document and go to the embassy, it’s a great tool, data security. We can talk more about that, but you got to keep, it’s a big big issue out there, and I think part of your digital hygiene is putting a real strong wall, built a wall around you.
37:55 Nanci: Yeah, just one thing I want to touch on before we wrap it up. What I was noticing as we were going through is all of this tool have some efficiency to them. You know saving us time in invoicing, searching for passwords, recording, sending emails, emails sequences to communicate with clients. Why? So we can spend more time creating content or offering services to sell for money. Because that is what businesses are, trading services or time or products for money and issues like invoicing emailing searching for passwords or lost information it’s just a distraction that decreases the amount of time that you have, and it also affects your motivation if you’re spending a lot of time swimming in the shallow end. I love all these tools, and I learned something new about LastPass. So when we hire our 2nd, 3rd and 4th VAs which I’m sure were going to need soon at least I know how to communicate the passwords to them now. We hope you enjoyed this episode see you next time.