Life On Your Own Terms Series: Work Styles And Tools Of The Trade
“We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.” Marshall McLuhan
We live in the absolute best time to work for ourselves. Technology today has made the dream of working from home possible. The market is flooded with free and easy to use software and tools of the trade. Whether you’re looking to create your own stunning book cover, keep track of your writing habits, improve your production, or even if you’re looking for collaborative tools to improve your team’s performance and cohesion, the online world delivers.
In fact, there are so many tools out there, it’s hard to decide which ones are the best to use. The answer is whichever one works best for you. Not every piece of software will work for every person. You should choose what you use based on your own style of working and what is comfortable for you. Then, you tweak it until you get it to work perfectly for you. Let’s figure out which work style suits you best first. Then, we will take a look at some of the top tools for each style.
What’s Your Work Personality?
Did you know there are four scientifically backed worked personalities? Kim Christfort and Suzanne Vickberg authored Business Chemistry: Practical Magic for Crafting Powerful Work Relationships. According to Forbes, “Christfort is one of the original architects of Business Chemistry and the national managing director of The Deloitte Greenhouse Experience group, which helps executives tackle tough business challenges through immersive, facilitated Lab experiences. Vickberg is a social-personality psychologist, the Applied Insights Lead for The Deloitte Greenhouse™ Experience Group, and the lead researcher for Business Chemistry.”
Their data-based approach identified four working styles based on how people interact:
These are big thinkers. They value possibilities and are imaginative thinkers. Pioneers are the spark of energy and creativity for their teams. They’re the ones who can see the big picture and tend to be outgoing and adaptive. They love new projects, especially the starting them part, and are risk-takers.
Tools For Pioneers
Being creative thinkers, the best tools for these workers are ones that are just as adaptive as they are. Here are some tools that will work wonders for pioneers:
This app markets itself as an innovative whiteboard for collaboration and learning. It’s as flexible as it gets, with the ability to add images, videos, voice recordings, and text on an infinite workspace. It’s perfect for meetings and for simple presentations. Actually, I’ve used it to plan creative projects and as an interactive storyboard for writing. It’s pretty much been invaluable to me since I discovered it. Check out this video for more information.
This has to be my all-time favorite tool. It has EVERYTHING! It’s like Trello on overdrive. You have multiple boards you can create and adjust to your preference. There are calendars, mind maps, lists, kanbans, etc. You name it, Zenkit can help you with it. It’s fantastic for collaborative projects and keeping track of writing and publishing schedules. There is even a built-in blog platform template! Check out this video for more information.
These are the detail-oriented players. Guardians like order, rigor, and stability. They’re the ones on the team who have every aspect thought out and written down. They’re the progress trackers, the ones who bring order to the workplace.
Tools for Guardians
These individuals like order and efficiency. Any tool that helps them track and stay on track is the tool for them.
Toggl is a time tracker app that works wonders. It’s automated and effortless to use. It boosts productivity in droves. You can track your time by client, project, task. It really helps shed a light on how much time you’re actually spending on any given task. Here’s a great video on tracking time for freelancers.
Bench is bookkeeping made easy. Seriously. It takes all of the hard work out of it. The best part? Bench will do your books for FREE for an entire MONTH! This is just for trying them out. If you chose to go with them, you get another FREE MONTH. Here’s a video from BENCH on how to do your own bookkeeping.
Drivers are true to their name. They’re goal-oriented and love challenges. These are the workers who generate momentum. They love debating, playing devil’s advocate, and care about results. Drivers are the force pushing towards the finish line and love winning.
Tools For Drivers
Drivers love results so the best tools for them are ones which show them just how much awesomeness they’ve achieved.
Zapier is an app that automates your workflows and makes life easier. It connects to your other apps and programs and assigns tasks and projects based on the need. For example, if a customer purchases a course or product, it sends you a notice to do a little happy dance and then proceeds to put tasks in your workflow app for your team. Here’s a little tutorial to show just what this app is capable of.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as an online entrepreneur is to send people directly to your website when working ad campaigns. You DO NOT want to do this. What you want is to send them to a landing page that has been created for that specific campaign. THIS is what Leadpages is for and it’s affordable and easy to use. Here’s an easy tutorial on how to use Leadpages.
Integrators prefer connection. They’re the diplomats of the workforce. They enjoy bringing the team together and focus on multiple
moving pieces of the puzzle at a time and understand their purpose. They like holding the team together and understand and value each person’s unique perspective.
Tools For Integrators
These are the connectors of the workplace. Any tool for them is going to be one which focuses on this aspect.
Calendly takes the work out of scheduling meetings and events. It integrates with other platforms (like Stripe for payments) and automates the process. No more email after email to confirm time and availability. It even sends out notifications and reminders and embeds into your website seamlessly.
Drip is an e-commerce customer management relationship platform or, as they like to call it, “your online shop’s best friend.” In short, Drip puts the humanity back into email marketing. It literally helps you stay connected to your customers on a personal level. Who doesn’t that? Check out this video to learn more about Drip workflows.
I hope you found this useful. What work style suits you best? Have you tried any of these tools? If you’ve missed out on the previous articles on this series check them out below: