Every year I go through my business from top to bottom do a deep cleaning.

I let go of tools I don’t really need.

I reduce my monthly operating costs by canceling things that I’m not using.

I try to be as ruthless as possible and smart about the number of tools I use plus the value I’m getting out of each one.

If a tool isn’t pulling its weight in the way I originally thought it would, it’s gone…or at least shelved indefinitely.

Now, this is not the first time I’ve done this for my business and shared with you the results.

You can check those out here:

How to pick the RIGHT tools to run your business

How to choose the RIGHT tools to keep your next online product launch on track

Now onto this year… my business has changed so much in 2014 that the tools needed to change too. Plus a few really interesting apps and online tools cropped up that I just HAD to test out.

I put this whole weeding out process in a short 3 part video series…and I’m wrapping it all up for you here with a bow.

1. Analyze What Worked and What Did Not Work

This is pretty self explanatory. You look at the main tools in your business and you think, am I using that? Am I paying for that and not using it? What core system is that tool supporting?

I tend to try products a little too long, so I know that I need to come back to this process more often throughout the year.

In this video, you’ll hear me talk about some of the tools that were dropped or put on hold for the time being.


Find out more about the tools that are on hold for now…I loved some of them but they just didn’t make the primary tools list.

  1. Trello
  2. Timerlay
  3. Rainmaker
  4. GoToWebinar
  5. Evernote Business
  6. Hootsuite
  7. PicMonkey

So, in general, I’ve been going through all tools asking the following:

  • Am I Using This?
  • Am I spending money where I don’t need to?
  • Do I need to free this money up for anything else?

Check out Denise Duffield Thomas’ recent post on money leaks…because this started me on my tools review and helped me see why it was important to cancel out accounts that were essentially leaking money from my business.

Last word of analyzing what you’re using…little charges add up, so if you’re not using something, stop paying for it!

2. Keep It Simple and Decide Which Tools You Can’t Live Without

Pretty much the second you lose what you don’t need, you’ll see the tools you do need.

Here’s my rundown of the tools that will continue to run my biz in 2015:


Ready to learn what digital tools run my business? The ones I keep going back to over and over again?

My core group of tools has stayed the same over the past 2 years, so there might not be any surprises here, but I think you’ll enjoy knowing why I stick with them!

Here’s the list of tools I talk about:





Google Apps




3. The Power of Using Analog Tools

Probably my most favorite step in this whole process has been discovering ways to get my brain offline.

I’ve noticed something happening over the past few years that I tried to ignore. Too many ideas just being put in random cubbies like Evernote, Google Docs, and random text documents.

My content creation and strategic ideas are often lost completely because I forget which online place I’ve kept them.

So, now, I’m giving myself a break and rekindling my love of paper planning.

In this video you’ll see what I’m using now.  And even though I didn’t actually say it, these are my favorite tools because they don’t require me to be online. This is the kind of rest my brain has needed.

So expect to hear me push planners a lot until and IF I calm down.


So you can see that the paper planners have made their way into my business brain and heart…and aren’t leaving any time soon.

I love being able to jump in and out of the digital realm because it also reminds me to get away from my computer and go talk to real live people.

What Do You Think?

So what’s your take on my tools?

Go through each video and make your own list of keepers, losers, and then also let me know in the comments if ANY part of your business starts on paper.

I can’t wait to hear from you!

A few final notes – just so they are here:

*Some but not all of these are affiliate links. I only share tools that I actually use or have used in the past. I do receive some sort of commission that helps support my blog and business if you purchase through the link–thank you in advance for your support!