5 Life Hacks for Entrepreneurs
Today I’d like to share 5 “life hacks” that allow me to save money, time (which is money), and be more effective at work. Whether you are an entrepreneur bootstrapping your business, or just someone who would like to save time and money at work or home, take a quick look at these things that will help you be more effective and successful!
Note that none of these companies have paid me to share this, but for a few of the links, we both get extra savings if you sign up!
Hack #1: Evernote
Ever run out of sticky notes? Or spent time scrambling for a pen and piece of paper to write down a book someone is recommending? Or worse, lost that scrap of paper that you wrote on? Enter Evernote!
Evernote is an app that will work on your android, iPhone, pc, or mac. You type up your note, take a picture, add a reminder, or even draw something by hand. You’ll have it instantly available to you, across all of your devices! You can create different “notebooks” for work, play, and random notes, and they all sync between your devices. If I’m hiking in the woods and have no internet connection, I can still type up a note. When I get back home, the app syncs immediately and there is my note on my personal laptop. I don’t even having to press a button.
The company has been bringing even more integration between Google and other major players in the tech world. If you want to use it for a large team of people, you may want to buy the premium version. Otherwise, I’ve been using the free version for years, and I love it! A shout out to a successful entrepreneur and friend, Tim Rist, for introducing me to Evernote!
If you want to start using this app, click on this link to download Evernote and get the premium version for free for a specified time. You’ll also give me some Evernote points! Click this Link.
Hack #2: TING
As a young entrepreneur, I don’t have a lot of money to spend, and I especially don’t want to spend it on expensive phone bills. When I was using Verizon, I spent on average, $130 to $160 dollars a month paying for me and my wife’s phone bill. And that was being conservative on our data usage! Enter TING!
TING is a pay as you use MVNO that allows for both CDMA and GSM phone users. Here are a couple of reasons I like them:
- You only pay for what you use. So if we don’t send too many texts or phone calls, our bill is smaller.
- Your bill is based on separate charges or tiers. They separate your costs based on data, messages, calls, and line fees. So whether you make lots of calls and use little data, or make few calls and use lots of data, you can still save money.
- It only costs $6 a month to keep your number open. Some pay for what you use plans will drop your number if you don’t keep paying them for usage every month. But with TING, if you are going on a 3 month trip to Europe and want to use a European SIM card, you only pay $6 per month to keep your number in the USA.
- Our bill for me and my wife both is on average, $50 or less per month. Compare that to Verizon at $130!
- Service Coverage: I use a GSM phone (better for world travel) which when I first started, had less service in rural places in the USA. However, GSM coverage has rapidly been improving in the USA, and except for mountain areas, I now have data almost everywhere I go. And, there are plans to increase coverage even more. TING also has the option for CDMA if you prefer that, but I use GSM as it is better in almost every country except the USA.
- Automatic payments. Ting has automatic payments and no paper bills, which I really enjoy. Every month, I get an email saying what my bill was, and I don’t have to do a thing, or worry about being late.
Interested in using TING?
Here is what I did:
- Paid off my plan with Verizon and purchased the phones outright.
- Bought new international unlocked phones on Amazon that were used, but new in box. I recommend the Galaxy S5 or S7 for android users. Waterproof, expandable memory, etc…
- Sold my Verizon phones on Craigslist for the same price as the phones I bought.
- Ordered SIM cards from TING.
- Followed the instructions, transferred my number over, and was good to go!
Even though I had to pay a fee to leave Verizon, I’m now saving nearly $1,000 dollars per year on my phone bill. It only takes a few months to make up your costs, and now I have essentially the same service, for cheaper, and without any contracts!
If you are interested TING, you can click this link, and you’ll get a free bonus towards your bill or phone purchase. I’ll get a little credit too! Click this Link!
Hack #3: Snipping Tool or Grab
You’d be surprised how many people I know who still use “print screen” to take pictures on their monitor, then paste into “Paint” or “Word” to jerry-rig their way to a photo that they can then place in an email. Enter the “Snipping Tool” for PC users (MAC users can try GRAB).
The snipping tool lets you just click, then drag your mouse over the section of your screen that you want to copy. Then, with one more click, you can immediately copy and past the photo. Or, circle a couple of sections of the picture before instantly saving as a .jpg to anywhere on your device. It’s a simple tool, but one that I use every day, and it saves me so much time!
Hack #4: MileIQ
MileIQ is a phone app that makes tracking your miles as simple as swiping right for business or left for other. Simply turn the app on, make sure you location is turned on, and it does the rest, automatically sensing when you are driving and when you aren’t. All the data is stored on your account online, where you can edit trips, or download as a spreadsheet to give to your accountant or tax company.
I make a few business drives per week, but in the last 4 months, I’ve already earned $900 plus dollars in tax deductions, and I’m only using the free version of MileIQ, which allows 40 drives per month.
If you are interested in MileIQ, click here to get a 20% discount off the premium version and give me some credit as well! Click this link!
Hack #5: Lynda.com
Ever wanted to take a class, or learn a new skill, be it photography, software, business techniques, or graphic design? Ever not had enough money to pay for an expensive class at your local college or university? Enter Lynda.com!
Lynda is a learning site, created by the same company that owns LinkedIn. Lynda has thousands and thousands of classes on hundreds of different skills that will help your career, business, or hobbies. And it is only $25 per month!
In my case, I took classes on business development, entrepreneurship, crowdfunding, and graphic design. The instructors are all top-notch professionals, experts in their field, and easy to learn from. Some lessons even have free work sheets, templates, and quizzes. And, a side perk, Lynda allows you to update your class “certificates” to Lynda.com to show employers and colleagues your progress and dedication to improving skills.
If $25 per month still sounds too steep compared to $500 for a college class, consider finding a friend and sharing the costs. Other wise, you can find more information here about Lynda.com!
The above “hacks” have been great at saving me time and money, and I really hope that they help you as well! What “hacks” or “tricks” do you use to increase efficiency in your life and business? I’d love to hear from you!
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