FREE and Low-Cost Online Software to Start Your Business TODAY

Looking to start a blog? YouTube channel? Online business? Dream project? Here are five online platforms and tools to increase productivity and give you a leg up in helping your brand stand out. The best part is that these platforms cost little to no money whatsoever.

It’s often believed that you need a ton of money to get your business up and running, but there are plenty of ways to pinch pennies and save a ton along the way. Here are my favorite platforms I’m using right now:


This. Platform. Is. Amazing.

I discovered Trello while researching what other YouTubers use to keep themselves on track and organized. If you’re familiar with Asana, it’s very similar. I used Asana in graduate school which is also a great team platform, so definitely look into both!

In simple terms, Trello is a dashboard to keep your projects and tasks organized. You can add colored labels, due dates, notes, and more! The free version is perfect for keeping yourself on track. For a small monthly price, you can add team members on board in Trello Business Class.

I use Trello to keep track of all of my upcoming projects. I also use it as a brain dump to sort through all of my ideas. I also have an entirely separate board on Trello for wedding planning! There are a ton of ways Trello can help you achieve whatever goals or projects you have.


Skillshare has online video classes in a ton of different subject areas – photography, cooking, creative writing, social media marketing, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. you get the idea!! I feel like I can spend days on Skillshare and barely scratch the surface for what they offer. If you’re looking to learn new skills or brush up on old ones, I HIGHLY recommend you give it a try. When it comes to starting a business, especially a blog, or any online business for that matter that involves social media, Skillshare has tons of classes to help bring your brand to the next level.

Try Skillshare for FREE for the first 2 months by clicking here!!! I promise you’ll find the perfect class for you. I’ve probably saved dozens of classes to take in the future and I’m sure I’ll never run out of things to learn just by simply using this one site. Just by taking part in one class, Skillshare customizes your homepage to suggest additional courses to take!

Google Docs/Google Calendar

I don’t know where I would be without the Google Suite. I’m the type of person that’s prone to having 50 to-do lists scattered around my home and online – the Notes app on my phone is often overflowing with lists: grocery lists, work ideas, packing lists, notes from a really good podcast I listened to the other day… on top of that, I have all of my planners, notebooks, sticky notes… you get the picture.

Google Calendar is also great for keeping your personal life on track!

The Google suite is a perfect option for someone looking to consolidate their work flow into a single location. My Google calendar is basically the only online calendar I use, and EVERYTHING is color-coded. Call me crazy but it truly helps my brain quickly reference what I have lined up for the day. Not only that, but Google makes it super easy to share your documents and calendars with others, so if you have any team projects or tasks, you can all access and edit the documents simultaneously.

Google Trends

Staying on the Google bandwagon for another moment, if you are looking to post content on YouTube, Google Trends is an excellent tool to help you come up with video titles, hashtags, categories, etc.

You’ll gain a ton of insight when deciding what to write or film about, when to post, and so much more!! Just as a quick example: I used Google Trends to determine a better title for this blog post based on internet searches over the past week:

Adobe Lightroom

If your project or business involves photos, you’re going to want to learn a little bit about editing them. It’s not enough to simply take a photo and post the raw file online anymore. You don’t have to be an expert, and better yet, you don’t have to drop a bunch of money on expensive software! There is a free version of Adobe Lightroom that you can download in your App store.

Simply put, I will never post a photo on Instagram again without first editing it on Lightroom. For me, it makes a HUGE difference. Toggle with the Exposure, bring out the colors you want to pop (take a look at your brand’s aesthetic for clues as to which colors you may want to highlight), add some clarity to the photo, and BAM. I’m still learning the ropes but I’ve already noticed my photo game has definitely gone to the next level.

Between these 5 programs I have seen a HUGE difference when it comes to my productivity and output of content. What programs do you use? I would love to learn about them, so leave a comment below! Thanks for stopping by today.

xo Carly


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