When I was growing up, my favorite tool was the Lego brick separator—the tool that helps to get those stubbornly stuck-together bricks apart. I used it all the time and it made my Lego experiences much more fun.

As a side hustler, time is my most valuable resource. I spend 45 or more hours per week at my day job and enjoy spending evenings with my family, so I use (and even pay for) tools to help me make the most of my available side-hustle hours.

That’s the funny thing about time—it’s the only thing in life that you can’t get more of and after you spend it, you lose it forever. Here’s a list of tools that can help you use your time wisely, make the most of your working hours, grow your side hustle and manage your job, family and Netflix addiction:

Gmail is an email service that offers so many free extensions, tools and capabilities. Gmail is the No. 1 way that I communicate quickly and easily with my readers and business partners. Honestly, I don’t understand why people still use Outlook or Hotmail unless it is required for their job. If you are not already using Gmail, do yourself a favor and set up an account today.

I wouldn’t be able to function without my Google Calendar. It reminds me of appointments, birthdays and tasks on my “to-do” list. It also allows me to create one-time, weekly, monthly and yearly events and invite others with a few clicks, saving me a ton of time when compared to writing everything down in a regular calendar.

Google Docs makes it easy to share documents with others, get feedback and collaborate. I rarely use Word because Google Docs is so much more flexible.

Google Forms is a simple, free tool that allows you to create surveys and send them via email to your customers, patients, clients, friends and family members.

Rapportive is a Gmail extension that is no longer updated, but is still available for use. Whenever you open a new email and type in an email address, Rapportive pulls information from LinkedIn about the person you are emailing (such as job title, Twitter handle, etc.).

Boomerang is a Gmail extension that allows you to receive email reminders if you do not receive a response to your initial email. I use Boomerang when sending emails regarding potential speaking engagements or guest posting on blogs, because it sends an email back to me if I don’t receive a response in my chosen timeframe.

Do you send the same email to different people, such as prospective clients or customers, over and over again? If so, Canned Responses is a Google extension that can save you a ton of time by allowing you to save text templates that can be inserted into any email you send.

Constantly checking email is a huge time-waster. Inbox Pause is a Chrome extension for Gmail that allows you to time when you receive email so you don’t feel compelled to check it all the time. You can pre-set the times that are most convenient for you; for example, I have my email delivered at 6 a.m., noon and 5 p.m.

Calendly syncs with Gmail and allows others to see when you free to chat, eliminating those dreaded back-and-forth scheduling emails. It also checks your calendar to make sure you aren’t double-booked and allows you to send a link to your calendar to other people.

When you are running a business, it can be easy to forget to check all of your financial accounts. Personal Capital allows you to see all of your financial accounts, such as bank accounts, IRAs and PayPal, in one place and track your net worth over time.

Although I prefer written “to-do” lists, they aren’t always practical—or portable. Todoist is a free, mobile task management app that helps me to organize my tasks when I am on the go.

  • The Action Journal

The Action Journal is a tool that I created because no other journal had exactly what I was looking for. It includes questions that help me to focus on how I am going to make each day awesome. It also asks questions about potential roadblocks and helps me plan how I will get around them. I only provide The Action Journal as a gift to my clients and it is not currently for sale. However, if you think this would be useful for you, please message me and I will see if I can help you out.

This is one of the first journals I used as an early riser. It has helped me to focus on the bigger picture in life, what I am grateful for and where I am going.

Zoom is a great tool for videoconferencing and costs $12 per month. I have used most of the other free videoconferencing options out there and did not have good experiences; Zoom far outpaces them all.

Doodle is a tool that makes it really easy to find a time for group meetings that works for everyone.

Lending Club is a peer-to-peer lending platform. I make a contribution to Lending Club using a portion of my profits each month and Lending Club loans that money to others who need personal loans. Over time, I get my money back plus interest.

Hootsuite is an easy, simple social media sharing tool that my virtual assistant uses to input my articles and schedule social media sharing.

Grammarly makes me sound smart. I am not a great writer, so Grammarly gives me suggestions on how I can improve my writing to make it grammatically correct. A free version of this tool is available, but the paid version is totally worth the extra money.

Brain.fm is a music player that helps you focus. I can see you rolling your eyes right now—and I was skeptical at first, too—but after I did my free trial, I was hooked. When I listen to this music while working, it helps me focus on my task and get into the zone within a few minutes.

This microphone is the least-expensive, highest-quality microphone out there. It comes with a lifetime warranty and the company stands behind it. My microphone broke after four years, and the company replaced it—all I had to do was email a copy of my receipt and pay for shipping and handling.

I use this video camera all the time and I love it. As you can see in the video below, it works very well!

My Audible account is central to my continuing education. For $15, I receive one audiobook per month on a variety of topics, such as real estate, financial planning, career or personal development. Considering that most audiobooks sell online for $20-$30, this is a great deal. I recently listened to The $100 Start Up—a fantastic book to get you started. Use this special link to get your first book free.

You might be asking, “Did you really just include entertainment as a business tool?” Yes. Yes I did. When you are a busy side-hustler, sometimes you just need to relax and get away from it all. And if I didn’t get my Brooklyn99 or The Office reruns, I would go crazy!

See above. The great thing about these streaming services is that they allow you to avoid watching commercials (huge time-wasters!).

  • SumoMe
    SumoMe is a suite of free website tools that make blogging easier and helps you to improve your website traffic.
  • AppSumo
    AppSumo is the greatest website for getting amazing discounts (like 95{63c12f4adb1b40e61fcf722bb37f7abda8c5f21ed0005d71e2cd9454f8af8289} off) for online business tools. Their marketing comes off a little strong at times, but I open every email from them fully expecting to love what they promote.

Bluehost is the hosting service I use for all my websites. I love their customer service and the fact that they refuse to host pornography websites. Use this link to get a deal on your own website.

WordPress is a free back-end website builder that I use for all the behind-the-scenes aspects of my websites. WordPress allows me to create posts and pages, upload plugins such as SumoMe, and track and analyze web traffic.

Google Analytics is a free tool that allows anyone to track traffic on their website.

Although Thrive Themes is a bit pricey ($200 and up), it works with WordPress by using website themes that include landing pages, opt-ins and lead magnets designed to turn viewers into clients and subscribers.

If Thrive Themes is out of your price range or you do not need the extra features, ThemeForest offers cheaper, more basic themes starting at $9.

Call Recorder is an app that allows you to record phone conversations so you can take notes later. I’ve tried most of the other free services out there, and they didn’t work nearly as well.

To make the most of my drive time to and from my day job, I often record my thoughts using Dragon Dictation’s transcription service. Although the app automatically transcribes your words, you have to speak very slowly and hit record often because the app automatically stops during long pauses in your speech.

Just like the Lego brick separator helped me to have a more pleasant Lego experience as a kid, using the right tools for your side hustle can help you to save time, build your business faster and enjoy your work even more. For more tips on how you can get your side hustle started today, check out my free PDF, “8 Ways for Pharmacists to Make Extra Cash with No Investment Costs.”

 

33 Tools I Use For My Side Hustle as a Full-Time Pharmacist
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