Running a home business doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, it's one of the most cost-effective ways to make extra money that can replace your income in the future (if that's what you eventually want to do). Here are 4 free planning tools that you can use for your home business, some of which you may already have on your computer!
Yep. Really. For a long time, I used OneNote as a planning tool for my business. I kept a notebook tab for each month:
The above was an actual screenshot of my OneNote when I was actively using it, including client projects, hence all of my clocks covering things. I made a master list of projects. Sometimes, as you can see from "Wednesday" being listed, I would just work from from that particular page. I would also break down the months into weeks on the far right and use the Master Planner as a catch all for everything that was added to my list. Here's a break down for the look of the weeks:
Super fun fact: instead of using a weekly layout (where you'd take things from your weekly master list and make a to-do list for each day), you could make something for each client...I prefer the weekly list.
EverNote - to-do list of champions! They have a free version and a paid version. I started with the free version. I now use the paid version because I can collaborate with clients. There are a lot of great templates you can use with the free version. I made my own EverNote project management planner. It is very similar to what you see above in OneNote. I also made another one that is similar to the Unfuck Yourself digital planner available here for sale. But keeping it free, here are EverNote's top 10 free business templates. And you can find a full list of their templates here...free templates.
Full disclosure: I've used Trello, Asana, Basecamp, and a handful of other online project management offerings (including Wrike and Zoho). If you're a one-person or two person show, there's no point in paying for them. They're generally too expensive and annoying. The free version of Trello and Asana will work fine for one or two. Trello can be used for free even if you add more people to your team, but you'll be limited as far as the number of "power ups" (fancy features) you can use.
If you're just starting out, I recommend that you just use OneNote or EverNote. Or....
Use Your Online Calendar!
I love my online calendar. Seriously. It's free. It integrates with my booking page. It integrates with Zoom. It integrates with booking through Facebook. I use it to plan my week and day. It costs me nothing to use my calendar. I always have access to it. I take 15 minutes a day to plan my projects...that is 1% of 24 hours...so, 1% of my day to control the other 99%.
There's no reason that you have to pour hundreds of dollars into software that you don't know how to use or that has a steep learning curve. Instead, take affordable steps to build your home business.