The tools I use (plus which ones I pay for)
Updated: Oct 12, 2021
There are so many fantastic tools these days, both for your back-office, content creation and for your teaching. I love trying out new tools and experimenting, but sometimes it can be overwhelming. Which tools are worth trying? Which ones are worth paying for?
I've made you a list of the tools that I use, including which ones I pay for and which ones I use the free version.
Zoom: I pay for the pro version. I use Zoom all day every day and I love it. I pay for the full version so I don't have to worry about doing group classes. If you use Zoom, make sure you know how to deal with breakout rooms, the whiteboard, annotation and remote control.
Canva: I pay for the pro version. I love Canva and I use it for all my documents, worksheets, workbooks and visuals. I got the pro version and I have no regrets! I think this is my favourite tool.
Wordwall: I pay for this. You can turn any boring activity into something more fun.
Padlet: I pay for this I tried using Google classroom as a place to store materials, links, zoom chats etc but got too annoyed with it not accepting half of the email addresses. So I started using Padlet and I ended up paying for it (about 5€ a month I think for unlimited Padlets) so I can have one for every student. You could also use Trello (see next section!)
Quizlet: All my students have their vocabulary stored in a Quizlet. You can also import the vocab into Blooket for a fun game. I only use the free version.
Google jamboard: Great for collaborative exercises
Kahoot!: The best quiz app
ISL Collective: Fantastic for making video comprehension exercises. I recommend making your own or thoroughly checking the exercises already on the site.
Live Worksheets: Worksheets that mark themselves! How awesome is that!
Mentimeter: You can do interactive word clouds, polls, quizzes...the free version is really good.
Trello: I use Trello to keep track of my to-do list, store important information, write down takeaways from training I attend, manage my content. I don't pay for this and I also use it as my CRM with the power-up Crmble.
Calendly: I use this for appointment booking. It syncs with your calendar and you can set which blocks of times you want to keep available. The free version only allows you to have one appointment option (mine is for a 15 minutes needs analysis chat) and I think with the paid version you can have people book and pay in advance. I recently upgraded my Calendly to be able to offer different meeting options (15 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours). It costs about 8USD per month.
Google drive: I use this for all my shared documents with my other teachers. I'm planning to create all my teaching admin documents in google docs as templates that I can fill in automatically from one database.
Google forms: I use forms for all my end of course evaluations.
Would you like to know more about tools, systems, marketing and sales for your business? Enrolment will soon be open for my Kickstart your Teaching Business bootcamp. Email me to get on the waiting list .
Social media & emails
Agorapulse: I use this to schedule my social media posts. I used to use Hootsuite, but they recently changed the free plan.
Convertkit: It's great for building your email list, sending out broadcasts to your list and creating different landing pages for your lead magnets. I'm still on the free version. If you're going to start thinking about automations, that's when you have to pay.
Online course platforms
I used to use Thinkific, which is very user-friendly and you can have up to 3 courses in the free version. I wanted to be able to do certain things which were only available on the paid version, like manually enrol people (you need this if you have CPF clients) so i switched to Membervault, which offers all the features for free up to 100 users. So far so good!
I use my phone to make most of my videos and then I trim the ends off in iMovie or in Quik. I send them to Rev.com to get subtitled. You have to pay, but it's not expensive. I also use Prezi video (which I used for most of the videos in this course) and Loom if I want to explain something on my screen. You can now make explainer videos with your head in a circle at the bottom of your slide on Canva. By the way, you can also make presentations in Canva, that can be downloaded as an animated video - it's a great way to make simple videos about you and your business.
Website creator: I used to use Weebly for my website but I found that the mobile version of the site wasn't great (this is something very important) so I switched to Wix. (I pay for a pro version as I have a lot of pages and features.) Apparently it's not the best for SEO (although that seems to have changed) but it's easy to set up, the mobile versions are good and it's easy to have a multilingual site. By the way, if your clients are French-speaking, I suggest you have the main language as French.
Domain names: I've bought all my domains on Godaddy. No complaints so far!
Bank accounts: For my AE business, I used ING as my bank, which is great and free! Now that I'm an SAS, I need a real business account, so I'm using Qonto. So far it's great!
Payment tools: I have two tools integrated into my website: Stripe and Paypal. I also use Paypal to request money from private clients. Stripe is a pretty good option to allow people to pay you for kids classes for example, and you can even set up a subscription plan. Both tools take a small percentage so make sure you factor this into your pricing.
Tools I didn't get on with:
Digiforma: This is a software specifically for organismes de formation and it's also very helpful for getting through Qualiopi. I don't use it as I find it clunky and not adapted to having lots of individual clients. You might like it though - I have heard great reviews. Personally I find that if you have a lot of individual trainings and not so many groups, it ends up being difficult to manage.
Genially: For some reason I couldn't manage to create the activities I really wanted to on here. I would like to go back and try to make an escape game though...