Ep 67 // My Top Tools that Get Me Exponential Results

Ep 67

In this episode, leadership coach Akua Nyame-Mensah shares the top 5 tools and apps that allow her to work more efficiently, connect with and convert clients, all while being more productive. These are tools that help her get exponential results in both business and her personal life and allow her to do more in less time.

Having recently done an audit of her revenue streams and where she spends her time inside her business, Akua recounts her experience doing the same with the tech tools she uses. The result: she managed to trim $500 worth of subscriptions for tools that weren't moving the needle in her business. 

Find out which apps, programs, and tools made the cut and how they might help you level up your business. Too often, money and time are wasted on tools that don't get used or that actually distract us. When deciding where to invest in tools, ask yourself if it makes sense for the amount of time and energy you currently have.

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What's Covered in this Episode About Leadership Tools

  • It's important to realize where your time is spent in relation to the money you're spending on software and apps.
  • As someone who works online across several time zones, Akua's schedule needs to be on point. One of her top tools for business is an online time converter allowing her to align her schedule with clients more easily.
  • Akua is still a huge fan of Evernote but describes why MS OneNote has been essential (and more cost-effective) for her to use in her business.
  • Canva, a free design tool with the option for a paid pro account, has saved Akua tons of time and allowed her to look more professional online.
  • Akua talks about how she uses Google Docs to keep track of all collateral for participants of her workshops and leadership programs.
  • Google Docs allows for easy sharing and editing and has much more flexibility than PDF documents. It's also great for tagging people, collaborating on documents, leaving comments, or suggesting edits.
  • Akua admits to the app she commonly uses for partner projects but doesn't like.

Quotes from this Episode of Open Door Conversations

  • "Overall, I've always known that I spend way too much money on software also probably way too much time. I love trying new things" - Akua Nyame-Mensah
  • "I never thought I'd be doing what I'm doing today. And it's really these tools, these top tools. So I use a lot of different things, but these top five tools that really helped me get there." - Akua Nyame-Mensah
  • "I think that this is a really interesting thing I see, as I, you know, put myself out there a little bit more and work on more partner projects where once again, I'm not the one driving the business development. I'm not the one driving all the content." - Akua Nyame-Mensah

Mentioned in My Top Tools that Get Me Exponential Results

What are the tools you can't live without in your business? Share them with Akua by emailing her at akuanm@akua.com.

Get to Know the Host of the Open Door Conversations Podcast

Learn more about your host, Akua Nyame-Mensah.

Akua is a certified executive and leadership coach, recognized learning and organizational development facilitator, speaker, and former startup executive. 

Since 2018, she has had the opportunity to partner with amazing organizations, from high-growth startups to multinational brands all around the world, to maximize people, performance, and profit.  Outside of her coaching and corporate speaking engagements, she is a regular mentor, coach, and judge for various entrepreneurship-focused organizations.

Stay in touch with Akua Nyame-Mensah, Leadership & Culture Advisor:

  • Read about Akua’s services if you’d like to learn more about how you can hire her to help you strengthen your organization’s culture.

  • Complete her contact form to jump on a call.

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Here’s the transcript for episode 67 about Productivity Tools

NOTE: Please excuse any errors in this transcript; it was created using an AI tool. Akua Nyame-Mensah 0:07 Welcome to the open door podcast. My name is Akua Nyame-Mensah. I also respond to Aqua and I'm a certified executive and leadership coach recognised facilitator and former sort of leader that loves supporting reluctant buyer fighting and overwhelmed leaders. I've worked with them to help them clarify where they should focus their time, and energy each and every day so that they can love themselves, love their work, and ultimately love their life. If you're looking to learn leadership information and hear different perspectives, you are in the right place. My aim in this podcast is to help you see that one of the most productive and profitable things you can do is deeply understand yourself. Understand how you show up, understand how you thrive, and allow yourself to align everything in your work in your life, and in your business to support that think of this podcast as your weekly opportunity to receive leadership support. And remember, there is no one right way to lead yourself or others. Thank you so much for taking the time to join me today. Let's get started. Hello, and welcome to this week's open door conversations podcast episode really excited as always about what my topic is today. And I'm be talking about the software, the tools that helped me get exponential results in both my personal and professional life. If anything, this is updated sort of tools list, I do think I either have a blog post or a podcast episode in relation to this that I did a few years ago, I will make sure that I link that in the show notes. But my thought was really just putting something together to help people see some of the top things that really helped me be efficient, that helped me get more sleep, and then allow me to do the things I need to do in order to feel like a human and show up and feel successful. So if you're interested in hearing about some of the tools and software I use to help me get to the next level and show up as consistently as I can keep listening. So I've spent a lot of time this month auditing my tools, auditing the software I invest in and trying to see what really helps me connect and convert clients. And also that allows me to be more efficient with the initiatives and organisations that I support, but don't necessarily get a financial return from so I've cancelled quite a few subscriptions, I've saved a bit of money. Actually, at this point, I was doing this at one of my friend's houses. And I was like I just saved $500 I've actually saved a lot more than that. So I've been cancelling subscriptions and really just reflecting on what I need to be successful. And also recognising that what I do for a living is also evolving. If you took a listen to one of my recent podcast episodes, where I talked a little bit about how I make money or where my money comes from, as a full time executive and leadership coach facilitator speaker, you know that for the last part of this year, I'm gonna be doing a lot more external work. So work that I didn't necessarily put myself out for I didn't do the business development for I'm joining existing teams and projects as a subcontractor, co facilitator, co coach. So there's certain things that I don't need to really focus on and invest in because it doesn't necessarily make sense for where my resources are coming from right now. Overall, I've always known that I spend way too much money on software also probably way too much time. I love trying new applications, I love trying new things. I like trying to figure out what works and what doesn't work. And so I really wanted to share an updated version of my top tools and talk through how they helped me set aside the right amount of time for the work that I do actually helped me get outside my comfort zone. So using these tools does help me do things I thought I would never do or I'm uncomfortable doing it also helps me to engage and connect something I mentioned earlier on in the intro. And you know, most importantly, helps me set and really exceed the goals I've set for myself. I've said this many times on this podcast, I never thought I'd be doing what I'm doing today. And it's really these tools, these top tools. So I use a lot of different things, but these top five tools that really helped me get there. So if you're feeling overwhelmed and trying to figure out what tools you need, please feel free to reach out. You know, by the end of this conversation, I hope that you have some ideas of what might work for you. If you have a specific question. You're welcome to reach out because I am trying to build a community suppose Typically for coaches and consultants where we have these types of conversations, because I think a lot of us waste time and energy thinking that there's a perfect piece of software or a perfect application, that's really going to help us take our business to the next level. And the reality is that we have to be very clear on why we're using those pieces of software and those tools. And we should be constantly auditing to make sure that makes sense for where we're going in our business. And make sense with the amount of time and energy that we have now, right? Because investing time and energy into tools can actually take away from your ability to do business development, or take away from your ability to actually connect with clients, and you don't want your software, whatever tools you're using to do that. So I want to just share straight up, you know, straight up top five tools, and then I'll break them down to why they become so important in my business. All right, especially where my business is right now and how I make money right now. So the top five tools number one a time converter number two, one notes, number three Canva. Number four, Google Docs, and number five, and I'm super surprised and slightly embarrassed to say this WhatsApp, so let's break this down. Let's go into it. Why are these the most important tools? I do think actually, that these are probably in an order of sorts of importance or usage. And as I mentioned before, a little embarrassed about the last one that I shared, but it's actually become increasingly more important. So let's talk about this first one time converter. So time converter, I use a free time Converter website, if you'd like it, let me know I'm happy to share it with you. It's super easy to find online. But it's been incredibly important to my business, it always has been. But right now it's been even more important because I'm going to start doing a lot more in person work. And it's really important that I get the timing correct. And as I share my calendar, because that's something I've always done in my business with my existing clients versus some of these new projects I've brought on, it's really important that everything aligns, I've also been travelling a little bit more. So I just came back from the US, I'm headed to South Africa. And so I even more need to make sure I'm on top of everything related to time. Because ultimately, in terms of the work I do, I have conversations for a living, right, I speak for a living, so we need to make sure that I'm picked up at the right time. I'm at the venue at the right time, right, I'm telling people I'm where I'm going to be at the right time. And so I work between so many different time zones. And so when I'm also sending emails to potential clients and existing clients, I want to make sure that I'm getting the timezone right. And that it makes sense for me. So I'm putting the right boundaries around when I'm showing up. And you know, when I say we can have a session or when I say I can speak. So this time zone converter has been incredibly important, even as I transitioned to doing a little bit more in person work. But it's also been incredibly important for the virtual work that I do as well, because once again, whenever I send an email, I want to make sure that it's in the timezone of whoever's receiving it. And that's something that I try and do all the time. It's actually been very interesting on this project I'm on now because I'm working with people in Asia, addition to people in Europe. So it's been really fun to use this time Converter website to see if there's any overlap. And I will say a lot of times there is actually no overlap. But that just means that we're making decisions about when we show up, I'm waking up a little bit earlier than I normally do. But it's fine, because I make it up in other ways. So that's really the first, I think app tool that I use that's been incredibly important over the last few months and will be incredibly important. Even moving forward. This second one here. And this is really interesting, because in some of my previous content, I talk a lot about Evernote. I'm a massive fan of Evernote, I will still be a fan of Evernote. But here's the thing, it is a tool that you have to pay for. And especially if you have multiple devices like I do, I want to be able to sync between all the devices. It just didn't make sense anymore. I also didn't particularly like how it stored the notes. And so I started testing Microsoft OneNote. And I was like, huh, this isn't that bad. And not only was it not bad, I technically got it for free because I had paid for a Microsoft subscription a way back in the day. So not only do I not have to pay for it on a monthly or yearly basis, it actually works across all my devices, right? I don't have to add additional subscriptions because it works just across all my devices. Also, they're using a an iPad. So I do have an iPad, and I do like to write it's really important for me to be able to write some things and not just constantly typing. It works really, really well. So there are notes, whatever technology they use on an iPad to allow you to write I think is really, really good. And it works really well I'm actually reading notes right now from one notes and so I've really enjoyed using it. I will say it is a little bit different in terms of how you create notebooks and notes. It's not as easy to do We'd things. But overall, I have really enjoyed at least writing with my iPad pencil and this document and also typing as well, it's really easy to move things around because the text and you know, whether I write it by hand text or actual types, text is more like an image. So you can do things I think a lot more easily because it's more of a canvas as opposed to more of a Word doc. So that really is the second tool that's been incredibly important over the last few months. And if you are looking for a tool to help you take notes across all the devices that you have, I think that one note is a really, really good application. And as I mentioned before, it typically is something that you will get at no additional cost, because if you use any Microsoft product, you should be able to get access to it. So that really is the second one. All right. The third one, this is a really big one for a lot of people that do things online, and that is Canva. So Canva is an application online application that I've used for a very long time, it is still very important to my business, it's how I create the majority of my graphics outside of Canva. I will say I use PowerPoint a lot for my graphics as well. Those of you who know anything about layout design in design, might know that PowerPoint actually does a pretty good job with some things. You can even create vector graphics. All right, I'm going off topic here. But Canva has been really important to my business, especially the visuals, and there's so many great templates on there, there's so many things that you can use very easily. Even with the work that I do with clients, I'll actually create Canva templates that they can download. And I'll direct them towards Canva templates that they can use for specific things, especially if they're interested in sort of thinking about their leadership brand online, and those sorts of things. But Canva, I think it's a really great, really great app. And something that I use constantly. I don't think I mentioned it in my last tools, conversation. But I do think it's something that's really important to keep in mind. So this next one is probably going to come at ya no surprise, as I mentioned, in my top five, Google Docs continues to be incredibly important to my business, I will say because of this additional consulting work that I'm doing, I am sort of spending a little bit more time in sort of the Microsoft world, I think it's called SharePoint, you know, they have sort of their own version, I still don't think it's necessarily as good. But it does work well, when you know, working between corporates. But in terms of my own work, what I love using still is Google Docs. And that's really where the majority of my content is, that's really how I communicate with my clients, I have something I call the leadership dashboard. So with my one on one clients, it's a place where we keep track of everything with people who, you know, join me for my workshops or any of my leadership programmes. I'll use Google Docs as sort of templates that they can copy and paste and use for themselves or even share with their teams. So continuing to use Google Docs to keep track of my own tasks, the task, I have found other people that support me in my business. And then of course, the communications I have with existing and potential clients. So I also use Google Docs for my proposals for my timelines. And once again, it's just great because it's a collaborative app and allows you to add things, highlight things, tag, people comment, there's some really cool new elements that Google Docs has added, including, I think you can put dates in there, you can tag people and then like, add a task, which I think is really great. Google Docs has always had comments. And you can even have a separate chat. So these are all elements that I use, I use Google Docs even more. So now. I think even more intentionally now. And I think that it's a really great way once again, to keep track of things and connect with others. And because you can force copy, it's a great way to also create templates that people can download. Because it's a lot more. It's not as rigid as a PDF. And so it just allows people to add things, I think, a lot easier than trying to have him edit a PDF or download a PDF. Alright, so that was number four. So let's get into the last one, as I mentioned before, this last one slightly embarrassed by it, but it's really something that I've been on a lot more than I would like to admit. And that is WhatsApp. I'm looking at my notes right here. And I actually said not happy about it. But with my partner projects, they really seem to prefer WhatsApp. And so I think that this is a really interesting thing I see, as I, you know, put myself out there a little bit more and work on more partner projects where once again, I'm not the one driving the business development. I'm not the one driving all the content. I'm coming in as an expert, a co facilitator, you know, a co coach, and I'm using existing content. And also, of course, they already have a culture of how they tend to communicate and engage. And so I find that a lot of them sort of use whatsapp as opposed to maybe a Slack or a different platform. I think that the reasoning is that everyone has access to WhatsApp, but I will say I find it very disparate octave, because I try not to be in WhatsApp during the day. But because these partners use and leverage WhatsApp, I'm sort of forced to be on WhatsApp. And then I get sucked in to, you know, random group conversations, random spam and all that good stuff. So I've been using WhatsApp a lot more, as I mentioned before, not happy about it, I do try and get myself some boundaries, like I'll just go in, take a look at whatever's put in there. And sometimes I'll just respond via email, because email still is the best way for me to get in touch and keep track once again, of the tasks that are associated with whatever I need to do. And that's why I feel like WhatsApp is not always the best place for that, especially if you are using WhatsApp also for your personal life. Luckily, I have two different ones apps. So I'm able to not go into my personal one if I need to. But overall, it definitely has been interesting to see that I have to use a tool, or an application I feel like shouldn't be used during the day, in my opinion, also not necessarily the best way to constantly connect, I think that WhatsApp is a great way to connect if there is an emergency if you need a really urgent and it truly is an urgent response, I think it's a great way to have a conversation with a potential client or an existing client. If your internet's not working that well, you don't want to be on Zoom. I think that, you know, WhatsApp does a much better job of handling those types of conversations. Even if once again, your internet's not that great. But that's really been the last tool that I've used a lot, a lot more once again, than I ever thought I would over the last few months. And so as you can see, these tools really do cover being able to engage better with others, right, being able to set better expectation with others. And also for myself, I use these tools, especially Google Docs, and OneNote. To really check in on my you know, the task I've assigned to myself, the goals I've set for myself, and then obviously WhatsApp that really is about communicating externally Canva that's more about those visuals, right. And then time converter, that's just really about making sure I'm able to have conversations with clients and you know, teams that I'm on at a good time. Alright, so that's, I think all I wanted to share about some of my updated tools, I hope that this conversation gave you an opportunity to reflect on the tools, the resources, the applications that you're using, you always want to make sure that whatever you're using is really helping you get those results. It's not adding stress to your life. It's not costing you a tonne of money. That's why you do the audit. And it's really helping you get to the next level. And as I mentioned before, when I think about these tools, they really are helping me get there. The time converter, right time zone converter helps you work with people all around the world really efficiently. OneNote helps me keep track of things and keeps me on the right page. Canva helps me look visually, you know, somewhat professional Google Docs, I keep track of a lot of things and also can share my resources with the rest of the world. And finally, WhatsApp keeps me connected, even if they do it in a way that I don't always think is the most productive. So as always, thank you so much for taking the time to listen. Once again, I invite you to reach out if you have any thoughts about what I have shared. If you have any ideas, any questions, you're more than welcome to reach out on LinkedIn. I'd love to connect with you in the DMS. Thank you again and I hope that you enjoy the rest of your day. Stay safe and stay safe. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to today's episode. If you enjoyed what you heard today, please share it with your friends. We can continue this conversation on social media the links to my socials so that is LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. You can find them in the show notes. If you tagged me in a story and include the hashtag hashtag ask Akua I will share a special little gift with you. Thank you so much once again for your time and I cannot wait to share my next episode with you stay safe and sane.


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