Tools to Create SPARK!

Starting an online business requires a lot of moving parts.   There’s an ever-growing avalanche of apps and resources to choose from.   It’s not that there’s a lack of information…there’s simply too much!

Find tools that cut corners and help you focus away from the avalanche of information overload.  Here are some of the tools I use on a regular basis.

 Keyword Research Tools

You might start out using the Google free tool for keyword research, however it is limited.  Eventually you may find that keywords are simply too important to risk using a tool that doesn’t deliver a real and comprehensive return on keyword searches.

After trying several keyword research tools, by far my favorite is Jaaxy.  It is so simple to use and makes keyword research a breeze.  See my full review about keyword research & Jaaxy or go straight to the Jaaxi website.  Guests get 30 free keyword searches, so grab a free test drive to help you decide whether Jaaxi might be for you.

I’ve also used Micro Niche Finder as a keyword research tool. It’s a quality keyword research tool that delivers comprehensive results. Many prefer MNF but found it to be more complicated to use than Jaaxy.   It requires a download as opposed to being web-based.  There’s a download and set up process to go through and then you can only use it on that computer. I can use Jaaxy anywhere.


Many consider an autoresponder to be THE #1 most important tool in your entire collection.  Some even refer to their autoresponders as ‘the heart and soul’ of their entire online business.  It’s the machine that keeps on working while you are off doing other things, the automation that powers passive income!

aweber.heartAweber gets top rank as the industry standard when it comes to e-mail marketing and autoresponders.  Many top marketers use Aweber and consider it first rate.  Aweber costs $19/month.

Some choose Aweber simply to avoid having to create a series of autoresponder messages.  Since it is widely used by pros, you are  in a position to connect with a series of prepared messages in just ONE click.

Other popular autoresponder systems you might choose from  include:

  • GetResponse
  • MailChimp – Offers a free option
  • Constant Contact

Digital Storage & Organization – on the Cloud – FREE!

Save your important files, notes, data, images and even music offline for easy access.  These cloud storage systems have a searchable index of all your important ideas & notes saved digitally, so you can access them from any device.  All offer a free option as well as paid upgrades.

Cloud storage is smarter than using your own computer’s hard drive.  For one thing, in the case of a virus, you have not lost your important files.  Also having your important files stored online means you can access them anytime from any device in an instant.

Windows users, try Evernote. The Mac equivalent is Yojimbo

Dropbox is an excellent online file storage tool and can be used for both Windows and Mac.  Evernote and Dropbox are actually very similar, yet many find big advantages to using both.    I use Dropbox for images and for large files, especially those that may need to be shared.  Evernote is the tool I use to save my own personal notes and ideas, links, favorite quotes, etc.  So Dropbox is files to be shared, while Evernote is for personal files.  Dropbox is a great system to easily move/share files between computers, and to store files including your music collection.

Logins and Passwords

If it hasn’t happened already, the day will come when records of your logins and passwords becomes a huge chore.  Ever made repeated attempts to login cause you couldn’t quite remember your info and then got locked out?  Frustrating!

Stop wasting time struggling with finding the right login and password and consider using a safe online system such as Last Pass.  This system will safely encrypt this private information and enter it for you at one click!   Recommended by CFM and dozens of other reliable sources, Last Pass is a huge time saver and it is FREE!

 Time Management and Focus Tools 

Can You Relate?

Can You Relate?

Information overload is a common ailment for those who work online.  Focus and time management are crucial.

The avalanche of constant internet input can create a huge challenge with FOCUS on specific tasks each day to stay on the right track.

Pomodoro is a popular tool that supports this need with focus on tasks and personal time-management using 25 minute work blocks.

Set daily targets and keep aim on them with the help of Pomodoro, a significant time management tool for the solopreneur.


User Testing – Free Website Review from PEEK

Get a free review of your website through the eyes of a visitor.  Is your site message and navigation clear?   What might be missing that would make a huge difference to visitors?   You can run three free tests a month.  Use it for any site or even a facebook page.   This service of usability testing is brilliant!  Try PEEK!

Content Library

You might be amazed to find this free content library. I was.  Find quality content to share with both free and paid memberships.  Members can also add content to the library.








Carolan Ross

CFO(Chief Fun Officer) at SoloSpark
Freelance writer, creative soul, solopreneur and former teacher who networks with rebels, visionaries, artists and other square pegs in round holes. I support solopreneurs with copywriting and juggling life and business to SHINE ONLINE!

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