Tea with the Queen

5 software tools I can’t live without



So today, I’m sharing my top software tools that I simply cannot live without.

As entrepreneurs, there is so much to think about in the running of a business. From making sales calls to keeping up with endless admin, it can get challenging to keep on top of everything required of us. 

By helping me stay on top of admin and enhancing productivity and communication, these tools have become integral to my daily workflow. I encourage you to check them out for yourself and see which ones you could integrate into your everyday operations. 

1. Marco Polo: The Game-Changing Video Messaging App

One of my absolute favourite tools is Marco Polo, a video messaging app that allows users to send video messages either live or to be watched later. This app has actually become the one I use most on my phone. In fact, it’s the number one thing that uses most of my battery!

Disclaimer: I am biased, being an ambassador for Marco Polo. However, I  just really love the tool. It’s a great way to communicate with my clients, while also helping them get comfy on video. This is really important if they have some socials that they need to do. The best part? It never gets in the way: clients can Marco Polo me when it’s convenient to them, and I’ll Marco Polo them back when it best suits me. 

2. Xero: Your Business Finance Ally

Next up is Xero, an accounting software that I started using early in my business journey. Initially met with scepticism by an old-school accountant, I proved its worth within the first few months of operation by needing GST setup earlier than expected. Xero is more than just an accounting tool; it’s also a statement that you’re serious about business. Unlike traditional spreadsheets, Xero offers a comprehensive suite of features that no serious business can afford to overlook.

3. Audible: Feeding the Mind Constantly

A constant companion in my life has been Audible, the audiobook subscription service. With a book always ready on my phone, I’m able to learn and grow on the go. A book that really impacted me lately was Feel Good Productivity by Ali Abdaal – I even ordered 50 copies for my clients! Audible is a fantastic tool for those who, like me, are always looking to consume knowledge efficiently and effectively.

4. Big VU: The Teleprompter App to Keep You on Track

Big VU is an amazing teleprompter that helps me keep my video content organised and professional. It’s almost like a security blanket for me, where I can stay on track and consistent with my socials. I can put scripts in it, complete with bullet points if I want. It’s fairly affordable and I love the ease of use. If you want to get better at videos, this is the tool to download.

5. Insight Timer: Meditation for Mental Clarity

This is a meditation app that has been part of my daily routine for seven years. Used every morning after my 5am walk (I know, 5am – let’s not go there!), it’s a soothing start to my day, especially with meditations by Sarah Blondin, whose calming voice is truly therapeutic. Meditation keeps me grounded and focused, and Insight Timer offers a plethora of guided sessions to suit any need.

Bonus Recommendations

Bonus round! I know I said I’d only share five, but I had to mention two more goodies that are on high rotation for me: the Notes app on my phone and the Oura ring. The Notes app is built into the iPhone, synchronising across all my devices, where I can jot down any idea on the spot. With the Oura ring and its accompanying app, I can track my health metrics, giving me insights into my sleep patterns and physical activity. I love this for helping me stay in check with my well-being.

So, those are my go-to tools that help me stay productive, organised and focused. I highly recommend you check them out. Have any software tools you can’t live without? I’d love to hear about them. Drop a comment or DM me to share yours!


Resources mentioned:

Marco Polo: https://www.marcopolo.me 

Xero: https://www.xero.com 

Audible: https://www.audible.com 

Big VU: https://www.bigvu.tv 

Insight Timer: https://insighttimer.com

Oura Ring: https://ouraring.com 

For a copy of Emma’s book, ‘Go-getter: Raise your mojo, shift your mindset and thrive’ – https://www.emmamcqueen.com.au/book/

Read The Full Transcript

Emma: [00:00:00] There are five, maybe six or seven, but five main software tools that I can't live without and today I thought I'd take you behind the scenes and talk to you about the software, the tools that I love. So I might be showing my age here, but bear with me. Do you remember the game you used to play with your siblings, your cousins, in the pool?
called Marco Polo. Well, there is now an app called Marco Polo. It's not that, but it is the next best thing.
This is what it looks like. I'll put that in the show notes if I can. And this is the tool that I use the most in my business by far. I had to look through [00:01:00] all my apps and all my battery and what I use the most. And Marco, Paula was it Everyone that we work with has access to Marco Polo.
It's a video messaging app that allows you to leave Marco's. with each other. Now there's so many tools you can use. You can use WhatsApp, you can use FaceTime, you can use Messenger, you can use all the apps. There are so many reasons that I love Marco Polo. I am biased. I have been using it for a few years and I am also an ambassador for Marco Polo now, but I the tool.
And the reason I love the tool, the beauty of the tool and why I chose it is kind of threefold. One, so it's a video messaging app. So you can message someone and they can watch it later or they can watch it live. So it helps my clients get comfy on video. Very important if they have some socials that they need to do.
It also allows my clients to see my face so that nothing is misinterpreted. I've got [00:02:00] one of those places that give it all away the entire time. And so what I want to say to my client, let's say they're not making enough sales calls, I will pick up Marco Polo and say, Hey, I've noticed you haven't been making very many sales calls.
So how about we get back onto that? And I do a little smile. So they know she's not being mean. She's just. holding me to account. And I love it for that reason. the third reason is we can watch it at our convenience. So none of my clients expect me to be on there 24 seven. I don't expect them to be on there 24 seven, but what it does allow them to do is in the moment, think about, Oh, I need to message Emma.
They can Marco Polo me when it's convenient to them. And I'll Marco Polo them when it's convenient to me. All of my clients love it and all of them use it whether or not they liked to in the first instance or not. Some have shared it with their families because the app is actually for families. and this has created some amazing things in some of my neurodiverse clients [00:03:00] families, because it has helped them communicate a little better.
Some people have called Marco Polo Snapchat for old people. I have to agree. Although the snaps don't disappear. They stay there. but it also means if we've just had a coaching session and you're like, what did she say to do next? We can Marco Polo about it and then they can get on with it. It stops that paralysis.
Check it out. Try it out. You'll love it. Promise. My second app that I use a lot, or my second software tool, I should say, is Xero. I got Xero very early on. Funny story, I went to our accountant, and I got set up on my books, and he told me that I didn't need an accounting system. because really how much money was I going to make after all?
Once I got my breath back, I asked him to set me up with GST within my first month, and he laughed. Ladies, he [00:04:00] laughed. We needed that set up within the first three months of business, and he laughed. After that, I was done. I was done with the negative attitude and I fired him and replaced him with someone who cheered me on, didn't continually question my ability, and treated me like a business woman.
Make sure you surround yourself with the right people. But I also love Xero. tell you and those around you that you are serious about business. I talk to women all the time who tell me that a spreadsheet works just as well. No, it doesn't. That a spreadsheet does all the same things Xero does. No, it doesn't. You have to invest in yourself with things like this. If you're sitting there working on a spreadsheet and you are not a hobby business, You need to invest in Xero or another tool like Xero.
Most bookkeepers love Xero now, and I love Xero. I think you cannot go wrong, especially when it comes to finance in business. The third software [00:05:00] tool or app that I use a lot is Audible. I have a subscription. I read at least a book a week. I always have one in my hand, one on my Kindle, and one on my Audible.
My latest reading was Feel Good Productivity. His name is Ali. And he was incredible. He was so incredible that I ordered 50 copies and I handed them out at the last go getters day. What I love about feel good productivity is that he talks about hacking yourself, doing experiments with yourself. And a couple of my clients who, who are a bit more neurodiverse, they love that.
The experiments, the hacking, trying to get stuff done and, feel good productivity helps you do that. So if you haven't had a chance to download that, grab yourself a copy. Not endorsed, just really love it. The fourth one is something called Big V U. It's basically a [00:06:00] teleprompter. I am very blessed at this point in my business, seven years in, to have a social media manager.
Shout out to Bex Denner from Creative Seed Co. And she manages our socials for us and has done for a little while. I like to think I'm the gold star student. as I rock up on video every single day, so Bec makes me, but I also do it, right? So I'm super consistent in this. If nothing else, I'm super consistent.
And what big VU does, it's like a security blanket for me. So I can put scripts in it, there to keep me on track. I can put bullet points if I want. I can totally ignore it if I want to do that as well, but I love the ease of it. Yeah, it doesn't cost that much each year, and It's super easy to download and if you want to get better at videos, this is the tool to download.
Number five. insight timer. This is a meditation app. So full transparency and meditation app. I've used it every day for seven years and I love it. I meditate first thing in the morning after my [00:07:00] 5am walk. Don't even get me started on that, but I love walking and that's the best way for me to start a day.
And I especially love a woman on there called Sarah Blondin. She has a beautiful voice and it's so soothing listening to her. I have another two. I know I said five, but anyway. Uh, first of all, notes. Notes in my phone. My phone goes everywhere with me, as does in my notes. My notes have ideas in it, people to reach out to in it, podcast ideas, all the things, and it syncs to my computer.
So it's something that I actually can't live without. It's inbuilt to your iPhone. You don't have to pay anything for it. It's awesome. And finally, I have an app called Aura because I have a ring called Aura, so I don't know if you can see. I'm not, I don't want to stick my finger up at you, but see that ring, that's called an Aura ring.
It's a health tracker. It's a sleep tracker and it measures my heart rate, my sleep, my exercise, and all the activity that I do. [00:08:00] It even measures your resilience. Unbelievable. This is my second ring in three years and I love it. Yes, you can wear it in the shower. Yes, you can wear it in the sea.
Unbelievable. And it helps me work out how I'm going, how I'm feeling. If I'm feeling a bit tired, I just check my app and see, how did I sleep last night? What else do I do? Now I use it to check in with myself. I don't use it to inform my choices. So I don't go, Oh, I've had a bad night's sleep. Oh, okay, I'm tired.
Don't do that. But I do check in with myself and make sure that I'm on track. So there are my five to seven tools that I use in my business. Are there any there that you think, yeah, I want to try those? Are there any books that you think I might like? I would love to hear it in the comments or DM us and let us know.
And if you use any of them, especially Marco Polo, please let me know. [00:09:00]