There’s a French proverb that says: “A good craftsman works with the right tools.”
I couldn’t agree more: The tools you use bloody matter.
So here’s my full tech stack for solopreneurs.
Before digging deeper, some context: I’m a one-man band. I’m creating content because I want to enjoy the freedom.
And if you want to build a lightweight business that doesn’t allow you to hire contractors or employees, the tech stack I’m going to share with you will help.
I’ve been refining this list for 10 years. And these tools will allow you to save at least 10 hours each week.
These productivity tools will be helpful no matter your current level: whether you’re a total beginner or seasoned veteran.
📝 Note-taking tech stack
Notes are bloody important as a solopreneur.
If you’re like me, then you probably have a lot of ideas that you want to share with your audience and execute on. This is why having a solid note-taking system is mandatory to keep track of everything and avoid overwhelm.
The reason why I use 3 separate note-taking apps is because I don’t want to clog my knowledge base, and that each app has a specific function in my workflow.
Bear is a beautiful note-taking app that works on the Apple ecosystem. I first bought a subscription back in 2019 and kept it since. The reason why you should spare is to simply capture content ideas fast. It allows me to directly integrate with iOS shortcuts and create custom shortcuts like this.
I use a second note-taking app called Obsidian, which allows me to serve like a knowledge hub where I just store all my learnings and content.
What makes Obsidian unique is the fact that it allows you to link your notes together and shows you a sexy knowledge graph to see how your knowledge is connected.
I also have my content calendar in Obsidian so it basically centralizes my content creation production in terms of inputs and outputs
It works on any platform.
Price: $19.99 USD per year
This is initially a note-taking app, but I’m not using it to take notes. I’m simply using Drafts to run a bunch of automations to ship my content.
Drafts is extremely powerful and allows you to build a bunch of different custom workflows. One of the ways I use it to publish my Medium articles or sending emails to my list with one click.
It saves me hours each month, stopping me from wrestling with willpower to get things done.
Voice dictation app: Otter
Another app that I use is called otter this is a voice dictation app powered by AI.
You get way better transcripts with otter than with the built-in voice dictation tool on your phone. And most importantly there isn’t any timeout unless you press “stop”.
Which means you can talk for dozens of minutes without getting interrupted.
I use this all the time to flush out articles and be able to save my ideas when I don’t want to type like while walking or driving. (This is when I get my best ideas.)
What I really like about otter is that unless other voice dictation apps is that it has an off-line mode which means that I don’t need to be connected to the Internet to record my notes it’s simply will start uploading them once I’m connected to Wi-Fi.
The free plan comes with 300 minutes and this is way enough for me.
📬 Solopreneur Email Tech Stack
Starts at $8/month
If you’re serious about solopreneurship, you certainly want an email with your own domain.
The best way is to use Google Workspace because not only does it allow you to use your domain, but it also allows you to use Gmail and powerful filters and options and add-ons to take your email productivity to the next level.
It also makes collaborating with Google Docs, Sheets, Calendar, and Forms way easier.
My Solopreneur Autoresponder of Choice
Starts at $9/month
Your email list is your most important asset as a solopreneur.
But you need an auto responder in order to build and ultimately email your list.
There are a bunch of autoresponders out there, and I almost tested them all. It has been a few years that I am now using MailerLite.
It’s not perfect.
But it’s giving you way more bang for your buck than ConvertKit and has nice integrations with almost any other tools that you are going to use in your solopreneur journey.
If you want to try out MailerLite for free, here’s my affiliate link.
If you sign up with my affiliate link (at no extra cost for you!), simply send me your receipt and I’ll unlock a free crash course on how to get started on the right foot in less than 60 minutes.
🎓 Online Course Hosting Tech Stack
If you’re like me, your goal is to monetize your knowledge with online courses. I’ve toyed around with a lot of different business models like:
But sharing knowledge and selling online courses is the only one that has been sticking with me over the years.
Teachable (Not Recommended!)
I’ve been using Teachable for two years.
And they are certainly totally overpriced. The reason why I have been using them is that they manage taxes, sales taxes like GST or VAT on your behalf. But I recently ran into a bunch of customer support issues which are not tolerable when paying $119/month in subscription fees.
Another few options you might want to consider:
- Gumroad (No monthly subscription. They take a 10% cut on your sale)
- Podia (starts at $39/month)
- Thrivelearn that comes with Thrivecart
- Or self-hosting your courses on your WordPress website with personalized video hosting (more on that later.)
💳 Payment Processing
If you want to process payments by yourself, you need a payment processor. It’s basically the bridge between your customers credit cards and your bank account.
This is the golden standard when it comes to processing payments on your own. You can create an account for free and start getting paid.
Quick side-note: Even though I’ve been using PayPal since my early days on the Internet, I don’t recommend it for processing payments. I had a bunch of horror stories with them freezing my account for six months. So I don’t like to do business with such people.
Stripe doesn’t charge any monthly fee. They simply take a cut when someone’s makes a purchase. (Roughly 3% of the transaction value)
Web Hosting & Domains
Every solopreneur needs a website for three obvious reasons:
- People are going to Google you (and it’s way better to have your website show up than your TikTok profile).
- A website is your piece of real estate on the internet. It’s the only platform that allows you to bypass the platform dictatorship.
- It allows you to generate free traffic with SEO.
I’ve heard a lot of good stuff around SiteGround.
However, at $15 per month for ONE website I feel they’re just overpriced. Instead, I’m using a Swiss hosting platform called Infomaniak (affiliate link at no extra costs for you!)
I’ve been with them for several years, and their hosting works great. It comes at 5.75€/month (which is roughly $6/month depending on the exchange rate). It’s a one-stop shop because you can also use them to purchase your domain for another $10-$15 per year for a simple dot com domain.
I’ve been using WordPress for over 12 years.
It powers 25% of all internet websites. Which means that you can’t go wrong by choosing WordPress. It also integrates with a lot of different tools and you can find unit to your own unique taste.
I then use SEO-friendly themes like Generatepress. (Affiliate link. If you buy through it, send me your receipt and I’ll give you access to a free crash-course on how to set it up correctly.)
Allows you to protect your website from major DDoS attacks and also use their CDN network to make it faster – which is bloody important for SEO.
📹 Video Hosting
This part is going to be only for solopreneurs who want to host their course videos by themselves or want to track specific user engagements on videos (like if you’re using product launches.) or simply make it look more professional (and secure) than embedding a YouTube video.
Vimeo for Video Hosting (like courses)
Starts at $144/year
I’ve been using Vimeo for almost a decade. It works great.
What I don’t like about them are three things: Number one, their user interface, and number two, the support. Their support is, as with almost any other support, very slow and not spot on. What I don’t like about them is their analytics, which could be better.
What I discovered by writing this guide is that they updated their pricing. You can only upload 120 videos on their $20 per month plan, which doesn’t make it really enticing if you need to host a lot of videos.
A better alternative for this would be to use Bunny Stream which you pay based on storage + usage. Pricing is a bit more complicated. But probably a cheaper and solid alternative to Vimeo if you have a LOT of videos to host.
Sprout Video for Video Marketing
Starts at $10/mo
If you’re doing a lot of video marketing like:
- video product launches,
- or simply want to know how your marketing videos perform
…then you’ll love Sprout Video.
Most analytics on video hosting platform sucks (like Vimeo). But Sprout gives you real marketing analytics. This is my favorite alternative to Wistia which is totally overpriced IMHO.
Just take a look at those pretty stats which show the retention curve, where people left of, etc.
🤖 Automation Tools
Starts at $239.88/year
It’s by far the easiest automation no-code tool out there. I automate a lot of things with Zapier like:
- Scheduling my emails
- Podcast publication workflow
- And even have built an in-house tracking system
Probably overkill for a beginner.
But if you need an external tool to handle automations, this is the tool I’d start with.
☎️ Solopreneur Coaching Tech Stack
If you ever tried to schedule a meeting without a calendar, you know how much of a pain in the back this can be. You waste a bunch of time looking at your calendar trying to convert time zones, etc. This is why the calendar software is mandatory.
There are a bunch of calendar software out there, and Calendly is probably the most popular one. It’s the app I’ve been using for years.
However, I recently switched to Tidycal because of their lifetime deal that you can grab at $29 by the time of writing this.
It integrates with all major calendars, like:
- or Microsoft
- and can also be linked to Zoom
And if you want to charge for your meeting, it neatly integrates with Stripe and PayPal.
It automatically creates a Zoom meeting link and send out reminders.
Even though the interface isn’t as slick as on Calendly, its no-brainer for that price!
Zoom (Free Version)
I use Zoom to conduct coaching calls.
It’s not perfect, and there are a lot of alternatives out there.
But since COVID, everyone’s familiar with it and has it already installed on their devices. The free plan allows you to also record your meetings, which is very useful.
Google Meet is a serious alternative, but you can’t record the meeting with the basic Workspace account I use at $8/mo.
I generally keep my coaching calls at 30 minutes, so the free version works just fine since it gives you 40 minutes of free calls.
🦾 A 24/7 AI Assistant
When ChatGPT first rolled out their $20 per month subscription, I almost swore that I’m not going to take it.
At that time, I was a stupid fool because I hadn’t understood yet how to use ChatGPT effectively.
After investing over 150 hours writing with AI, I finally found the tremendous value in it.
The reason why I recommend ChatGPT plus subscription is because it gives you access to the latest GPT model which is crucial if you want to get decent written output.
I use it to do so many things. I don’t know where to start. Let’s start anyway:
- Write my first drafts
- Proofread my articles
- Come up with headline ideas
- Create images for my articles
- Turn a voice note into “readable” text
- Act as a writing coach to improve my writing
It basically replaced my ~$150/year Grammarly subscription and does a bunch of other things that would cost probably 10 to 100 times what OpenAI charges me.