The 6 best apps for simplifying life (Commercial investor edition)

The great gift of being a wage employee is the simplicity.

You know every day what you need to do, you know each day where you need to go and what time you start and finish your day.

When it comes to tax time you get a piece of paper which you take to your accountant and let them fix up your tax return for you.

It’s just so simple…

As soon as you start a business, you’re adding a level of complexity that’s quite a bit more detailed than just handing over your group certificate.

When you get into property, you’ve got even more tax crap to deal with… Depreciation schedules, Capital gains tax, Income tax from various properties etc, etc.

Of course, you need to have a good tax advisor who can deal with most of this sort of stuff… Because if you don’t have a good one, or you’re not fully organised, you can quickly end up in a shitshow that can make your life a misery.

When you’re self-employed (and in this, I include having your own business AND making income from investing) you are never job-free.

One of your main missions, and really the whole point of what I’m telling you all this, is to make sure that you are simplifying your processes as much as possible.

Have you got all the details of your properties, legal entities and business details in one easy place to be able to find?

Do you have a simple and effective way to keep a track on your expenditure?
…and if you have more that one thing going on… More than one property, business or income stream, are you able to track to which of these, each expense is to be attributed?

And most importantly, if you don’t have full-time staff to take care of all these multitudes of minutia – do you have a way you can track all of this easily, on the fly and on the go?

I hear people saying things like “I Love Paying tax because it means I’m making X much money”.

They’re trying to love the experience of paying tax… But to me, what they are really trying to do is convince themselves that the shit sandwich they are eating tastes like peanut butter and jam.

It doesn’t.

The tax office, to my mind, have deliberately made an over-complex nightmare that can really suck the fun out of making money…(if you let it, that’s what this post is about)

It is what it is… The best thing you can do is to make it as painless as possible nay being super organised in a way that takes as little time away from your life as possible…

… Until I can find a way to bill the ATO for the time I have to spend on dealing with their paperwork and requirements… I’ll keep you posted on that one 🙂

I’ve often been accused of being addicted to Apps. I’m always downloading, exploring and playing with the latest app… But there’s a reason I do that… It’s to make things simpler and faster.

Not only for tax time but also property research, business notes and details… You name it.

So here are my top few apps that I am loving right now and why you should check them out.

Accounts… Quickbooks online or Xero… (I’ve lumped these two together) good for having on your phone and being able to automate some of the day-to-day of keeping your accounts in order.

Project management and property research – Trello.com It’s free and a great place to keep all your notes, research and activity in one place Boards and “cards” can be shared with people who you are assigning activity to. I use this to help my students with deals I find that are worth looking at.

Or to take that one step further, check out Taskworld which contains all the power of Trello with a Gantt spreadsheet so you can track not only who’s assigned to what activity but where they are in completing it… And when they are due to finish…

This makes it handy to manage a timeline of multiple steps or projects at once.

Lists… Todoist…. Write lists, make notes, set reminders… On the go… couldn’t live without it… Get the pro version… It’s cheap and worth it.

Similar but better for brainstorming is Workflowy which is an infinite list building app… You create a list that is the highest level, then you create sublists, sub-sublists etc… Forever. It’s smart and quick to use and perfect for banging out a tonne of ideas quickly and getting them down.

Tracking of unusual expenses. If you’ve got things that you want to keep a track on that don’t fit into your usual accounting package… Here’s something else you can do… Create a Google form, add whatever criteria, to the form… For instance…

Expense category, amount, description…(google forms will time and date stamp every entry)… Then publish the form.
Send the access link to yourself and add that link to your phone as a shortcut… that way you’re only one click away from that form.

Then whenever you need to make a note, you can simply pull up the form, make your notes and hit save… When you’re ready to look at it, you just log back into google forms and download the spreadsheet. Simple.

The cool thing about this is you can do this for ANY kind of data you want to track.
I’ve seen bio-hackers create very complex forms for tracking all manner of personal data…  I’ve seen people use this is a gratitude journal or to keep a record of what they are eating… Your imagination is the only limit here.

Remember it’s all about ease, speed and simplicity. A little time spent now working out some systems could save you days and days down the track… And that’s more life you can spend doing things you actually enjoy.

When I was writing this, I considered this list from my point of view as a property (and specifically a commercial property) investor.

If you want to know how to create a commercial portfolio that creates you income replacing cashflow regardless of whether you continue to work or not, make sure you check out my next webcast. I’ll show you my latest deal as well as some case study deals from some of my students – these are deals they’ve done this year.

Point is when you invest this way you can simplify life even more by eliminating the need to go to work every day… That will leave you much more time to live as you please.

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