Business Resources for Doulas
After six plus years as a solopreneur doula, I've had some time to figure out what works and what doesn't when it comes to systems that make client work, productivity, tracking finances, scheduling, growing your business, and even keeping track of your life SO much easier. Everything recommended below is something I use in my own life + business, and love enough that I can't really help myself from sharing with others. Some links are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to click and sign up, I get a nominal commission for spreading the word. The good news is that that never comes at an additional cost to you...in fact, you usually get a bit of a discount upon signing up. Is that a win-win or what?
Information Management Tools
Dubsado is like my dream come true for managing the administrative side of my doula business. You can customize this system to handle things like contracts, intake forms, invoices, a checklist of interactions you want to repeat for every client at specific points in their pregnancy or postpartum...and it's ALL online. It can take a little effort to get set up, but there's lots of help in the Dubsado Community and Digital Doulas Facebook groups, and the company offers fantastic support via chat and email. You can even hire folks to set up the system for you! At $25/mo to start, it's probably most worth the investment when you are steadily taking on doula clients month to month, which is also when the time saving aspects really shine as well. Everyone gets an unlimited free trial for their first three clients, and when you are ready to sign up, this link or the code "doulalove"will give you %20 off your first month.
I used Your Doula Biz to manage my client information for the first five+ years as a doula, and was very happy to use it the whole time. The nice thing about this program is that it is built specifically for doulas, so there are lots of aspects that you won't find in Dubsado (like the ability to create a birth record for each client with specific information you track). For me, once I began steadily booking two or more clients each month, having my contracts, invoicing, contact information, and to-do list tracking in so many different spaces was overwhelming, and that's when I switched to Dubsado.
Acuity Scheduling is a highly-customizable online calendar that I use to allow my clients to schedule their doula interview or prenatal visits at their own convenience. Clients love being able to book online and seeing all the openings in my schedule, and I love being able to cut out a million text messages and emails back and forth.
When I first heard of Trello I wanted to love it but wasn't sure how to make it work for me. Then I took the Trello for Business training and fell hard for this organizational platform. Trello itself is free, and Trello for Business costs $39 (and comes with several super useful pre-made board templates you can start using right away). Now I use this to organize everything from my daily and weekly to-do lists, longer term project management, trips and vacations, client resources, and more.
100% Doula Business Foundations Training
This is one of the best investments I ever made into my doula business. It really helped me get organized and focused on not just doing the work of attending births and going to prenatal visits (although it also helped me get more organized about those things, too!) -- it helped me get organized around getting referrals, developing better relationships with colleagues, and improving my website, social media marketing, and strategies for keeping in touch with clients after their births. The 100% Doula Facebook group is one of the most supportive and helpful groups of doulas I've ever come across, too!
Squarespace is the builder and host for this website you are on right now! Squarespace is the first platform I used to build, edit, and maintain my own website. Although I've used other platforms since then, I keep coming back to Squarespace for the flexibility, power, and beautiful design.
All of my domains are purchased through Namecheap. The company is blessedly controversy-free, the interface is easy to use, and the prices for domains are great. What's not to love?
Money + Finances
The best payment processor for anyone who needs the flexibility to take payments in person, plus the ability to send an invoice that your client can pay online. I only used Square for a very long time, and it's still the primary payment processor I use. (If you sign up with this link, you and I will both get $1,000 of free processing - nice!)
Stripe is the payment processor that integrates with other services. I use it for accepting payments through Dubsado, Acuity Scheduling and Massagebook.
If you do not need or want to be able to accept credit card payments in person, you could get by using Stripe + Wave. Wave is a (FREE!) accounting software and allows you to send invoices and accept payments online.
YNAB (You Need A Budget)
My favorite budgeting software I've ever used. It now comes with auto-import of your transactions, similar to Mint, but I find the budgeting philosophy to work so much better for me. Try it free for a month with this link.
MileIQ makes tracking your mileage for tax deductions so very simple. Download the app on your phone, set it to automatically log your drives, and start categorizing. The app learns your frequent destinations and starts automatically categorizing for you (but you can always go into your account and edit if needed). For doulas that drive to clients for prenatal visits, births, etc, the mileage deduction can really add up. Talk to your accountant to make sure you are setting things up correctly for your situation, and then enjoy saving money on your taxes. Sign up with this link and get 20% off your first year's subscription.