We are more than four weeks into our six-week stay in southern France. My partner and I have been working first thing in the morning on our terrace, sometimes for an hour, sometimes for three hours, and then we may check emails at lunchtime when we get back from whatever village we’ve been checking out. In the evenings, I like to work for an hour or so if there are not too many distractions (and with up to 14 adults and our two young children, there have been plenty!).

Apart from my laptop (Macbook Pro, if you’re interested) and our wi-fi connection, there are five tools that I couldn’t do without:

1. Dropbox

Dropbox allows you to upload files and share them with people. I use it to send and receive large artwork files to my designer, to upload and send recordings of coaching sessions to coaching clients, and to receive large files from clients. Some people also use it for security reasons, uploading all important files to keep there should their computer being stolen or broken.

2. Skype

Oh, the joys of Skype! I use Skype to coach clients one-to-one, as well as to speak with colleagues and clients when email doesn’t cut it. It has great little-known funky features such as screen sharing, so that coaching clients can see me update their Facebook pages or create Facebook ad campaigns, use their Mail Chimp or Constant Contact, or update their website. Or I can watch their screens to help them as they do these things.

3. Hootsuite

I take my social media very seriously – I have to – it’s an essential component of doing business in the 21st century as well as an increasingly important part of online marketing, which is what we do here. I aim to update our Facebook business page at least once a day, before 9am. I may also post at 1pm or about 6pm. Problem is, 9am in Australia’s eastern seaboard is 1 in the morning here. I use Hootsuite to manage almost all our social media accounts and schedule updates.

4.World clock

Speaking of time zones, the Time Now website, particularly its meeting planner tool, is essential for figuring out what’s what. Mind you, I still make a few mistakes …

5. WordPress

Websites need content management systems. Even if you can’t stand technology and can afford to outsource all website updates, your web designer will still do these faster with a content management system than without. WordPress not only enables me to quickly and easily update my site and publish blog posts such as this one, but I can collect payments, send automatic tweets, register new email subscribers and keep in touch with many more people than would be possible face-to-face or via the phone. And that’s a lot of what online marketing is about, really.