The tools we use: Xero, Treehouse, Sumo & more

Xero for agencies

We like to share.

Whilst we work with clients of all shapes and sizes, we know that a large proportion of our newsletter readers are entrepreneurs, agencies and intrapreneurs looking to find new ways to be more productive, creative and (ultimately) profitable.

With that in mind we’re continuously updating our list of recommended apps, hacks and services we use to fuel our agency. You can find it here.

We thought we’d shine the spotlight on five services that have become daily sidekicks.

First up: Xero

We all dread doing our accounts. Wanting to spend my time on creative pursuits and serving clients, my business accounts would often come down to a big pile of receipts sent to the accountant. Then I discovered Xero.

In it’s own words Xero is pitched as ‘beautiful accounting software’ made simple. It prides itself on taking care of your precious finances, freeing up more time to do what you do best: running and growing your company

It also gives you a lot more control and saves you a lot in fees in the process.

Here’s why we love Xero and are happy to recommend it:

  • Business dashboards. See how business is going with a glance at charts that are ready and waiting for you. Never get flustered again if an investor wants these at short notice!
  • Bank reconciliation. By linking a feed of your bank account directly to Xero, it will pull in all your incomings and outgoings so they can be quickly reconciled. This alone saves 5-10 hours a month.
  • Take online payments. We’ve started doing this for our side projects. Get paid sooner by accepting payments from your usual online payment services.
  • Dealing with HMRC. Whether it’s VAT returns or annual returns, preparing your paperwork is now as simple as clicking a button.

If, like me, you find that feeling of being on top of things incredibly satisfying then you’ll need Xero in your business armory.


Some other new faces to our toolkit include:

Product Hunt

Leading into the future is both art and science. Get a head start on bubbling up consumer and cultural trends with Product Hunt. The free service features the best new products every day.


Craft notes and big ideas across devices with this elegant alternative to Evernote. The minimalist interface is your saviour when inspiration strikes.


Get a whole host of free tools to grow your website's traffic and conversion. Sumo has really opened my eyes to what my website should be doing.


I'm currently learning to code. Having put it off for years Treehouse is the perfect video coach with online tutorials and coding challenges. Get a 7 day free trial.


Stuart Goulden