Gabrielle Bass is talking to us today about organization. I love this girl and I think you will love her helpful tips for staying on task!
Organization is a challenge for most small business owners, but is necessary to maintain a positive atmosphere. It will also help you gain control of your time, help you get things done, feel more fulfilled, and clear your mind for more creative thoughts and ideas. Here are five workflow organization tips that will help you stay organized within your business:
1. UTILIZE SOFTWARE
Here is a list of software I currently use and how I use it:
- EVERNOTE – I really like having a central storage place for all things business and personal related. I use it to capture details about ideas, blog posts, blog redesign, DIY’s, client notes for writing their blog, marketing, business goals, information on all my photography related accounts, shoot location ideas, and even recipes. This software is online and syncs with your smartphone.
- TEUXDEUX – I love lists. Completing things on a visible list shows progress. I have a master to-do list for each day on my desktop with a software called TeuxDeux. It’s like my personal secretary. Everything I need to do is listed by days of the week. If it doesn’t get marked off or done, it automatically moves the task to the next day. It also has a section for things to do someday. This software is free online and syncs with your iPhone app which is $2.99.
- iCal – All my personal and business appointments are scheduled on iCal, which syncs between my desktop and iphone. Simple and free.
- Dropbox – Who doesn’t love Dropbox!? I use this within my business to share/store files and images. When I gain a new client, I send them a request to sign up and this gains me more FREE space. Genius, huh? This software is online and syncs with your smartphone too.
- SignNow – I’ve tried a few different electric online document signing apps, but this is the best one for me. It is free and available online and as a smartphone app.
2. MANAGE YOUR TIME
One of the biggest complaints I hear in business is not having enough time. The fastest remedy to this is to set schedules for everything: Answering Emails, Editing, Returning Calls, Marketing, Research, Designing, Blogging, Creative shooting, etc., and even some free time!
3. CREATE PROCEDURES
My Client Production Workflow Board has literally changed the way I do business. It leaves no guessing to what needs to happen next. I am able to keep up with multiple clients using it and I know exactly where I am in the process of each clients session so that they all get the same experience.
4. PHYSICAL SPACE
I love organization and live by it. If a room or space is cluttered, I can’t think or get anything productive accomplished. That is why it is so important to have a tidy office space–it will help you stay organized. Empty your workspace of everything but the project you’re working on to cut down on distractions. Straighten your desk at the end of the day and especially at the end of the week so that you can start each morning with a clear desk. Clean out each desk drawer every few months to free up more storage space.
My organization motto: I believe that everything should have it’s place–and if you put it back there, it will be there when you need it again.
5. SOCIAL MEDIA
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram – they are all here to stay, so use them as platforms to advertise your business. The downside is, (yes there is a downside!) they can be what I call “time robbers”– especially Facebook and Pinterest! I use to spend all day on Facebook! Now I have conditioned myself to spend less time surfing FB and mainly use it for business.
6. STAY IN THE KNOW
I recently added a process to my week where I schedule a few hours twice a week to visit my favorite photography business resource blogs. I use the reading list on my MAC desktop as a bookmark to get to those blogs quickly.
7. LEARN HOW TO SAY NO
Sometimes you have to say, “No”, or “I’m sorry. I can’t do that right now because it doesn’t fit in my schedule.” Most reasonable people with accept this as an answer because there are only so many hours in the day.
As your business grows, your workflow, processes and goals will change. Taking a few simple steps now will create a more organized work life that will help eliminate stress and lead to a more efficient and productive business.
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