So, I think it's safe to say that life is a little bit hectic right now. Between running multiple business ventures in addition to this blog, redesigning a couple of websites, knocking out copywriting projects for some very cool clients, preparing for a speaking engagement in Florida next month, doing the whole single mama thing (to two little boys who both have birthdays this time of year, 11 days apart) AND working on a super-secret new project launch, I'm kind of amazed I'm still functioning at all.
That stress inspired this week's Friday Five post, in which I'm going to share five business resources I couldn't live without, especially given my crazy schedule right now. Maybe you'll find some of them to be lifesavers (or at least, sanity-savers) for you, too?
1. 17Hats: I first signed up for 17Hats.com on a free trial, to see if it might be useful in managing my clients for Firebrand Messaging and/or my business coaching services. And boy, is it ever! It's a super affordable, all-in-one system that combines incoming lead and contact management, online contracts/invoices/payments, task reminders, bookkeeping and more. You can set up workflows to automate a ton of the administrative stuff that bogs down your calendar, and it's a really easy platform to learn. I can't recommend it highly enough. (If you're interested in trying out, and want to help me out by using my referral code, I'd be mad grateful - we don't get paid for WeddingIQ! My17Hats referral code link can be accessed by clicking here.
2. The Spark Notebook: I don't actually own this product, but instead have been using the free printable PDF version that was available to people who promoted the creator's Kickstarter campaign. I've never been much for keeping up with paper planners, and wanted to see if I'd get any use out of the PDF before investing in the real thing. I can honestly say, while I haven't used this to organize my actual appointments and meetings, it's done wonders for me in terms of thinking more strategically about my use of time, as well as my goals and intentions for my business(es). The Spark Notebook is full of mini-challenges that you set yourself, as well as thoughtful writing prompts. 2016 editions can be pre-ordered now, so jump on the opportunity!
3. Focus@Will: Someone in a course I was taking mentioned this site as a great resource, and was totally on-point. Available as a web-based program or an iOS or Android app, Focus@Will offers streaming music scientifically curated to boost concentration and focus. There's also a built-in timer functionality that lets you track your productivity over specific blocks of time. I was definitely skeptical about whether ambient music could really keep my ADHD-addled brain on track, but it totally works. No joke. Check it out here.
4. Pocket: I've definitely recommended this site a time or three, and that recommendation still stands. It's amazing having a single place to quickly store bookmarks from my desktop or phone, tag them, and have them accessible anytime. Pocket has been especially useful over the past couple of months, as I've been gathering interesting content to share on my social media management clients' accounts, and in pulling together resources for my latest project. It even suggests other super-intriguing content based on the sites I've already saved. Take a look at Pocket here.
5. A productivity strategist: What's that, you say? I wondered the same thing, until a fabulous one hired me for copywriting. Now I've been working with her to keep me accountable for and organized in my newest venture, and her approach has been invaluable. Bonus: her new website launches TODAY, and she's taking on new clients, so don't miss out! Check out Veronica Yanhs' site by clicking here.
What resources help to keep you organized, motivated, productive and inspired? We'd love to hear what really works for you!