How To: Stay Organized as a Creative Entrepreneur

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Projects on Projects on PROJECTS.

Boy oh boy, it get’s a little overwhelming at times, especially during peak seasons (Hey fall, I’m looking at you.) It get’s a bit much when I’m NOT being as organized as I could be during the busy seasons. Here are some tips for staying an organized boss:

I promise it's not as confusing as it looks! Read below to see how I make Google Calendar work for me. 

I promise it's not as confusing as it looks! Read below to see how I make Google Calendar work for me. 

Google Calendar

Google Calendar is the best thing that has happened to me and keeps me from missing important meetings and tasks. 

For Day to Day business: After 2 years of realizing that I wasn’t getting anywhere close to my goals, I realized that I had to switch things up. I created a separate calendar titled “Work” for myself and blocked out times for particular tasks. As you’ll see above, It looks a bit overwhelming, but I promise that it's not! It’s increased my productivity (and sanity) immensely. Doing this created the structure that I needed in my life. Maybe this doesn’t work for you, maybe it does, but do what works for the systems you want to put in place. 

Ever show up to a meeting and your client doesn’t show up?

How to prevent it: Make a google calendar event and invite them to it. This way, you can control when they get notifications about it in their inbox, and potentially on their phone, after they say “yes, I’m attending.” When my clients don’t respond to my invite, I always send a follow-up email reminding them and asking if that time still works for them. Ever since then, it’s been smooth sailing. 

 

Google Spreadsheets

TRACK YOUR TIME. Record EVERYTHING. This has been able to give me insight into how long I’m ACTUALLY spending on projects so I can do the math and realize that I either priced myself accordingly, or I may have been making less than minimum wage (newbie mistake, it’s OK we all do it) but this is why I record my time. 

 

Notepad

Yes, Notepad that comes already installed on your Apple product. It syncs, you can make to-do lists, you can collaborate with people: I write all of my tasks in notepad so that I always have it with me. I have it open in the background so that it keeps me organized.

 

Trello

This is actually a new found love of mine. My friend Liza introduced me to it last week and I'm becoming obsessed. I now have the app on my phone, and on my desktop so I don't *have* to rely on the internet. So far, here's what my boards look like.

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I have a board (thanks to Think Creative Collective) that has an overarching Big Picture Strategy, this is where I keep all my BIG goals, what I'm working on releasing, etc. Book Ideas is self explanatory, My Week lays out all the tasks that I have to have completed week to week. The Passive Income board outlines products I want to create, what's happening now, and next steps. As a creative, having this visual representation is another game changer. It has allowed me to see further into the future instead of staying in the day to day tasks. 

As entrepreneurs, it's easy to get caught in the mindset of getting tasks done to get through the day. You're probably the only one running your business, it's hard to focus on the future sometimes, especially during busy seasons. But if this is a habit, of not looking into the future, what happens is that we get to October and think "what the hell did I do this year?" To prevent this, keep those lists! Dump all of the thoughts that you have that you want to do one day! I don't care if it seems completely crazy to you, it's likely not and you should do it. Then to put them into action, plan a weekly or monthly day to go over your goals, to check in and to make sure that you're aligned with where you want to be in the future. 

 

K.I.S.S.

At the end of the day, I follow K.I.S.S. Keep it simple, stupid.

This has literally my motto for staying organized. With all of these tools, I don't have to pay an absorbent amount of fees for subscriptions and I'm not constantly switching between apps or websites. These 4 tools are free and easy to use, and they get the job done when you use them right. 

 

 

Do you have apps that you use and LOVE? Send them to me! I’d love to see what everyone is using these days.