Happy Friday! Today I feel extra happy. The bright sun, soft breeze and the end of a hard work week has left me relaxed and excited for the weekend. Unfortunately, my taxes are still left on my to-do list. Eek! At least I can put everything together while sitting in the sun and drinking lemonade, right? Actually, what is going to ease the pain the most is that I have been using a lot of great organizational tools this past year to keep my expenses, invoices and mileage in order.
Part of running your own business is having to stay SUPER duper organized. All of the tools that help me do that are completely accessible online, so if I ever start traveling a bunch my office is with me wherever I am. So, where can you go buy these magic elves? They are either FREE or have minimal fees. I just wish they had striped tights like real elves. =)
HARVEST I can't say enough about this project management and invoicing program. I'm able to draft estimates, creative invoices and track my hours. It's very similar to Freshbooks, but cheaper! You can add collaborators if you happen to have assistants or other vendors you're working with on a project. You are also able to see the status of all of your sent invoices - whether it has been received, opened or paid. You can use their free trial to see what you think!
GMAIL I'm sure you probably love GMAIL as much as I do, and can't live without it like the rest of the world. One of the things that I enjoy the most about it is the ability to label all of the different types of emails I receive. My business has many aspects to it, and I get emails regarding all of them plus more (blogging, personal styling, closet organization, photo shoots, expenses, general inquiries). By labeling the emails it makes it easier to search through my archives.
OUTRIGHT AHH! This little web application is genius. It's basically like mint.com for your business. Not only does it track money going in and out of your business with the ability to link it to your bank account, harvest account, paypal account, etc. It also shows you spending trends, and gets you ready for tax season. It also has the ability to track mileage. It automatically calculates the cost of mileage to my business using Google Maps. GENIUS!
GOOGLE CALENDAR I would be lost without this thing. Without Google Calendar my husband and I wouldn't even know if we needed to show up to family events or not. By keeping track of all of my client meetings in Google Calendar I have yet another record of my time and mileage expenses. It's better than writing it down with pencil and paper because I can share it with people and invite people to meetings.
PINTEREST This is my visual organizational tool. I put all of my photo shoot inspiration into this baby. If I didn't I would have a BAGILLION folders on my desktop like I used to. Not to mention, with so many creative projects, it's easy to let the visual images blur together.