Summertime has always been my favorite season to get organized. Even as a child, I spent my summers getting prepped for the school year ahead and loved nothing more than picking out my first-day-of-school outfit and gathering my color-coordinating supplies. (Eek, nerdy much? Have I mentioned to you that I'm an Enneagram 1? Ha!).
While I'm still working to streamline and automate my processes now that I'm a full-time freelancer, I've discovered a few tried-and-true resources that help make it easy peasy! None of these are necessarily groundbreaking or earth shattering, but if you use them in the right way they can make your life SO much easier. The next time you get a client, you'll be wondering how you ever lived without them! Without further ado, my top picks are listed below!
If you're a creative and you haven't heard of Honeybook, whereeeee have you been? After trying a few different client management systems, including Dubsado and 17Hats, I feel like I found my best fit with Honeybook. Their interface is the easiest to navigate (in my opinion), and their support staff is second to none - I've reached out with countless questions, and they have all been answered or resolved within 24 hours! The platform offers automation in every sense of the word for everything from emails to potential clients, to invoices, contracts and questionnaires. (Interested in trying it out? Click here to get 20% off your first year!)
Though I opt for package-based pricing instead of an hourly rate, I LOVE tracking my time with Toggl. Their basic membership is free, it's an incredibly easy platform to use, and it provides detailed reports of where my time is spent. I usually track a day or two out of the week to ensure I'm maximizing my efforts and not spending too much (or too little!) time in a certain area - whether that be social media, a client project, or even growth & education.
3) Google Drive
Before you give me an *eye roll* followed by a "duh, Kelsea, everyone uses Drive" hear me out. Aside from Gmail and Google Calendar, Google Drive is a business owner's best friend. Not only does it allow me to store larger files without taking up MASS amounts of space on my computer (Designers out there, I know you feel my pain!), but I can rest assured knowing it keeps my client work safe from any accidental hard drive issues or mishaps. I upload all brand presentations and design files to Google Drive when I share my final client files, that way they are safe for my clients, too!
I actually started using Evernote in college, believe it or not! Back then, I stored all of my job searches, moving plans, and design ideas in Evernote and haven't looked back since. If you've never heard of it, Evernote is essentially a Scrapbook/Notebook app that allows you to create as many categories, tags, and notes as you like! It's the place I turn when I want to hold onto a good idea or thought (for instance, blog posts like this one!), but I'm not quite ready to act on it yet. I also love that Evernote allows you to insert images and links for reference later.
Yet another free favorite, Typeform is the online survey service where I house all of my client testimonials! It keeps them organized in a single place for easy access and allows me to ask anything from having them rank their overall experience to providing long-form answers and comments. I'm currently working through a few ways to use Typeform beyond this - everything from blog reader surveys to giveaways comes to mind!
Last but not least, my favorite site for Instagram scheduling. Anyone else feel....overwhelmed by the pace of social media? Planoly makes it easy to schedule out content, to access analytics (different from what Instagram Business offers!), and to see your scheduled content will appear on your overall "grid."
While I know none of these are necessarily groundbreaking revelations, I do hope they help you understand how various tools can add to your client experience. I'm constantly on the lookout for new suggestions, so if you have any to add, send them my way!
Have a beautiful week!