Creative professionals are not necessarily known for their stellar organizational skills, however it is being organized that helps you work more efficiently, better serve your clients, and utilize the convenience of technology. Today, there are many tools, apps, and websites that can help you in getting organized both in everyday activities and planning for the future.
I used to be the person that carried around a huge black book of notes, loose papers, and well basically anything I needed that was important both personal and project specific. Then a friend enlightened me with evernote. Evernote is a note/recording keeping online and app super-notebook! Through this fully accessible tool you can keep all your personal info, client info, to do lists, online bookmarks, inspirational finds, meetings and basically everything you would ever need to access, in a completely organized and mobile search friendly tool. This fully syncable free service works seamlessly with all your workspaces, home or office computers, laptops, and iphone. With evernote you get to have a really really big black book with lots and lots of information but it's fully accessible, 24 hours a day, and extremely organized. Visit www.evernote.com to start your very own notebook library and never forget anything again.
As a creative professional and freelancer, I write plenty of invoices and estimates for projects. I used to calculate all my time either spent or estimated to spend then create a pdf on a letterhead and send it out for approval. Then I discovered Billings. Billings is an app that syncs with your address book to organize your clients, projects, manage your time, send estimates/invoices, keep track of payments, and overall business expenses associated with projects like mileage and receipts. Although this app is not free, it is worth every penny for the peace of mind that comes with you knowing that your time is justified and your projects are organized. If you have a mobile me account you can go even further as to sending invoices from any of your workspaces including your iphone or laptop making you a completely mobile time tracking machine. Visit www.billings.com to start invoicing like a pro.
Lastly, here are some other websites that are extremely useful to incorporate into both your personal and business lifestyles.
Mint.com is a personal financing site that helps you budget and keep track of your spending. It allows you to securely monitor all your accounts and assists in setting goals for debt payoff and retirement. Go to Mint.com and get your own financial advisor for free.
If you've ever wanted to write a personal action plan for yourself in order to better plan for the future but didn't know where to start, visit www.franklincovey.com/msb to jump-start the thought process. This site is a free service that guides you with a series of interesting questions to discovering your life's purpose. Based on your answers, a mission statement is generated and you can be on your way to becoming a better, more inspired you.
There's always some downtime in your day, whether it's waiting at the doctor's office or waiting for your next meeting to start. I discovered an app to help pass that time without resorting to playing Angry Birds. Mind Tools is a business focused article app that helps you better your business skills by reading articles on team management, decision making, time management, and communication skills to name a few. Why not take that extra time to do something good for yourself and your career by increasing your business knowledge. Visit www.mindtools.com to get your mind enhancing toolkit.
Please leave your comments if you felt this article was helpful or useful in anyway. I'd love the feedback!