by Alisha Chadee
As a creative entrepreneur, I’m constantly looking for ways to stay organized and ahead of my work. Between client commitments, vendor management, actually managing my business, and all of the extra projects I want to take on, some days my brain feels like the zoo on half price admission day. How do I keep it all together? Well, it used to involve caffeine, but since I started growing my little peanut, I’ve had to give that up, too! Luckily it wasn’t the biggest sacrifice :). Here are a few tools that I use as a wedding planner and business owner to stay organized. PS none of these vendors are paying me to say any of this – these are just tools I use on a day to day that I really enjoy!
A FANTASTIC Day Planner – Day Designer
I did a lot of research before I committed to a pen-and-paper day planner. I wanted to be sure that I was using a tool that would help me map my days out, and achieve my long and short term goals. After extensive research, the Day Designer seemed like the best option for me because it is specifically tailored toward creative professionals (both entrepreneurs and otherwise). I love that each day has it’s own page with to do lists and scheduling sections, as well as areas geared toward mindfulness and gratefulness. While I’m a tech savvy person, and my clients are all on a cloud-based software (more on that later), its still incredibly important to me that I put pen to paper and make a list of everything I need to get done. My planner is super useful because I’m able to prioritize and organize my day around critical, important and nice-to-have actions. This is my second year using it, and I’ll be sure to repurchase for 2018.
A FANTASTIC Client Management System – Aisle Planner
Like I said before, we love being tech-savvy and efficient, and one of the ways that we’ve really pushed that point across is to use a fabulous client-facing planning tool. Aisle Planner is our client portal, as well as our client and vendor management tool. Once again, I did a lot of research over 2 years ago when we made the switch from spreadsheets and shared docs to a tool like AP. Any wedding planner with experience will tell you that managing 1-5 events is vastly different from juggling 20 or more. In order to do our best work, I felt that having an all-in-one tool with the capability of managing our vendor information as well was very handy and worth the investment. I love that our couples can log in from anywhere (we work with a lot of out of town couples), and can access everything related to their wedding. Now that our team has expanded to include more planners, it’s handy to have a tool we can all use to stay organized for each of our commitments. We’ve even organized a team space to host our schedules, templates, documents, contracts and client-facing resources.
A FANTASTIC Scheduling Tool – Calendly
Some weeks I look over my schedule and it seems pretty light – a few meetings here and there, and tons of laptop-time to follow up with vendors, write articles and work on resources for my beloved brides and grooms. What happens more often than not is that my week turns around dramatically and is suddenly filled with meetings with clients, vendors, new inquiring couples and personal commitments. In order to track all of this (in addition to my trusty Day Designer) I started using a tool called Calendly. This handy tool syncs with my calendar to read my current commitments and parse out my availability for anyone who needs my time during business hours. This makes it easier for my couples to find times that fit their schedules so we can meet and collaborate. BC (before Calendly), I really disliked the back and forth by email trying to find times that suited everyone – with this tool everyone can easily figure out what works based on when I’m available and can also reschedule or cancel if need be directly online. This also allows me to have some control over last minute appointments and my own schedule for the week.
There you have it – tools that make my life easier! Every entrepreneur is different, and our needs are all dependent on the type of work we do, but these types of tools are super useful for anyone. I love how efficient these tools have made my team, and to be honest, our clients love them too!
Whim Event Planning and Design is a team of Toronto wedding planners and day of coordinators specializing in modern romantic weddings for fun, sweet couples. Get in touch with us today to start planning your dream day!