Is your calendar running your life? Do you feel like you are forever updating it?
At the beginning of 2015 I had this genius idea (well I thought it was at the time) to have three calendars, I know that sounds like a lot, one is a planner that comes with me everywhere I go, one for the family (which is vital as my husband works events and so his shifts vary) and one for my business. My planner has everything in it, so that when I am out I have everything I need to know, so I can schedule sessions there and then if I need to.
It can be tricky keeping your calendars up to date when life gets busy, I had to find the most effective way to manage my calendar for me. Everyone’s needs are different, but hopefully these tips will help you.
Tip 1 – Think about what you really need
Find a calendar/day planner that suits your needs, don’t get sucked into style over substance (like I did) I love my calendar for my business, it has little sticky notes on it (who doesn’t love sticky notes), BUT it doesn’t function as well as I hoped, so I will be changing it to an online calendar. My day planner on the other hand is perfect and does exactly what I need it to do.
Tip 2 – Keep on top of things
Add items to your calendar right away, you wouldn’t want to forget about a session! That would be embarrassing and will impact on your business. This means that you should always have a day planner or online calendar with you at all times, get out of the habit of saying to clients/friends/family/bosses “I will check my calendar when I get home.” This will save you heaps of time, and will ensure that you don’t forget that important appointment.
Tip 3 – Use the calendar to plan out your year
Start now! Add things like when you will do mini-sessions, take online courses, book-keeping tasks, the list goes on!! We all know that running a business has a never-ending list of things to do. By sitting down and planning out your year it will save you time in the future and will prompt you to actually do those tasks, rather than putting it off because you don’t have time for it.
This leads me to my new favourite item of stationery…
Tip 4: Colour code your planner/calendar
WASHI TAPE! I recently discovered washi tape (we are behind with that sort of stuff in the UK) and this is now my favourite thing to help me colour code my day planner and calendars. You can also use sharpies as a colour coding method, but I like the way that the washi tape adds blocks of colour to your day planner/calendar, making the task jump off the page.
Tip 5 – Online calendars
If you use online calendars and have more than one, are they all using the same program eg: icalendar, google, outlook etc.? If so then great, but if not, can you change them so that they all are in the same place? Sometimes this isn’t possible because the calendar might be run by someone else. In this case look for ways that you can facilitate all the calendars in one location. I currently use 17 Hats, but there are other programs out there that will allow you to do this.
For me the biggest help was colour coding my day planner; I can now see at a glance if I have a session booked in or a coffee date.
Hopefully you find these quick, simple tips helpful.
Sales in Plain English Instructor for The Photographers Element
Photographer at Erin Freeman Photography
Originally from Canada, she upped sticks and moved to England 13 years ago, where she started a new adventure with her British husband. Her love of photography was ignited over 20 years ago when she travelled to Moscow, Russia aged 14, she hasn’t looked back since.
She started her business nearly 3 years ago, she soon realized that to offer her clients the best possible service, it needed to be personal, so she started looking into more ways to create this service, when the opportunity came to meet with Elizabeth Halford to take the Sales in Plain English class, she jumped at it.
When Erin isn’t working, she enjoys hanging out with her son at the British seaside and camping (or glamping as her son calls it). She also loves a bit of crocheting and sewing in the winter months.