Posts in Business
Project Management Features: ClickUp, Asana, Trello, Zenkit, Airtable & Quire

There are SO many Project Management tools out there that are worth a look, but which one is the right fit for YOU?

I’ve taken the time to break down the ones I’ve used & organize them into feature lists so you can search for what you need and see which apps offer those things.

Now, let’s see which app is the right fit for your productivity needs!

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Client Relationship Management vs. Project Management tools

As a business newb (or even a business pro), you’ve probably heard other entrepreneurs tossing around phrases like “client management” or acronyms like “CRM” or “PM” and you might not have any idea what they mean.

Maybe you bought something like Dubsado or Honeybook and now you’re confused because you don’t understand why people are also using a PM/Project Management tool –and how do they integrate? Why do you need both?

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9 Tips For Giving Designers Better Feedback

I think when people hear the word "designer" they sometimes think of one (or several) of these descriptors: nerd, techie, IT person, hard to communicate with, quiet, introvert, not personable, weird, unorthodox, etc.

While some of those things may be true, the main purpose of today's blog is to provide tips on how to communicate effectively with your designer, despite the personality differences that may exist.

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7 Apps to Boost Your Business Productivity

If you’re new to the entrepreneurial world, then you might be kiiiiinda sorta flyin’ by the seat of your pants. Yeah?

You never went to business or marketing or even design school, so you’re probably a little overwhelmed with your business.

I totally get it. When I first started, I had about 10 years of print design experience and some light freelancing experience under my belt, plus my college design education, which in no way prepared me to run a business of any magnitude. Back then freelancing just meant we agreed (verbally or written in an email) on a price, I did the work and they sent me a check. No written invoice, no contract. YIKES.

Don’t be that person! Let’s get you started with a few apps I wish I’d been using right out of the gate.

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17 of my favorite Chrome extensions!

I’m a Mac user and will likely be one for the foreseeable future. Their interface makes more sense to my creative brain; the clean lines & simplicity just mesh better with me all around. Plus I “grew up” with it being the standard machine used for the design industry, which is also what my formal education is based on.

That being said, I have the choice of using Safari, Firefox, Opera or Chrome, and I’m sure there are some others I don’t know exist, but I choose to use Chrome because of all the available extensions! Let’s dive into that list now!

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16 Podcasts Every Female Entrepreneur Should Be Listening To

I admit it. I've never been a podcast listener, until 2018.

To the point that podcasts weren't even on my radar; like they didn't exist at all. When I'd hear something like, "subscribe to my podcast," I'd roll my eyes and think 'pshhh, like I need something else to keep up with.'

Turns out I was wrong. I started listening to one, and I loved it so much that I went looking for more to add to my library, and I loved those too, so I went looking for even more. Now I have 20 different podcasts in my library, and I listen to all of them fairly regularly, some more often than others. 

My husband even got into it around the time I did via the British History Podcast & became a member for the extra episodes.

There's nothing to "keep up with" as it turns out, these podcasts are a little like books; you can pick them up and stop whenever you want. They're always available whenever you have free time to listen.

Today I'm listing my favorite business podcasts that every female entrepreneur (or small business owner) should be listening to + 8 new ones I’ve found since my original posting!

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5 Habits That Will Improve Your Productivity

Entrepreneurs wear so many different hats, it can be utterly exhausting; even if the work itself is still rewarding. Okay, that was the bad news.

The good news is that today I'm sharing 5 habits that will help you work more efficiently and be more productive with your time. 

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Contract Templates for Freelancers & Small Business Owners

One of the scariest things about going out on your own is NOT having a contract.

I know this because I'm in an industry that should be using one and I'll be the first to admit that operating without one in my early days, was frying my nerves!

Depending on what you do or what your business does, you may not need one though. If you're selling products, for example, you shouldn't need a service contract with terms & conditions regarding what will and won't be done during the project.

If you're a service-based business, you should definitely have one! But where can you get one? Who can you trust?

(Psst. I've got an answer!)

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What to expect during a large design project

You likely know what service you need, or at least have a vague idea, and maybe you even know who you want to provide that service for you & how you want it done, but maybe you have no idea how much (if any) work you’ll need to put in. We’ve all been there!

This works for pretty much anything in the service industry, right? From home renovations (choosing furnishings, and countertops, and appliances, and paint colors, etc.), to graphic design, which is what I do!

Whether you have or haven’t worked with a graphic designer like me before, I’d be willing to bet you’re not sure what to expect, especially in a remote work or freelance situation.

Because I find myself explaining these kinds of things frequently, I know that there are a lot of you out there who have no idea & that’s okay! To help you out, I figured I’d fill you in on a little bit of what I expect from my own clients during a large project (like Branding or Web design).

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What you need to know about GDPR + tips to become compliant

This legal stuff is pretty boring, so I'm going to make this as simple as I can so you don't fall asleep on me! 

I've gotten a lot of questions about who needs to be compliant, and while I don't have all the answers (I'm certainly not an attorney, so I'm not giving you legal advice here), I do have some helpful info, suggestions, and resources to share with you that will help you figure it out.

On that note, here are 5 things you need to know about the General Data Protection Regulation that went into effect on May 25, 2018.

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UPDATE: Fee-Free Business Banking with Azlo

So I opened my account in 2017, and I've gotta say: I reeeeeally like Azlo!

So much so, that I actually just closed my other business bank account, and opted to go solo with Azlo. I got a gorgeous new card in the mail recently thanks to a new update, and I've learned about a lot more of their features.

They make small business banking so... easy. And that's the way it should be, right?!

As I grow & my business morphs into something more complex, who knows where I'll need to be banking, but for now I'm genuinely very happy with it.

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How to Schedule Automatic Instagram Posts

I’ve got some BIG NEWS for you. In 2018 both Tailwind and Later have released the ability to auto-post to Instagram, and it’s coming soon to other schedulers as well, like Buffer. That means no more notifications like, “It’s time to post!”

Halleh-freakin-llujah. It’s about time!

If you’re anything like me, you’re lucky if you have time to set up and schedule posts for Instagram (or any other platform). You might not also have time to post it yourself at the time scheduled, for platforms that don’t allow automatic posting.

If you’re sitting over there, staring at the screen and thinking, ‘what–scheduled times? I just post it whenever I can! Why do scheduled times matter?’ or ‘How do you find the best time to post on Instagram and how do you implement that?’ Then I’m so glad you found this post, because I’m going to walk you through it!

I’m going to show you how to schedule auto-posts to Instagram, specifically with Tailwind and Later, because those are the two I’ve been using since they released this feature.

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7 Ways to Use Trello

The first organization tool I ever heard about was Asana, and while I like what Asana can do, the way it worked just didn't mesh with how my brain functions. And as we all know, if we don't like how something works then we're probably not going to use it.

I wanted a more visual way to organize things. Then I was introduced to Trello, but I wasn't really sure what to do with it, or how I could use it. I set it aside to come back to later, and for months I completely forgot it existed.

Then finally, I ran across a mention of it in Think Creative Collective's Facebook group, or maybe it was their blurb about their online course for Trello during their podcast. No, I'm not an affiliate, but that super cheap course was worth. every. penny (& probably more).

Once I dug in, I found all sorts of fun ways to use Trello both for business & for home, so today I'm sharing 7 ways you can use Trello too!

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How to use an Acuity paid plan with Squarespace

If you've been following along for the last several months, then you probably already know I use Dubsado for my business. In fact, I'm kind of obsessed with it!

Dubsado has an online scheduler now, but I still haven’t gotten around to setting it up and since it's not ready yet, I’m still using Acuity because it integrates well with Squarespace and it also has a lot of features, like the ability to take a payment when a client makes certain types of appointments.

Acuity has a free plan, but it allows limited customization among other limitations. At first that was fine, but eventually I wanted the features that the paid plans offer.

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35 Books for Creative Solopreneurs

I love to read, and because I don't have much time for my favorite hobby, I also love to listen to audiobooks. Gotta get my fix in somehow!

I don't love listening to self-help/nonfiction though, or at least I used to find the idea abhorrent. The idea of listening to someone talk on and on about how to "up your game," or become "more focused," ...blah, blah, blah... could have easily been a form of punishment for me.

That is, until I read a couple of business books (of my own free will, I might add!) this past fall. (I got sucked in, okay?!) They opened my eyes to a whole new genre which I can actually tolerate, as it turns out, and some of which I really (REALLY) enjoyed reading/listening to.

So, as with most things I get excited about, I dove in head first and created a list of books I want to read in this genre. And since I went to all that effort, I figured I should share the wealth of knowledge with you too!

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Where You Can Get Fee-Free Business Banking for your Start-up

Running a legit business means you're going to need a bank account for that business, and how you go about doing that is up to you. Many banks charge fees to even have the account, have a minimum amount you must deposit to open the account, or penalties if you dip below a certain amount month-to-month.

Sometimes small, local banks can offer better options, but with a smaller bank you also have some potential drawbacks. For example, my bank didn't have an app for years, which I found very inconvenient, even though I'm overall very happy with my choice of bank for my personal account.

Of course, some banks are worse than others, so you definitely should do your own research before opening an account. After all, I am not a financial advisor or an accountant, etc., and I am not giving you financial advice here.

So, what if you could avoid those monthly banking fees, transaction fees, money transfer fees, and still have some of the perks of using a larger banking company?

Today I'm going to present a feature list for a new company called Azlo, which does just that.

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Use Trello to Save Your Bookmarks

Last year my laptop was running a little slower than I wanted, so I backed up everything onto an external hard drive, uninstalled & removed all my software, and wiped my computer. Started over, fresh.

It was a lot of work, but that made things so much better. I reinstalled the operating system, put most of my files and software back onto my computer, and I was ready to move on.

I opened my internet browser and realized I had never backed up my bookmarks!! Who would remember to do that? I hope you would, but for whatever reason, I didn't even think about it, even though I tediously went through the entire contents of my laptop to make sure I had everything else, including old emails.

I had a few years worth of bookmarks saved, before I wiped my computer. I frantically logged into my Firefox account, and then Chrome... but they weren't there. I hadn't turned on the native backup so they'd be stored in my account. CRAP.

Months later, after building up important bookmarks again (and this time they are backed up) that major loss of info from before led me to also put my bookmarks in a new location. One that I can access anywhere, any time, from any device.

That's why I chose to use Trello to save my browser bookmarks.

PLUS: grab a copy of my Bookmarks Trello Board, and add it to your own Trello account! Includes all the lists, cards, links, and more!

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4 reasons why you should be hiring a Graphic Designer

Ever see a new business pop up, get let down when you see their branding and think 'what the...? Where did they get that done??'

Yep, happens to me all the time, and ya know what's definitely not socially acceptable? For a designer to contact that business and be all, "hey, I see you clearly need some serious help redesigning your logo; I can totes help with that!"

I'm sure 90% of those businesses have a reason for doing things the way they have, and that's fine if they're also fine with mediocrity, right? 

Bad branding usually happens because...

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