Life-Changing Tools That Keep Me Organized

March 6, 2018

Photography is an industry that (for some) has an “off-season”.  Although, I’ve never really liked that term, and don’t think it’s accurate.  It does not mean that we sit around drinking lattes, watching Netflix, and taking naps.   Okay, once in a great while maybe, but most of the time it means that we have a chance to:

  • Learn & grow through education and networking
  • Scout for amazing new locations
  • Accomplish other tasks and goals that our busy season may prevent us from

 

I have been busy over the last few months, and one of the main areas I’ve focused on is organization and creating workflows.  Because there is nothing that makes me feel more frantic than when I’m unorganized.

Not only does a good process keep me consistent, but also saves me TIME.  That way, I’m able to see my family more and do the things I love!

Now, I am new to the industry, so I admit that I likely have more time on my hands than a seasoned veteran, but I do have sessions to plan for this spring/summer and know that my workload will only get heavier, so it’s important for me to find ways to prioritize and stay efficient.

Enter, 4 new tools that keep me organized!

These have been my holy grail, gift from God type of tools that have have become invaluable to me, and save me from pulling every hair out of my head.  Some of them are specific to the photography industry, but others can be used across different businesses.

If you’ve discovered other tools that you think others might benefit from, feel free to leave them in the comments!

1. TextExpander

An email inbox is one of the biggest time suckers in any business.  You can spend hours buried in that black hole, and I have.  And then I discovered TextExpander from one of my favorite photographers, Amy & Jordan!  It has been a HUGE help when it comes to email efficiency!  It allows you to save templates of emails that you want to reuse, so all you have to do is open a new email, type an abbreviation and wam, bam, thank you ma’am!  The template pops up and you can customize as needed!  No more typing out the same email a thousand times over.

2. HoneyBook

Similar to any client management software, HoneyBook allows you to manage projects, invoicing, contracts and more all in one central location.  You can setup workflows and automate tasks, as well.  As soon as I have new inquiry, I enter the details into my HoneyBook dashboard so I can easily get things moving and track progress.

The idea of sending paper contracts back and forth, waiting for paper checks in the mail, and remembering payment schedules makes me cringe.  HoneyBook makes it all so easy!  There is a monthly fee, but it’s so, so worth it.

3. Photo Mechanic

You’ve just shot a wedding.   You’re on Cloud 9, because the couple was amazing and the images are GORG.  You can’t wait to get home and edit them.  You’re starting to upload, and realize that it’s taking forever because you have THOUSANDS of images to cull.  Face palm.

As suggested by another legendary photographer – Katelyn James – You need Photo Mechanic.  I previously used Lightroom to import and cull, which is not “quick” by any definition.  Photo Mechanic is incredibly fast, and also allows you to easily “favorite” the images that you want to use.  It’s a one time fee and will save you a ton of time.

4. Blog Stomp

Ever wonder how bloggers get those nice, clean side-by-side images in their posts?  That look a little something like this?

There are many ways to do it, and I’ve probably tried them all.  If you’re using something like I was (WP Shortcodes) you need to give Blog Stomp a try!  It’s a software that allows you to drag and drop photos in just about any layout that you want, and then quickly upload them to your blog.  It’s easy and efficient.  I think the best part is that you can see a live preview of what two photos will look like next to each other, so you can make sure everything looks perfect before you upload.  I LOVE IT!

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