While this post may be a tad boring to most of my clients, to those that are photographers (clients, friends, random person who found me on google or Facebook, professionals and aspiring professions alike) this is a post of most interest. Today I wanted to blog about a work tool that I find indispensable. It isn't another lense or a new camera body or even new bag, or light, or gadget. It's a planner. Yes, a planner to help me....er, plan!
Running a photography business (much like running any other business) is very demanding and time consuming. Between phone calls, emails, pending contracts, editing images, scheduling sessions, dealing with rescheduling session (because FLORIDA WEATHER, yo!), going to the gym, eating healthy, make sure I get sleep (doesn't have to be high quality, just has to happen), reading a blog/book/magazine/news to feel like I'm still an adult and current, having some sort of social life to make sure I keep my sanity, arranging playdates, running and managing your home, maintaining a happy and healthy marriage (you rock, babe!), and being a mother to an energetic and awesome (and very adorably demanding) toddler, it is very easy to loose track of things. The last thing you want to do is to loose sight of something that was important, whether it's a client lead or not burning the chicken in the oven. Which leads me to this planner and how amazing it is.
I recently purchased the Photographer's Planner by Colorvale Actions and I have to say I am so stoked to be using this tool to help me keep organized with all my clients. Trust me, it may seen like just another planner on the outside, but it is jam-packed with amazing pages that allow me to keep all the clients I multitask in order so that I can deliver my best to every single one of you.
There's a section for everything in EVERY. SINGLE. MONTH. In order of appearance, we have: monthly objective, daily responsibilities, a monthly calendar (duh! this one is kind of a given), a client workflow chart, a creative thinking section in every month, a social media calendar, a section for tracking your growth on all your different social media platforms, a tasks page, a section to create custom lists (EEEEEKKKKK! I love lists), a section for tracking business income, a blogging idea and to-do list (my personal New Year's Resolution for my business), weekly spreads to write down to-do's (with a section to write a weekly gratitude/inspirational quote to keep you going - AMAZING), and finally, every month ends with a brainstorming page!
Furthermore, the first section of the planner has a birthday/anniversary/important dates section (great for sharing an image or post to all awesome past clients, for instance, and help drive more viewers to your socia media sites), a session rolodex to have all the booked sessions and jobs lined up in two clean spreads and get a clear view of what the year looks like at a glance, and a page to write down business-pertinent information such as your social media sites and links, magazine subscriptions, forum memberships, and some great ideas for personal grown, possible income sources, and blog post ideas (my fav!!!).
Like I said, it's jam-packed!
Oh, and did I mention the design is just gorgeous! Super sturdy hard cover with a smooth satin finish, an extremely useful pocket in the inside front cover, and metallic corner reinforcements so that this awesome planner can come with me to meetings throughout the year and take the beating that it is being in my purse (accompanied by toddler snacks pouches, my water bottle, diapers, wipes, my daughter's granola crumbs, the stuffed animal she no longer wants to hold, MINIMAL makeup, keys, chapstick, a spare notebook for thoughts, notes, and random jokes and puns I hear and want for my arsenal, some random sticky stuff (don't ask), and the occasional camera.
As I mention on the video, not only will I be using my planner throughout the year, but I will simultaneously be using Tavé, another amazing tool for us photographers to help me keep organized. While Tavé is also a fabulous tool that helps keep things nice and neat in a digital way, the planner is something I can take with me to a meeting when a client is booking me and not feel like I am cutting into the flow of things by whipping out my phone, iPad, or laptop (this may look like I am getting distracted by something they can't see and may make them feel unimportant - which they're not!!!) Seems less intrusive when it comes to maintaining the human connection with my clients during our meetings/consultations to be writing notes, dates, and client information on paper, where they can see it. This is hugely important to me as I want to ensure that my clients and I are a perfect fit for each other and sometimes technology just seems to get in the way. Besides, most of the times, they're hiring me (and most other photographers out there) to capture something important and meaningful in their lives (family milestones, proposals, engagements, weddings, pregnancies, births, newborns, more growing families, and, sometimes, even deaths.)
Check out the video I did reviewing it. For more information on the planner and so many more awesome goodies, check out Colorvale Actions website. HIGHLY. HIGHLY. RECOMMENDED.
Shout out to Stacie Jensen. You did an amazing job with this one! Can't wait for the Client Workflow Planner to be released!
And to those clients who thought this was going to be boring but kept reading because you felt like it, aren't you glad I am so in love and obsessed with keeping organized. It's all because I love you all and love what I do! I am grateful to you all for allowing to do what I love and love what I do.