All of my fellow small business owners and boss ladies know that there is ALWAYS an endless list of “to-dos” and a constant jumble of information swimming through our minds. It’s kind of in our job description. With dozens of things to keep track of, it’s hard to ever feel organized! Contracts, invoices, questionnaires, calendars, to-dos, client emails, editing schedules, blogging and more…these things are not easy to keep track of, and I used to use 5-6 different programs in attempts to keep it all organized. Then I saw someone post about a business management program called 17 Hats, and then I saw a few more posts, overheard some conversations and decided to give it a try myself. It is LIFE CHANGING, friends!! This program is something that I believe ALL small business owners, photographers and boss ladies should have in their life! It organizes EVERYTHING for you in one place (and I mean everything!) and saves you tons of money that you may be spending on multiple programs when 17Hats can do it all! Here I’ll be sharing how I use 17Hats to organize my business and better serve my clients!
SCHEDULE SUMMARY :
When you log into 17Hats, the very first thing you see is a summary of your schedule for the week, how many emails you have to reply to, list of frequent activity among your clients (contracts signed, invoices paid, etc.) and a peek into the weather for the next few days (which is SO helpful for natural light photogs!) So, when you pop online first thing in the morning, you can immediately see an outline of your day/week and all of the information you need to kick-start your to-do list! (You can also set-up daily to-do lists within the program, I just haven’t had a chance to do that yet!)
Below, the orange is my blogging calendar + the blue is my shooting calendar! It is synced with my Apple calendar in my phone, so it is constantly updating + backing up the calendar based on the events I put in my iPhone!
ORGANIZING WEDDINGS THROUGH PROJECTS:
I think, so far, my FAVORITE part of 17Hats is that I can organize my weddings in a way that keeps EVERYTHING I need in ONE place! Events in 17Hats are called “projects”. So, to create a project, I enter my client (brides) information and then click “create project”. I then add the date, time and venue of their wedding and it organizes all of my weddings like this:
Then, I can click on a project and send contracts (that can be signed online!), send questionnaires, see all of the email correspondence between myself and that client, store files, schedule meetings, send reminders, add custom client to-do lists and more! It is absolutely AMAZING and I feel so organized and at peace knowing I can just pop into 17Hats, click on my clients name and have EVERYTHING I need to know about their wedding day in one place!
Now, this one may seem obvious to some, but the calendar portion of 17Hats is absolutely wonderful!! Like I mentioned above, it is synced with my iPhone calendar so that I can enter an event in my phone on the go and know that it will automatically be uploaded into 17Hats. I keep track of my blogging calendar (orange), shooting + meetings (blue) and weddings (green) all in one place! I can also add something in my 17Hats calendar and it will automatically sync with my phone! How great is that!?
INVOICES + BOOKKEEPING:
Along with being able to send invoices right from 17Hats (along with automatic reminders + template emails), there is a “Bookkeeping” portion that keeps track of your income for you! You can also enter your expenses and print reports to make tax season SO much easier! You can sync this portion of your account with your online payment program (Paypal, Square, Stripe, etc.)
I haven’t had a ton of time to play with this portion of the site yet, but I cannot WAIT until I have it all set up! With 17Hats, you can create a “workflow” based on the type of client/event you are working with. So, you can create a wedding workflow that automatically knows when to send your contract, invoice and reminders to your clients when you aren’t even at the computer! Amazing!!
There are tons of additional features that I didn’t touch on in this post simply because I don’t use them (or maybe haven’t even discovered them yet!) But, if you are in search of a business management software or a better way to organize your business, definitely head over to 17Hats and give it a try!! A 30-day free trial can’t hurt anyone 😉
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