When I started charging for photography and considered it a business, I barely had any systems in place and I was drowning in excel spreadsheets that were unorganized and frankly, not useful. Between sending emails, and scheduling shoots in my paper (!!!) calendar, I knew I needed to put better systems in place to help my workflow.
After implementing a few different systems, I finally felt organized, and on top of my work. Better yet, I had to spend less time working on all the small details of my workflow and I could spend more time focusing on the things I loved doing in my business like going to sessions and posting on social media. These apps helped me to stay organized, become more professional, and overall helped me to feel less stressed.
So today I want to share with you the…
4 apps that transformed my workflow
ICAL OR GOOGLE CALENDAR
This might seem basic if you’re already using them, but GUYS, switching over to a digital calendar SAVED. MY. LIFE. I used to use a paper calendar and then create my OWN spreadsheet calendar on google sheets (like, what??). As my business grew, I knew I had to level up my calendar. My in-law’s use iCal and after being invited to so many family events through iCal, I called my mother-in-law. We set up a time so she could walk me through iCal and the rest is history! I love iCal because it syncs from my phone to my desktop to my laptop. I can color-code my calendar, share events (and my whole calendar) with Jeffrey, and so much more. Another bonus? My flights always automatically sync up to my calendar so I’m never late when I travel!
Whether you choose iCal or another digital calendar, I highly recommend you doing this RIGHT NOW. If you find yourself using multiple online calendars, I suggest taking the time to put all your events into one calendar to keep yourself more organized!
Again, I am sucker for handwritten lists but one day I threw away a to-do list without realizing it, and I knew I had to digitize my to-do list. I tested out a few different online to-do systems and found that I referred Trello. It’s free (a huge bonus, let’s be real!) and is completely customizable. I am able to create different boards, lists, and tasks. I love creating the tasks because I can set due dates for myself, write notes within the task, and label the task. While I still love writing out my daily to-do list on paper, I use Trello to write all my tasks down and then I can pull from there when I am working on my to-do list.
I also love to use Trello for dreaming! I have a list that has all my ideas for the future of my business and ways I can serve clients. Trello is my personal favorite, but feel free to check out other apps such as Asana and Monday for your digital to-do list!
I’ve only been using Inly for a short amount of time, but WOW. Inly has revolutionized the way I invoice my clients. It allows me to create a simple profile for each invoice, set due dates, and gives me analytics on my income. It’s an absolutely beautiful website and will make invoicing your clients so much easier. I used to use Honeybook (see below!) to invoice my clients, but if they chose to pay online, it charged me a 3% service fee. While that’s not bad for a $400 session, think about 3% of a wedding that you are not getting paid. Yeah, I’m not about that!
Inly is great because I can customize each invoice to allow credit card charges, bank transfers, or an option for my client to pay cash or check. Within that, you can choose to take a small percentage hit if they choose the first two, or you can easily ask them to do so. Inly is a newer company, so their customer service is unparraled and they are realeasing new features often! You can also use Inly for contracts and much more! But for now, I use Inly for my invoices. It is a paid program, but it’s worth it (think of all the money you’ll save when you’re not taking the 3% hit). I have a code just for you to get your first month free!
If you’re a creative in the wedding industry, I can guarantee you’ve heard of Honeybook. It’s the app that took my workflow from being chaotic to simple and user-friendly! I use Honeybook to….
- Create contact forms for my website—when a client inquires, it goes straight to Honeybook!
- Communicate with clients—it looks like it’s coming from my email (and also gets copied into my gmail’s inbox) but I can see all of the emails back and forth in one place.
- Send Contracts—first, you need to be using contracts in your business! Second, Honeybook has contracts and lets you import contracts that can be filled by you and your client. Digital signatures for the win!
- Connect with other Creatives—Honeybook is all about bringing creatives together, and they do that so well! You can post about opportunities, find second shooters, and so much more!
- Visualize my workflow—if I’m not sure where a client is in my workflow, it’s so easy to see where they are at and move them to a different stage if necessary. You can create custom workflows with ease.
Honeybook also is a paid program, but here’s a code for 50% off your first year!
Workflow can truly revolutionize the way you approach your business, so I highly recommend checking these apps out! There are so many other ways to help with workflow and increase productivity as a wedding photographer. If you’d like to learn more, check out my mentor sessions!
Southern California wedding photographer and storyteller for everyone and anyone in love.