Enjoy running your business more with these Productivity hacks for Wedding Photographers and other creatives
Because I often have conversations about the many different services and devices I use to get run a business, I wanted to share my top Productivity hacks for wedding photographers. These are not “oh, yeah, try this its kind of cool” recommendations. These are “I will never give these up” recommendations. Some include affiliate links, but you can easily google for them if you prefer not to click through.
Boomerang for Gmail. I am going to assume that anyone interested in productivity is already using gmail. (the spam filtering alone is worth it). Boomerang is the add-on program that you didn’t realize you wanted – you can bring emails back INTO your inbox. That means you can use your email as a todo list, but still clear out your inbox. For example – you email me about my photography, and I will respond with my availability AND schedule the email to come back to my inbox if I don’t hear back in 2 days. If you get busy and don’t respond, I get the email back in my inbox and I can follow up. Or, a friend is coming to town on April 3 – great, I will schedule the email with their flight information to come back April 2. I probably use boomerang on 98% of my emails. Seriously, I use it on everything.
Get to the point with Breevy. Text expander programs don’t seem sexy, until you start using them, and then they are like another spouse. Any text expander program will allow you to use short snippets of text as a trigger for longer text. A simple example would be typing “photog” and having your computer finish typing “photographer”. I try to never type things more than once, so anything that I type frequently has become a snippet. My mailing address, links to my pricing guide, things I often misspell, etc. It doesn’t replace actual communication -it just saves the time of tediously typing out the same bits of text so that I can get to the actual communicating!
Manage contracts with 17 Hats. I just made the switch, after 10 years, to a management system for clients and contracts. I’ve preferred to manage contracts, invoicing, scheduling, and emails in free programs with a lot of spreadsheets until I tried 17 hats. It was dead simple to set up: you can start doing contracts without having all of your emails set up, for example. That makes it very well suited to a slow easing in for an existing business.
Manage Files with Dropbox pro Do you have files? Then you probably should upgrade your dropbox account and save some of them there. My second shooters can send me full weddings, I can share galleries of images with clients and vendors, and I can backup full weddings while I am working on them all AT THE SAME TIME.
Create Graphics with Canva lets you create graphics with images and text with dead simple online tools (like the graphic for this blog post that took me 30 seconds to create). Its particularly awesome for quick graphics for social media, and its free for most things if you use your own images.
Schedule Instagram with Hootsuite. I used to use Hootsuite to schedule tweets, but I just don’t really enjoy twitter, so my account was unloved for a while. But then hootsuite make scheduling instagram easy, and now I use it all the time. Like any instagram scheduler, you still have to interact with instagram on your phone (it just alerts you and transfers the text/images you scheduled). Hootsuite is free for up to 3 accounts (so, 2 instagram accounts and a twitter? no prob). And I love that I can schedule instagram posts from my laptop or my phone. Now it is part of my wedding blogging workflow.
GET MORE BATTERIES Because having more (rechargeable) batteries means you won’t be messing with finding batteries as much. Many rechargeable batteries haven’t held up to super high drain devices like flash strobes but several years ago I started using Enloop batteries and they are amazing. Besides being better for the environment (which is a real reason in and of itself), they actually work better than the disposable batteries. They also hold their charge in storage! I still use the same ones I bought 5 years ago. My favorite charger is on amazon, too.