I definitely don't have everything figured out when it comes to running a business, but one thing I do feel fairly OK about is my calendar. Before I went out on my own, when I was still working with Amanda Donaho Photography, I researched, scoured the Internet and read everything I possibly could about photography. I started following photography blogs and to this day, I still read blogs for the first 15 minutes of my morning. I've always been drawn to lists and keeping record of what I do, so when I saw Katelyn James' blogging schedule, I knew I had to try it. As soon as I started booking weddings, I went to Target and picked up a Real Simple flexible planning calendar, which is basically a fancy way of saying that you get stickers with the calendar. I assigned each of those sticker colors a task on my list: blogs, meetings, shoots, admin tasks.
For the last year, all my photography "to dos" have lived on that calendar, while I've also kept a shorter-term to do list on a regular, old piece of paper. I found that the calendar was great for big, black-and-white things, but when I had 15 task items from a wedding, I had nowhere to keep track of each one. Enter regular, old piece of paper.
Once I had booked half of the 2013 season, I decided it was time to make the trek to Target and get another calendar. Only one problem: I couldn't find my beloved calendar anywhere! I've checked the Internet and everything and it's nowhere to be found. Sad.
So, new solution: The Simplified binder by Emily Ley. While I've had my schedule pretty well figured out this year, my client organization needed some help. I've kept contracts, lists, etc., in file folders in my desk, but workflows and receipts stayed in folders on my computer. While I was trying to be green with the whole computer thing, I've learned that if each client's workflow isn't at the tip of my fingers, I don't think to open it and update it. I needed a simpler solution.
In 2013, I'll keep everything in my binder. My calendar and also all my client documents. And because the sticker thing worked so well, I created my own stickers with washi tape.
I still need to figure out a better system for the day-to-day to do lists. I keep a schedule on my iCal, but I get a lot of satisfaction crossing stuff out, so I'm looking for something hard copy. Maybe a planner? What's worked for you? Any recommendations?