nancyray-goalsmarch-1004

This is the first post in a series on organization that I am so excited to share. Since writing this post back in 2009, my principles haven't changed, but many of the ways that I implement those principles have improved greatly. Goodness - technology alone has changed so much since then! (Hello, USB drives! Cloud software! High res downloading!)  Here is a quick summary of the areas of life I will be covering over the next 2 months:

How I Stay Organized

Work   -   Time   -  Home   -  Money  -  Personal  -  Spiritual

Before I move on - are there any areas of life I'm missing? Feel free to leave a comment if there is a particular area of life you are interested in hearing about.

I'll be blogging roughly once a week for the next 2 months to cover all of these important areas of life that require 2 main things:

1. Consistent and diligent work

2. Great systems and tools that work for you

•••

Today's focus: How I stay organized in my work!

nancyray-organization1

(Pictured above: My Monthly Goals (5) Powersheets (6) and Workflow Wall (10))

How I stay organized in my work

1. Keep my email inbox at zero.

This one isn't easy, friends. I don't succeed at this every day, but I strive to. The mark of a good business is healthy and quick communication. It's also important to have a great filing system within your emails, so once you respond, you can file it! Being an email ninja is key. More to come on how I quickly respond in my time organization.

2. ShootQ.

If you are a professional photographer and you don't use ShootQ, you're missing out. Yes, it's $40/month. If you can afford it, it's totally worth it. Here are the ways ShootQ keeps me organized: Email Correspondence / Lead management / Automated Billing / Automated Emails / Online payments accepted / Workflow implementation / Entire NRP team is in sync with workflows / Tracks referrals / Online contract signing / I have 40+ pre-drafted emails ready to send / iCal integration. 'Nuff said.

3. Back up photos on a regular basis.

I back up my RAW files 2 places as soon as I finish shooting a wedding/session:
- the Drobo  (has additional internal backup drive)
- 2014 External Harddrive

We back up high res completed JPEGS 3 places as soon as we finish the workflow for a shoot:
- the Drobo (has additional internal backup drive)
- 2014 External Harddrive
- DVD labeled and alphabetized
- (4th location: the client's home after final delivery!)

4. Day Designer / Simplified Planner.

My favorite thing about these planners is the ability to map out your day, hour by hour. The first thing I do every day is prioritize my tasks, then schedule my hours for maximum productivity. I am currently using the Day Designer, and I've thoroughly enjoyed it. I'll be trying the Simplified planner for the last 6 months of this year, so I can experience both! More to come on how I effectively use my planner in the upcoming post on how I organize my time.

5. Setting monthly goals.

I love setting goals, as you know. I've been blogging my monthly goals on the 1st of every month for almost 5 years now. (I think this is my first ever monthly goals blogpost!) This keeps the big picture aspect of my business organized. When I can step back and look at a chunk of time, even if it's just 1 month at a time, I accomplish things that I would otherwise let slip away. 

6. Powersheets.

Love love love my powersheets. They are a powerful tool for setting goals 6 months at a time, which is a manageable way to plan and track even bigger, long term goals for your business. They are wonderful! My favorite part is the "Tending List" you see pictured at the very top of this blogpost. It breaks down your monthly goals into weekly and daily tasks. I keep this on my desk. That way, my big goals are always in front of me.

Part 2 of Organization in Work is coming soon, so stay tuned!