Confession: I used to be a bit of a luddite.
Yes, your new columnist for Tooling Around preferred pen and paper nine times out of ten and would roll my eyes at people who seemed to use gadgets for every little thing in life. Now, I find myself raving to friends about the latest app or trick with the kind of enthusiasm that used to be reserved for sharing a bargain shoe purchase.
I’m now running a creative business, that’s what.
When I was an employee in an unchallenging 9-5 role, it didn’t matter if I manually wrote out the same email reply ten times a day or if I didn’t learn my keyboard shortcuts because I honestly didn’t have anything better to do. A simple handwritten list was sufficient to keep track of my narrow set of tasks as a salaried graphic designer, but something more powerful was required when I started wearing the Business Owner, Chief Financial Officer, Blogger, Bookkeeper, Marketing Manager, Customer Service Officer, Sales Executive, Order Dispatch Coordinator, and Coffee Procurement hats as well. (And then double it since I maintain a daily blog as well as my business.)
I still love pretty notebooks and calendars – hell, I design stationery for a living – but I realised that some of my paper-based methods were no longer working for me.
For a biz person, any tool that can help you keep track of your myriad responsibilities should be treated like gold.
If you don’t think it can make that much difference, ask yourself these questions:
- Would you rather spend your lunch ‘break’ replying to emails… or taking your sandwich outside to enjoy in the sunshine?
- Would you rather set your alarm to wake up early on Saturday so you can post that update on social media… or sleep in?
- Would you rather be frantically responding to a last-minute media enquiry at 5:30 pm… or playing with your kids?
- Would you rather be dealing with an angry client phone call because you forgot to do something… or be enjoying your romantic getaway?
These are all the kinds of things that a few well-chosen tools can help you with. They can streamline your admin so you can spend more time with a paintbrush/blowtorch/knitting needle in your hand instead of a computer mouse. Better yet, they can even help to take care of your business on autopilot so you can enjoy your downtime without your mind still being back at the studio.
No, I’m not a technology expert or a business guru. I don’t have it all figured out. I’m just a girl with a business who learns more about creative living every day.
Thanks to Tara and Carrie for the opportunity. I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you here on Scoutie Girl.
Oh, and Dad? I finally get it now. Technology is kinda cool.