I haven’t written in a while because, frankly, I’ve been busy as heck. That’s not a good excuse because it’s important to be consistent as a blogger to build up traffic. However, it’s amazing what an online presence can do for your business. I’ve managed to keep my schedule full with clients who either need their sites set up or simply need WordPress tutoring. I’ve barely had any time to venture out to the real world to network. When I do rejoin the human race, it’s more because I crave being around other people. I no longer feel the need to hungrily sell myself like I did in past professions. There’s a huge world out there and it’s nice to get found on my website.
I’ve also been focusing on a lifestyle blog I’m passionate about and am planning to launch a related podcast soon.
When you get busy, you have to be organized, and work efficiently, so I thought I’d mention two productivity tools I’ve recently been using that I’m loving.
The first tool has been helping me schedule appointments. It’s a website called Schedule Once. Since I work virtually, I book appointments with people all over the country. My Schedule Once link (via url, button or widget) allows my clients to find a time to meet with me that works with their schedule as well as their time zone. Once they choose a date and time that mutually works well for both of us, like magic, the appointment appears on my Google Calendar. I found out about Schedule Once while taking a podcasting course. The man who runs the course is a hugely successful podcaster and he mentioned that he’s been using Schedule Once to book all his guests.
I checked it out and signed up for their Professional account that costs $19 per month. There are several different plans as you can see below and all have a free trial.
Schedule Once lets me create separate links to book my WordPress tutorials, podcast guests and appointments with the customers of one of my clients who need tech support.
So far, I’ve been highly impressed. Schedule Once knows if I’m busy and gives my clients time options for when I’m available. I’ve set up my links for specific time ranges so that I also have time to play. Once a client is booked, Schedule Once sends out reminders to them so they won’t forget their appointment, and it makes booking my calendar seamless.
You can choose to let your clients either pick several dates that require your approval, or you can let them book automatically.
In addition to integrating with Google calendar(s), you also have the option to set your links to integrate with Outlook, Apple Calendar (ICal) and other calendars. My bookings go with me on my computer, laptop, IPad and phone.
The only thing you need to remember is to fill in your Calendar with dates you’ve booked manually, such as dentist appointments, lunch dates, or simply shopping time. Otherwise, a client may decide to book you when you were planning something else and it can mess up your day. Using Schedule Once is a wonderful way to stay organized and busy. Having a booking calendar with parameters sets boundaries with your clients so you won’t feel tempted to book out your weekends and become a workaholic without a life.
The other tool I’ve been using lately is a screen sharing site called Join.me. If I want to show a client or friend something on my computer desktop, I’ll send them a join.me link. Once they click on the link, they’re asked to enter their name and knock. I’m notified they’re ready to go and let them in. As soon as I do, they instantly see my screen. I’m able to walk them through a website, do a presentation, or swap screens and see what they’re up to. Once they’re in, we have access to a conference line that’s especially useful if you have more than one other person listening in, as well as a chat feature. There’s a limited free account, however, the Pro ($13 monthly) or Enterprise Accounts ($19 monthly) allow you to hold meetings with up to 250 people.
Here’s a look at their plans.
A warning though: Make sure you’ve closed any tabs on your computer that may give your personal life away. Also, remember to exit the screen when you’re done sharing it, otherwise, your client may see you write a strange email or log into your bank account. LOL
What tools do you like to use to keep yourself organized? Feel free to share and leave a comment.