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A Glass Blower’s Companion with Jason Michael -Helping Today's Glass Artist Think Like an Artistic Entrepreneur

Jan 2, 2017

Episode 143- MY Top 5 Favorite Productivity Apps for 2017

Hey there!
Thank you for tuning into todays podcast Episode-143 where I discuss my Top 5 favorite apps for productivity in 2017. These are apps that I've been using over the past year and truly feel that these will not only help you START but STAY organized with your business and life in general. Which ever type of phone you have these apps are available to download and are FREE. Now they do have their "UPGRADES" which aren't necessary to activate but depending on the extent of your business and size of your team(if you've begun to put one together or already have one in place) these will become extremely helpful with daily tasks. Areas of your business like scheduling out appointments with new customers, organizing orders, sending invoices and staying on top of all areas of your life and business will become easier to manage with the assistance of these apps. They do take a little time to setup as well as learn but once you implement these into your daily routine you'll find that instead of your mind racing keeping you awake at night you'll be able to sleep peacefully knowing that you've already written down or scheduled what you need to accomplish the next few days ahead. Dumping information into a file is key to keeping your mind at peace and clutter free. Imagine waking up every day knowing what you need to get done because you have a list to refer to and then can schedule the tasks and then accomplish them. That being said this can also feel a little overwhelming at first if you don't already have some type of system in your life to help manage your daily activities and tasks. I suggest that you focus on one app at a time as you navigate through this process of getting organized and free the clutter of your mind.

Below I have listed the top 5-apps with their appropriate links as well as what I use them for. If you have any favorite apps for productivity I would love to know what they are so write back and let me know so I can share them with the rest of the community. Until next time I truly hope 2017 is your most productive, prosperous year yet!!

Jason Michael

Top 5 Apps
1. Evernote
2. Dropbox
3. Acuity Scheduling
4. Freshbooks
5. Everydollar

1.Evernote- This is by far my favorite app to use. Its great for brain dumps whether you journal via text or even recording an audio file. Evernote is ideal for keeping lists of things to do, grocery shopping, orders pending and setting reminders. Its super easy to use and once you begin to learn how to create folders that you'll keep files in your life will become more organized and you'll forget less. This has been a major change for me personally as someone who deals with A.D.D. I truly needed something in my life that is easily accessible, that I know I will open and read and a simple place to jot done notes at anytime of the day, especially if while commuting or just before getting to bed. In the past I'd purchase a daily calendar/journal and use it for a few days before it would go missing or just simply forget to open it and use it. Because this app is on the phone it's always there and has become routine for me to open it every morning and go through the days tasks at hand.

The trick to this app is as soon as you begin to use it you must create folders that you will keep your files in. For instance mine has folders for podcast 2017, braindump 2017, daily tasks/check list, kids schedule for the month, monthly recuring bills with a set reminder 3-5 days before they are to hit my checking account, and a few more folders such as business expense receipts 2017. One feature that I really like is the receipt capture. It will literall store any and all receipts for you throughout the year. If you hold a receipt in your hand or have in on a desk the camera will just take a picture of the receipt and block out everything else that is behind it. Its really cool technology and super helpful. This is just a glimpse into this app so download it and dive in. You will not regret it!!

2.Dropbox- For storing and organizning your photos and file sharing Dropbox is an ideal app that alows you to keep your files safe and accessible. The extent of what you do with this appis up to you as it serves many pruposes. For myself personally I useit to keep nd back up all photos of my glass and family, mp3 and podcast files as well as pdf's. Generally this app is best suited to store large files that you would like to easily access of share with others. If you dont have a website yet but would like to create and share a catalog of your current work this is an ideal place for that.

3.Acuity Scheduling- This might seem a bit out of sorts but this app will help you better schedule your life and stay on task Not only is this app great for scheduling your appointments with clients but also scheduling in personal time. There is a reminder feature that sends you and the third party involved a text and email sharing the date, time and location of the scheduled event. Even if its a Skype call, meeting at Starbucks, a round of disc golf, or even a scheduled hour of downtime this app will help fine-tune your day and help keep you on task. Even if you set an appointment for your days studio shift this will keep you focused as you'll be reminded of your next scheduled appoint like dinner at home or even a workout. Being able to set a schedule on a visible digital calendar will open your eyes to better time efficiency and development of routines and habits. It will also give you the freedom to let your friends or clients schedule their own "appointment" with you based on the times you have made available on the on-line scheduler.

Here is an example, if you know that every day you want to work in the studio from 10am-6pm you put that in your scheduler. This will then blackout that time frame during your studio time so if someone wants time with you they can see on your scheduler that you are not available during that time. Now you can schedule blocks of time so for instance you wanna set a block from 10am-2pm for the first shift. You can then schedule a block of an hour for lunch. This could be where you open the hour to make phone calls, meet with a friend or significant other. Then set another block of time from 3pm-6pm for your second block of studio time. As soon as the notification alerts you that 6pm is getting close you can start to wrap up your last item and begin your cleaning and closing the studio procedure. This is just one example of how you can take full advantage of this app and truly have a focused productive day that you and those whom would like some of your time can physically see your schedule on "paper".

4.Freshbooks- Invoicing has become hassle free with this app. Easy to use Freshbooks is an great on-line cloud accounting app that allows you to send professional looking invoices, tracking payment, and even receive payments helping keep you and your clients on the same page. There is a free version as well as many upgrades that are useful if you have a larger scaled business. Instead of having to lug around a paper invoice book you can simply email your customers the invoice which is also helpful when growing your email list.
*side note-they do have a policy similar to many online markets regarding the sales of glass pipes so be careful with how you use this app

5.Everydollar- This app was developed by Dave Ramsey's company which has helped millions get out of debt and stay of top of their finances. This app is a great tool to help establish a monthly budget for your business and personal finances. It is free but for a small fee you can have it linked to your checking which make sit even easier to keep track of expenses, categorize the expenses and make it organized for your accountant when doing your quarterly and annual taxes.