Monday was Labor Day, and that's when I recorded the podcast that led to this blog. I saw a bunch of people on social media saying, “Hey, what are you doing today?” It's like, “Well, I'm kind of working, doing a podcast.” But I was also doing some other stuff, working on some future presentations and things, and that's part of being an entrepreneur, a solopreneur. Sometimes you have to work a little harder than the person that's collecting a paycheck. But guess what? The rewards can be greater.
Time Management or Task Management?
One of the things that I've learned is to really optimize my time. On Labor Day I was working on a presentation about Evernote. That is something that's coming up not too far down the line, and it's going to be a webinar and a class that I'm creating. One of the things I wanted to say is that you can't really manage time — you can only manage tasks. We all have the same 168 hours a week. We're going to have eight hours of work, eight hours of sleep, and eight hours of whatever else. Now, you can take that time for whatever else and put it to sleep or to work. It's completely up to you.
In the course of our lifetime, we will spend over 3,600 hours, or 153+ days, searching for misplaced items. We also lose about five hours a week or about an hour a day. When you're losing that, you're losing the opportunity to find money, to make money. You're losing revenue, so that's one of the reasons why I am such a productivity junkie. I love being productive, so I want to talk about five tools that have really helped me to build my business and help me to become more productive, and why.
The first tool I'm going to talk about is Acuity Scheduling. I love Acuity Scheduling. That is my affiliate link. I'm going to do that for a few them. I'm not an affiliate for everything, we're going to talk about today, but I am for a few. Now, I talked to Gavin Zuchlinski on a handful of different podcasts:
- Episode 91 – Scheduling Software with Gavin Zuchlinski
- Episode 327 – A Deep Dive Into Acuity Scheduling with Founder Gavin Zuchlinski
Then there is an episode with my own take on it: Episode 326 – Time Waits For No One – Exploring Acuity Scheduling.
The reason I love Acuity is that it organizes my calendar. Specifically what it does is it integrates with my calendar, but it also integrates with a bunch of other stuff. For example, last week somebody wanted to book some time with me. They could look at my calendar, book the time. It integrates with PayPal, and makes them pay for the time. Then sets up a GoToMeeting so that we could do an online meeting. With one click, it does all of that. I schedule all of my podcasts through Acuity Scheduling. I do everything in my business when I'm trying to book things on my calendar. It really saves me a lot of time not having to go to three, four different programs to set all that stuff up.
The second tool that I really love is AWeber. Now, in Episode 335 – Email Marketing Best Practices with Erik Harbison of Aweber, and we talk about how to efficiently manage your email list. Now, one of the things that I have is a bunch of email templates set up, so for example, I do a weekly mastermind. I have it setup every week to send email reminders, so that I don't have to think about it, and I can schedule a whole bunch of those to send. It'll also schedule out emails about webinars and things of that nature, and I also have it set up with one of my virtual assistants to email everybody who subscribes to my email list about my podcast, blog, and all of the most recent content. It really helps me spread the message about what it is that I'm doing in a very automated, yet simple way.
The other thing that I use religiously is Evernote. As a matter of fact, as I recorded the podcast on this topic I was reading from my Evernote! You can go back and listen to these podcast episodes to learn more about it:
- Episode 344 – Growing Your Business With Curated Content On Evernote
- Episode 345 – Making The Most Of Evernote with CMO Andrew ‘Malc’ Malcolm
Now, Evernote does not have an affiliate program. The thing I love about Evernote is the way it allows me to organize content, so I use it as an outline to prep for this show. What am I going to say? What order am I going to say it? I use it to create products, to do webinars. I also use it in my coaching business, so every time I meet with a client, we have a shared notebook, and as we talk I jot down notes. What are the to-dos for them? What are the to-dos for me?
I actually pay a whopping $69 a year to be able to access Evernote on all of my platforms, my laptop, my iPad, my iPhone, my iWatch, my desktop, wherever I am. It also allows me to not have to be connected to the internet to be able to read all my notes. So I have it in multiple places, but on my watch, when I'm walking my dog, if I get a good idea or maybe a title of one of these podcasts, or maybe I just want to take some mental notes about something that I saw, I'm able to jot it down in Evernote. For example, say you see a car crash. You can actually create an Evernote and say, “Hey, the license plate was … ” So you don't have to write it down. So it's a great tool that you can use in a lot of different ways, and it really helps me be a lot more productive since everything is synced across all of those platforms.
Another tool that I use on a regular basis is GoToMeeting. Now, GoToMeeting is expensive, there is no question about it, but it is the best platform out there. There's also Zoom, and a tons of others that you can use, but I've been using it forever and I'm grandfathered in. If you want to learn more about that, you can check out Episode 25 – Webinars with Tony Laidig, and we talk a lot about doing webinars. Not only can you do webinars with it, but all of my coaching calls with all of my clients is done via GoToMeeting. I can record them. I can put them into a package for them to go back and watch them again. As I said about Acuity, I also record my podcast in GoToMeeting, and Acuity sets up the podcast in my calendar and sets up the GoToMeeting, making my life a heck of a lot easier. This is absolutely one of the tools I love to use.
Another tool I use is Vimeo, and if you want to check that out, check out Episode 71 – Video Marketing with Lou Bortone. We talk about different video platforms, but the biggest difference between Vimeo and YouTube is YouTube is something that you do not own. Yeah, you could pay for an advanced account, but if most people are using it, they're generally doing the free version, and if they decide to shut you down, all your videos go away. With Vimeo, you're paying a small fee every single month or over the course of a year, but you own those files, you control what happens, and it gives you a lot of control. I can hide files so that they're only used in my membership platforms. I can change the controls on them. I could add calls-to-action on them. I can do so much more with that platform that you cannot do with the free version of YouTube.
One last bonus thing that I want to talk about is A2 Hosting. A2 is the platform on which I build all of my websites, most of my client websites, and it is by far the best-supported web platform out there that I've been able to find at a reasonable price. So check out Episode 351 – Web Hosting Concepts with A2 Hosting CMO Corey Hammond.
Let me finish with some final thoughts. Yes, each one of these tools costs a little bit of money, some of them under $100 a year, but the time that they save is incredible. Now, GoToMeeting is by far the most expensive, but if I can save 12 hours a year, it makes me money from there, and frankly, all of these tools help me save time and make more money and serve my customers better. So what can you do to improve your efficiency and productivity?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about showing the concepts presented. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?
To learn more about this and other topics on Internet Marketing, visit our podcast website at http://www.baconpodcast.com/podcasts/