A Day In The Life of A Creative Entrepreneur Mom

5:00am The dreaded alarm goes off.  

Confession:  I keep a 2nd one set at 5:30am in case I fall back asleep.

I spend all of 30 - 45 minutes getting myself ready for the day.  And the next few hours getting the kids up and to school.  They’re involved in sports so 6:00am practices are not out of the ordinary.  

The good thing is that they begrudging let me listen to my favorite podcasts on the way.  I turn it up as loud as I want on the way back home though!  Oh yes I do!

7:00am I post to Instagram for my 2 accounts (photography business and this blog).    Everything is preplanned with this amazing tool.  It saves me so much time.  

I try to check my calendar to refresh my mind and understand how my day will go.  I do this while the kids are eating breakfast and getting ready for school. 

I then update my Trello Boards with my Top 3 Tasks for the day and any ideas that are lingering in my head.  See how I use Trello here in this blog post.

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Workout (not as often as I should) & sometimes I just waiting until the afternoon.  It depends on whether I have deadlines or not.

I skim email first thing.  Notice I said “skim”.  I try very hard not to get bogged down in email at this time.  This is just to handle any urgent issues that may have popped up overnight.

Next thing, I eat that frog (do the thing I don’t want to do first) - Client work, design work, processing orders.  The Eat That Frog theory came from Brian Tracy’s book named just that.  Basically do the thing that you are least looking forward to first thing in the morning because after that everything else will seem easy.  Don't take that the wrong way now!  I love my client work, but it's tough sometimes.  Haha!

Play with dogs.  Because I need the break probably more than they do!

Midmorning:  I try to get dinner in crockpot at least a few days a week.  Or at least figure out a plan.  Bacon and eggs anyone???

 

Now, after this time of day, my days are all different.  

I batch everything!  So each day is usually focused on one or maybe two different areas of business / life.

 

Some of my batch work days:

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  • Outlining blog posts

  • Writing blog posts

  • Editing & graphics

  • Styled stock shooting 

  • Social media planning / marketing

  • Client days (photo shoot, consults or design / order appointments)

  • Podcasting days to come soon too :)

  • Personal errands

After I work a few hours on my main task for the day I will update Tailwind & Board Booster for Pinterest.  I am amazed at the results I’ve gotten with just working 30 minutes a day with these 2 tools.  It's crazy!  And I'm so happy to not be on social media all day long anymore.  

Play with dogs again.  This is basically all day.  They are relentless.

Email & calls are handled shortly after lunch each day.

Mid-afternoon:  Engage with other bloggers and professionals in the industry - Facebook groups, blog & Pinterest commenting.  I love this part because it feels like I’m just playing instead of working :)

Evenings:  These consist of all the normal mom duties:  picking up kids, sports practices & games, dinner . . .

Mama Time!  After the kids are settled I try to read or catch up on a course I am taking.  Continuing Education is so important. Right now I’m going through Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing & I’m learning so much!!

9:00 I crash.  Hence, my shirt.  It's from Saturday Morning Pancakes btw.  They're pretty cool ;)

The #1 Productivity Tool I Cannot Live Without

If you haven’t heard of this online productivity tool yet, I’m about to blow your minds!  It has changed the way I do EVERYTHING in business and at home.

Productivity | Trello | WAHM | Working From Home | Girl Boss | Creative Entrepreneur | Female Entrepreneur | Simply Successful Creative

Please allow me to introduce you to Trello.  I’ve been using this tool for a few years now, and I’m not sure what I would do without it at this point.

What I Love About Trello

  • It’s free!  The thing that baffles me most is that Trello is FREE to use.  There is so much value in this tool!  I don’t know that I’ll be able to praise it enough in this post!

  • Accessibility - It’s accessible on my desktop, phone and ipad.  Plus it synced automatically.  Can I get a heck yeah?!

  • Everything is in one place - It allows me to manage our home & my business(es) in one location - seriously every area of my life is on my Trello boards.

  • Keeping up with the details - It allows me to stay focused and on track with my projects and goals, down to the little details I usually forget.

  • Works well with others - It works great with other platforms (google drive, dropbox, evernote, twitter, etc).

  • Team collaboration!  With tagging and commenting functionality I can easily make notes or assign items to members of my team or family.

How Trello Works

The main things you need to know about Trello are boards, lists and cards.

Boards:

Think of a board as an area of your life or business.  Here’s a snapshot of my boards.  A little crazy, huh?  I have boards for my week, my home, my photography business, this blog and our styled stock shop that is coming so very soon :)

Lists:

A list is created inside of a board.  Think of these as subcategories for the main areas.  

So my week board would have Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. . . .

A to-do board could be broken down into calls, computer, errands, home, office, on hold, etc. . . .

A family board could have lists for each member of the family.

You get the idea.  Here's a peek at my weekly queue I have set up for posting to my blogs.

 Cards:

This is where it gets really good.  Cards are the action items in your lists.  The cool thing about cards is that they can be moved around from board to board and from list to list.  

Some other things you can add to or do with cards:

  • Add a due date

  • Add a label

  • Add a checklist

  • Assign to a team member

  • Upload a photo or a file

  • Add links to resources

Are you starting to see the beauty in all of this?  EVERYTHING is literally in one place.  When you are finished with a card it can be archived.  Don’t worry.  It’s not gone forever.  If you ever need to find it again, there is great search functionality within Trello too.

How I personally use Trello 

Blogging

  • Editorial calendar - Trello is perfect for keeping up with my editorial calendar.  I can see a blog post move from idea to outline to writing and editing it and then on to publishing and promoting that blog post.  And because it works with Google Drive I can attach that blog post draft to the card and always have it handy.  

  • Content management - As bloggers we produce a lot of content, right?  And we are always coming up with a new idea for a blog post, social media or newsletter.  I have found no better way to manage all of that content than with Trello.  I keep lists of different types of content ideas for the categories of my blog (business, home and heart).  And other lists for the type of styled stock I want to create as well.  This method keeps my mind clear and my business and blog organized.

  • Promotion management / workflow - Ever published a blog post and wondered if you promoted it in all of the places you were supposed to?  Ever lose a piece of paper with your little checklist?  With Trello that just doesn’t happen.  I keep track of all of the places I have promoted blog posts right inside the card.  And when my mind fails me (way too often the older I get) I can reference back to my handy dandy Trello card to see exactly what I did to promote that blog post.

  • Affiliate info - If you work with affiliates (and I bet you probably do) you know just how difficult it is to keep up with all of the links, passwords, program info, graphics, html code . . . The list goes on and on.  With Trello all of that information goes into one easily accessible card.  Yes!!!

  • Passwords - OMGoodness!  All of the password rules now, right?!  It’s a blessing and a curse.  I don’t save passwords to my computer.  There are way too many horror stories about that.  But I do have them tucked away in Trello.  I love that my team has access to them there as well instead of saving them to their own computers or jotting them down on post-it notes all over the place!

Clients

  • Project Workflow - I think of each client as a project.  And I say that in the nicest way possible!  But I really do have to manage them like a project to be efficient, get our tasks completed and provide the best product or service possible.  With Trello client and project management is so simple.  Checklists within cards makes this very easy.  Being able to tag and communicate with a teammate makes a world of difference too!   

  • Task Management - I keep all of my little tasks that pop up throughout the day in an “inbox” list.  And then I divide them out into separate lists for the places I would be when handling those particular tasks - calls, computer, errands, home, office, etc.  Having tasks in separate categories like this is crazy simple in Trello and it makes me so much more productive in the long run!

  • Automation - Automation is my love language y’all.  If I could automate the kids’ baths I would do that!  Haha!  There are amazing products like Zapier and IFTTT (if this then that) that act as a go between.  If something happens “here” makes this other thing happen “there”.  There are so many options.  You will just have to play around with them to see what works for you, but the possibilities are endless.  One of my favorite things to set up are recurring tasks.  I have an automation set up to post a new card on the 1st of each month to remind me to run payroll and payment plans for clients and another card to create a huge batch of social media images for the next month.  I don’t have to remember to do that.  A card just pops up in Trello to remind me!  How amazing is that?! 

Meal Planning

  • Favorite Recipes - I create lists of different types of meals (crockpot, skillet, grill, mexican, casseroles, etc).  Within those lists are the recipe cards.  I attach the Pinterest link to it because OMGosh I can never seem to find that one particular recipe that I wanted to make!  A checklist of ingredients is pretty awesome to include as well.  

  • Schedule - On Sundays I look at what we have going on that week and plan meals accordingly.  I have an Order Pizza Night card too, just in case.  When I make it to the kitchen I can go straight to Trello and find my recipe.  I love this method.  It makes life so much easier.  

  • Shopping list - It’s simple to create a grocery shopping list in Trello as well.  You can have a list for each category or grocery aisle.  Create a checklist of your staples and add to it as you think of items you need.  When it’s time to go to the store just check off the items on your card as you shop.  Uncheck them for the next trip.  Easy!  No more forgetting that one thing you needed, right?

Kids / Family

  • Chores - My boys are 16, 13 and 8.  They do their fair share of chores around the house.  I love that they take ownership of the things they are responsible for.  It’s not always easy and no, they don’t love it.  But with Trello they can at least see what they need to get done each day and checking off a list gives them a sense of accomplishment.  Mom isn’t nagging them and that is one thing they do appreciate :)

  • Goals - Each year we do list out our goals and try to revisit them quarterly.  It’s fun to look back on them to see what we’ve accomplished and if we haven’t, seeing them right there in front of us is a good motivator to be more serious about getting to them.

  • Bucket Lists - I love bucket lists!  So do the boys.  We try to make them for each season.  Their favorites are summer and Christmas time.  If we find specific things we’d like to do around town we add links too.  I love this because it’s so easy to reference back to.

  • Current sizes / likes - With multiple kiddos who are constantly growing and changing it is nearly impossible to remember all of their shoe sizes, clothes sizes and wish lists.  You know those phone calls that you get, right?  The ones where you have no idea how to answer what your kid wants his birthday.  This is a total game changer!

Home

  • Christmas - Ahhh.  The most frantic (I mean, wonderful) time of the year!  Insert the Christmas Trello Board.  Everybody we buy for gets a card.  I list the gift ideas on the card and when they are purchased it gets moved down my other lists: ordered / purchased, wrapped, delivered.  Hallelujah!  I can keep receipts and tracking info in each card also.  Other useful lists in our Christmas board are wish lists for each child, budget, Christmas card list and our seasonal bucket list too.

  • Maintenance - Oh the joys of home ownership!  Change the air filters, clean the windows, pressure wash, flip the mattresses, declutter the closets.  You know what I’m talking about for sure!  Trello makes it easier to keep up with our seasonal maintenance on the house.  If we have a particular contractor that handles an item their contact info goes on that card too.  

  • Cleaning schedule - If you haven’t outsourced your cleaning yet, Trello can really help with staying on track to keeping a tiny home.  I do wish you would consider outsourcing it though.  I talk about that here in this blog post.  But if you haven’t just yet a Trello list for each day of the week with a list of chores underneath is a great way to manage your household cleaning schedule.  It does make life easier to do a few small things a day than to let it pile up for the weekends.

  • To Do’s - I talked about this earlier with the business, but the same holds true for the house.  I use the same sorts of categories for our personal tasks and it is easier for my husband and I to communicate about what needs to be done when.  This also keeps the “I thought you were handling that” arguments at bay.

  • Finances - I admit that we are not the best budget keepers.  So while I would love to keep a budget in Trello, I just don’t.  But it sure is a good idea, right?!  We do, however, keep track of the vendors, account numbers, websites and passwords for all of our bills in Trello though.  This has really come in handy when their is an issue with an account.  Like that time my purse was stolen, and I had to call EVERY one of them to update our credit card info.  Ugh.  It happens, and Trello did not disappoint that day either.

  • Vacation Planning - There’s always a family trip or cruise we want to take someday.  In Trello we can keep track of our ideas, links to hotels, digital tickets, places we want to eat and other travel arrangements.  Travel is difficult enough as it is.  Being organized with Trello helps the trips go so much smoother.

  • Home Improvement Projects - Trello is a great for managing big projects around your home.  We just finished a remodel and it was so helpful to have everything in one place for contractors, wish lists, inspiration, purchased items, and timelines.  

  • The “In Case Something Happens” Board - Some people have this in a notebook.  I prefer Trello because it is easy to update, and it is always on hand.  We keep a copy of our will, insurance documents and emergency plans here.  It’s something you don’t ever want to talk about, but it is smart to have for every family.

Wow!  That was a whole lot of reasons to start using Trello, huh?  If I haven’t convinced you by now, I’m not quite sure that I can!  Give it a try though.  I promise you life will be a little calmer and you will be much more productive at home and in your business.  

What are you waiting for?  You gotta try it.  Seriously, it’s life-changing girls.

 

 

 

Download Trello for free right here.  

Be sure to pin this post so that when you do start getting life organized with this amazing tool then you can come back to tell me all about it!

Want more successful strategies for mompreneurs?  Subscribe to my newsletter (no, I do not spam you!) and download my 12 simply strategies for success.

90 Day Goals. Why?

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Goals . . . We’ve all set them.  We’ve all failed miserably at achieving them too!  So, let’s get real about why they aren’t working and what we can do to fix that.

Here’s how it usually goes, on January 1st we sit down with a blank piece of paper and write down all of those big picture goals we want to accomplish in the coming year.  And by January 6th the list is nowhere to be found.  Right?

Goals | 90 Day Goals | Priorities | Values | Powersheets |Work Life Balance |PowerSheets | WAHM | Working From Home | Girl Boss | Creative Entrepreneur | Female Entrepreneur | Simply Successful Creative

So, first off, let’s don’t even worry about January, okay?  You can start making and crushing goals any day of the year!  I do like to break mine down into quarterly goals because of business, but we can ease into that later.  

I keep my goals list (and so many other things) in a Trello board so that I can easily reference back to them.  Have you tried Trello?  It’s a life-saver!

But for the hard work, what I do to actually get to my goals is use PowerSheets.  This is an amazing system by Lara Casey.  I have gotten so much accomplished by using her "Make It Happen" mentality. 

I love these action-inspiring worksheets!!!

 

You have to dig a little deeper to build that goals list.  They need to be well-defined and measurable.  They need to be achievable in a relatively short time frame too.  

Before you even consider your goals, let’s talk about a few other big picture items: values and priorities.

Values

Values will always* be the same.  These are our do or dies.  The things we stand beside, stand on, our back bone, nothing crosses this line kinda stuff.  When setting your goals be sure you aren’t misaligned with your value system.  

Priorities

You may not think these would change, but yes, over time priorities shift.  As we go through different seasons in life, areas of our lives will become more important than others.  

As an example, when our middle son was born he had some severe health issues.  We almost lost him.  He is as strong as can be today!  But guess what changed in that moment?  Our priorities!  In the blink of an eye work didn’t matter, salaries didn’t matter, the number on the scale didn’t matter.  Nothing mattered except taking care of this little boy.  

There will be times when the family life is a little crazier (hopefully not as dramatic as what we experienced), the kids are involved in several activities that take up alot of time, maybe a parent becomes sick . . . when we may not be able to thrive at our next big plan we had for our business.  And that’s okay. That’s life, and we adjust our priorities and do the best we can in that season.

Re-evaluate

Every few months I like to evaluate where I am with my priorities.  Sometimes life will just do this for me though!  How sweet?!  Haha!  But I sit down and think about how I am doing in the main areas of my life:  relationships, health, finances, personal growth, my business, etc.  If I find myself lacking in an area or two that truly is a priority to me, I know it’s time to refocus.  

I figure out what I’d like to “fix”, get back on track or really accomplish over the next 90 days.

Why 90 days?  

Because it’s doable.  Because it’s just enough time to really make a big push, to form a new habit and to crush a goal I’ve been wanting to hit for a long time.  

90 Day Goals

Once I know those areas I want to focus on, I brainstorm what I’d like to accomplish in the next 90 days.  I make a list of 4 - 6 goals I want to crush in the next 90 days.  Let’s say I wanted to work on my relationships and profitability in my business over the next 3 months.  

So those goals I jotted down might look something like this . . .

  1. Have one date night each month.  

  2. Turn off my phone at 9:00pm each night.

  3. Family dinner together 3 times a week.

  4. Bring on 6 new clients.

  5. Cut cost of goods sold by 2%.

  6. Team up with another like-minded business to cross market.  

You get the idea.  These goals will be the 6 things you really focus on over these next 90 days to keep moving forward.

Post these 6 goals somewhere you can see them every day.  And look at them each morning!  I'll plug my obsession with Trello again right here :)

Next steps

Schedule in your goals.  So, if my goal is to have one date night each month I am going to go ahead and mark that date in my calendar.  I also jot the dates down on my goals list beside that goal as a little reminder.  What are the very next steps I need to do to make that happen?  Hire a babysitter?  Make a reservation?  Brainstorm ideas?  These go to the top of my to do list!

You should always know what the next step is toward accomplishing a goal.  If not, it just kinda keeps floating out there with no action taken towards it.  Keep writing down your next steps towards each goal every day, every week.  And keep these next steps towards the top of your to-do list.  These should be ten minute little tasks to keep moving your closer to your goal.  If you know you need a big chunk of time a few days a month, schedule that into your calendar.  And don’t let anything get in the way of that time you’ve devoted to accomplishing your goal.  You will be amazed at how much you can get done in just a few months!

I’m so excited to hear about your next 90 day goals.  What’s on your list?