WAHM

5-Tools-for-Clearing-Business-Clutter-295x300[1]Executives spend an average of 6 weeks per year looking for lost documents, notes the National Association of Professional Organizers. 5 Tools for Clearing Business Clutter. Reducing office clutter can drastically reduce the need to spend time looking for lost paperwork. Try these five tools to reduce office clutter and take back control of your professional life.

1. Scan business cards to reduce small paper clutter

It’s easy to hang on to business cards you receive at networking events “just in case” you need them again. However, unless you regularly review and recycle cards, you can find that you have hundreds you don’t need. And, of course, the one contact card that you do need will be hard to find. Reduce paper clutter without losing these contacts by scanning the cards and saving them to a program like Evernote, which is free. Alternately, manually enter information into your smartphone or a contact management system.

2. Use cloud storage to save important documents instead of printing

The more printed materials you have, the greater the likelihood of clutter taking over your desk. Instead, eliminate or cut back on your business printing by saving important documents to the cloud. Cloud storage utilities like Box and Dropbox have free and paid plans to accommodate user needs. Keep your cloud storage files organized by client, by topic (i.e. Marketing, Finance, Trends) or by another scheme that makes sense to you, so you won’t have to spend a long time searching for documents.

3. Scan and organize receipts right in Quickbooks

Those business receipts you’re holding on to can create a lot of paper clutter. Enter Quickbooks accounting software, which allows you to scan receipts right into the system and access scanned receipts later on from any device. Scan those paper receipts then throw them away before they can create inter-office clutter. Give the software a free trial for 30 days, then try a paid plan that meets your business needs.

4. Use a to-do list to ensure you hit daily checkpoints

If you tend to miss deadlines or have work-related emergencies due to clutter, a simple to-do list can help you stay focused. Draw up a daily to-do list then base your workflow from this. About one hour before the end of your workday, check your list one last time and tackle any items that need immediate attention. Use any items that remain as the foundation for the following day’s to-do list. Ending the work day on a high note can propel you to continue using your list to tackle goals and reduce your clutter.

5. Keep “must have” papers organized through a color coded file system

While these steps will help you to reduce the physical amount of paper you need to have on hand, you probably won’t be able to eliminate clutter-causing paper. For the paper you do need to have on hand, use a color-coded filing system to maintain document order. Store all accounts receivable statements or invoices in green file folders, keep all meeting agendas in yellow folders or keep all in-process work in red file folders. This way, you can more easily find a needed document by looking in the color folder you’d expect to find it.

The post, 5 Tools for Clearing Business Clutter by Missy Ward, was originally published on itsaWAHMthing.com.

If you’re a work at home parent, check out this article I wrote for WhatToExpect.com. It’s my quick summary about quitting the supposed “great job” (when I was a single mom with a 2-1/2 year old) to work for myself from home and the things I learned along the way to help give my boys a head start in business.

This post originally appeared on itsaWAHMthing.com, where I regularly contribute articles about affiliate marketing, productivity and technology tips for small businesses and work at home moms.

According to research published by MarketingSherpa, 64 percent of companies will see an increase in their email marketing budget in 2013, so there will be a lot of competition to attract readers and convince them to click through and convert.

To earn your fair share of those clicks, your email marketing will have to stand out from the crowd. You will need an effective email marketing tool to manage the details so you can spend your time refining your message and tactics.

Campaigner is a cloud-based email tool that works well for newbies to email marketing as well as for seasoned pros, so whichever group you fall into, take a closer look at Campaigner.

List management

Campaigner helps with that most dreaded of tasks – list management – by supporting easy imports of existing contacts and makes it easy to add sign up forms to your website or social media pages. It also Grow Your Business with Email Marketing

manages bounces so your list stays cleaner. In the same research report, MarketingSherpa reports that many companies are discouraged about their ability to grow their lists, so the tools Campaigner brings may help keep you from becoming part of that unhappy statistic.

Helpful features that improve email effectiveness

Email marketing is most effective when sent to a targeted group, and Campaigner makes it easy to narrow your list with easy to use filters. You can set up static segments for groups you send to repeatedly, or you can create dynamic groups for specials, new products or events. Prospects are less likely to regard your email as spam if they receive targeted emails with content that is of interest to them, and filtering will improve your conversion rate and help keep your list healthy.

Built in analytics provide immediate feedback on what’s working and what isn’t, so you can easily fine-tune your campaigns to maximize conversions and revenue.

Campaigner includes a “Share Bar” that provides links to social media sites to enable users to forward your emails easily, amplifying your reach exponentially and helping you to grow your list. When the people already on your list share your emails with friends and acquaintances, you know you’ve done something right.

Campaigner also includes over 600 themed email templates that you can customize, or you can create your own from the ground up so you control every aspect of your branding. There are holiday themed templates, newsletter templates, and even templates for mobile email, so you should be able to find something that works if you’re not up for building your own from scratch.

Campaigner automates mundane tasks

Campaigner also includes easy auto-responders so you can reply to frequently asked questions or requests for information without having to manage them individually. This is also a great way to manage recurring campaigns or campaigns triggered by a customer’s actions.

Pricing

Campaigner bases its pricing on the number of contacts.

Number of Contacts

Monthly Fee

Up to 1000

$ 10

1,001 to 2,500

$ 25

2,501 to 5,000

$ 40

5,001 to 10,000

$ 55

10,001 to 25.000

$120

25,001 to 50,000

$200

 

Pricing for companies with more than 50,000 contacts is by quote.

It’s easy to sign up for campaigner with the 30-day free trial offer. You don’t need to provide a credit card number unless you choose to go beyond the trial, so there’s no risk in taking campaigner out for a trial spin.

Campaigner is easy to use and provides all the tools most companies need for effective email marketing, if you’re looking for a way to increase revenue, Campaigner might be exactly what you need to kickstart your efforts.

Thinking about growing your small business through email marketing? Try Campaigner today and take advantage of their 30 day FREE trial.

Ahhhh… the first day of your new entrepreneurial life – the day after you’ve left your full-time job for the last time, the day you no longer have to don business attire and full make-up – is a heady day.

You can sleep in late, start working in your pajamas while curled up on the couch, and there is no boss to tell you to stay off of Facebook or turn that music down. It’s an exhilarating, one-of-a-kind experience.

However, it isn’t too long before you realize that as an entrepreneur, you actually need to be more organized instead of less. Without structure and good self-discipline, your multiple visits to Facebook during the day mean you’re still working late into the evening, often to the detriment of both your family and your sanity.

So how do you go about setting up a plan for your independent work day? Here’s what I’ve learned the hard way.

1. Make a Schedule

This might seem obvious, but it’s critically important for long term success. First, pay attention to when you are most productive; are you a morning person, or do you do better in the afternoon? Once you know your most productive times, schedule your more challenging work during those times. Leave your less productive hours for more routine tasks, such as checking email or updating spreadsheets.

2. Use Good Tools

There are some great time-management tools out there; find the ones that work best for you and use them. One of the best free tools I’ve found is Podio.com. It is incredibly flexible and allows me to manage my schedule and projects very easily. For tracking my time on the web and social media, I like RescueTime.com which offers a weekly productivity report. My first report really showed how much time I waste on social media and helped me build better habits.

3. Batch Tasks

I can bust out a ton of work when I get into a groove. But, starting and stopping different tasks makes me lose momentum very easily. So when I decided to start batching my tasks, it became much easier for me to focus on work instead of getting derailed each time I got a new Facebook or email notification ping.

My four favorite tasks that I like to batch are email, social media, content creation and administrative duties. By blocking off time each day to focus on each batch of tasks, I’m able to accomplish much more, without working longer hours.

4. Consider Outsourcing

Why torture yourself doing things you don’t enjoy and don’t do well when you can easily subcontract out tasks like payroll, taxes, data entry, etc. to other entrepreneurs. Hiring people to do these things will free you up to do what you love and build your business.

In order to be successful over the long term and grow your business in a smart way, you need to do more than work hard – you need to work SMART. After all, you are your own boss now, and you want to give your boss your best, right?