Productivity

I’ve been talking to people a lot lately about what works for them. The biggest challenge for most people is figuring out how to ensure the important but not urgent tasks are getting done.

It’s the little things you tend to let fall through the cracks over time that end up costing you more than you realize in time, money and energy. Invoicing, payables, and reviewing financial reports, are important but not always urgent tasks that may fall to the bottom of the priority list when the day-to-day demands start driving your action list.

The good news is some easy to use apps are available that can help you stay organized, prioritize activities and get reminders delivered to your handheld device so you can maintain your focus on what matters most.

A System To Achieve Your Financial Goals

While I haven’t found a one-size to fit all solution,  (Most apps focus on doing a particular task for you), these three apps function as a valuable system you can use to make achieving your financial goals easier:

Stay Organized

Sage One App (For iOS, iPad, and Android)

This easy-to-use and intuitive app is like having a personal assistant with you on your mobile device at all times to handle the money flowing in and out of your business every day. It allows you to record your expenses, connect your bank, credit, and investment accounts, create and send invoices, manage your products and services lists and manage your contacts. You can schedule reminders for recurring invoices or payables. It’ll even give you directions to your contacts location using your mobile navigation. This app also makes it easy to track your personal income and expenses.

We offer a free consult to help you get set up for a free trial and provide you with a discount code if you love the idea of simplifying your accounting. Contact us to book a free consult.

Manage Activities

Asana App (For iOS, iPad, and Android)

Asana is a system of action. It provides you with a simple structure and intuitive workflow to manage all your daily activities from your desktop or mobile device, so nothing falls through the cracks. Set your goals or objectives up as projects, list steps to completion, assign responsibilities and track progress on every project from start to finish. You can attach documents, graphics or presentations or links to files in Dropbox to your projects. You can also

track conversations and turn next steps into tasks with the click of a button. Asana makes it easy to remember what’s most important and prioritize what’s next so you can stay focused and keep your projects moving forward. You can get started for free here.

Get Reminders

CRA Business Tax Reminders App 

If you’ve ever missed a deadline or had to pay a penalty for submitting a late payment to Canada Revenue Agency, you know how much it costs. The CRA Business Tax Reminders App makes it easy to remember your business-related tax deadlines.

You can download the App to get calendar reminders for your CRA business tax due dates sent to you for the following:

  • Installment due dates for individual income tax, corporate income tax, and goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) accounts;
  • Return due dates for:
    • GST/HST return
    • T2 corporation income tax return
    • T4 information return
    • T5013 partnership information return
    • T1 income tax and benefits return;
  • Remittance due dates for payroll and GST/HST accounts.

 

All of these apps work great to help you stay on the right financial track so you can keep moving towards your goals with confidence and clarity.

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Are you using these apps? Share what works for you on your favorite social media, #stayontrack.

 

Podcasts provide a convenient way to gain new ideas and a wealth of knowledge you can apply to your business.

Whether you tune in to listen to your favourite shows on your work commute, while driving your kids to school or during your workout, podcasts are an easy way to learn on the go.

Here’s my list of the top ten podcasts to help you build your business: 

1. Online Marketing Made Easy 

with Amy Porterfield

Known as the Queen of Content Marketing, Amy Porterfield teaches valuable strategies to make more sales and boost your online presence in Online Marketing Made Easy.

Topics include how to attract more customers using podcasts, webinars, social media, and video. By implementing her suggestions, you’ll be well equipped to build a following and start generating more revenue. Learn more.

2. YouPreneur

with Chris Ducker 

Chris Ducker wears a variety of hats including, small business marketing coach, best-selling author, and international keynote speaker. Youpreneur covers marketing strategies to grow your business through blogging and other social media channels, as well as how to effectively outsource work to spend your time where it matters most.

Listening to the Youpreneur podcast is a great resource for mentorship in the beginning stages of your business.

3. This Is Your Life

with Michael Hyatt

Michael Hyatt is a “virtual mentor” and delivers his weekly podcast, This is Your Life to motivate, inspire and influence business owners. You’ll learn helpful business strategies, tips to achieve a successful work-life balance and gain valuable insight about how to deal with entrepreneurial life struggles.

Topics include conquering overwhelm, increasing productivity and staying connected to the passion that fueled your business in the first place.

4. The Good Life Project

with Jonathan Fields

“The Good Life Project is like a B vitamin injection for the mind.” Any entrepreneur (or non-entrepreneur) will benefit from the boost of positive energy and motivation you receive listening to GLP Radio.

Jonathan Fields facilitates unfiltered interviews with today’s thought-leaders and lifestyle experts about finding meaning, happiness, motivation and success.

Subscribe to hear from guests like Brene Brown, Seth Godin, Danielle Laporte, and Kate Northrup on topics such as unlocking creativity, money, meditation, fear, and the gifts of failure.

5. Become a Pro Blogger

with Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is highly knowledgeable when it comes to taking your blog from a hobby to a business. He takes you behind the scenes to get a glimpse of what makes his six-figure blog launches work.

Darren advises on how to find readers, how to create a successful editorial calendar, online and offline strategies for promoting your blog and most importantly – how to create great content.

If you want to grow your audience and build a following, I highly recommend listening to his “31 days to a better blog” series for tangible tips you can implement quickly to start gaining momentum.

6. Eventual Millionaire

with Jaime Masters

Have you ever known deep down you’d be a millionaire?

So did Jaime Masters, a thriving business coach. She’s interviewed 100+ millionaire entrepreneurs on her podcasts about their successes, failures, struggles and lessons learned along the way. Jaime’s story has inspired many. She paid off $70k worth of debt and left a soul-sucking job she hated to pursue starting her own business and making her first million on her terms.

Jaime’s Eventual Millionaire podcast isn’t one to miss if you want to inspire action and gain motivation to keep pushing forward.

7. Start Up School

with Seth Godin

Seth Godin is a pioneer in marketing and entrepreneurship. In his Start Up School podcast, you’ll hear Seth coach thirty students during a workshop on how to bring the business of their dreams into fruition and run it successfully.

8. Business Insanity

with Barry Moltz

Barry Moltz has the formula for taking your business to the next level. He’s founded and led small businesses for over 15 years.

If you feel stuck or lack a clear direction for your business, Barry’s Business Insanity Talk Radio episodes can provide insight and motivation to help you get unstuck.

Subscribe to Business Insanity Talk Radio to hear Barry discuss the craziness of running a small business and how to navigate the exciting and totally unpredictable journey of entrepreneurship.

9. The Soul of Enterprise: Business in The Knowledge Economy

with Ed Kless and Ron Baker

Subscribe to listen to The Soul of Enterprise radio talk-show to change the way you think about wealth, money and how to create more of it.

Both Ed Kless and Ron Baker are pioneers in their industry and considered thought leaders today for their business consulting expertise, mentorship and dedication to helping others succeed. The Soul of Enterprise provides fresh leadership insights and entrepreneurial wisdom you can’t afford to miss.

10. One Percent Podcast

with Susan Solovic

Susan Solovic is an award-winning serial entrepreneur and Small Business Expert. She is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Amazon.com top 100 and USA Today bestselling author, media personality, sought after keynote speaker, and attorney.

Subscribe to One Percent Podcast to hear and learn from Susan’s conversations with business owners, leaders and experts about their problems and stories. She covers specific how-to topics on a variety of subjects to help you apply valuable lessons to building your own profitable business.


Lastly, I am thrilled to announce that I will be launching a business systems learning series soon. You’ll learn easy ways to organize your finances, manage cash flow and ensure the back end of your business is running smoothly so you can generate more profit.

Be the first to know when it launches! Subscribe to get updates and my best articles delivered to your inbox.

 

As a freelancer, you face the pressure of relying solely on yourself to manage your time and earn an income while working on numerous projects and building connections.

Thanks to technology, being a freelancer has its perks. There are several apps designed to make your business life easier.

Here are my personal recommendations for the top 10 must have apps for freelancers.

1. Sign Easy

As a busy freelancer who rarely meets clients face to face, it can be a major headache to send and receive signed documents. Sign Easy converts documents such as NDA’s and contracts to a digital format that can be signed in seconds on a smartphone or tablet with your finger, without the hassle of printing or scanning.

2. Google Docs

Google Docs is the ultimate tool to create projects, presentations and documents that you can access from anywhere. Google Docs integrates with your @gmail.com address and allows you to share and invite others to edit documents. For added convenience, there is also an app you can download for your iPhone and iPad or Android phone and tablet.

3. CX

CX is a cloud storage solution similar to Dropbox, but with the benefit of 10 GB of space at no cost (compared to 2 GB of space with Dropbox before you’re required to pay). CX is extraordinarily helpful in larger file transfer between you and your clients (such as shared photos for social media projects) as well as backing up folders of completed work.

4. Evernote

Evernote is referred to by freelancers as a “virtual notebook” though it’s superior to a notebook. You can use Evernote as your online workspace you can access on the go. With Evernote, you can organize information, research, to-do lists (in order of due dates) and send reminders. Evernote even allows you to add customized tags so you can quickly search and find the information you need.

5. Teux Deux

Teux Deux is a minimalist to-do list iPhone app designed to make creating useful lists and checking things off quick and easy.  You can view your weekly tasks at a glance on a beautiful interface.

6. DoneDone

DoneDone is a brilliant app for team collaboration, where you can categorize, assign and manage tasks on a project dashboard. DoneDone allows you to track issues with one central hub.

7. Bidsketch

Have you ever dreaded writing proposals? Professional looking proposals can take hours to create, which is why Bidsketch is such a valuable app to freelancers. Bidsketch makes it easy to create personally branded templates and send professional looking proposals or landing pages in less time.

8. Mailstrom

Have you ever wanted to hide from your email inbox? With Mailstrom, you’ll never have to feel crowded by sifting through hundreds of emails again. Mailstrom allows you to filter your important emails and separate them from the spam or regularly unopened emails. You can get through hundreds of emails in your inbox with just a few clicks, so your number of unopened messages are a big zero – yay!

9. Dashlane

As a freelancer (or

simply as a user of several apps), you’ll have your work cut out for you with passwords and usernames to track. Dashlane is a secure and free password manager that can also keep track of your receipts and payment information to avoid repetitive typing. Dashlane is also a cloud solution, so you can access your account from anywhere.

10. SageOne

Sage One is a complete online accounting solution that allows you to keep your books in order and run your business on the go.  With Sage One, you can send invoices, receive payments, record expenses, track receivables and reconcile your latest bank and credit card transactions. If you have an accountant, you can both access your up to date financial information to discuss issues and prepare your year-end tax return.

Sage One makes it easy to keep track of your financial position from anywhere you have an Internet connection so you can effectively manage your cash flow and make decisions.  Are you interested in a free Sage One demoEmail or call 1.778.855.5855 and we’ll set it up along with a trial and special promotional code to get this powerful software at a discount.

Whether you are a new or established freelancer, these apps can help you stay organized and boost your productivity.

Love this article? Tweet This: Freelancers: Here are 10 Must Have Apps To Make Your Business Life Easier bit.ly/1NlgQCG via @burleighdebrah

If you are a business owner, you probably feel pulled in many directions daily as priorities change to keep everything running smoothly.

The challenge for many is focusing on what is important and saying “no” to non-essential projects, tasks and requests.

Here are three ways to help you focus on what is most important:

1.

Prioritize Your Task List

Most entrepreneurs I know create a schedule or some sort of task list each day. An effective way to focus on what is important is to organize your tasks by priority.

Block time in your schedule to handle the high priority projects, tasks or requests first during the most productive hours you have each day. You can delegate, defer or delete the rest.

Examples of high priority activities include being of greater service to your customers, generating revenue and maintaining momentum towards the goals you’ve set.

“The Principle of Priority states (a) you must know the difference between what is urgent and what is important, and (b) you must do what’s important first.”
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

2. Start Your Day Earlier

One of the perks of being an entrepreneur is the freedom to set and control your own schedule. But http://www.cialisgeneriquefr24.com/cialis-bordeaux/ you also have to manage your schedule effectively to do the work essential to your success.

Starting your day earlier can provide you with a productive block of time free from distractions you can use to set your day up for success and make significant progress on your top priorities.

If waking up at the crack of dawn seems like a daunting task, try waking up just fifteen minutes earlier than your regular time each day and gradually increase to give your brain a chance to adapt.

3. Minimize The Effects Of Common Distractions

From emails, text messages and phone calls to people walking into your office for a quick chat, most of us are distracted several times or more every day.

The challenge is regaining concentration so you can stay on track to produce high quality work and achieve the tasks you set out to accomplish.

While communicating with your customers and team is essential, not having a clear structure in place to manage your accessibility can lead to overwhelm and drain your productivity quickly.

A useful strategy is to schedule specific times in your day or week during your ‘lower productivity’ hours to prop your virtual or physical door open. Use these blocks of time to review, respond and manage your email, texts or voicemail and schedule meetings.

This will help you reserve your peak performance hours for doing creative and high-value work. Make sure your email program is turned off during your peak performance hours so you are not distracted by alerts popping up on your screen or sounds from your mobile device.

It’s also useful to let your customers and team members know viagra online store when your door is propped open for communication and how they can connect with you outside of those times for something urgent.

Setting clear expectations for when and how to communicate will make it easier for you to focus on what is important and reduce stress.

It’s that time of year when many small business owners are setting goals and making plans to move forward in big or small ways over the next year.

But, if you set too many goals at once it can be difficult to focus your time and energy on what matters most.

And doing what it takes to manage, lead and plan effectively to create the results you want – requires a sharp focus.

Here are 3 questions to help you sharpen your focus on what matters most:

1. What is your central theme or priority goal for your business this year?

Instead of a list of goals, declare one central theme and priority goal for your business this year. Make a list of the projects you need to complete to create the results you want. Then prioritize, schedule and organize your resources.

2. What will it mean when you create what you want?

 “We set resolutions believing that our thoughts drive our behavior, even though we are often motivated to action by our emotions.” Anne Dranitsaris, Corporate Psychotherapist and owner of Striving Styles.

Understanding what motivates you can help you keep taking action despite the challenges that show up in pursuit of anything new or the fear of the unknown.

3. What do you need to make it happen?

Make a list of everything that needs to happen to complete the projects you’re scheduling. Set target dates in your calendar and prioritize your activities. Eliminate or delegate what doesn’t move you towards your goal.

Get help to identify the steps you need to take, the resources you need to gather and the systems you need to build to create a structure that will help you stay disciplined and focused. Start crossing off your list.

Keep Your Why At The Helm Every Day

Keep your why at the helm of your day to day planning to navigate your decisions, activities and keep the big picture in mind. Let it be your inspiration. Start each day with your theme or focus word in mind. Write it down in your journal, planner or program a daily reminder with your handheld device.

Use your theme or focus word for the year to prioritize your daily activities and say no to distractions.

Even if the journey doesn’t work out exactly as you expected you will be on your way and you can adjust your plans as you move closer to your desired results.

So what is your focus or central theme for your business this year?

Share yours on your favourite social media with a link back to this article and hashtag #focus2015.

We all want to lead awesome meetings. More specifically, we want to make the time invested in meetings more productive so everyone involved walks away with:

1. A greater understanding of what the issues & priorities are,
2. Who is accountable for specific tasks to implement solutions,
3. Clarity to make decisions and take action,
4. An energy boost to keep moving forward.

To help you and your team get a better return on your time investment, here are my six fundamental principles for leading awesome meetings:

Start With Why

If you’re going to meet, clarify the purpose first then only invite the people essential to getting the outcomes you need.

Set An Agenda

Set a time-specific agenda with no more than 3 core outcomes you want to get out of the meeting. Clarify who is attending, what you’re talking about and what you expect from each participant. Be even more specific about any information you need your participants to prepare and bring to the meeting in advance. I recommend sharpening the focus of each meeting so you can accomplish what you want within 30 minutes.

Show Up Prepared

In order for your meeting to feel useful and productive, you’ve got to have the information you need to make decisions and take action. Make it clear in advance, everyone must show up prepared or the meeting will have to be rescheduled. Send out the list of what each person is accountable to bring and email a reminder 48 hours in advance.

Stay On Task

Keep the meeting focused on the core outcomes. If ‘other’ issues come up during the course of your meeting make note of it briefly and insist on dealing with it via email, a phone conference or agree to set up another meeting if necessary.

Create Your Action List

Clarify and assign specific tasks to implement the solutions you’ve created or action you’ve decided to take.

Re-Cap Next Steps

Complete your meeting with a re-cap of what’s been decided upon and send everyone a copy of the action plan. Before you wrap up clarify how each person will stay accountable to the action plan so the important work gets done.

By mastering these fundamentals you can transform energy-draining meetings into energy-boosting summits focused on action and results, which will feel a lot more motivational for you and your team.

If you liked this article, please share it on your favourite social media with #awesomemeetings

One of the challenges I think many business owners can relate to is figuring out how to inspire your team to get things done.

In his bestseller, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Simon Sinek says encouraging people to clarify what they intend to do gives them ownership instead of waiting for permission.

Because when you give people a sense of purpose you inspire them to do their part to get things done using their unique abilities, which builds trust and a deeper sense of belonging.

And in my experience his advice works brilliantly.

In this article, I’m sharing the simple three-step process I use to inspire our team to get things done:

Set 30 Day Goals

Meet with your team every month to set an ambitious goal that moves your team closer to your bigger goals for the year.

Clarify Intentions

Clarify what you intend to do by when toward achieving your team’s 30 -day goal. Then ask each member of your team to clarify what they are going to do by when toward achieving it. Assign someone the task of recording the key activities, deadlines and who is accountable for what. Ensure everyone on the team receives a recap via email of who is responsible for what within 24 hours of wrapping up your meeting.

Follow Through

Discuss resources and create solutions to any potential challenges so that everyone has what they need proactively to follow through. Keep an open door policy to discuss any issues as they come up but make it clear that each person is responsible for their own activities assigned.

Encourage your people to communicate proactively on anything they need to make what they are responsible for happen.

This process will help you establish a strong foundation for getting the right things done using the power of your team. Something you can build a world-class culture on.

If you’re anything like me, January is a great time for reflecting on your dreams and planning what actions you need to take to move towards what’s most important right now.

To help you get the most out of your time, I’m sharing a few links to 3 useful time management tools:

Plan Your Week

Moleskine: I use paper and pencil in addition to my online calendar to plan out my days and weeks. Moleskine’s Weekly Planner/Diary is practical and functional for daily use and to have the week at a glance. It also makes it easier to take stock of what works, what doesn’t and next steps. You can find Moleskine’s selection of planners at local bookstores, stationery boutiques or Chapters Indigo.

Manage Your Calendar
Tempo: For iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Boost productivity. This app brilliantly connects your google or exchange calendar to your accounts and other apps. I’m really looking forward to using this app for Sage Summit.

Track Your Time
Toggl: For iPhone, Android or your desktop. Whether you are billing by the hour or transitioning to value pricing, this software simplifies getting a handle on where your time is going so you can make it work better for you. And, basic time tracking is free!

In the spirit of focus, I’ve kept this post super-compact. I hope you enjoy these apps!

If you like this article, please click like above and I’d be grateful if you’d share this on your favourite social media.

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