Oho Business Talk | No. 2

Guys.

I’m having a pretty magical moment right now. The world is a snow globe outside, the candles are lit, my favorite instrumental Spotify playlist is softly playing and the dogs are curled up beside me looking extra snuggleable. I may have spilled coffee all over myself and my favorite chair this morning but, gosh darn it, this Monday turned itself right around with this magic moment.

And since it’s a Monday, there really is no better day to talk about business. Enter the second post in the new series, Oho Business Talk (and look at me straight MURDERING Goal No. 1 of 2018) (typing murdering in all caps feels a touch aggressive for New Years Resolutions but whatever, it’s fine)…

Every business owner has that list. You know what I’m talking about. It’s that running list, whether on paper or in your head, of companies, apps and products that make our lives easier, more productive and just downright better. Apps for task management. Companies to source branded products from. Websites you don’t go a single business day without visiting. THAT LIST.

And while, I’m sure, my list is filled with some familiar names and companies you’ve already heard of (or are even using already), I’m also willing to guess it’s also filled with some new names and companies that might not be on your radar. And being that I’m both an oversharer and completely dedicated to exposing more of my business and processes this year, moreso than ever, I thought I’d get this party started with the first three can’t-live-without third party assets to my business.

It’s nerdy. It’s amazing. It’s Oho Business Talk No. 2. (Theme song coming next week. JK JK JK JK.) Here we go.

TRELLO

I’m a bit of a list freak. And by a bit I mean I, 100%, am a next-level-roll-your-eyes-Ohos-got-her-lists-out type of freak.

At any given time, I have a running tally of somewhere between fifteen to twenty lists of varying importance that help keep my business and personal life from going off the rails and, guys, I used to keep track of these lists under a behemoth of an excel spreadsheet that migrated into my life from my corporate days and while functional and color-coded (with only the best colors, obviously), it began to show it’s weaknesses in its inability to adequately archive completed to-dos or show more than one running list at a time.

Enter Trello. (Shoutout to my Working Workshop co-creator, Nathan, for introducing me to this brilliance.)

I promise I’m not overselling this; Trello legitimately makes my world & business run and run infinitely more smooth than I would be capable of alone.

Not only can I have multiple boards separated by topic (Oho Biz vs. Home Projects vs. Grocery) but also, within each board, I can have multiple lists running (today to-dos, editing to-dos, errands to run). It’s web & app-based so syncing across my laptop, desktop and phone is no big thing and means I can check the Target list to see if we need more deodorant or sponges while I’m actually in Target instead of forgetting the notepad on the fridge. (#sponsoredbyTarget, in my dreams)

In the screenshot above, you can see what how I use it in the way that works best for my business. With one glance, I have a picture of what my day looks like and have the flexibility to move tasks from column to column as needed. Add in the fact that each task can be assigned (if you have a team), commented on AND have a deadline set (which turns color to alert you as the deadline draws near or can be integrated with your calendar system to set notifications for to-dos) and I don’t think I’ve ever been more in love with a piece of technology since I got a Tamagotchi in junior high.

Another one of my favorite ways of using Trello, besides daily task management is the ability to build & curate a list of Slow Season To-Dos. If you’re anything like me, during the wedding season, items & to-dos that you legitimately don’t have the bandwidth to execute on pop into your brain on repeat – should I look into new packaging?, I need to update my Press Page, is there a better system for tracking anniversaries?, I could use new sample albums to show potential couples recent weddings – etc etc etc. I use Trello to track those brainstorms and, I am telling you, it has changed how productive I am in the slow season (and fed into my inability to remember to-dos unless I write them down but one neurosis at a time, Oho.)

So, go, download it and report back. (Seriously, I want to hear.)

SNUG

I LOVE INSTAGRAM. No surprise, right? As a photographer driven by inspirational imagery and aesthetics in general, it is my JAM.

But. Being visually driven (and aware of the visual message my brand is communicating on every and all platforms) also means I’m border-line obsessed with making sure my personal feed looks cohesive as a whole. Is that weird? Maybe. But if you’re here, reading this, I’m going to assume you’ve thought a time or two about that too. (And if not? I really am sorry. Welcome to your next obsession.)

World meet Snug, my very best friend when it comes to making sure my images flow cohesively and my visual messaging is on brand.

I use it to plan out 1-2 weeks of content at a time so I’m never wondering what my next instagram post will be when it comes time for my daily post.

I use Snug for both my business account and my personal one and while, yes, it’s absolutely superfluous – it’s another way of utilizing a free platform to ensure the visuals of my brand are cohesive match with what I am sharing on other platforms as well. And visual consistency = brand confidence.

Coming up with a caption that conveys both wit and substance? Well, that’s a different story entirely.

SPOTIFY

I know, I know. Old news. But this really is one of my most used and favorite business expenses and one that takes me from client meetings in the studio to working at home on my laptop to even business travel in the airport with my headphones in.

If you’re new to Spotify or just need a couple new playlists to favorite, don’t worry – I got you.

Music for Concentration
I have this thing where I can’t write emails or type blogposts with lyrical music playing. My mind definitely processes words better with music on but I need music that is purely instrumental and as much as I love the true classics, I need something a little more subtle, a little softer and a little more peaceful. This is that for me and more often than not, if I’m writing, this playlist is on.

Underground Hits
Hands down my favorite playlist to play during client meetings. It’s exactly what the title suggests and makes me seem cooler just by association. That’s a tall order but this playlist does it.

Wintertime
Yes, I’m bragging on my own playlist (super secret skill #34) but guys, it’s good (can I say that? it is).

I go through musical cravings that are generally directly related to the weather and in the wintertime, I crave the type of music you would want playing if you were sitting in front of a fireplace (or yulelog on your TV, same same) with a wineglass, covered up in a blanket. Are you getting a picture? It’s a cozy one.

In fact…that sounds pretty great. Signing off to pour myself a glass of wine, put on my Wintertime playlist, cozy up under a heated blanket and get my game face on for tonight’s episode of the Bachelor (the one where Arie makes out with 20 women in one week, just like last week and the week before).

Happy snow day friends, make it a good one.

(And PS, I’ll be sharing more on this series as we go but I’d love to hear what apps, companies or products you love that make your life better, too! And if you have one for those ever stumping instagram captions, YOU JUST LET A GIRL KNOW, K?)

(2) Comments

  1. Amanda Nippoldt

    Yay!!! LOVE trello! Obsessed with Dubsado for client management and Mixmax for emails!!! <3

  2. Denae Brennan

    Thanks for the playlists! I, too, cannot do emails or really any type of writing (especially if it involves numbers/math like budgets!) while listening to music with lyrics. My brain just wants to sing along! Personally I use Aisle Planner and it’s been a game-changer for me in keeping everything for clients organized in one place (though it’s specific to planners).