Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #22: It's All About Time Management and Productivity

When you own your own company, it takes a lot of dedication, determination, patience, flexibility, (money!), and very good time management skills to make it a success. I'm learning this the hard way, but it's still early enough in my journey to make the most of my new discovery.

I ended up working most of the day today...and it is a Sunday...because I got very little done on Friday. I went to lunch with a former colleague, accompanied her to Walmart afterward, and ended up getting home close to 5:00 p.m. I also have a bunch of appointments scheduled for next week, very few of them business-related. However, I've made an investment in two tools of modern technology that will hopefully help me to maximize the time I am working. One of them will also help me in my personal life.

The first investment is making an effort to organize my schedule. I decided to start using the Google Calendar feature on Gmail, since my new Palm Pixi (free upgrade from Verizon) can sync with it and keep me on time (for a change). You can input events and tasks in the calendar and assign times when you want to receive email and pop-up reminders for each event. I actually got to see this week's episode of "Three Rivers" -- congratulations to Alex O'Loughlin for being named Donate Life's Person of the Year 2010! -- live! I got involved in something last week and forgot all about it. I had to watch it online mid-week at With the calendar's pop-up feature, I got a message on my screen 10 minutes before the show started, so I could finish what I was doing and watch it! My Palm Pixi also alerted me to the airtime, and I could hit the "Snooze" button to have it remind me again in five minutes! I LOVE these features! :) And adding my To-Do tasks into the calendar rids my desk of the multitude of notes on tiny slips of paper I had all over it. I will be beyond organized if I keep this up. Good-bye pocket calendar! ;)

The second investment I made was a financial one, but still related to time management and productivity. I purchased Bead Manager Pro software to help me keep track of my materials, inventory, customers, vendors, etc. It even takes into account my overhead direct and indirect expenses to calculate my ideal hourly rate! It seems to be pretty straight-forward and easy to use. The challenge will be getting ALL of that information into the system. I wish I knew about this eight months ago! :p At times like this, I wish I had a partner or an employee...anyone with whom I can split up the work (and in the case of a partner, the finances! :D). So, I've blocked out an hour each weekday morning on the calendar to enter data into the system. Once I have that all completed, I can erase the handful of Excel spreadsheets I am currently using to keep track of expenses, NJ Sales Tax collected, funds invested in the company, etc. The program can print profit/loss statements (I'm not in a hurry to use that feature), catalogs (a more professional presentation binder, perhaps?), invoices, etc. Everything I did myself the hard way, this program will be able to expedite. Well worth the $97 investment (on sale for customers until tonight), if you ask me. ;)

In addition to the Palm Pixi, I also received an Aspire One Acer Notebook I purchased on eBay this week. I've linked it up to my home PC, so I can take all of my files with me when I go on vacation in a couple of weeks. No rest for the weary! ;) Seriously, though, I don't plan to work all through my vacation, but being able to keep up with minimal administrative tasks while I'm gone will make my return that much easier. :)

I finished my Bead Challenge project for the Bead Society of New Jersey (BSNJ) meeting this Thursday. I'm happy with how it turned out...we'll see if the voters on Thursday are, too! Wish me luck! :)

Still trying to fit in some "real work" in the midst of all of the administrative set-up and personal stuff. I've been working on some handcrafted sterling silver blank links (there's a bracelet with hammered ones in the Design Samples GALLERY on the website and on the company's Facebook Fan Page if you don't know what I mean) for a family friend's necklace. She wants a Venetian glass necklace revamped because the original links looked like macaroni. LOL She bought the necklace in Venice, so she figures it is worth the cost of having it "fixed." :)

Back to work! Have a great week! At least the weather has calmed down here somewhat. :)
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Gary said...

Hi Kristen

Sorry, I deleted my first two replies as I messed up the links I was trying to give you.

Anyway, I came across your post and wanted to let you know that if you contact us through support we can help to give you instructions on how to import you date from excel. Sorry they're just to long to paste here;




Bead Manager Pro Jewelry Software

Kristen Glanzman said...

Thanks, Gary! :) I don't know if my Excel spreadsheets are set up in a way that will be compatible with Bead Manager Pro -- my brain sort of has its own logic -- but I will give it a try! Thanks! :)

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