How a little tool called Workflowy can save your sanity

Today I’m introducing a new guest blogger to Business Plus Baby – Christelle Donaldson of The Handy Marketer. Over to you Christelle!

When it comes to work, I am a very organized person and I make the most out of the tools available at hand. I plan my week, I plan my day, I set reminders, I block time on my own to work on key projects, nothing escapes me. But at home, it can be a different story. I forget to pick up the mail, to put the trash out on the right day, to call my parents when I said I would and worst, to pay bills in time. My husband keeps getting frustrated with me and told me once: “don’t you have a whole army of tools that you use at work? Can’t you use them at home too?” Good question.

I tried a few options: Evernote, Google Tasks, Teux Deux, Reminders, Remember the Milk.  All these fancy apps that can do wonders, if only you stick with them long enough. But that was always the problem, getting used to the app, finding how best to use it and building a habit of looking at my tasks regularly. I found all these tools to be too sophisticated, offering too many options, needing too many clicks to update them.

And then I learned about Workflowy. I instantly fell in love with it and started using it seamlessly at work and at home.

Workflowy is an online tool for taking notes and making lists. It works quite differently from other applications in the way that you simply write lists and keep adding new lists or sub-categories. You can also zoom on a list, collapse or expand items, mark them as complete, use hash tags and search through your lists, making the tool very powerful yet simple to use.

Here is why I love Workflowy:

  • It’s simple: You don’t need to learn how to use it, it’s almost like writing on paper. In fact the help menu is very small since it is so easy to use.
  • There are no distractions: the interface is very minimalist so there are no distractions around. You just write on the page and do nothing else. Workflowy doesn’t offer the option of formatting your text, so you don’t fiddle around.
  • It’s online and mobile: Workflowy is a cloud based tool so you can access it anywhere as long as you can find a browser and an internet connection. This is why I love it, because I can use it at the office and at home without having to install a new software on my computer. The mobile application is also very practical and can work offline.
  • It’s printable: you can choose to print any part of your lists, whether big or small, and make it a full page document. Very practical for shopping lists!
  • It’s beautiful: this might not be important to you, but I look at my list all day so I’d rather have something pretty to look at.
  • It’s free: with a free account you can create hundreds of items per month. So far I never reached the limit, and I know that I can increase it if I need.

I encourage you to have a look at the tool and try it for yourself. And if you are still wondering what you can use it for, I’ll give you a sneak peek into the way I organize it, just from a task management perspective (you could use it for much more):

Workflowy-setup-1

What about you, what tool do you use to stay organized?

Christelle Donaldson is a busy mom working as a professional marketer and blogging at The Handy Marketer. She offers practical marketing tips and is the author of Business Blogging for Beginners.

How to grow a business if you’re an introvert

You might think that an introvert is a person who is shy, but that’s not always true. I’m an introvert and I actually enjoy doing presentations and networking.

Yes, I’m a bit weird.

Lately I’ve been surprised by the people who’ve told me they are introverts. Some appear to have total confidence when delivering presentations, but will admit they can only do it if they are well prepared and talking about a subject they know well. Often us introverts have learned techniques to enable us to thrive in places where you’d expect to find only extroverts.

According to The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) assessment, introverts are motivated internally, getting their energy from within themselves rather than from being in a crowd. We are thinkers, brainstormers and problem solvers.  We often prefer one-to-one conversation over group meetings. And we also tend to need  quiet time to think and reflect.

These traits can make it difficult for us to meet people, make connections and network. All of these are important when building a business because relationships are essential for getting customers, making sales, getting to know with people who can connect you with new customers, plus finding the best experts and suppliers.

So here are a few things you can do to meet more people if you’re an introvert: Continue reading “How to grow a business if you’re an introvert”

How your self-talk could be putting the brakes on your success

Are the voices in your head telling you that you’re not good enough or there’s never enough time? In this video I talk about how they are holding you back and give one simple tip to get over them.

It’s a short video because it was freezing out there!

Don’t miss a thing here at Business Plus Baby 🙂  Click here to get my newsletter and  I’ll also send you a copy of  my e-book Running a business around a family: 9 steps to success.

Got a product-based business? Free training videos here…

If you have a product-based business that sells accessories, fashion, bath and beauty products, baby and kids products, or any other product in fact, I’d like to tell you about a really useful video training series.

Andreea Ayers of LaunchGrowJoy.com has just released a FREE four-part video training, called Product Marketing Breakthrough, in which she shares:

– 4 proven strategies to get your product line into the spotlight with your customers, retailers, and the media so you can increase your sales and income immediately

– The 3 most important profit boosters for your website, wholesale accounts, and publicity

– 3 specific strategies you can implement right away to create more income in your business immediately, as well as specific how-to’s for each step

– The 3 top mistakes most product-based entrepreneurs make when they try to grow their product line (Yes, I’ve made them all myself 🙂 Are you making them too? )

– Stories of product business owners who have made huge leaps and bounds in their businesses by implementing these Product Marketing Breakthrough strategies

Andreea just released her first video today and she’ll release more videos over the next two weeks. You can sign up to receive all four videos as soon as they are ready by clicking here.

I have just watched the first video and in it she tells the story of how she started her business at around the same time as her first child was born. So Andreea really did have a business plus a baby. She goes on to explain what you should so if you have a product line or idea for a product, but don’t know how to successfully get your product into multiple stores and media outlets.

Andreea will be teaching highly effective strategies you can implement right away and see instant results in your business. She used these strategies herself to grow her t-shirt business to 6-figure sales in her first year. Pretty impressive, especially with a baby in tow!

Click here to sign up to see the videos.

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