What do you use for your invoicing, accounting, and general planning organization? As a small business owner, myself, I know it can be overwhelming to manage your business documents when trends are constantly changing, new apps are being developed and new planning software programs are being released in our community. You must consider what tools or online programs will make the planning process most efficient for you and your clients. What programs should you invest in? What free software/organizational programs can you take advantage of?
As my main organizational hub, I invested in Aisle Planner (use code WPIC for a discount!) – this is where my clients can access all their invoices, contracts, timelines, checklists, floor plans, guest lists, vendor contact information, additional notes, and questionnaires. Other than Aisle Planner, I try to use free resources.
These are three of my favourite free tools and I don’t know how I would stay organized without them!
Canva is amazing. They have templates for mood board designs, menus, invoices, contracts, Instagram stories, Instagram posts, and more! You can upload photos, videos, colour palettes, or logos and then access them from the app or online to use in your designs. You can then save all your creations as PDF, JPEG, or send them to a printing house. Canva helps you create your business posts and design projects easily when you are on the go, and you can edit the templates to match your branding.
Canva also has a brand tool that you can pay for – which saves your branding colours, logos, and fonts and allows you to share the account with team members.
I use Canva to do the following:
- Make branded Instagram and Facebook posts
- Design mood boards for editorial shoots and clients
- Create invoices for independent contracting jobs
- Create brochures and flyers
- Print invitations
Below is the mood board we created for an upcoming editorial shoot using the Photo Collage Template on Canva.
It’s essential to time everything when you own a service-based small business. Your client meetings, answering emails, how long it takes to finish a design board, etc. Toggl is a super easy way do to this. It lets you title all your timed activities and organize them into folders on your account.
How do you track your small business expenses? Expensify is my go-to! You simply scan your receipts, and it logs them into reports for your current tax year. Gas receipts, coffee shop meetings, client gifts, emergency kit purchases at Shoppers – I take pictures of all my expenses with this easy and free app.
Holly Barraclough, WPICC, CWD
Holly Perrier is the owner of Planning Planning Inc. – an eco-conscious wedding and event planning company – that has branch locations in Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary. Perrier Planning aims to make the most important events in their clients’ lives as memorable and enjoyable as possible while taking the time to drastically lower their event’s carbon footprint. Holly currently lives in Alberta with her fiancé and two dogs, and travels to Toronto and Vancouver several times a year.