When you’re just starting out, it’s easy to remember all you have to do. Maybe you get an order or two a week – no way you’re going to forget those!
But once business picks up, the orders are rolling in – you seriously need to get organised (P.S. I’m an Aussie, remember? Yep, that’s how we spell ‘organized’ :).
I’ve gone through a few permutations of organisation:
The try-to-remember-everything phase (yep, no…)
The use-sticky-notes-plastered-everywhere phase (umm, what if I lose one?)
The trying-to-find-a-computer-program-to-use phase (but my computer’s in the house, not out in my workshop!)
However, I think I have now reached some sort of organisational equilibrium – that works!
Here’s How I Stay Organised
1. For my Epheriell orders, I have a simple lined exercise book (the kind kids use at school – it’ll cost you less than a dollar, hopefully!)
I rule each page into four columns. They are:
- Order Date
- Name and Address
- Order Details
- Shipping Date
So, an order might look like this (and with my dates, remember I’m in Australia, we write day/month/year):
18 Awesome St, Somewhere, State, Postcode, Country
Tri-metal square stackers (size 7)
Originally I just ticked the ‘shipped’ column – then I had one person inquire as to when their order was shipped (it took a bit longer than normal to arrive) and I realised I didn’t know the exact day. Now I always do.
The beauty of this method is that I always have all the details of all my orders in one place. It makes my life a lot easier.
2. For the rest of my biz, I have just – finally – hit upon what might work for me.
I bought a diary. Just a plain, page-to-a-day, boring old diary. The woman at the newsagent looked at me like I was a crazy person when I asked (on the 29th of September) if they still had any 2010 diaries. They did, and I got it for just five bucks, too.
You see, I have lot of ideas – all the time (can you relate?). And if I don’t write these ideas down, they swim around in my head and make me a little stressed. But once I write them out, it’s like my brain knows they’ll be dealt with, so it quietens down.
I’ve stared writing down every task I know I need to do. And I don’t just write them on today – I spread them out over the next week, prioritising things that need to get done NOW, right down to things that would be really nice to do, but that aren’t essential.
So far (yes, I know, only a day in, who knows what will happen?) I feel a lot more relaxed and in control. Everything I need to do is in that book, and I can just work my way through it as needs be.
But what about organising all of the business income and expenses?
Stay tuned – I plan to write all about how I keep track of that next week.
Till then – I’d love it if you’d share your organisational tips in the comments!