We wanted to start something new here on The Knot B2B blog — a series of expert “Life Hacks” articles (with a wedding professional twist, of course!) — and who better to share advice than current wedding industry professionals?
This article was contributed by Wedding Industry Expert Mary Baird-Wilcock, CSEP, founder of The Simplifiers.
“How does she do it?” We hear this question a lot…and let’s face it, being an undercover superhero sometimes can be anything but simple. However, in order to be a true superhero to our brides, we have picked up a few handy tools for our utility belt that make things more efficient, increases our time management skills and in the end, helps us “save the day” not only for our ourselves, but for our clients. FIVE WORDS: Take It To The Cloud!
- Google Calendar – this is the master brain for our company…each person on the team (planners, office manager, owner and even apprentices) have their own Google calendar, which helps easily communicate where anyone is at, at any given time. Vendor appointments, client sales meetings, networking/venue open houses, event staffing schedules and conference calls are all scheduled in, keeping it out of our brains and onto the cloud. https://calendar.google.com
- Dropbox – talking about the cloud, we also share all client files (sorted by specific job code per event) within our team, so everyone can easily access all vendor contracts from anywhere in the world, rather than be tethered to the in-office network. So, if we’re on-site doing a venue walk-thru, we can easily access the timeline or catering contract from our iPhones or iPads without really relying on the big, bulky event binder being fully up to date. Yes, we still do paper binders per event, but dropbox also allows planners to work remotely easier and have any and all information at their fingertips. https://db.tt/NKfhBAk
- Socialtables – another cloud-based program we’ve recently fell in love with is Socialtables, an online CAD layout program which easily allows you to create floorplans for your client’s weddings in a snap. You get unlimited projects per month and the software is super easy to pick up fast. Plus, it’s all to scale, so you get exact measurements of spaces and no second guessing. Put away the ruler and the graph paper! https://www.socialtables.com/
- Harvest – amazing time tracking software…every task we do for a client’s wedding gets logged in and every non-billable task (team meetings, continuing education, etc, etc) goes in as well. This easily imports into Quickbooks for payroll, as well. Finally, you can see how many hours your team spent per wedding and helps our team become more efficient at what we do and ultimately, helps us assess if we’re charging enough per wedding. http://www.getharvest.com/
Mary Baird-Wilcock, founder of The Simplifiers in 2003, has one goal with this company…to help people simplify their lives. Whether you’re not sure how to pull off the wedding you’ve always imagined or just need a little help with the daily grind, Mary created The Simplifiers in response to the overwhelming feeling that life is moving at lightning speed these days and well, we all need a little help now and then.
Mary is a CSEP certified Special Events Professional…there are only six in Austin, Texas (and less than 400 worldwide) that hold this highly sought after international certification. In short, she knows her stuff.