goals

Our Fave Organization & Productivity Tools

The beginning of the year always has us trying to find ways to be more productive, organized and efficient with our time. Here are a couple of our favorite tools to do that. How about you?

Google Excel Sheets

We use Google Suite all. the. dang. time. Being able to work on the same document is super convenient, and it’s nice for both of us to be able make changes on a project in real time.

But more than any of Google’s other awesome features, Google Sheets is our #1 when it comes to tracking a n y t h i n g. Seriously….anything. We’ve got spreadsheets for our clients, our social media calendar, income, expenses, pricing guides, to-dos, “dream big” projects and well, you get the idea.

Here’s a peek at our blog post spreadsheet. A brainstorming session a while back gave us a bunch of ideas for future posts, so we’ve captured them here, where we can track what we’ve done and what we want to post in the future.

Bonus: We love this little feature in our Gmail account:

By utilizing the promo and social tabs, it lets us focus on our clients in the main inbox without being overwhelmed by all of the clutter. Yay!

Dropbox Mobile

Not only is Dropbox super nifty for sharing projects with clients or between us (in fact, you probably already have one), but it has a nice little mobile app that helps us do our work more efficiently. For example, we like to save our created social media images on Dropbox. Then, when we’re ready to post something to our Instagram, for example, it’s as simple as a couple of clicks.

Presto!

Evernote

I (Katrina) use the Evernote app all the time. I like that I can have it on my desktop AND on my phone, so wherever I am, I can jot down interesting ideas, lists, quotes, etc. I’ll use this app to keep track of personal tasks, but I’ll also use it for taking notes during a client meeting or taking a photo of something I want to remember for a project later.

The checklist is a nice feature, as are the notebooks (which help me keep different parts of my life separate). You can also share lists with friends!

So, if you’re like me and constantly writing things down on scraps of paper, this is the app for you.

Trello

This is how we stay on top of our current projects. We have a board for general Tandem tasks (marketing plan, renewing subscriptions, connecting with future clients, etc.) and a separate board for each client we’re working with.

Here’s how we arrange our boards:

At a glance we can see what we need to be working on next, what we’re waiting on, etc. Within each task, we can create checklists if there are smaller tasks within the bigger task to complete. We can also write notes back and forth to each other so we know what the other person is working on.

Once we’ve finished with a client, we can archive the board, cash our check and high-five each other for another project completed!

StayFocusd Extension

Nothing’s a bigger work killer than the internet, amiright?! This extension can be added to your browser and allows you to set a time limit on certain websites (Facebook, Buzzfeed, Pinterest, Zappos, Anthro, etc.) or block certain sites altogether. If you go over your set time limit for any website, it will be blocked for the rest of the day. Say “see ya later” to endless scrolling on Facebook. Boom.

5 Things We're Looking Forward To In 2016

We may be nearing mid-January, but it’s never too late to spend some time thinking about goals and dreams for the year ahead. Here’s our (nonexhaustive) list of things we’re looking forward to in 2016.

  1. We’re transitioning into the next phase of our business here at Tandem. 2015 was the year we finally took our ideas, put them together and started something we’d been dreaming about for years. Moving ahead, we continue digging into our work, and anticipate 2016 as a year of growth and development. We can’t wait to see where we end up!

  2. A goal of ours from the get-go has been to build a creative community with other artists and entrepreneurs. We’ve already met some amazing people and can’t wait to meet even more. This year we’re looking forward to many collaborations (and happy hours) with other designers, musicians, photographers and more. Hit us up if you want to swap ideas!

  3. Tandem would not be in business if we weren’t working with clients. Each project we take on is an opportunity to grow our skills and become better at the work we do. We can’t wait to get the creative juices flowing this year and get innovative with the way we help share the stories of our clients.

  4. A technical project we’re looking forward to this year is expanding our skills in After Effects. We’ve seen amazing motion graphics and effects created from this program, and want to incorporate more of that into our work. Let us know if you have any resources we should check out.

  5. 2016 is the year we’re going to rock cat eyes and red lipstick. Seriously! Adele has inspired us to step up our game and why not make that a company goal?