My Favorite Tech Tool: CoSchedule

My Favorite Tech Tool: CoSchedule

CoSchedule is my new best friend for marketing automation planning. Yes you read that right. I am so glad that I took a second look at this awesome program that just keeps getting better.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me explain…

What Is CoSchedule:

CoSchedule is an all in one marketing calendar for your business. You can use it to schedule blog posts, social media posts and to keep up with your team and what they are working on content wise for your business. It truly is an all in one marketing planning system.

I remember when I first tried it out some years back and it was overwhelming at first. Especially if you are not familiar with marketing plans and what all that entails. But just in the last year I decided to take another look. And boy am I glad I did. It seems every month they are making it better and better.

But I will let them explain in this introduction video what CoSchedule is and then keep reading as I let you know my favorite features and how I use it in my business.

How It Works:

3 of my favorite features are ReQueue, Social Sync and the WordPress Integration. Let’s take a look at each one to see what it is.

ReQueue

ReQueue is the best feature of all to me. It automatically lets you re-use your best social messages without the manual work. You know how I feel about doing things manually 😂. Now a few other applications have this feature, but CoSchedule really makes an art of it.

One app in particular I was using for this would reuse my posts that I told it, but it would do it immediately so that I had the same content coming out several times a week. CRAZY! With CoSchedule it intelligently finds the best time to repost your best posts AND it let’s you choose the frequency of how often to repost that content in a given time frame. So no more inputting the same content that did well over and over.

My requeue in CoSchedule

Social Sync

Social Sync is the newest feature to be rolled out. With Social Sync you now get a true complete picture of your social media posting strategy. CoSchedule can pull in your posts from various social networks that weren’t published with CoSchedule. This is a game changer for me because I use another tool to schedule my blog post for up to a year in different forms. Well now I can see those posts right inside of CoSchedule so it won’t schedule content on top of that. Check out the video below of me setting up this feature.

WordPress Integration

With the WordPress Integration, I can work on my blog posts within CoSchedule. I can also pull blog posts that I have done and schedule them within CoSchedule or when I am in WordPress create my whole social media campaign for that blog post right then and there. Easy peasy.

Wordpress Integration with CoSchedule

What I love about CoSchedule & How I Use It:

  1. Ease of Scheduling – I am able to not only schedule content from my browser but I can also use my phone, tablet or Chrome browser extension to capture articles and content to post. Just the other day I scheduled a few images I had created on my phone to all of my social media.
  2. Best Time Feature – This is really my favorite feature. I can’t tell you how hard it is manually trying to figure out the best times to post and then choosing those times only to forget that you scheduled something else in the timeslot in another app. I love that I can press best time on the post and it will pick the best times for each social network. What is so great about that is your content doesn’t all hit your social media sites at the same time.
  3. Reports – I really love the reports feature in CoSchedule. Because if you never look at the data and analytics you won’t know what’s working and what is not. By looking at the different reports for each platform I have connected in CoSchedule I know the times of day to send out things, what people liked, what people didn’t like and so much more. This is valuable information for any business owner to have in order to really grow your business online.
  4. Email Integration – with this feature I am able to connect my ActiveCampaign account and plan out my messages right from CoSchedule!

In closing, here are some key reasons why I think you need to make CoSchedule a part of your automation tool box.

  • Eliminate the guesswork In scheduling your social media. With so much competition, it’s tough to get through the noise. Best Time Scheduling spaces out your messages for maximum coverage, getting your the most social engagement every time.
  • Schedule dozens of social media messages in bulk. Create a predefined social sharing plan to reuse again and again, so you can focus on creating exceptional content, not manually filling in your social queue.
  • Instantly share content from anywhere on the web. Curate and share content with followers without ever leaving the browser. No more copy/paste commands or switching from one tab to the next! And with the CoSchedule App you are truly free to schedule content on the fly.
  • Stop guessing at what will (or will not) resonate with your followers. Utilize your social network reports to identify top messages AND create content you know your audience will love.
  • Organize All Your Blog + Social + Email Promotion in ONE Place. Eliminate the endless email threads, piles of sticky notes, and the dozen and half moving pieces. Focus on the real work of writing top-notch content AND growing your audience.

So that’s it. If you are ready to UP-LEVEL your marketing calendar for your business use my affiliate link for a free trial and see what it can do for you. You won’t be disappointed.

CoSchedule - The #1 Marketing Calendar

Review: 30 Days to Christmas (Procrastinator’s Edition)

Review: 30 Days to Christmas (Procrastinator’s Edition)

I am a procrastinator when it comes to Christmas and any Holiday in general. I’m the one running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to find those elusive items on my daughters’ wish lists. And I just didn’t suddenly start procrastinating when I had kids.

It seems like it’s some kind of family tradition handed down from my mom to do Christmas shopping last minute. Maybe it’s because I don’t really like to shop that I put things off. But you would think that would spur me on to get it done as early as possible.

But alas no.

So when I came across ListPlanIt and Jennifer’s 100 Days series, I was intrigued. I have been a user of the List Plan It site for a long time. Any type of list you want they have.

But back to Christmas planning.

I was sent a review copy last year of List Plan It’s 100 Days to Christmas ebook. While I found it helpful and chock full of lists and guidance to help me through the holidays, it was too long of a time for me to plan out. I don’t usually plan that far ahead. After all I’m a “spur of the moment” girl.

But then they came out with the 30 Days to Christmas ebook. Now that’s right up my alley! I can plan a month in advance, especially if I have daily step by step instructions. Which is what this guide offers.

And….it’s the PROCRASTINATOR’S edition. Hello? Yes, that’s me!

So Jennifer sent me a review copy and I just say I love the format and how she lays out what you need to be concentrating on daily. It even includes checklists at the end for every checklist that she recommends you use for your planning.

Whether you want to print out the lists and put them in your binder or fill it out within the ebook and have it on your phone or tablet, this planner will keep you organized. I was able to fill in the lists right on my iPad. Jennifer even helps you prepare for Thanksgiving.

All in all I love this helpful ebook and think you will too. And it won’t break the bank.

So let’s run down the deets.

Who Is This Guide For

  • Last minute planners.
  • People who have started planning, but need a kick in the pants.
  • Non-planners who need a plan.

What Will You Learn

  • A breakdown of the most important tasks in the 30 days leading up to Christmas.
  • The days span November 25 to December 25.

How Much Does It Cost?

  • The digital edition is only $8.

They also have a Facebook page where you can hang out and get advice from other procrastinators, ahem, I mean planners :-). Check in daily to keep on track with that days tasks.

Here’s an excerpt:

30 Days to Christmas: Procrastinator’s Edition excerpt

If you are interested in getting your hands on your own ebook GRAB YOUR COPY NOW by clicking the image below.

 

 

 

*I am a ListPlanIt affiliate.

 

 

How To Create Your Own Planner System

How To Create Your Own Planner System

With all of the planner systems out there today it can be hard to find one that is right for you. That is why I created my own planner system using  M by Staples ARC system. M by Staples ARC system  is an easy to use and customize planner/notebook system. You can create your own planner by using ready made calendar sets or by using many of their notebook inserts as well as their dividers and covers. Take a look at the video to learn more.

Where You Can Find What I Discussed In The Video:

M by Staples ARC System – www.staples.com

Circa by Levenger – www.levenger.com

Ampad Versa by Pendaflex – www.pendaflex.com

You can buy the whole punch from Staples here.

Martha Stewart’s Disc Bound Notebook system can be found at Staples also here.

My system consists of the notebook itself, the 5 tab divider and 1 1/2 inch discs. I also have 2 divider pockets in there as well. The pages that I use for my calendar system are month view calendar from Vera Reposo. I am not sure if she will be doing the planner pages again for next year but that is where I got it from. My to do list and weekly/daily schedule sheets are my own creation. If you are interested in having custom to do and schedule sheets done by me just drop me a line and let me know. Depending on interest I will make them available. I also have the post it/ tabs from Staples insert that you can get. You can see in the pic below what it looks like.

Tabs by Staples

I know you will be hooked on this great system just like I am. I was skeptical at first when these first started to appear, but I am glad that I took the plunge and bought one. There is no turning back now.

Review: FileMaker Pro

Review: FileMaker Pro

Today I’m coming to you with a review of FileMaker Pro.  I was given a complimentary review copy of FileMaker Pro 12 about 6 months ago. Even though my copy was free I am giving you my honest opinion of this product. I also want to say that during my review of FileMaker Pro 12 a new version is now available. It is FileMaker Pro 13. The new version adds a couple of new features but the basics from version 12 remain the same.

 So let’s get into it.

My first encounter with FileMaker Pro was actually about 10 years ago. I was in charge of coming up with a solution to keep up with membership information for my organizing group. I was on a Mac at that time and bought FileMaker. I really liked that I was able to build a custom solution. Fast forward to 2014.

FileMaker has really made nice strides since then. Back then there was a learning curve, but now it is so much easier to get started.

What I Like:

  • There are QuickStart templates so you aren’t starting from scratch.
  • There is different views once inside.
  • You can keep file attachments which is great for keeping client file information together.
  • There is an app available so that you can get your  information on the go.

Below is a video of how I used the contact starter solution to organize a client’s contacts.

 

Other Ways I Used FileMaker Pro

I was able to do a lot of really cool things with FileMaker Pro. For instance, I was able to pull (import) in a spreadsheet that I was using to keep up with my blogging duties and info into a FileMaker Pro database. This then allowed me to be able to enter in new information in a form setting instead of as an excel spreadsheet. But that’s not all, if I wanted to still enter it in as a spreadsheet all I had to do was change the view and I could do that.



I also played around with the asset quick start template. I wanted to be able to see if I could keep my client’s contact information as well as any files associated with it. I filled out the contact form and then added in the file from my computer of a PDF that I had sent a client. I was able to look at the PDF right away once uploaded all right there with my clients other information.

There are so many ways that you can use FileMaker Pro in your business and personal life. With the easy quick start templates you are able to get started without a huge learning curve.

There really isn’t much not to like about FileMaker Pro. If you are in need of making your own custom database solution I would highly recommend checking out FileMaker Pro. For more answers to your questions of “Is this the right solution for you and your business?” click here.

A look at FileMaker Pro (click on picture to enlarge)

Review: How Freedom Filer Can Help You Get Your Files Under Control

Review: How Freedom Filer Can Help You Get Your Files Under Control

This month tax season is around the corner and many of you don’t even have a filing system set up for regular files let alone taxes. Today I want to talk with you about Freedom Filer. It is truly what its name says. I have been using this system for a few years now. I  used Paper Tiger for a long time with my business paperwork, but in 2009 a family emergency sent my papers and filing routine into limbo. What I was left with was an influx of personal papers that I needed to keep up with on a monthly basis and I needed a quick way to get everything in order. I also needed a system that was portable. As I was not able to be in my home office regularly I needed something that I could put in a tote and file effortlessly into.

A New Kind of Freedom

Enter Freedom Filer. This system was super easy to set up and was ready to go right out of the box. The only thing I needed to purchase was hanging file folders and manila folders. Because the cards are already indexed and categorized for you there was no racking my brain of what to call things and where to put them. This system can be set up in a regular filing cabinet, a file drawer, desktop file or a crate.

 

Freedom Filer also comes with a handy booklet to get you started and extra labels in case you want to name labels something else to truly personalize it for yourself. It also comes with helpful cards to let you know the retention period for the items that you are filing.You really can’t go wrong with the Freedom Filer. The best part of all is that every quarter or even monthly it prompts you via email to rotate your file folder to the new month. Genius!

Freedom Filer

This system is totally expandable for whatever your needs are. So if you are in need of a quick and easy filing system to set up then take a look at the Freedom Filer. For very little cost you can be up and running in no time.
Tax season is just around the corner so why not get started organizing your files for next tax season and have less stress.

 

 

Quick Overview

What I liked:

  • I really like that the tabs and labels are already made up for you which we all know is the hardest thing when it’s time to file.

Why I bought It:

  • I was turned onto it by another organizer who uses it with all of her clients. I was curious so I bought the deluxe kit and haven’t looked back.

Who Is This System Good For:

  • This system is perfect for those who like to file the old fashion way and don’t necessarily want a computer based system.

What You Will Need in Addition:

  • All you have to provide are the manila folders and hanging folders.
  • You will also either need a filing cabinet or a filing tote or box.

Until next time…

Freedom Filer

 

 

 

*I am an affiliate of Freedom Filer and a satisfied user.

 

My Secret Productivity Weapon: Datexx Simple Timer Cube

My Secret Productivity Weapon: Datexx Simple Timer Cube

As I sit here writing this right now, I am using my new favorite secret weapon tool to staying focused and on task. What is it you may say? Well it is something that I found earlier this month and has been so helpful that I bought another one.

A Little Background:

With all of the things that I have to do running two businesses,  blogging, raising my kids and other obligations I have a lot to stay on top of and focus on at any one time. I use to be a multitasker but found that was not very helpful and I was not very productive. My brain was getting pulled in too many directions.

So I went looking for something that would help me stay focused on the project at hand. I have already been using the pomodoro technique with my phone as the timer, but found using my phone and apps to sometimes be a bit too cumbersome and not quirky enough for me. So while browsing Etsy one day I came across a great vintage timer that would be perfect to help me stay on task. The price was a little high so I headed over to Amazon to see if they had the same timer at a better price and to see what other type of quirky looking timers they might have.

Datexx: Better Than A Kitchen Timer

That’s when I saw it. The Datexx Simple Timer Cube. The concept of it was just awesome and it came in many different colors. But that wasn’t the most awesome thing about it. Each colored timer had a different amount of time on it. So you weren’t stuck with just the usual 30 or 60 minutes. I immediately ordered one that had 5,10,20 and 30 minutes. It was purple. It took about 2 days to get it. I took it out and gave it a try. It didn’t come with batteries, but only needs two triple A’s.

I didn’t even have to read the instructions. I turned it on and set it to the time period that I wanted and got to doing my task. When the time was up it gave a loud succession of beeps and then I turned it to the zero and that was that. So simple!

I thought this would be great for kids and helping them to focus when it is reading time or clean up time.  The possibilities are endless when it comes to these cubes.

Since I liked the first one I bought so much I purchased another one, this time in white, that has 5, 15, 30 and 60 minutes. Having one with a hour on it is great because I can set longer periods of focus time. I have been knocking my to do list out like a champ!

So if you are having trouble with focus and staying on task or tackling that to do list I would highly recommend that you get this little timer. The cost is excellent too! Between these cubes and my Baroque Radio Pandora station I am really getting things done.

Recap of What I Liked About the Datexx:

  • The cube shape of the timer
  • The ease of use
  • The different time increments
  • The buzzer
  • No annoying tick

Who Is The Datexx Good For:

  • Kids
  • Adults
  • People needing to focus on a task

 

I have a little video showing how to use it below. Check it out.