Itemize App Review | The 30 Day Accountability Challenge

 

 

The 30 Day Accountability Challenge is moving right along and the Legal Suite is almost to an end. If this is your first article from the series, let me tell you what you can expect in the next 30 days. I am bringing you a review each day on some of the most useful apps found in the App Store (Sorry Android Users! I will do my next 30 Day Challenge just for you guys:))

I handpicked these apps for the small business owner (or the brand) that wants to set themselves up for success this year. Each app will be reviewed on 4 metrics and given a final score out of 100%. Those four metrics are:

  1. Ease of use
  2. Functionality
  3. Specs
  4. Integration with other Apps, Websites, Etc

And now, the next app in the “Legal Suite”- Itemize

 

 

Itemize App

Itemize is an app that allows you to create itemized list of your receipts. The app also allows you to track your mileage through taking pictures of your gas receipts. Itemize will categorize your receipts and even give you the name of the business with the logo for ease of use.

Now the deets…

  1. Ease of use

Itemize was fairly easy to set up. You can use your email address or Facebook account to start your account. They have even have an option to sync your Google Account. Once you upload your receipt, you can see all of the details of the purchase, payment type, and some more details that help you manage your expenses. The hidden gem in this app is the “Pay Me Back” feature where you can request money from other users through the app Venmo.

2. Functionality

This app’s functionality is pretty seamless. It was impressive that the app recognized the companies and automatically categorized the type of expense. Itemize has a great interface that shows you the overview of the receipts and gives you several options to categorize from reimbursement options, billable clients, work expense, job codes, tags, and notes. 

3. Specs

The basics are covered here:

  • Extract, compile and store expense data
  • Capture total amounts, VAT, sales tax and more
  • Organize digital  receipts from email
  • Apply project codes, tags, notes and customized information
  1. Integration with other Apps, Websites, Etc

Itemize has a “Pay Me Back” option that works with Venmo so you can request or send money to others.

Overall grade: 89.99%

Itemize is a convenient way to keep your expenses in one place. The details in  this app makes life easier when you are tracking your spending or putting together expense reports for your business. Being able to have all of your receipts in one place is great and the option to use Venmo makes this app worthy of your  time. Between the categories and the recognition of companies, this app is definitely a keeper. The only downfall is that you can’t get a thorough report through the free version. 

Small Business Application

Itemized reports are dire in business. You are able to keep up with where your finances are being spent but also you can keep up with the items you want to write off on your taxes. When you bring a financial report to your tax preparer, they will be extremely happy with you. Do your business a favor and put a system in place for tracking your financials.

Thanks for toughing it out with me! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s app and be sure to comment with your experiences with Itemize or any other financial app.

Zoho Invoicing App Review | The 30 Day Accountability Challenge

The 30 Day Accountability Challenge is moving right along! Day 8- Woohoo! If this is your first article from the series, let me tell you what you can expect in the next 30 days. I am bringing you a review each day on some of the most useful apps found in the App Store (Sorry Android Users! I will do my next 30 Day Challenge just for you guys:))

I handpicked these apps for the small business owner (or the brand) that wants to set themselves up for success this year. Each app will be reviewed on 4 metrics and given a final score out of 100%. Those four metrics are:

  1. Ease of use
  2. Functionality
  3. Specs
  4. Integration with other Apps, Websites, Etc

And now, the next app in the “Legal Suite”- Zoho Invoicing App.

 

The Zoho Invoicing App

The Zoho Invoicing app is a free app that allows users to create and keep up with invoices within the simple and super useful interface. Zoho makes invoicing a breeze and acts as your accountant with all of the information that is accessible in the app.

Now the deets…

  1. Ease of use

Zoho invoicing is the first option when you are looking for invoicing apps in the App Store. When you open the app, you are automatically prompted to create and account or sign in using your account information from Zoho. The app has broken down the set up in 3 Easy Steps- Account information, Tax information and style of invoice. Once you are done with the set up, you can start sending off invoices. 

2. Functionality

I really enjoyed the Zoho app for the functionality. When you create a new invoice, you will be prompted to add all of the information of your client and the app saves it as a profile for later. Even after you create the invoice, you are given a ton of options to either send or archive like marking the invoice as sent, printing a PDF version, voiding it, deleting it, and even the ability to clone it. The best feature is the ability to look at the payment history of your previous clients. 

3. Specs

The basics are covered here:

  • Ready to use Templates
  • Categorized Expenses
  • Accept Online Payment
  • Track time Accurately
  • Print and Download Invoices
  • Truly International Invoicing
  1. Integration with other Apps, Websites, Etc

Zoho Invoicing is available on desktop and works with online payment channels Paypal, Stripe, Authorize.Net, and 2Checkout.

Overall grade: 79.99%

Although Zoho Invoicing is a great tool to keep up with payments, the free version only allows you to have 5 contacts. They have made it affordable to add more with their 3 different membership options (all payable through the App Store) however, it is a bummer that you can’t have more for free. 

Small Business Application

As a business owner, you will always have to send out invoices and this app seems to be a convenient way to do so. Whether you use Zoho Invoicing or another payment channel, be sure that you are keeping up with your billing no matter what.

Thanks for toughing it out with me! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s app and be sure to comment with your experiences with Zoho Invoicing or any other billing app.

Shake App Review | The 30 Day Accountability Challenge

The 30 Day Accountability Challenge Day 6 is here and this is the beginning of the “Legal Suite.” This set of apps are making life easier as a business owner- everything from contracts to point of sale, these apps are the most helpful in this arena. If this is your first article in the series, let me tell you what you can expect in the next 30 days. I am bringing you a review each day on some of the most useful apps found in the App Store (Sorry Android Users! I will do my next 30 Day Challenge just for you guys:))

I handpicked these apps for the small business owner (or the brand) that wants to set themselves up for success this year. Each app will be reviewed on 4 metrics and given a final score out of 100%. Those four metrics are:

  1. Ease of use
  2. Functionality
  3. Specs
  4. Integration with other Apps, Websites, Etc

And now, legal apps. First up, Shake.

Shake App

The Shake app is a legal app that allows you to write general service contracts from your phone. You can even sign contracts directly through the app and tailor your contracts to the state you are located in. Shake is also associated with Legal Shield, a 40 year old legal service provider

Now the deets…

  1. Ease of use

Shake was easy to sign up for. Once inside of the app, the templates are pretty straightforward. You are even able to create your own contract if you don’t see the exact type of contract you need. When you select your contract of choice, Shake issues a series of short questions to fill out the necessary portions of the contract and finally the section for you to sign. 

2. Functionality

There is something special about being able to create contracts on the go. Shake not only allows you to write your agreements, , you can send the agreement to the recipient for review and signature and once they sign you receive an email alert and copy of the signed agreement. Shake is literally taking the headache out of contracting work. 

3. Specs

Shake is all about simplicity so there are really just 3 features.

  • Quick access to templates and contracts
  • Simple interface for ease of use and simple wording in contracts
  • Conveinence for all who access the agreement
  1. Integration with other Apps, Websites, Etc

Shake does have a hidden feature. You are able to add more templates through their website (shakelaw.com/agreements).

 

Overall grade: 99.99%

Shake has to be one of the most conveineent apps on the market for creating agreements. The fact that you can sign within the app is probably the most priceless feature. If the app had more templates available on the app (as opposed to having to go to the site to add them) then it would score higher with me.

Small Business Application

All business owners need to have contracts in place. Until you are able to hire an attorney, Shake is a great alternative to create legally binding agreements with your clients. Do not make the mistake of performing services or providing products without a contract in place that protects you and your client.

Thanks for toughing it out with me! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s app and be sure to comment with your experiences with Shake or any other contract creation app.

Goals are meant to be crushed 2017 Donut Socialite Blog

How to Set Goals and Crush Them 2017

Goals are meant to be crushed 2017 Donut Socialite Blog

Goals are meant to be Crushed

You have been here before. You make New Year’s resolutions, you constantly set out goals for yourself, and you fall short. Isn’t that frustrating? Well, you can kiss those days goodbye because today we are going to break the habit of failure FOR GOOD.

Are My Goals Too Big?

There are so many people who honestly think that they need to scale down their goals in order to accomplish them because the goal is just “too big.” Well, we are going to challenge that idea. Dream big. Make HUGE goals. But learn how to manage the responsibility of a HUGE goal. That is where this guide comes in.

Building the Foundation for your Goals

You will need  to get the grounding together in order to crush your goals – of any size- this year. Meaning, you will need some essentials in order to get this ball rolling. Here we have broken down the process into the main categories that we will focus on to actually get things done this year.

Organize Icon Donut Socialite

Organization & Planning

Get the thoughts out your head and into action

Motivation icon Donut Socialite Blog Image

Motivation & Accountability

Gather up the nerve to get your goals done 2017

Results icon Donut Socialite Blog Image Vector

Execution & Results

Doing action items that matter and see results.

organizing donut socialite blog

1. Organizing

You have an idea of what your goals are. Great! The next step is to organize your thoughts and start planning.

A great tool that we have found super useful to help organize thoughts, ideas, and especially goals is the app mindmeister. This app allows you to do some serious mind mapping and sync across your phone and desktop/laptop when you are conjuring up your concepts. It is available to both Apple and Android users and has a great user friendly website.

If you are more of a pen to paper type person, we still advise mind mapping. It will help you figure out what ideas you are serious about right now and tie ideas together so you can have a more focused goal for the year.

When you are getting your ideas on paper (or screen), be sure you are asking yourself these questions:

  1. How long does this goal take realistically?
  2. Will I need to learn new information to accomplish this goal?
  3. Do I know anyone who has already accomplished this goal?
  4. Have I had this goal in the past? What can I learn from my past mistakes?
  5. What ideas tie into one another? Can I accomplish multiple goals with one action?

Once you have a clear understanding of these questions and have your focused goals written down, you can start planning for how to get these goals accomplished. You next step is planning

organizing donut socialite blog

2. Planning

Now that you have narrowed down your goals to focused ideas and concepts, it is time to get your plan on! Planning can be an excruciating process, but I have found some really cool ways to make it less painful. One of those ways is to use tools that help you stay focused on the road ahead.

My favorite tool is the website/ app Evernote. If you have not been introduced to Evernote, let me be the first to let you know it has been a heaven send.

If you have been using Evernote and you are familiar with some of the awesomeness, but have not found a rhythm with the platform, don’t worry, all hope is not lost.

For both instances, I have done a video on some of the best features I have found on Evernote that have helped me get stuff done. Seriously. You can check out that video here.

I used to be overwhelmed by how much I could do on Evernote when I was introduced to it back in 2013, but now I don’t know what I would do without it. So with that being said, I fully suggest that anyone who is trying to crush their goals use Evernote to do so.

Here is a screenshot of how I use my Evernote account to plan out a goal:
Evernote Screen Shot Donut Socialite

A little basic at first sight, I know. But let me explain how this works. The way I plan out a goal is to take the end result I want and plan backwards. Meaning, if I wanted to lose 12 pounds in 3 months, I would break it down into how many pounds I would have to lose each month to accomplish the goal. Then I would take it a step further and see how many pounds that equals in a week.

From here I can determine so much more about what I have to do in order to get the goal done on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. This way I can plan effectively to crush my goal and set some hard deadlines.

 

Don’t worry, some goals require less research or extra work to plan. The major take away is to reverse engineer your goals so you can see the timeline and workload required to get the job done.

Oh! Before we move on let me share this little gem.

Another app that I use to save time in the long run is “Remember the Milk.” This app allows me to set up reminders in my phone for all of the day to day tasks I need to get done for my goals. “Remember the Milk” has been a major helper in planning for my goals.

 

Here is a screenshot of what the app looks like:
Remember the Milk Application Donut Socialite

 

 

Now that we have covered Planning, we are ready for the next step; Motivation and Accountability. The things that are going to really help you get stuff done in 2017

 

motivation and accountability icon Donut Socialite blog images 2017

3. Motivation & Accountability

So now we have learned how to take our ideas and make them into focused goals, plan out our goals, and start to execute our goals, but the most important piece (in my opinion) is being able to keep the momentum after all of the initial work. The best way I have found (that has literally changed the way I operate in all aspects especially my goal crushing) is having an accountability partner.

An accountability partner is someone who will hold you to your word when you set out to crush your goals. This person is also very honest about what they see in your habits.

I have a quick checklist of what traits my accountability partner has to possess in order to be my accountability partner. If you need more details on this, check out my article on “How to Pick the Right Accountability Partner.”

  1. The person has to be determined to reach their goals
  2. The person has to be honest & transparent
  3. The person has to be able to accept criticism
  4. The person has to be trustworthy

Conversely, I have to be these traits to my accountability partner as well. Remember, it should always be a mutually beneficial relationship.

After you speak with your accountability partner you will be surprised at how big a difference it makes when you can share your small victories with someone who is listening critically. The best benefit of having an accountability partner is having someone who can help you organize your thoughts and processes for achieving your goals.

Right now I have a weekly checkin with my accountability partner. Try it out on a weekly basis and see if you need more checkins.

In addition to having an accountability partner, it is important that you set your self up for success by staying motivated.

Keep yourself around motivating people, environments and situations so you can make sure you are constantly reminded of you goals. If you are looking for some motivation on social media, I have found the most motivating pages you can follow.

It is also a good practice to let your friends and family know that you are seriously pursuing your goals and get morale support. Sometimes our closest friends and family don’t know that we have a masterplan so it is always good to give them the heads up.

 

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4. Execution & Results

Congrats! You are now equipped with the tools to successfully CRUSH your goals in 2017! We now have turned our ideas into concrete goals, taken those goals and broke them down into actionable items by planning. We have recruited an accountability partner to help us stay on track and we have changed our environment to keep ourselves focused. Now we have to continue to execute and make it happen everyday so that 2017 can be the best year yet!

Just remember, you are well worth the results of  your labor!

Still Need Help?

 

After your first deadline if you still need some guidance, feel free to reach out. We are here to help. In the meantime, check out our free “Evernote Guide for the Super Goal Oriented.” You will find a ton of value in some of the tools we have mastered in Evernote.


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