The Power of Habits: Intro to the 2 Week Crunch to 2018 Series

Are you creating better habits?

There are 2 weeks left in 2017 and people are starting to reflect on the choices they made over the course of the year- some good, some not so great. But have you noticed that it is rare to hear anyone speak in terms of habits? The truth of the matter is we all make decisions that impact us immediately. The question is do we take charge of the habits we have that impact the long term goals we want to accomplish?

This article is focused on the power of habits- creating or replacing- and how we can go into 2018 better prepared and ready to crush our bad habits once and for all.

First, let’s dive into the power of creating habits. Think of the time you were in 2nd grade and you were learning how to write letters. Day in and day out you had to continuously mark away in your book, and if you had a teacher who was a perfectionist, you couldn’t leave your desk until you reached their standard of perfection. This task was one of the first examples of your creating a habit. Now you write your name with no hesitation, and even developed a style for your signature. Through time you have mastered manuscript and cursive and can even show someone else the basics if need be. One of the best skilled you learned as a child that could not have happened without learning the detrimental skill of repetition. Your habit taught you that through repetition you are able to master skills small or large.

What Does this have to do with my business?

The power of habit is one of the most important lessons you can ever learn. In creating habits, we are creating our reality. The things we dedicate our mind to we establish as priority and those things become a part of our everyday lives.

In the context of business, if we made it a habit to reach out to 5 new people everyday, that would  increase in sales naturally. Think about it. At 5 new people per day, that is 140 new leads in a month. At a 1% close rate, you are looking at 1-2 new clients a month. On a high ticketed item or service, this could be huge! And that is the worst case scenario. Best case scenario is that we close a large amount of these leads and increase our sales tremendously.

Point is, through the act of repetition, we are able to create opportunities and that is what this series is all about: our ability to bring more success to ourselves and those around us through habit.

The next entry is about the habit of hesitation and how it can help discard one of the most disliked habits of them all.

What are some bad habits you are trying to get rid of in 2018 and beyond?

Leave a comment below.

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.

IFTTT App Review | The 30 Day Accountability Challenge

The 30 Day Accountability Challenge Day 5! Yay! Almost one week down! 

If this is your first article of 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

First up in the series are productivity apps. Today’s app is the IFTTT (If this then that) app. 

 

IFTTT App

The IFTTT app is a free app where you can set up triggers for tasks to happen succinctly. In other words, you can automate a ton of processes by setting up “applets” that automatically respond to one another. One of the best rated applications on the App store and very popular among the digital age entrepreneur.

Now the deets…

  1. Ease of use

Signing up for the IFTTT app is as easy as pie. All you need is an email address and create a password. Next you are prompted to do the tutorial (which I always recommend so you can understand the lay of the land) and then you are brought to the home page. Here you will find some applets that were compiled by the IFTTT team (some are simply amazing) and you can see what each applet requires. You will have to allow access to the accounts you have in the applet, but IFTTT makes it easy to connect your accounts (especially if you have the apps for the accounts on your phone already).

2. Functionality

Being able to set up triggers for your account is the best feeling in the world. Well, not the best, but a really close second. The applets are seamless in their connectivity and you can literally set most of them and forget them. One warning- make sure you are checking your applets every so often because things do happen and some applets require you to update your account info. IFTTT also allows you to set up your own applets so if there is something that is not offered in their presets, you can certainly create it. Just be sure the apps you want to trigger are ones that are compatible with IFTTT.

3. Specs

So many features, I will just limit this list to the Top 5

  • 65 Supported apps and counting
  • iOS Calendar & App store Applets
  • Smart home capability
  • See all applet collections in app
  • VoiceOver capabilities
  1. Integration with other Apps, Websites, Etc

There are currently 65 apps that the IFTTT app supports and that constantly increases. The most popular ones are the social media sites Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, and a long list of others. There is also a website version that has a lot more applet collections to choose from and a more thorough interface that explains the applets in more detail.

 

Overall grade: 89.99%

 

IFTTT is such a great app. The downfall of this great app is the restriction of setting up applets for certain functions. What I mean is, I have become a spoiled user who wants the app to be a personal assistant instead of an app with triggers. After writing that, I realize I may have to increase the final grade. The only issue I have had with this app so far is spending too much time setting up applets because I have found joy automating my digital life (lol).

Small Business Application

The biggest issue small business owners run into is time leverage. We are constantly spending hours on top of hours performing tasks as different departments. The IFTTT app allows us to set up automation and gain some of that time back. Digital efforts are really important in running your business, that is why IFTTT comes in handy. The power of automation will prove to be a time saver and a huge reward.

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

Evernote App Review | The 30 Day Accountability Challenge

The 30 Day Accountability Challenge Day 2:

Another day, another review! In case this is your first day following this 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

The first group is “Productivity Apps for Business” which is why the Evernote app was an obvious choice 😉

 

Evernote App

The Evernote app is a free app that allows users to create a multitude of notes with their dynamic functions. Once you sign up for Evernote you will see all of the different functions within your ability to create notes- everything from adding images, links, voice memos and even write (scribble) in the body of the note. If you already use the desktop version, the mobile app is pretty close function wise.

Now the deets…

  1. Ease of use

The Evernote app was simple to set up and synchronizes with my account I already set up through the desktop version. If you do not have an Evernote account, it is easy to create one through the application. The menu is located at the bottom of the screen and all of the guess work is taken out of figuring out what each icon means (a problem I usually run into when I first download an app) because Evernote has kindly labeled each one. Setting up your notes is easy as well, as the big bright green plus gives you direction on where to start and Evernote uses universal icons so you can recognize formatting options. 

2. Functionality

The Evernote app has a similar function as the Blogo app I reviewed yesterday- a distraction free interface. The one thing that makes Evernote great is the ability to organize your notes into “notebooks.” While inside of your note, you will see which “notebook” you are currently writing in right above the body of your writing.

3. Specs

So many features, I will just limit this list to the Top 5.

  • Instant synchronization across devices
  • Pass-code lock for more privacy
  • Ability to collaborate
  • Search within images and give quick feedback
  • Set reminders and to-do’s

 

  1. Integration with other Apps, Websites, Etc

This version of Evernote is free and comes with 60MB of storage (which resets every month thankfully) and includes “work chat,” a messaging function. There are no fancy integrations for any version of this app, but you can have multiple devices connected at once (2 to be exact for the free version and unlimited with the paid). The paid versions of Evernote  allow you to stay in sync on all of your devices, more functionality with the search option, offline access, clipping web pages, and more room to upload. The Plus account is priced at $3.99/month (or $34.99/year) and the Premium account is $7.99/month (or $69.99/year).  

 

Overall grade: 79.99%

 

We all write notes for something. The Evernote app is changing the way we collect information by making it simplier to access all our thoughts in one place, digitally. For me, the mobile app is good, but not as great as the desktop version. The cool part of the mobile app is your accessibility to all of your notes and the other apps Evernote has created to streamline all your note taking processes. Overall, the sync feature is the best feature of this app, and that is not saying much. If you want the REAL Evernote experience, my suggestion is to get the desktop version.

Small Business Application

Evernote in a business application can have a few different functions. One is communicating large data with your team through the collaboration of notes, another is using the application for research notes since you are able to clip pages from the internet. Evernote is an amazing app that makes organizing thoughts easy and clear. As a small business owner, you can use this app for its primary function of note taking and collaboration. The seamless synchronization makes it a leader in the productivity apps department.

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