My friend Carolyn Spranger has come out with a new set of templates to help keep you organized as a birth photographer. She was kind enough to send me a set for review. I promised her I’d have the review done by Friday.
But…I was having so much fun with the templates getting it all set up I forgot to write the review!! (Sorry, Carolyn…but really, it’s a good thing, right?)
The set comes with a wide variety of templates for varying purposes. You can use them all, you can use only the ones that work for you, and you can adapt as you need.
For me, some I did not need at all. The babysitter list – thankfully all my kids are old enough that I no longer need child care to attend births, so I skipped it. But back in the day, I totally would have! I used to keep my babysitter list on a markerboard, but these days to avoid accidentally erasing important info I would print it, fill it out, frame it under glass and circle with a dry erase marker the babysitter who was first up in the rotation. (I used to rotate babysitters so none of them felt too burdened. Read more about it here.)
I also did not use the Birth Professional lists or birthday list because I have a functioning system for these already set up. But if you don’t, this is a great way to organize it.
The calendar pages I don’t plan to use extensively, but I did print them out, add them to my binder, and use different color highlighters to highlight my on call times for various clients, so I can see at a glance when my currently scheduled on-call times fall and overlap.
It’s easy to customize the forms any way you like. Don’t skip reading the “ReadMeFirst” file – it has useful info and helpful tips, as well as all the basic elements used in the templates for creating your own. I used these basic elements to make a nice cover for my binder where I’ll be keeping the papers.
When customizing, sometimes a simple adaptation makes it work perfectly. I was trying to figure out how to use the blog planner with my 3 blogs plus the group blog I contribute to. And my husband has been wanting me to start blogging for HIS business too! That’s 5 blogs to keep up on. And then I realized that instead of weeks, I can use each line for a blog, and use one page a week! I am so excited about that. I have been trying to figure out how to organize myself for keeping up with it all. This is going to be SO helpful! I also made some simple changes to the expenses log to make a mileage log, since I like to have that separate from the rest of my expenses. I just changed column titles and replaced the categories list at the top with the 2014 IRS reimbursement rates.
The second adaptation I made was a little more extensive. I have two major projects set as goals for the first half of 2014. I created a “Big Project” template that helps me organize my ideas, create a list of things to research for implementation, and then I paired each of these big project sheets with a to-do list specific to that project. This is where I got sucked into the rabbit hole of taking all the ideas, thoughts, inspiration and to-dos for my projects and putting them on paper. And even checking a few of them off as done.Before, I had grandiose ideas and random mental post-it notes about how to make it happen. Now I have a plan!
There is both a horizontal and vertical version of the workflow charts. I adapted these to fit my business (horizontal for photo clients, vertical ones for doula clients and NILMDTS sessions.) and will probably keep these on a clipboard rather than in my binder, for quicker access and at a glance summarizing.
The one I have used the most since I got these last week is the client inquiries. It’s the VERY FIRST page in my binder, not even behind a tab. Love that I can flip open the binder and take notes when I get a client call or email. I printed out several blank ones, and plan to move the full pages behind a tab as they fill up. (And I’m already 2/3 of the way to filling a page. It’s been a busy week!)
Carolyn offers a freebie if you want to try the templates out.
To purchase the templates, visit Carolyn’s site here. They are an immediate download after purchase. Readers of my blog get $10 off by using the coupon code MaternalFocus10 if they purchase before February 1. 2014. (And I don’t get any kickbacks, it’s just something Carolyn offered to do for you!)