Although I had been working as a freelance for quite a few years before launching Natural Company, my new life as an entrepreneur called for some adjustments. Indeed, I am not entirely on my own since I am working with my husband Renaud which means that communication is key but it also took a bit of time to get used to suppliers, deliveries, stocks and so on.
So here we are, nearly a year later (we launched in October 2018) and I have a few tips & tricks to share with you… So here are the 4 tools that help me as an entrepreneur!
A flexible spreadsheet
There’s no program that I hate more than Excel. I find the spreadsheet software clunky, counter-intuitive and the fact that adding images is so complicated really made me wish there was something better out there. Well, there is as it turns out! I discovered Airtable late last year but I’ve been using it daily ever since. It’s by far the best free tool that has added the most value to both my personal & business life.
I first used Airtable to keep track of all the products that we sell on Natural Company. Renaud and I needed a file that we could both access at any time and that holds all the information we would ever need. With just a few clicks, I can access all the information such as ingredients, best before dates, stock units or even send an email to our supplier. Even better, I can easily add images into our spreadsheets for quick reference! I also use it to track our business expenses, bloggers collaborations and I love using it to plan all our social media content (see below) The best thing is that each base can have different tables for which you can create different views like an image gallery or a calendar.
And since I love it so much for our business life, I also started using it for our personal life as well. I now keep a budget log for myself but I also have a running wishlist, a few travel itineraries as well as a health log for both of us.
Instead of going on and on about it for hours, make sure to check it out for yourself. I promise you’ll love it!
Having a great work bag
Being an entrepreneur means that you pretty much work every day or, at least, need to have everything that you might need on hand at all times. During this first year, I’ve found myself working from friend’s kitchen tables, from hotel rooms across the world, from my hairdresser’s or even from our accountant office! And for the longest time, I was not prepared. I would always be the girl with a small handbag and a dozen things stacked in her arms. But not anymore! Ever since I got this Kipling Chika bag, my entrepreneur on-the-go life has changed for the better!
I was on the hunt for a laptop/work bag for the longest time but a quick search on Amazon made me realize that most of them were simply awful and not stylish at all. But when I saw this Kipling bag, something immediately clicked for me. The bag has multiple pockets, both inside and out, which means that everything has its own place. My charging cables don’t get tangled with my keys anymore and I can fit my laptop, mouse, DSLR camera and a few lenses in there without it looking too bulky. Even better, it’s so stylish that no one would be able to tell what I keep in it and it’s easy to keep clean thanks to its super-resistant fabric that is even water-resistant as well! Would you like me to write more about my working essentials such as which laptop or camera I use? Let me know!
An efficient to-do list
Another thing that I struggle with was my to-do list. While I love my bullet journal, I needed something digital that I could always have on my phone to write down to-do’s as I thought of them. And after trying a few different apps, I finally settled on Todoist. I now use the app daily and I couldn’t imagine my work life without it. I love it because it is so easy, clean and simple. I can easily share to-do’s with anyone and I can organize them within categories and even create repetitive ones. I’ve recently discovered that I can connect it to my email account to turn emails into actionable to-do’s so I’ll be doing that next week!
Also, I’ve learned to really make detailed to-do lists, so instead of writing down ‘plan social media’, I would write down ‘plan Instagram feed’ plan Instagram stories’ etc… I find it way more satisfying to tick the boxes as I go and it helps me to make sure that I don’t forget a single task!
Listening to podcasts while working
While I love listening to music while I do anything and everything, you would often find me making a rendition of Britney’s Vegas show in my own home office. Needless to say that this wasn’t very productive and even got me a few weird looks from my neighbors. I recently started listening to podcasts while working (I find audiobooks a bit too distracting) and I am loving it! My favorite ones are usually centered about entrepreneurship, self-care, and wellbeing but I am venturing into true crime as well!
Here are my current favorites:
But if you have a good podcast that you love listening to, make sure to share it in the comments!