Monday, February 25, 2008

keep you and your business organized

Saying life is crazy when you're both mom and business owner is putting it mildly. Returning emails, throwing together cold lunch, checking voicemail, picking up carpool, and posting on your company (or family) blog is a lot to tackle, and that's just in the hours before kids go to school! As a mompreneur a little organization can go a long way, and here are two of my favorite products for keeping me, my business, and my family organized.

For my business I love using QuickBooks Pro. QuickBooks does a great job keeping track of customers, inventory, vendors, income, expenses, and every other little or not-so-little thing you need to keep track of in business. At first we relied solely on Excel spreadsheet, and as much as I love Excel it just couldn't keep up. We didn't have a lot of money even for what some might consider a small purchase like QuickBooks (I found the best price at Costco), but it has more than paid for itself. Even if you don't have an inventory-based business QuickBooks can do a lot for you. You can create custom invoices, packing slips and sales receipts, manage your bank accounts, and print out pretty handy reports come tax time. It really has been a lifesaver!

For my family and myself I love momAgenda's line of planners or notepads. I actually posted about their Kitchen Folio back in October. momAgenda has this awesome Desktop Planner with a cool week-at-a-view format with space for Mom (that's you) and four children. I find this super handy for keeping track of everyone's playdates, music lessons, and school projects, and because I don't need the fourth child space yet, I use that for my to-do list. I also love the space at the bottom for meal planning. Knowing what I'm fixing for dinner cuts down on the amount of corn dogs my family consumes!

momAgenda also has this great Family Planner, an oversized magnetic notepad that hangs conveniently on the fridge so everyone can see what's on the schedule for the week. Plus you can leave this at home when you're away at a tradeshow or weekend getaway with your girlfriends (your family might just survive without you if you've got every minute planned out). I'm a big fan of their Desk Pads as well, which help you with everything from your grocery list to you babysitter to permission slips for school. I've seen other companies who offer planners and notepads but momAgenda is by far my favorite!

Though I am a far cry from those Franklin Covey college days--man, I was organized then!--I still manage to keep it all together, at least most of the time. (We won't talk about the moments when I totally lose's not pretty...) But I definitely couldn't do it without a little help, and with my QuickBooks, momAgenda Desktop Planner, and a steady supply of Diet Coke I'm almost as organized as Martha! --Emily

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