Let’s get real here for a sec. The business side of running a blog is not always so glamorous. In fact, for a creative it can feel like a real chore to have to put off the fun stuff to focus on the not-as-fun (but very important) business side of being your own boss.
Luckily, there are a bunch of things that can make running your business and staying organized much, much easier and maybe even a little bit fun in some cases!
So, I put together a quick guide of things I’ve implemented for my business that have worked really well. And this post is in partnership with Adobe Document Cloud, since I use several of their products day to day to keep this train running smoothly. Everything I’m sharing, I actually use for my biz and has been really helpful in streamlining my chaotic process into something much more organized.
Quit Edits to Frequently Used PDFs: I hate having to go back and redo media kit PDFs and client decks to make updates, so I use the edit PDF tool on Adobe Acrobat. I can easily edit text and change out photos instead of creating entirely new docs each time and it takes like 30 seconds – automatically matches the fonts, colors, etc. for me. You can also store, access, and share files in the cloud. So, I can email these files over to my management team if needed.
Sending Out and Signing Contracts Super Quick: If I need to send out a contract to be signed, I use Adobe Sign’s Send for Signature feature. I mostly use it for sending out photo releases to models and to vendors who rent out the studio for photo shoots, events, etc.
It goes straight to the person’s email address, so it’s easy for anyone to quickly sign and send the contract right back to me (the person signing doesn’t need to have Adobe Send for Signature to sign btw). But the thing I love most about it is the fact that you get an audit trail that shows when the person opened the email, looked at the contract, and signed it. Which means you have a legally binding paper trail if anything ever gets called into question later.
Tracking and Organizing Receipts (Digitally) on Your Phone: I buy a ton of props and craft supplies each month and all of those expense receipts really add up quick. So, to keep track of them (for taxes), I just toss them all in a little plastic baggie. Then, at the end of each month I go through each one and scan them using the Adobe Scan app (it’s free). Once they’ve all been scanned into the app, I put the physical receipts away (in box in my closet) and, pretty much, don’t have to look at them ever again.
The scanning means I have a digital PDF copy of every receipt (in case I lose the paper copies or there’s a fire, etc.) – on my desktop too, not just my phone. AND I can go back and search through them all later by keyword too, if I need to reference something in particular to my accountant, etc. I can’t even explain how helpful this little app has been for me and my biz. Especially during tax time this year, when I was traveling so much – I still had easy access to my expense list digitally on my phone!
Once you have these Adobe Document Cloud products in place, you can also use them for more creative things as well (back to the fun stuff!) like…
Making (and Sharing) Style Guides and Inspiration Boards from Your Phone: The Adobe Scan app, what I use for keeping track of receipts digitally, can also be used to create and share style guides and inspiration boards. You can share them with other members of the team remotely, by emailing completed PDFs, OR send them directly over to clients for edits.
Making Downloadables / Printables from your Phone: You can also use Adobe Scan to create printables and downloadable PDFs straight form your phone, just like I did a while back. All the details for how to make your own printables with this app can be found here: how to make printables using your phone.
Have you tried any of these methods for helping to run your biz? Do you have any suggestions for apps and digital tools that you’ve found helpful for your own business? I’d love to hear them!
P.S. Want even more tips and tricks for the biz side of blogging? Check out my 15 minute video interview on this topic, while I was in Las Vegas for Adobe Max last month. I shared my tips for getting out of a creative rut, how I keep the blog running while I’m traveling, and more.
This post is in partnership with Adobe Document Cloud. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Paper & Stitch running.