Our Top 10 Productivity Hacks of 2016

Our Top 10 Productivity Hacks of 2016

The week between Christmas and New Year’s is often a black hole of productivity.  Between sugar hangovers and lack of sleep, getting work done can be impossible.  The good news is that this week gives us time to reflect on things we’ve done right and areas in which we can do better. One way we are always look to improve at Nash Creative Co., is that of productivity.  No matter how much ground we gain in this realm, there is always room for improvement.  In an effort to make the upcoming year even better than this year, we are sharing our best productivity products and hacks with you.  Leave a comment and let us know what you do to be more productive.  As entrepreneurs, parents, small business owners, employers and employees, we can make 2017 our most productive year yet!

1. Coffee.  Seriously, coffee is important.  In addition to providing a daily dose of water (we really hope our trainers aren’t reading this), it fuels us.  That’s why we take our coffee makers seriously.  We have a new love and it’s called the Ninja Coffee Bar.  In addition to making regular coffee, it can make iced coffee, lattes, mochas and more.  Our favorite part is that the water reservoir is removable, meaning that instead of carrying water from the sink via a cup or pitcher, you carry the reservoir to the sink and fill it.  No more water dripping down the sides of your coffee maker!  We especially love the ability to easily brew a cup, a half of a pot or a whole pot.

2. Amazon Prime.  Most people already know about this, but we often forget to use Amazon Prime for business.  Being located in a rural area, we cannot easily get everything we need for a smooth running office.  Ink cartridges are a 30 plus minute drive.  Prime allows us to get what we need, delivered to my doorstep in a matter of 2 days, all without a minimum order.

3. Passion Planner.  If you are looking for a handy way to set goals and incorporate them into your daily, weekly, and monthly to-do lists, then we highly recommend this planner.  It walks you through your long term goals and helps you break them down into smaller chunks.  At the end of each month, there is a section to evaluate how you did with reaching your goals.

4. My Fitness Pal.  Track your weight loss goals with this app.  Users can record their weight, measurements, exercise, foods they’ve consumed and daily water intake.  It’s free and it makes a huge difference when it comes to staying on track.

5. DustBuster.  This may seem like an unlikely item to add to the list, but as any parent can attest to, cleaning can take a huge amount of time.  Even if you hire it out, the daily cereal spills, crumbs and dirt can add up.  We love our DustBuster because it is powerful, yet easy enough for our kids to use.  The fact that we don’t have to haul out our big vacuum every time a box of cereal is dumped over is a huge plus.

6. Number 5 leads us straight into number 6.  Delegating.  Your kids/spouse/roommate can and should help.  Don’t be an island, ask for help. Trying to do it all leads only to failing at everything.

7. Wave Apps.  This software allows you to track expenses, invoice clients, collect payments and generate reports.  The free version is amazing.  Users can set up recurring invoices that are automatically emailed to clients.  We find this especially helpful for clients that are billed yearly.  No more calendar reminders.  Simply set up the invoice, the frequency of invoicing and you are done.

8. Evernote.   As every sticky note junkie know, sticky notes eventually lose their stick.  That’s why we use Evernote.  We use it for everything from brainstorming, to code snippets for web design, to contract ideas.  When users read something that they want to remember, they can put it in Evernote, use tags to organize it and the next time they need remember a piece of information, they can simply use the search feature and every note with the tag they’ve searched is brought up on their screen.

9. Every Dollar App.  Tracking spending is a pain, especially with multiple people using one account.  Every Dollar allows you to set your monthly budget and sync your bank account.  Like many similar apps, Every Dollar helps keep you accountable.  For us, this app is a bit easier to use than others (such as Mint or You Need a Budget), but this is a matter of personal preference.

10. Filmic Pro.  As video becomes more and more important to social media marketing, having a way to easily film high quality video, without spending a ton of money is important.  Filmic Pro is an app that costs less than $10.  It claims to turn your phone into a HD camera. While it may not be as a great as a $5000 camera, it does do wonders and for next to nothing.  Filmic Pro allows you to adjust the ISO, frame rate, exposure, audio gain control and more.  Using this app saves time when it comes to editing and the final product looks amazing, considering the small price tag of this handy little app. 

An iPhone and Filmic Pro allowed us to film this video for Empowering Fitness.  In our opinion, you get way more than you pay for with Filmic Pro.

 

So there you have it folks!  Our top ten productivity hacks of 2016.  Tell, us, what do you use to maximize your productivity?

Want More Business? Do This!

thumbnail-weightsOne of the greatest changes in my life came occurred because of a testimonial.  A friend posted how much she loved a workout class in our area. As a result, I signed up, started kickboxing and have gained huge strides in every aspect of my being.

Her informal testimonial led to increased sales for the kickboxing business. It alleviated many of my fears by describing that the class was friendly to all fitness levels.  It told me that the class works (because who wants to waste time and money on workouts that don’t work).

There were a few key factors that made her testimonial so successful.

    1. It used her real name.  Yes, I was friends with her on Facebook, but I knew she was indeed a real person.  The testimonial giver wasn’t a made up persona to generate more sales.
    2. It was specific.  The testimonial told me how much weight the user lost, and the non-tangible things she gained.  Instead of saying, “I love kickboxing.”, her testimonial showed me that it worked and that it was a welcoming environment.
    3. She used photos. Over a series of Facebook posts, this same person has also posted before and after pictures of her body’s transformation.  This is a great selling point for those of us wishing to lose weight!
    4. It overcame my objections. Like most people, I felt a bit afraid when starting to work out.  Would I know how to use the equipment?  Would I look like a complete idiot?  Would I pass out?  Would I start working out and eventually lose motivation?

So, what was her testimonial exactly?  To be honest, I can’t remember the exact words.  But, I do remember it caused me to take a risk and sign up and I haven’t looked back.  I do remember that it did the four things outlined above: it used her real name (I knew it was a legit testimony), it was specific, it used photos and it overcame my objections.  A simple post not only drove sales, but helped others.

Why not take a few minutes and gather some feedback from your supporters?  Testimonials are an inexpensive form of advertising and often, you are providing a service to your customers.  Any time you can help them know that you are offering a quality product and/or service, you are helping them.  Consumers are smart and don’t want to be sold to, they want to be served.  It’s a pretty cool thing when you get to make money helping others.

 

 

 

Sources

SEARCH ENGINE LAND: http://searchengineland.com/88-consumers-trust-online-reviews-much-personal-recommendations-195803

COPY BLOGGER: http://www.copyblogger.com/testimonials-part-1/  and  http://www.copyblogger.com/testimonials-part-2/

 

Client Spotlight: Empowering Fitness

empoweringfitness_tagline

Over the course of the next few weeks, we are going to be highlighting some of our clients and the amazing work they do.  We feel pretty blessed because we get to work with some of the best people and we wanted to share who these people are and what they have to offer with you.

Our first client spotlight is Empowering Fitness.  Empowering Fitness has filled an important need in the Parkersburg, Iowa area and done so successfully.  Previously, there weren’t many opportunities for group fitness, but thanks to Empowering Fitness, that has changed. EF offers kickboxing classes for men and women of all fitness levels.  These classes are encouraging, uplifting and FUN!  At Empowering Fitness, it doesn’t matter if you’ve worked out for years, or you are just starting out.  The instructors are patient, motivating and take the time to show you how to properly do the exercises and how to maximize your workout for the best results.

However, as a participant, I have found the benefits of attending to be so much more than just physical.  I’ve gained a confidence that has been buried for years.  I find myself thinking, “If I could do 25 burpees last night, I can do this today!”.  It’s amazing how physical and mental strength go hand in hand.  If you want to take your business to the next level, I highly recommend you take the time to take care of your body.  Entrepreneurship, like many things in life, can be all consuming.  I have come to crave my workouts and I have found my work to be stronger, better and sharper since working out.

In addition to the mental and physical benefits, there are amazing social benefits to attending Empowering Fitness. I have found a community of like minded women who encourage and lift each other up.  When you think you want to quit, there is someone there to help you keep going.  In a world of me first, EF has been a breath of fresh air.

Empowering Fitness has a round of classes starting on Monday, October 10th in their new location!  Check out their website (designed by us!) for more details.  Learn more about Empowering Fitness at www.empoweringfitness.org.

First Congregational Church, Parkersburg, Iowa

Congo-Mock-Ups

First Congregational Church, Parkersburg, Iowa

First Congregational Church is an active church located in the heart of Iowa.  “Congo” as it is often referred to by locals, reaches people of all ages through their various ministries.  Nash Street Designs wanted to create a website that reflected this.  Like many churches, Congo wanted to reach potential visitors with their website, but also use it as a valuable tool for their current parishioners.  They did some thinking outside of the box and we helped them to bring these ideas to life.

Some of these ideas include:

  • Creating a categorized list of resources that the church has on hand.  A page was created for each category.  You can see this here:  http://firstcongregationalparkersburg.com/small-group-resources/
  • A password protected page for church reports.  This allows reports to easily accessed by church members, but not the entire public.
  • A password protected page for the music committee.  Instead of emailing music each week, the worship team can simply go to the website and find out which songs they need to practice.

Some features of the website include:

  • Custom photography by Nash Street Designs.  Much of the photography on Congo’s website was taken by us and edited to match the overall look and feel of the website.
  • Front page sliders created by us.  These sliders reflect the key points that Congo wanted to share.
  • The ability to upload and organize sermons based on preacher, book of the Bible, sermon series and topic.
  • A easy to use CMS and training.  Nash Street Designs uses WordPress for our websites due to it’s ease of use and ample resources for training.  Congo was given training by us on how to use WordPress and a user manual made specifically for their website.

Congratulations First Congregational Church of Parkersburg on the launch of your new website.  We pray that the website is a blessing to your ministry.