“Any way you can find a way to automate the better!”
This week we are talking all about digital organization!
It’s digital clutter. Your files on your computer. Your email.
All of those things you can hide from other people, but then you get on your computer and you say, “Ahhh! It’s a mess!”
I know I feel like that sometimes!
Over the weekend, we welcomed in spring, and I like to take the opportunity to actually do some “spring” cleaning in my physical spaces.
I really get a lot of joy out of it. Where I can get in there and clean everything up! Get rid of the stuff you aren’t using, and make it a clean organized space.
We do that for our physical spaces, sure, but what about our digital spaces?
That’s why I invited my guest, Alex Brzozowski, to help us understand how we can automate processes and help us get organized in our computer spaces, which can be overwhelming at times.
Alex is going to help us get organized!
Alex is the founder of Be Organizing She’s originally from Detroit, Michigan. She went to a small school called Butler University in Indianapolis. She studied sociology and criminology. She was hoping to join the legal world. And she did!
When she moved to San Diego back in 2008, she started working at a bankruptcy law firm. The law firm was 100% paperless! It is a giant law firm, and back then a giant law firm going paperless was unheard of. Even now, it’s hard to find law firms like that!
About a year later, she was offered a job to be the paralegal for 5 attorneys at a smaller law firm. They practiced everything from wills, trust, and probate to civil law and family law. Again, even from a big law firm to a small law firm, both were 100% paperless! It was great to see how their systems were working without paper. From client management to project management and everything in between. It was all paperless.
At one point, Alex worked primarily with will, trust and probate, and business law. She worked with so many families. In will and trust law, family members were passing away, and the surviving members, a lot of times, didn’t know where documents and passwords were when they needed them.
She remembers going into people’s homes and taking out file drawers to figure out what was what. Families paid them to figure where everything was, and she would have to sit there and organize everything and put it all together. People just didn’t know what to do.
She thought to herself, “Man, people are paying us to just put this together for them during such a hard time? How awesome would it be if people were prepared for this and had this information together already?
Also in businesses, it was so interesting to see so many who were well off, but they were a mess with their paperwork and documents! Everything was all over the place. They didn’t know where to find things!
She and the law firm were so organized on their end already. She was also a part of a team that helped improve their systems to make them even better. She became the go-to for improving organizational systems.
From there, Alex wondered if she could make this into a business. Once she discovered that working in the legal world wasn’t what she wanted to do, she was looking to do something with all of her organizing skills.
She then stumbled across the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO) She started going to NAPO meetings. Most of the people there were home organizers. They didn’t even do digital organizing.
She started as a home organizer. She learned the benefits of being organized, and that is what drives her. For her, it’s the results that organizing brings.
She would start by organizing physical spaces and sell her digital services to those clients. Since Covid began, she has moved away from the home organizing space and is now fully focused on organizing digital spaces.
She creates systems, automation, and workflows. She will create systems for you to help organize your email, your digital files, your photos, your passwords, your bookmarks. Name anything that needs organizing on your computer or phone, and she can help!
Okay! Let’s get organized!
A few things Alex has automated for clients: Calendars, Client reminders, sending automated text reminders, and email reminders.
Alex has a whole system set up, for example, when someone fills out a form. The form goes to a specific place. It first goes into her CRM system, and then it goes into her email marketing system. Zapier is the tool she uses to get things automated. Other popular tools that help automate are Acuity and Calendly, both scheduling tools.
These tools have been a game-changer for Alex and her company since they’ve become strictly virtual and work with clients all over the country.
Any way you can find a way to automate the better!
One of her other tips is finding the right digital program and sticking to it. Start by asking, what’s your goal by using the tool? What’s going to make your life easier? What are you trying to get from the digital program you are trying to use? What is the main functionality that you need from this tool?
After you ask these questions, then go and find the digital program that works for you. Alex emphasizes that you will not find the perfect program. Which program is going to check the most boxes on your must-have list? That’s the best one for you. Then go for it. Go all in. Commit!
There’s a myth that mobile apps are meant to solve everything. Apps are meant to make your life easier. They are not going to make your productivity 100%. It’s a combination of things that will increase your productivity. Alex is a big fan of using a calendar and time blocking.
She also recommends taking your to-do list out of your email. Put your to-do list in your calendar and block off the time for when you’re going to work on it. When you see that time block, think of it as a doctor’s appointment with yourself. Alex says you need to be that committed to doing it otherwise it will never happen.
It’s about really prioritizing your time. As soon as you don’t, you’re not going to get it done. Apps aren’t going to do the work for you, but you can use the tools like the calendar to sync across your different platforms.
A new tip that Alex is personally going to start implementing in her business is creating a form for clients to fill out before she meets with them. Having that form already set up, automated, and in your process is a great way to get the best out of an initial client call. She is working to connect her Google Form that she uses with her CRM using Zapier to connect the two. It’s helping her eliminate data entry!
Another tip: Keep your systems simple!
For example in the digital space: Keeping too many files within files with too many different names. You can generalize file names and have a few subfiles to stay organized. Just don’t overdo it. Keep it simple! Especially with file names!
File naming tip: What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you see this document, folder, etc? That first thing should be the file name. Keep it simple!
A rule of thumb: If you have to scroll in your main folder page, you need to have more generalized folders. You shouldn’t have to scroll!
Tip: Find the right backup storage to get your photos off your phone.
Before you upload the photos to the backup program, Alex says to DELETE, DELETE, DELETE.
Pick the best photos and delete the rest!
Similar to picking an automation tool, ask yourself, what is your goal with your photos? Then digitize them.
You can’t recreate the memory from a photo. So it’s about backing up your photos and making sure you have them in more than one location. Use a cloud program and have them in an external hard drive as well.
You don’t want to lose all of your precious memories so having photos in multiple places will help ensure they will never be lost. Back up the backups!
Alex gave a tip for iPhone users, iCloud is temporary storage so it would be better to store photos in a more permanent cloud storage space.
If you need more help, Alex offers a very straightforward photo organizing course. Check it out here.
Stay tuned next month on Coaches Go Social! It’s all about financial literacy! Budgeting, profits, oh my!
And if you are really considering live video in 2021, you can check out my self-guided course to create your own Live Video Show https://capitalizesocialmedia.com/cwl/
Also, if you are a coach looking for a little more marketing support come join my private Facebook group, the Consistent Content Club! I also have another group that goes even deeper. If you’re interested in the new Tidepool group, set up a time to chat with me directly!
If you want to talk more about manifestation or if you just need some positivity right now, let’s set up a time to chat!