Say hello to my little friend

Because I think there is no such thing as spare time. Because I can’t stand to wait. Because I am never satisfied doing only one thing at a time. Because I have a million ideas in my head. And most of all because I love starting sentences with ‘because’. Because my 5th grade teacher told me not to and because Word goes crazy with green zigzags when I do so anyway.

These are some of the reasons I cram my nights full of crazy crafts. In the wee hours of the night, after coming home from my 9-5 job as a graphic designer at Big Fuel (super rad social media agency), I run my own craft business. Crafting could easily be a full time job on its own, and it was at one point for me. Now I have to be creative with my time management instead. Cramming 40 hours of crafting a week into 5 is a skill all in itself, and it is only made possible by my iPhone (lovingly nicknamed the batPhone).

HOW IT KEEPS ME ON TASK:
For someone who is as unorganized as I am, lists and notes are little to no help. They are all over the place, some are lost forever in my craft closet, others have been thrown out (hopefully they made it to the recycling bin at least), and the ones I can find are unreadable in my chicken scratch handwriting. However, with my iPhone and well done applications like Awesome Note, I can easily have 10 to 20 lists. Because one list isn’t enough. I need a list for shopping, a list for ideas, a list for supplies, a list for things to do, a list of things to don’t. To help work these things into my days, I also use them in cohoots with my iCal.

BENTO AND INVENTORY TRACKING:
Another great app that I simply can’t live without is Bento. I use this to log what I have made and can include pictures and details for each item. I keep track of what I have sold, purchased and of my orders. I can easily calculate my income and expenses, see how many coffees I purchase a week and even do my taxes. The best part is that Bento puts all of this information into a boring spreadsheet for me (because spreadsheets are my kryptonite). I also have this application on my computer at home, but to tell the truth, I never use it. I certainly don’t want to spend the little bit of time I have at home in front of my computer, I want to be crafting. Being able to access my business information while on my one hour train ride into work is like having 25 hours in a day.

MANAGING WEBSITES AND MEDIA:
I have seven different venues in which I sell my crafts online. On top of that I use many social media methods to help promote. I have a blog, a Facebook Fanpage, Twitter page, Flickr albums and participate in many crafting forums. If I go a week, or even a day, without using these tools I see a drop in views and sales (using my Google Analytics). My iPhone allows me to tweet about a new soap while walking to get a salad for lunch, or respond in forums while waiting for my train. I can relist an item that has sold on Etsy (a place to buy and sell all things handmade) within seconds of it selling. I can snap a photo of something cool I found at the vintage boutique and upload it to my blog right from the store… I even outlined this blog entry while commuting.

MANAGING FINANCES:
Now banking on an iPhone may seem a little scary to some people (my mom) but for me it really is a life saver. I have a handful of accounts, both personal and for my business, and I have a PayPal account as well for collecting payment. Between the handy bank apps and the PayPal app, I can literally watch my money roll in (or out). I can transfer money and balance accounts on the fly. I get alerts when one of the balances are low or when one of my hand made pieces sells, which is probably one of the most exciting sounds my iPhone makes. Of course you do have to take the proper security measures in case the unthinkable happens (your phone runs away with the spoon).

CRAFT SHOWS;
I haven’t done this yet but there are actually apps that allow you to process credit card payments at shows. What I have used my iPhone for at shows is music (everyone wants music while the are shopping), an email sign up for customers, live inventory updating, instant portfolio for those who are wondering what I am making for next season… and of course, compiling a list of all of the things I need to pack for the show beforehand or a list of things that need to be done afterward. And if it is a slow show I even have entertainment for myself. I can catch up on crafting podcasts or read a book.

LET ME EXPLAIN, NO, THERE IS NO TIME, LET ME SUM UP:
Honestly I could go on forever because the ways in which my iPhone helps me run my business are endless and always evolving – and that is the best part. This is why my iPhone is my best little friend. Now if someone could just hurry up and make an app to teleport me from one place to another, I could be so much more productive!

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  2. 04/21 2010

    Twitter Comment


    RT @momo_r: iPhone also the little friend of Apple with profit up 90% for the company in the last quarter @bigfuel [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  3. 04/21 2010

    Twitter Comment


    iPhone also the little friend of Apple with profit up 90% for the company in the last quarter @tianarutledge @bigfuel [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  4. 04/21 2010

    Thanks so much for sharing your experiences & these iPhone app recommendations! It’s not my husband that I look at last thing at night or first thing in the morning–it’s my iPhone! I could NOT run my shops without having this access–I feel so incredibly grateful to have these tools. You’ve introduced me to new iPhone apps that I can’t wait to try. Thanks for sharing–love your posts.

  5. 04/22 2010

    Thanks Sara! Hope to share more useful apps soon, as there are so many more that crazy creatives like myself really can benefit from.

  6. 04/25 2010

    Read your post on etsy (colorada) and loved your writing style. Super fun and informative post. I found so much similarity to how I create in your story! Very thought provoking ideas here. If my phone goes, I may need to make a switch. Bento looks really useful too. Thanks for the great heads up!!

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Hello! Big Fuel is a full-service marketing and communications company based in New York that takes brands from Content To Commerce. A unique approach that bridges "people stories" to "product stories" through social media and branded content.

Big Fuel is one part marketing agency, building brands through consumer insight; one part entertainment company, creating content that people love; and one part distribution company, driving guaranteed results by delivering content to targeted audiences. We work with major brands, leading agencies, publishers and platforms to help marketers achieve true consumer engagement.

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