For the longest time, I’ve used the only Buffer to schedule my post on all my social media including Instagram, but lately, I’ve been using Planoly.
I had heard about Planoly for the longest time and resisted it. Mostly because I didn’t want to have one more tool in my workflow. I finally gave in to Planoly. Because I wanted a tool that allowed me to view my Instagram feed ahead of time.
Most Important thing first: Pricing
Planoly starts our free for one Instagram account. This allows you to preview your feed on the app, organize it and create hashtag groups for your posts.
There are two limits to the free plan: you can only upload photos and only up to 30 per month.
If you want unlimited uploads or to add a new profile you can upgrade to either the SOLO 7$/month plan or the DUO 15$/month plan, respectively. I’m really tempted by the Duo plan because it allows you to manage feeds at the same time but for now, I’m sticking with the free plan.
Why I love Planoly
There’re plenty of tools for posting to Instagram but here’s why I love Planoly and why you might want to at least check it out!
You can see what your feed will look like
Both on the computer and your mobile app you’ll be able to preview your feed and see exactly how your feed will look like. You can also drag and drop photos around to make your feed look just right, now and in the future.
You can create groups of hashtags
This is just brilliant! No more searching your notes for the right tags or have to hand type it. You can create different groups and add them to the post so they’re copied to together with your caption when you go to post it.
You can also…
Pre-write your captions
Upload your image, write your copy ahead of time so you won’t let that perfect caption idea slip away.
Schedule your posts
Want to post at a specific time? Schedule your posts on your calendar on the site and get a reminder on the app when it’s time to post.
You can check our Planoly for Free here! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
In our fast-paced world of online business, it’s easy to get swallowed by your to-dos and all your business responsabilities. One of the ways I fight this is by making a plan for my week ahead of time. This helps me not only to stay organized but also to have a sense of calm about the week ahead.
When you know what you need to do you don’t have time to wonder about what you should be doing.
Where it all starts: The prep-work
Planning your weeks starts with having a place to plan it on. For me that place is Trello. For you, it can be a paper calendar or a different scheduling app like ToDoIst or Asana.
I wanted however to make a case for Trello. For many years I had used a mixture of paper planner, calendar and task apps and Evernote. And then I really dove into Trello. I had heard of Trello before but wasn’t sold on it. The interface looks odd and it didn’t have all the bells and whistles of the other tools.
But I decided to take another look and know I wouldn’t trade it for a second. It is now the only tool I use, I’ve abandoned paper planers, other checklist type apps and even Evernote. All my ideas, tasks and client information live in Trello. Now I can plan out my days, weeks and months without having to wonder where everything is.
The other great advantage of Trello is its flexibility. You can make it work for your particular business and workflow and there’s really no rules you have to follow in making it work.
Sunday: Get ready for the week ahead
I always plan my weeks on Sunday before, like this when Monday comes around I can focus on doing the things instead of rushing around prepping the things and doing the things at the same time.
The way I plan my week is predicated on the type of work I do but also on so generally good rules that I’ve learned along the way. So here are my two “rules” to planning my week.
First what you do every week
We all have recurring tasks we do every week, for me, that means social media and blog post scheduling both for myself and my clients, for you it might mean something completely different. Regardless of what exactly that looks like for you, these are the first tasks you need to add to your week.
Add them for each of your days and if you can set your system up to do this for you, even better!
Decide how many F*cks you can give.
This idea was first presented to me by Ash Ambirge of the Middle Finger Project. You can read the article here. The idea is this: you only have so much energy every day so as a rule of thumb you never want to schedule more things to do than those that you’ll have the energy for on each given day.
For me what this means is that when planning my week I will only ever add 12 tasks per day, not a single one more. Depending on the tasks 12 may seem like a lot or too little so here’s a rule of thumb: each task should take more than 25 minutes if you have a task that will take more than that split it into smaller steps.
So when looking ahead at your week decide what are the 12 things you’ll do on that given day?
Finally, be flexible
The reason I love digital so much is that it isn’t set in “pen”, you can change and adapt as the week progresses and you should. This means that if a task seemed important at the beginning of the week but doesn’t anymore, remove it, replace it with a different one. If a day is going particularly well and you feel like you could do a few more things you get a choice: you can do a few tasks from the next day or you can take a break and enjoy the day.
Whatever your schedule looks like remember there aren’t right or wrong ways to have a schedule. There are only the right ways for you.
What feels right for you and how can you organize your days so you can give fewer fucks?
If only I had done a backup before hitting that damn update button!
You see I’m usually pretty tech savvy but this past week my blind trust in Apple has betrayed me! It was Sunday, I was on the bed pretending to work when the little “Would you like to update to the most recent version of OS?” question showed up on my MacBook’s screen. And I thought: “Why the hell not! I have nothing better to do”. I clicked the magical update button and that’s when it all when to hell in a handbasket.
The update stalled due to missing drivers and after reformatting the disk the online update also stalled. Result: my MacBook is currently as useful as a paperweight!
If only I had backed it up… if only… So lesson one girl:
Always have a backup!
Seriously, never skip this step! Whenever you’re updating any of your computers DO A BACKUP!
Actually, this is the only lesson in this post! Hear me out:
With my computer offline I could easily have been prevented to work until we find an apple store. Not the best situation when you’re travelling. But I’m still here working and writing this blog post. Why? Because I have other tools where I can do my work.
Namely my iPad Pro, that has saved my behind! And my hubby’s computer that I can steal when I need to do something that I just can’t do on the iPad.
All these technical problems got me thinking:
What do you do when plan A doesn’t work?
Do you have a plan B for the important things in your life? What if that new dream home you’ve been waiting to buy falls through? What if your car breaks down? What if… god forbid… your computer stops working?
Having a backup isn’t only important for your computer, it’s important for your life.
In my life having a backup means:
Having a tent with us so we can camp out if no homes are available for us during our trip.
Bringing my iPad on the trip so I can still work when the inevitable tech problem happens.
Knowing that if all else fails we can: get work washing dishes or stocking shelves somewhere or even sell the car and catch a plane back home.
What’s important for you? What’s worth having a plan B for?
The actual place where I work can vary greatly depending on whether I’m traveling, at home or working from a coworking space. But no matter where I am there are certain staples of my workstation that stay the same.
My workstation – what it looks like:
When I think about my workstation there are 2 levels to the way I work. There’s the bare minimal, what I absolutely must have to be able to work, and then there’s my perfect setup, the way I work when I’m home or at a more stable office.
Here’s what that looks like:
The Bare Minimal
There are 3 things I absolutely must have to be able to do my work. Without these it’s just not happening!
I have a 12’’ MacBook and this is where I do all my work.
There are many great options of computers out there but here’s why I chose the MacBook:
Mac over PC because of system stability: I’ve used PC’s for years but when I started doing freelancing I knew a Mac was the way to go. As an entrepreneur you have a million things to get done. What you don’t need is to spend 5 hours reformatting, updating or cleaning your computer. I’m not willing to waste that much time so I knew I needed a Mac.
Why I didn’t go Pro: The MacBook Pro is an amazing machine, and I’ve had one before, but when it was time to get a new computer I choose a lighter, even if less powerful option. The MacBook is slightly less powerful than it’s Pro cousin but the difference in power comes with a heavy weight, quite literally! I needed a computer that could travel with me, so I ended up with the lighter version, and I don’t regret it for a second!
A Strong Internet Connection
This is a must! I have many friends that can work both online and offline, but the nature of my work means I always need internet.
I’ve become an expert at finding Café’s with great internet and I always have my data package for emergencies.
If you’re traveling I’d suggest also looking into a mobile modem. You’ll need to get a data card from the country where you are currently staying, but it’s a nice to have in case of emergencies.
Usually while I’m working I’m listening to a podcast, a youtube video or just some great music, but that’s not why headphones are a must for me. I can still work even if I’m not listening to something, but interruptions are deadly.
So whether I’m listening to something or not you’ll always find me with my headphones tucked into my ears. If nothing else they serve to tell people that I’m busy and not to willing to be interrupted.
My Perfect Setup
Get ready cause this is where it gets really weird! When I’m staying for a while in the same place and I can set up a desk either at home or at the local coworking space my setup becomes a whole other thing.
On the left I’ll have my iPad Pro with my podcasts playing. In front of me my MacBook set up on it’s Stand so that I’m not bending my back or neck to work (just writing this makes me stand up straight). And on the right a notebook and pen to be able to write down any quick notes.
What’s also never too far away is my mug with either coffee or tea and a snack to munch on while the occasional page loads.
I know it’s too many screens (my boyfriend keeps telling me so…) but the truth is that I love it! Whenever I get to use this setup I feel so much more in control of everything around me.
Your setup will probably look different from mine. It will depend not only on the tools you have but also on your specific nature. It all depends on what makes YOU work better. I’d love to see what your setup looks like!
What’s the one thing in your workstation that makes you more productive and you couldn’t live without?
One of my favorite ways of learning new skills and hearing about what’s going on in the world of entrepreneurship are podcasts. With the travels ahead of me I’ve been stocking up on great podcasts to listen to and wanted to share some of my favorites with you. Enjoy!
My Absolute Favourite Podcasts on my List:
The Marketing in Yoga Pants Podcast
Brit Kolo brings us weekly interviews with Entrepreneurs and Business owners that are heartfelt and inspiring. If you’re looking to feel connected with other entrepreneurs and business owners this is the podcast for you!
Website | iTunes
Goal Digger – The Podcast
Jenna Kutcher is the kind of girl that will fill up your heart. In her podcasts, she shares heartfelt stories of both her life and her guests while still packing every episode with advice made just for you, the entrepreneur looking to reach your goals!
Website | iTunes
Online Marketing Made Easy
Whenever I need highly actionable marketing advice I turn to Amy. Amy Porterfield delivers every time, with expert interviews, actionable step by steps and a behind the scenes view of her business.
Website | iTunes
I’ll listen to these podcasts basically anywhere and anytime. Either while I’m working on repetitive tasks or when I’m doing housework like cleaning, ironing or cooking.
Tell me what are some of your favorites?
I often get asked how I stay productive. As a VA I need to jump between tasks rapidly, all while keeping an eye on my email. So today I wanted to let you in and show you what my day-to-day looks like.
First thing is first: Mental and Physical Wellbeing
This is probably the part of my routine that I need to work on the most as I don’t always do it. But when I do I always feel energized and centered throughout the day.
On an ideal day, I get up, drink a full glass of water and sit down to meditate for 10 min. I use the headspace app, they have some great meditation packs and you can use the apps free meditations.
Meditation is hard for me. Staying still for 10 min not thinking is one of the hardest things that I do every day, but even when I’m restless and not really focussed I feel that for the rest of the day my mind is focussed and calm on a level I just don’t reach when I don’t meditate.
I’m not a big fan of running or gyms, so instead of torturing myself I tune in to Yoga with Adrienne and do a 30 min yoga session. Of all the yoga teachers out there I really resonate with Adrienne’s style of fun and mindful yoga.
And if you think yoga isn’t exercise, think again. I’m always surprised the day after on how much my muscles feel sore from this seemingly easy and light exercise form. If you’re an introvert like me and being surrounded by sweaty humans is not your thing, then yoga might just be the right form of exercise for you.
Once the exercise is done I prepare my coffee and turn on the computer to start my day’s work.
Starting my workday on the right foot
Every day I start my workday exactly the same way. I turn on my computer and start by looking at:
- The news – Although not strictly necessary for my job I enjoy staying up to date on the news of the day and knowing what’s happening in the world.
- My Finances – Knowing what your money is doing for you on a daily basis is really important, after all, you’re only running a business if it’s making money.
- My Inbox – My inbox is pretty clean, I have a half a dozen newsletters that I subscribe to and read, most of my other emails are from clients, so I start my day by going over them and making sure that my inbox is clean and all client emails have been replied to.
Now that these items are out of the way it’s time to dive headfirst into my to-do list.
Staying productive through the day
Every Sunday (or if I’m honest Monday morning) I organize my tasks for the week on Trello so I know exactly what I need to do each day.
If you’re curious about Trello but haven’t been able to make it work for you then I highly recommend you check out the Trello for Business course by Think Creative Collective, this has changed the way I run my business and now Trello is where I keep everything in my life and business.
I use the Pomodoro technique to go through my daily to-do list. Splitting the day into 25min chunks has allowed me to move forward on big tasks without being crippled by the fear of having them take up the whole day.
At the end of the day, I go over my emails once more. Reply to all my client emails, and prepare the upcoming day. And then I breathe and relax, the day is done, tomorrow will be a new one!
What techniques do you use to be more productive during the day-to-day? Leave a comment below and let me know.