Productivity Hacks: Todoist, Evernote, and a Calendar


Ever since reading the E-Myth Revisited back in late 2016, I’ve been all about trying to be more efficient and productive in my business. I primarily go about this by setting up internal systems for how I go about doing things. In late 2016 my method for organizing my schedule, tasks, and notes was disheveled and disorderly at best. In early 2017 I ended up reading the book Do More Better by Tim Challies. The book dealt with how to be more productive. The first part of the book deals with why productivity is important from a Christian theological perspective and the later part deals with how to practically be productive. Since reading his book I have been using this system ever since.

First for my daily tasks I use Todoist. This is an app and a website. I use this for keeping track of all of the things I need to get done that day. I have the tasks split into different categories like personal, business, and off season to do list. Examples of tasks include Contact Client Name, Prep for Shoot, Write Blog Post, Buy Groceries, etc.

Next I started using Evernote for all of my note taking purposes. Evernote is an app and website. I use this for everything from notes from books I’m reading, notes from client consultations, business ideas, and saving articles I’ve read. I organize the notes into various Notebooks for business, personal, etc. Notebook examples include Business Brainstorming, Business Client, and Personal Book Notes.

Lastly I use Apple Calendar to keep track of when I have shoots, consultations, and other personal things going on. Being self employed I have a very fickle schedule and being able to update and check my calendar quickly is a must. I’ll put the time and location of the appointment I’m going to in the Calendar but keep any notes pertaining to the appointment in Evernote and tasks I must complete prior to the event in ToDoist. By using this system I can easily keep track of my tasks, notes, and calendar.

Productivity Hacks: Roller Cart


As photographers it is easy for us to get caught up in buying new gear. A lot of times it is the less sexy gear that makes the big difference. It is easy to drool over the new camera, lens, or flash, while it is other little things which make the big difference. My red roller cart is a perfect example of this.

Before buying this red roller cart, I would carry around several large bags. A big camera bag with all of my lenses and a wide variety of accessories. Plus a big lighting bag with light stands, Alienbee, and modifiers. This was a pain. Especially for shoots in new locations I was less familiar with. It got to the point in many new locations I simply shot with natural light, instead of lugging around my massive kit. In 2018 I switched up how I carried my gear and got several smaller bags. I started only bringing the gear I needed to shoots. This was a big step forward, but still not as efficient as it could be. I ended up buying this red roller cart at Shopko in September 2018. Now I will load the cart with the gear I’ll be using on location, instead of lugging around several large bags. This makes doing shoots with off camera flash much easier. I have used this cart on almost every outdoor portrait session I have done since buying it.

Productivity Hacks: Pocket and Feedly


I read quite a bit. Not only books but also articles and blog posts. A way I’ve found to streamline this process is by using Pocket and Feedly.

I first started using Feedly to follow various blogs. You can seperate the blogs you follow by category. For example the categories I have are entrepreneurship, lifestyle, local, misc, photography, politics, style, theology, and wedding. Feedly then lets you see the latest posts from the blogs you follow.

If I find a article I want to read in Feedly I then send it to Pocket. Pocket is another iPhone app which allows you to read articles. I find the way pocket displays most articles far superior to a browser. It also lets you save the article in the Pocket app instead of having tons of browser tabs open.

I currently have tons of articles that I found in Feedly that I still need to read in Pocket. By using this method it has made it far easier for me to find and read various blogs and articles online.   

Productivity Hacks: Gear Placement


Over the years of being a photographer, I’ve realized that it is the non-sexy parts of the job that make the biggest impact. An example of this is where I place my equipment in my bags. By strategically placing what gear goes where it makes shoots and weddings go much smoother. Instead of searching for gear, placing it in the same spot every time makes it easier to access. This also includes where I put the bags in my vehicle as well. By placing them in a way which is easier to access, it makes shoots go much smoother. I occasionally switch up where I put various gear. This depends on the assignment and seeing what worked in past shoots. Currently I have a bag full of lighting gear, a red cart for location shoots, and a large and small camera bag that I switch between depending on assignment.

Productivity Hacks: Single Tasking


Over the years of owning my own business I’ve came to learn a lot of valuable things. These have been learn via trial and error, books, podcasts, magazines, and discussions with fellow entrepreneurs. One of the best productivity hacks I’ve learnt is single tasking.

When I first started running my business full time I would try to multitask. I’ve be trying to retouch, answer emails, do website updates, post to social media, and do a variety of busy work all at once. I regularly get confused as to what I was working on and rarely got much done. I’d have some many tabs and software open I regularly have my computer freeze up. Over time I learned that doing one task at a time was far more productive.

Now I try to single task. Single tasking is a very simple process. I simply take one thing I’m working on at a time instead of trying to do multiple things at once. For example today I’m working on blog posts. I’ll write a blog post, proofread it, then schedule it on my blog, and lastly schedule it via Buffer to be sent out to social media. I’m not retouching, accounting, nor writing social media copy. I’m just working on writing blog posts. By taking one task at a time I have become far more efficient and get much more done.

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Productivity Hacks: Buffer


In 2017 I made a ton of changes to my business. One of the smartest decisions I made was starting to use Buffer. Buffer allows me to schedule social media posts in advance from my computer or phone. I use Buffer to send posts to my business Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and the facebook group I manage. Using Buffer saves me a ton of time. I no longer have to interrupt conversations and other tasks to post at the optimum time on social media. I single task. I will write several weeks or months worth of social media copy at a time and schedule it using Buffer. I would highly recommend anyone who uses multiple social media platforms for business check out Buffer.

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