118 – Industry: Going paperless in the Cloud
On this episode of The Chaise Lounge, Nick chats with fellow industry professional, Phyllis Harbinger, on going paperless in the cloud. Phyllis talks about her favorite tools and apps and the pluses and minuses of going paperless. In addition Nick shares his Design Bloggers Conference talk on podcasting including lessons learned and his favorite episodes.
Checking in with Phyllis Harbinger
While Phyllis has made progress in the last year, she is not completely paperless yet. She mentioned that the more you embrace it, the better it gets. Not only can less paper make things easier, it can also help secure your business processes and information. Search functions are great for digital files and copies. You no longer have to worry about paper files lost in fires or floods and redundancies and relays combat issues with a computer crashing.
Even more specifically, paperless billing doesn’t require a ton of physical storage space. Having to store customer files and documents for seven to ten years can take up valuable real estate in your office or home, but keeping everything digitally can alleviate this physical clutter.
Phyllis recommends doing your homework when it comes to choosing digital and cloud based solutions. She is fond of Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive – each for differing reasons. These three tools are great for collaboration and file sharing. Phyllis is a fan of digital notetaking too. Digital notes make it easier for everyone to be on the same page, for instance, if someone is sick or out of the office. There is also no need to carry physical copies of client files around.
Receipts and invoices are another opportunity to go paperless. Phyllis likes ScannerPro no only for scanning in signed documents, but also for scanning and categorizing her own business receipts too. She also mentioned that some credit card companies use a receipt match, so you don’t have to worry about it on your end.
A couple of Phyllis’s other favorite apps include Art Set and Audionote. Art Set lets you draw on your device and turn it into a PDF. In Audionote, you can take pictures, videos, recordings, and notes all in one app.
Phyllis recommends to take baby steps if this causes anxiety for you. Categorize by client, project, year or whatever makes sense for your business.
If you would like to get in touch with Phyllis for paperless advice, public speaking, or just to say hi, shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nick’s talk at the Design Bloggers Conference
Years ago, Nick and a friend started a small business podcast. They would read stories in business magazines and then were able to get those people on the podcast. Throughout this process, he learned about podcasting and business.
In his painting company, Nick works a lot with designers and found that they often struggled with the business aspect. He saw the opportunity to marry his experience in podcasting and small business with his current design network to create The Chaise Lounge podcast.
The Chaise Lounge is about the business of interior design. The ideal listener is a younger designer that wants to learn. Notable guests on the show include: Thom Filicia, Taylor Spellman, Andrew Joseph, Jason Harris, and Tyler Lynch.
More specifically, Nick reflected on some lessons he learned from a few more guests:
- Barrie Livingstone – Go where other people aren’t and where your perfect client is
- Ivan Meade – Do what no one else is willing to do
- Kelli Ellis – Using your name as a designer
- Eric Haydel – Pricing nuts and bolts
- Corey Damen Jenkins – Tenacity and working through obstacles
Nick has also learned that it’s all about relationships, which is why the Design Bloggers Conference is so important. Nick said if he can do it, anyone can!
Nick would love to speak for your group! Please reach out via email or social media.
If you would like to hear more episodes, please visit us on iTunes or on our website at TheChaiseLoungePodcast.com. Lastly, find The Chaise Lounge on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter or post a review on iTunes, you may even hear your review read live on our next podcast. With that said keep dreaming big, and keep designing a great design business. See ya!