In January I learned that Twitter has removed the cap on the number of accounts you can add to lists (it used to be 500) and the number of lists you can have (it used to be 20). This probably happened ages ago, so I’d been missing out on making the most of Twitter, since the limits were one of the major reasons why I never bothered with lists.
Now that you can add up to 5000 accounts to your lists and create up to 1000 lists, I’ll be using Hootsuite a lot more often to keep a tab on everything that’s going on.
You can read more about how to use Twitter effectively in my January post on the topic: Everything (!) you’ve always wanted to know about Twitter.
January is also tax-return time and again I was reminded that I really must get better at recording everything as I go along rather than pushing admin to one side to wait until I’m unbusy. Because I NEVER feel like doing the paperwork until I absolutely have to. And letting everything pile up makes the task of sorting it out far more time-consuming because I have to remember what was what and where it is.
The same goes for my monthly invoicing tasks. It’s much harder to get my invoices out and double-check that all amounts are correct if I’ve failed to jot down some of the jobs in the Excel sheet I’ve created for that purpose in the first place.
I haven’t really bothered with any business resolutions in 2016 as I’m still working on all the ones I’ve made in the past couple of years. But January has taught me that I must become more determined to stop what I’m doing for a few minutes and prioritise the admin I love to hate. Every detail of every job must be noted as it comes in, and every receipt recorded, printed and filed when it arrives.
Given that I’m in the habit of ignoring “non-urgent” emails if I’m working on a deadline or just feel like doing something else (spending time with family, walking the dogs in the sunshine, writing a blog post…), I aim to apply a similar principle to emails. Because the further they slip down the inbox list, the less likely I am to reply to some of them ever. And that’s unfortunately meant I’ve probably missed out on some job or networking opportunities.
At the beginning of the year, I created several folders to categorise emails into types to make them easier to find and act upon. And I now try (emphasis is on the try bit here) to respond asap or at the very least by the end of the day.
I really hope these measures will prevent any more stressful “where the h*ll is that” moments, especially as I need to keep an eye on my blood pressure. I’ll keep you posted.
If you enjoyed this post, then you might like to read next month’s instalment: What I learned in February 2016.
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8 thoughts on “What I learned in January 2016”
Great post, Nikki! I also love to hate admin tasks and should probably find a better invoicing system. (I currently go into each client’s folder, find the jobs I did that month and cross check the information with my emails. It takes ages!) Good to know about the Twitter lists, too! Do you prefer to keep your lists public or private?
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I always cross check with my emails too, just in case I missed something. But I write the jobs down in an Excel sheet that tells me when they are due and also keeps track of how much I’ve earned so far in the month (rough estimate with foreign currencies, obviously).
Some of my Twitter lists are public (lists of translators, for example), but others are private.
It is good to know that I am not the only one. I have this uneasy feeling of being watched; like you wrote about me! I would only add replying to emails and messages in my head and discovering days later that didn’t do it in the real world. Any advice welcome…
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All I can say is that it happens to the best of us. Because I can certainly identify with that scenario. In fact only this morning I found that I had to reply to an email that I thought I’d already replied to yesterday evening. Check the sent folder regularly is the only advice I can think of…
Great post Nikki! I too have slowly been trying to make the admin side easier, but certain aspects remain a struggle! One habit I have adopted over the years is to print out the key page f the mail with the details on the job the minute it’s confirmed, then I write the customer’s name on it, any PO or job number, the deadline and the price. I input this in TO3000 asap, and it keeps track of jobs which makes it a snap come invoicing time. I then cross check these print-outs against my records in TO when I go to invoice. We all have different systems that work for us. As close to inbox-zero as possible is one of my goals for this year!
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Sounds like a great system, Allison. I don’t think I’ll ever get to inbox-zero. I’ve unsubscribed from lots of lists and websites to try to cut the volume down, though.