Slay With Systems | Getting Started with Evernote for Wedding Planners

Get Organized with Evernote

So today is first post in the Slay Your Systems Series!

Today we are talking all about Evernote. If you follow the blog, you may already know that I sing Evernote’s praises! I talked all about it HERE. Well today, we are starting at the beginning of how to get started with Evernote.

So a little background… I literally use Evernote for every aspect of my life and it is truly becoming my second brain. I save notes, receipts, business cards, reading lists, things I want to purchase for the business, EVERYTHING in Evernote. The beauty of Evernote is that there are thousands of uses for it and you can customize it however you want in order to make it work for you. The downside is that you can do so much that it can be overwhelming when first starting out on how to get it all in order.

If you make the commitment to start using Evernote daily, it will help you save time and get organized in your wedding planning business (and digital life). Now getting started with Evernote is going to take some extra work on the front-end, but if you put in some time I think you will see how awesome a tool this can be.

COMMIT

With most things in life, it does require commitment to see the fruits of your labor. So with that I say give this system a chance to work. Are you willing to do some real work in the beginning to see the benefits at the end?

DOWNLOAD

The first step to getting started with Evernote is to download and install Evernote on your computer. There is a web app, but it is not nearly as robust and to get the full experience of Evernote, you need to have the desktop app and use it primarily. Additionally, there are just some features that won’t work on the web version of Evernote!

You will also want to download the Evernote app onto your phone and tablet. I love having it phone as it replaces having to write on small pieces of paper while out when a crazy idea comes to mind. You can use the app to create notes on the go, add reminders, create voice memos and check your to-do lists.

UPGRADE TO PREMIUM

If you are just starting your business and watching your coins, a free Evernote account is a great place to start. BUT, if you are diving into this head first and going all out I would HIGHLY suggest going premium. The cost is $69.99/year and it’s one of the best investments I made in my business (you can write this off as well). Here’s why Premium is the way to go:

  • Free accounts only allow you to sync across 2 accounts, Premium UNLIMITED!
  • Annotated PDFs
  • Foward emails into Evernote (in an upcoming posts you will learn why this is great)
  • Scan and digitize business cards (makes handling business cards so easy)
  • Turn notes into a presentation
  • With premium accounts, the technology is smart enough to search within PDFs. So if you keep a receipts folder and stick PDF copies of your receipts, Evernote can search the PDF as if it were text.

NEXT STEPS

Now that you are commited to getting started with Evernote, I have some homework for you! Your tasks are to:

  1. Commit to using Evernote
  2. Download the app to at least 2 of your devices
  3. Consider trying premium for one month

This is the first post in the Slay Your Systems with Evernote series.

Check back in two weeks where I will be chatting about important terminology and how I use notebooks and tags in your workflow.

Melissa + Brian | Riverbanks Zoo & Garden

This wedding venue was a first for me and I was so happy that I was able to work with Melissa and Brian to craft their perfect zoo reception. The couple were married at the groom’s home church, followed with their reception in the Ndoki Lodge at Riverbanks Zoo & Gardens. As guests arrived they were able to view elephants, monkeys, birds and gorillas on their way to the lodge.

Melissa was excellent to work with as she knew the vision she had for her day and it was just a matter of crafting the perfect creative team to bring her vision to life. Additionally, their wedding was surrounded by love and family and I enjoyed every minute of getting to know their family and friends. At the end of the night, the wedding ended with Around the Block Photography capturing a photo of both families all together.

Riverbanks Zoo & Garden Wedding planned by Avila Dawn Events | www.aviladawnevents.com Riverbanks Zoo & Garden Wedding planned by Avila Dawn Events | www.aviladawnevents.com Riverbanks Zoo & Garden Wedding planned by Avila Dawn Events | www.aviladawnevents.comriverbanks-zoo-garden-wedding-planned-by-avila-dawn-events_0005riverbanks-zoo-garden-wedding-planned-by-avila-dawn-events_0003 riverbanks-zoo-garden-wedding-planned-by-avila-dawn-events_0004 riverbanks-zoo-garden-wedding-planned-by-avila-dawn-events_0006 riverbanks-zoo-garden-wedding-planned-by-avila-dawn-events_0007 riverbanks-zoo-garden-wedding-planned-by-avila-dawn-events_0008 riverbanks-zoo-garden-wedding-planned-by-avila-dawn-events_0011 riverbanks-zoo-garden-wedding-planned-by-avila-dawn-events_0013 riverbanks-zoo-garden-wedding-planned-by-avila-dawn-events_0009 riverbanks-zoo-garden-wedding-planned-by-avila-dawn-events_0014 riverbanks-zoo-garden-wedding-planned-by-avila-dawn-events_0015Riverbanks Zoo & Garden Wedding planned by Avila Dawn Events | www.aviladawnevents.comRiverbanks Zoo & Garden Wedding planned by Avila Dawn Events | www.aviladawnevents.comRiverbanks Zoo & Garden Wedding planned by Avila Dawn Events | www.aviladawnevents.com Riverbanks Zoo & Garden Wedding planned by Avila Dawn Events | www.aviladawnevents.com Riverbanks Zoo & Garden Wedding planned by Avila Dawn Events | www.aviladawnevents.com Riverbanks Zoo & Garden Wedding planned by Avila Dawn Events | www.aviladawnevents.com Riverbanks Zoo & Garden Wedding planned by Avila Dawn Events | www.aviladawnevents.comriverbanks-zoo-garden-wedding-planned-by-avila-dawn-events_0030Riverbanks Zoo & Garden Wedding planned by Avila Dawn Events | www.aviladawnevents.com Riverbanks Zoo & Garden Wedding planned by Avila Dawn Events | www.aviladawnevents.com

Creative Team: Photography: Around the Block Photography | Planning + Design: Avila Dawn Events | Venue: Riverbanks Zoo & Garden | Florals: Exquisite Design | Cake: Bonnie Brunt Cakes | Draping: Ambient Media | Hair: Hairstyles by Laurel | Makeup: It’s Simply Makeup | Entertainement: DJ B-Sam | Stationery: Signatures by Sarah

Business Basics | Slay Your Systems & Get Organized in the New Year

Organizing Your Business in the New Year

So for the past couple of months, I have been really been digging into my systems in an effort to create a better client experience for ADE Brides! This meant me accessing ALL of the systems I am currently using and determining if I was using them to their greatest ability and were there any I could just let go! (Side note: I am a systems junkie, so I will work through systems CONSTANTLY to make to better.) The thing is if I am always working on my systems, then I can’t focus on other aspects of my business. So moving into 2017, I wanted to review what I had, tighten up some areas and then let it run. For any system, it works as long as you work it!

In talking with some vendor friends, I have found that I LOVE chatting to them about their systems and actions they can incorporate to help with its efficiency. I thought hey why don’t I just write out what I learn and share with other entrepreneurs to save them a little headache and make major gains in their business. So I will be starting a series on “Slaying Your Systems”! Hopefully you will find the information helpful on getting your business backend together! If you ever have any questions, be sure to post them as trying to figure out how to create a system that works for your business gets my blood running!

~Jevettra

Seeking Student Event Planning Intern(s) for Spring 2017

View More: http://jhuntphotos.pass.us/style-me-pretty-previewsubmission

I am so happy to announce that Avila Dawn Events is accepting applications for Spring 2017 interns. If you would love to work with us, then we can’t wait to hear from you! Consider working with us if you:

  • Are social media savvy
  • Have grace under pressure
  • Aren’t afraid of long hours and aching feet
  • Have top-notch communication skills – both verbal and written
  • Have reliable transportation

The wedding and event industry requires non-traditional hours including weekend work; so don’t forget that you will need to give up some weekend fun to help us make our clients’ dreams come true. If this sounds like you, give us a shout using our intern application form.

Down the Aisle They Go | Ariel + Parker

Today I get to introduce you to Ariel and Parker. They will be getting married at United Methodist Church with their reception at 701 Whaley. I am really looking forward to this event as there will be lots of gold and sparkle! I am especially looking forward to the gold sequin bridesmaid dresses.

701 Whaley Wedding, SC Wedding Planner, Columbia SC Wedding Planner

How did y’all meet? He stole my heart at a softball tournament.

How did Parker pop the question… were you expecting it?  Yes, but he didn’t think I knew. We were at a picnic when Parker popped the question and a photographer was there to capture the moment.

Describe your wedding in three words? Fun… Gold… FUN!!

Now the details (theme, style, color, must-haves)?! Lots of sparkly gold details like the cake, bridesmaid dresses, table runners, etc)

What has been your favorite source for wedding inspiration (Blog, Magazine, etc)? Coastal Knot Bridal and Instagram

What have you loved most about planning your wedding? Picking my dress!!

What has been the most difficult? The guest list!

What are you most looking forward to on the wedding day? The honeymoon the next day.

Do you have any advice for newly engaged couples as they go through the planning process? Buy something you need for the wedding from every paycheck once you get engaged that way you are not stuck with a TON of expenses closer to the date.

701 Whaley Wedding, SC Wedding Planner, Columbia SC Wedding Planner

Business Basics | 5 Tools to Help Boost Your Productivity

So as most of you know I am #ontheroadtofulltime with my event planning business. With that being said my schedule is pretty full. Monday-Friday I work from 7:30AM – 3:30 PM for the University of South Carolina ~ Go Gamecocks!! So that means ALL the other hours of the day are spent either eating, sleeping, loving on my hubby and clients and of course doing ALL the things it takes to run a small business.

Today I am sharing some of the apps/programs that I absolutely love and make this journey to full-time a little less hectic.

5 Tools to Boost Productivity, Wedding Planning Tools, SC Wedding Planner

Evernote – Y’all already know how I feel about Evernote, but if you don’t definitely go read about all the goodness. If you’re someone who regularly get frustrated by the redundant nature of having so many different communication platforms, Evernote is sure to be your new best friend! I use Evernote to host ALL of my blog posts, client notes, and tons of business documents. No more stickey notes, notepads or carrying around folders with client information.  I love this program because all of the information is always right at my fingertips. Want to learn a bit more about Evernote, well go check out this post and then be on the lookout for something great coming up.

Later (formerly known as Latergramme) – Once I got this tool… can we say hello 2 weeks worth of Instagram posts DONE! Later allows you to schedule your posts ahead of time. I love this because I batch this task. I take an hour or so and schedule all of my posts in one day that way I never feel frantic about not having content. You can also load in all 50,000 hashtags you want. The only thing is it won’t post automatically for you, but hell the hard work has been done.

Canva – This software makes me feel like a graphic designer! It allows you to create images that are perfectly sized to social media proportions. You can also great flyers, styled guides, EVERYTHING! You can also create templates, so you don’t have to wear yourself out trying to recreate the same design over and over again. So all I have to do is change out the picture and some wording and I can upload pictures for blog posts and Instagram posts in a flash. And if you are on a budget, this is a tool that you definitely want to use because it is FREE 99.

Trello – I use Trello for all my business workflows – editorial calendar, processes and links, wedding clients, meal planning, and work scrum board. Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. It lets you know what’s being worked on, who’s working on what and where something is in the process. I happen to be a very visual person, so I love being able to see what is going on that needs to be worked on and being able to move items seamlessly from one board to the next.

Zapier – This tool allows you to connect apps you use every day to automate tasks, which saves time. You create what is called “recipes” to make life easier. For me I have my  initial questionnaire that potential clients fill-out, once completed a zap sends the client a thank you email, sends me an email, which let’s me know that they completed it, and then zaps all the info to a spreadsheet, so that I can have all the information in one place. I will REALLY be digging into this app to get more things automated. The best part is it super easy and most of the “recipes” are already written you just have to add a bit of information to get it all setup. These zaps save me oodles of time.

The most common trend is almost everyone one of these programs is that is allows you to create templates and templates are a LIFESAVER!! So tell me what programs do you use to help you get more done?

Down the Aisle They Go | Latisha + Mickey

Ok so I am so excited for Latisha + Mickey’s wedding. They will be dancing the night away with the band Tru Soul and I can’t wait!! Y’all know I love some good dancing. But more importantly, I can’t wait to see these two joined in marriage. Definitely keep scrolling to read about their love story and some details for their wedding.

Myrtle Beach Wedding Planner, Myrtle Beach Wedding

How did y’all meet? We met in Wal-Mart. Mickey saw me in the store earlier and told himself if he ran into me again he would approach me.

How did Mickey pop the question… were you expecting it? I was definitely NOT expecting it. One of our favorite dates was at Brookgreen Gardens at their yearly event called The Night of 1000 Candles. We decided to attend again the following year and he popped the question in the garden of poems which was one of our favorite spots.

Myrtle Beach Wedding Planner, Myrtle Beach Wedding

Myrtle Beach Wedding Planner, Myrtle Beach Wedding

Describe your wedding in three words? Earthy, Romantic, Traditional

Now the details (theme, style, color, must-haves)?! Classic with fall elements. Colors are Copper, Grey, and Dusk Blue. Must-haves – good music and good food.

What has been your favorite source for wedding inspiration (Blog, Magazine, etc)? Pinterest, online browsing

What have you loved most about planning your wedding? It caused me to communicate more with my family, which has brought us closer.

Myrtle Beach Wedding Planner, Myrtle Beach Wedding

Myrtle Beach Wedding Planner, Myrtle Beach Wedding

What has been the most difficult? Staying within budget.

What are you most looking forward to on the wedding day? Seeing Mickey’s face as I walk down the aisle and celebrating with family and friends who I don’t see often.

Do you have any advice for newly engaged couples as they go through the planning process? Establish a realistic budget ahead of time based on the size of your wedding, your style and taste. Do extended research on different vendors before deciding to sign any contracts.

Myrtle Beach Wedding Planner, Myrtle Beach Wedding

Zina + Andrew | Private Estate on Lake Murray

Andrew + Zina’s wedding represented their love for the water. The couple lives by the motto “Life is Better at the Lake” and truly wanted to encompass this throughout their wedding design and guest experience. The ceremony was held on the back lawn of a private estate that overlooked Lake Murray. After the ceremony, guests boarded the Spirit of Lake Murray for dinner and to watch the sun set. Upon arrival back at the home, the backyard had been transformed for dancing, lounging and mingling. One of my favorite elements of the design was the arbor created by Exquisite Designs. A special thanks to Julia Fay Photography for sharing the images with them! And congratulations to the new Mr. & Mrs!!

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Kartesz-121

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events
Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Lake Murray Wedding in Columbia, SC planned by Avila Dawn Events

Creative Partners

Photography: Julia Fay Photography /// Planning + Design: Avila Dawn Events /// Venue: Private Estate /// Florals: Exquisite Designs /// Hair Stylist: Hairstyles by Laurel /// Cake: Bonnie Brunt Cakes /// Lighting: Ambient Media /// Table/Chair/Linen Rentals: Celebrations /// Vintage Furniture Rentals: Charmingly Southern Vintage Rentals /// Officiant: VOWS /// Catering: The Spirit of Lake Murray /// Bartending: Twist Bartending /// Ceremony Programs: Minted

 

 

 

Business Basics | Using Evernote for Business Organization

EVERNOTE… IF YOU DON’T KNOW, NOW YOU KNOW!! This program is ONE of my business lifesavers that keeps me sane and organized. I literally use it for every aspect of my life, but today I will be talking about how I use it to organize my business. Think of it as your second brain. You can save notes, clip things from the web and organize information. The beauty of Evernote is that there are thousands of uses for it and you can customize it however you want in order to make it work for you. The downside is that you can do so much that it can be overwhelming when first starting out on how to get it all in order.
Using Evernote for Business Organization

~ SO WHAT IS IT? ~ 
Evernote is a multi-platform (meaning you can use it on your phone, computer, iPad, etc and it syncs across all of these devices) application designed to organize everything from notes, images, text and presentations.

~ EVERNOTE PRICING ~ 
The Basic Service of Evernote is Free 99!! When I first started with Evernote, I had the free version, but have since upgraded to the Premium Version ($49.99/year), as you can turn notes into presentations, scan and digitize business cards, annotate attached PDFs to name a few. I love receiving business cards, but they were really starting to pile up and keeping them organized was becoming a headache. Now I can just flip through them virtually and find exactly what I am looking for!! Also being able to annotate on PDFs…. yaaassss! So now if a client has questions about a service or the contract, I can just annotate onto the PDF instead of writing the email saying look at page 3, section blah blah blah. The client can now just scan the PDF and all of your notes are right there.

~ THE BASICS OF EVERNOTE ~ 
Basically Evernote is on fancy online notebook! What you start with in Evernote are…

NOTES – These are the actual files you add or write in Evernote. You can have as many of these as you need. Think of notes as a page in a notebook (a page that can be as LONG as you need it to be). Notes can hold documents, files, text and images. Whatever you need to access or store goes into a note. You can add tags to every note that you write.  Tagging allows you to find notes A LOT faster than going through notebooks or notes!! And I highly suggest tagging EVERY note that you write. It will save your sanity later. Notes can then be put into…

NOTEBOOKS – Notebooks hold your notes together. You can add as many notes as you need into one notebook. Things that fall into the same topics or categories usually make good notebooks. For example, I have notebooks for blogging ideas, blogging posts in progress, blog post completed, marketing, financials, creative action plan, planning clients, and on and on and on!! I have a TON of Notebooks. Then Notebooks can be put into…

STACKS – Stacks hold notebooks together (I look at them as master categories). Stacks can be made by dragging one notebook on top of another and adding additional notebooks as needed, but you cannot add individual notes to a stack. I have stacks for Blogging, Business Management, Canned Responses, Planning Clients.

~ SETTING UP A SYSTEM ~ 
Whether or not you love Evernote will pretty much depend on how well your system is setup. Everyone has a different way of organizing their thoughts and ideas. I wanted to share my set-up to give you an idea of one option.

Before you start saving any files, you will want to get some basic notebooks setup. Because having just a stack of notes that you will have to scroll through is… NO BUENO! Setting up some notebooks will help get you organized right away and have a place to put things you want to save. You can change the name of a notebook after it’s created so don’t get too caught up on having the pretty category/title for every notebook. As a wedding planner, I have the following stacks for my business:

  • To File: This is my catch-all for notes on the go and things I need to file later.
  • Working On: A running list of tasks that I am working on lands here.
  • ADE Blogging: I write all of my blog post in Evernote.
  • ADE Business Management: This stack holds a TON of notebooks that are all related to my business.
  • ADE Canned Responses: Because although you can store canned responses in Gmail, I much prefer to just have them all here.
  • ADE Creatives: So service guides I receive from other creative professionals get filed here.
  • ADE Planning Clients: Each one of my clients get a notebook for me to store notes on the go. I actually scan in forms I have completed with my client’s into Evernote, instead of saving the form in a folder. So my consultation forms, Wedding Day Prep forms (until I can find a go online form builder) I still fill out by hand and then scan into Evernote. This way I don’t lose the form and can easily refer back to without having to carry around folders.

In the image below you can see that I have TONS of notebooks and within the notebooks, I have TONS of notes. Let me reiterate, tag ALL of your notes, so you can easily search for what you are looking for.

Using Evernote for Business Organization
The next bonus of Evernote is their Web Clipper. This is a Chrome add-on makes life a little easier. It allows you to save or share as an article, simplified article, full page, bookmark or screenshot. You can also use the markup tools to highlight parts or make notes.
Using Evernote for Business Organization
If you haven’t given Evernote a try yet, I definitely would. Using this program has helped me in being more organized and more efficient in my day-to-day activities. One of the biggest things I use Evernote for is blogging!! Between Evernote and Trello, I think I finally have my blogging life in order.
~ TAKE ACTION ~ 

Set-up an Evernote account (if you don’t already have one.) Create a few your notebooks and stacks and then start collecting your ideas and research for your website, product, service, blogging, etc.

Do you have any Evernote tips that you love? Share them below.

Insider Tips | Renting Bridesmaid Dresses

You just said #yestothedress and now hunting for the perfect dress for your girls. Well before you spend hours inside of dress salons, check out three of my favorite dress rental sites.  They have an extensive selection in every silhouette and shade and your bridesmaids will greatly appreciate that the cost is significantly cheaper than purchasing the designer look outright. These dress rental websites are making the choice for bridal-party wear very simple.
Renting Bridesmaid Dresses by Avila Dawn Events
Rent the Runway
RTR really changed the game when it came to online dress rental and the site has expanded to include a robust bridal selection, including gowns for bridesmaids. The process is simple: the bride and bridal party search for their selection of dress and make a decision on which they would like; the designs are booked for four or eight day rentals; you wear the dress and then return it in its pre-paid envelope — dry cleaning included. The brand also has a brick-and-mortar store in New York City and Las Vegas, so ladies can test drive dresses ahead of time.
Vow to be Chic

Vow to be Chic promises to make sure that the price of your bridesmaids dresses are affordable, with designs starting at just $50 from labels like Nicole Miller, Theia, Tadashi Shoji and Jill Jill Stuart. Once your ladies submit their measurements, the site will send along the most-loved dresses in two sizes to be tried on at home. The bridal party can then send back the dresses they don’t want in the pre-paid packaging provided, and return the ones worn after the festivities are over. (Bonus for brides: The site just launched rentable little white dresses — perfect for your all of your pre-wedding parties!)

Weddington Way

Weddington Way has very cool social features, which allow brides to compare and share their experiences. First, the bride registers, then adds any gowns she likes to her list of favorites. Once she’s gathered all of her picks, she can compare the designs side-by-side and then add the members of her bridal party to the site. The ‘maids vote on their faves and the bride can add the highest-ranked dress to her girls’ shopping carts. To try on the dresses before purchasing, bridesmaids can visit Weddington Way’s brick-and-mortar store in the San Francisco Bay area or enroll in the site’s “Try Before You Buy” program.
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