Happy Thursday Friends!  Does this week feel like it’s flying by to anyone else?  I cannot believe the month of July is already halfway over.  Yesterday Becca, Devin (our amazing summer intern) and I spent the day working in our new design studio in Reynolda Village.   The sun was flooding in our big beautiful windows, the flowers in the outdoor courtyard were in full bloom and we were all smiles with paint tape, spackling knives and screwdrivers in hand as we prepped the space for a fresh coat of new paint!  I honestly think preparing to paint is way harder than actually painting, so we consider the hardest part checked off our to-do list.  We can hardly wait to invite you to our new space!

In our journey to #RRCbrickandmortar, Becca and I will be sharing lots of behind the scenes peeks as we are dreaming, renovating, moving, and organizing.   If you know me at all, you won’t be surprised to hear me say I LOVE organizing.  When it comes to packing for events, our team laughs at how particular I can be at arranging boxes inside a cargo van, but everyone is always amazed at how much I can fit in neat, tight stacks.   And it doesn’t stop there.  I am definitely the person who makes the bed (complete with 5 toss pillows- sorry Jack) every morning and arranges my closet in color blocks.   

I learned early on in my career that I spent way too much time pushing paper (organizing, filing, and regularly cleaning file cabinets) to trash old papers.  I always like to end my day with a completely clean desk and stacks of paper give me heartburn.   All I can say is, thank goodness for technology and how things have changed in 10 years!   At our studio, we have a lot of inventory and a lot of client paper goods,  so we need to be able to find things quickly and efficiently.  There are three things that are my office organize “musts” and luckily leave a whole lot of room for linen swatches, paper samples, products and other much prettier things in our new design studio!

1. Cloud Based File Cabinet

I don’t think I will ever miss manually filing, cleaning and searching through metal drawers.   Our team keeps all of our files in our cloud based file cabinet.  Google Docs, Dropbox and iCloud all provide awesome services for little (or no) money.  Since our team travels so often, it is important that we be able to access anything we may possibly need from anywhere in the world and our cloud based file cabinet allows us to do just that.   It also makes cleaning up old files really quick and easy.  Whenever we need to search for something, it’s as simple as typing in a few key search parameters and the file or document pops right up.  Gone are the days of bending over a metal drawer and we will happily replace metal cabinet space with something much better.

2. Scanner

Remember when I said paper gives me heartburn?  Well, it seriously does so this year I made it my goal to go paperless (or as close to as possible).  Unfortunately, sometimes we are given things in paper format, including receipts, contracts, packets, mailings, etc.  Last year I invested in a quality scanner and life has never been better.  I have a box under my desk that I fill with paper stuff and on my monthly “money day,” I do all our business bookkeeping and also rid myself of most of our paper mess.  It’s as simple as scanning in items and added them to the cloud based file cabinet- Voila! Bye, bye paper!

3. Electronic Notepad

I no longer use a notebook with a pen.  (Insert gasps here!)  Reason #1: As a proud coffee drinker, I experienced one too many stained book accidents.  Reason #2: My to-do list changes by the minute.  I found myself rewriting what I needed to do or using arrows and my organized linear brain wasn’t happy with that.  Reason #3: Losing a notebook would be the equivalent of brain surgery.  I always feared that I would lose my notes and found myself typing the “important ones.”    Pretty soon, I found myself typing all my notes and then quickly thought, this is stupid….  Why am I writing them first and then taking the time to type them?  Why not just type them to begin with?   And just like that I started using the Apple Notes function for everything.  I take notes at client meetings, make grocery-shopping lists and keep my running to-do list.  It’s wonderful for me because the notes are readily available to me on my phone, laptop, desktop and iPad… essentially anywhere I go.  If I get a client call while I am waiting in line at the coffee shop, I just jot it down on their note or add a task to my to-do list.  When I am making dinner and run out of a spice, I just jot it down on my grocery-shopping list for next week.   While I am working at my desk, I keep my to-do list note open on the right side of my screen and reorganize as needed throughout the day.  I bet you can’t do all that with pen and paper!

I know these three things make me sound like a technology junkie, but I promise you I am not.  However, I do value advances in technology that can help streamline productivity and make life a little easier.  The core purpose of our business is to produce meaningful celebrations for our clients.  We want our new design studio to be filled to the brim with inspiration and sparks of imagination.  I can promise you that you won’t be seeing a wall of metal file cabinets or stacks of paper in our pretty new space next month.  We’re counting down the days until we open our doors!  Cheers!