Productivity

How one stylist leverages business calendaring and business email on the go

Mellicia Marx is in the business of transformation. She runs Poplin Style Direction, a personal styling business that ensures a client’s look is on point. And in order to provide each client with the best experience, Marx has to often be several places in one day. She needs to be able to work across devices with access to both her calendar and business email so she can be as productive—and as connected—as possible, from wherever she is.

“Typically, I’m at a boutique or large retailer, at a client’s home, at an event around town, at a client photo shoot somewhere in the city, volunteering at YouthCare, or working from home,” Marx explains. It’s easy to see why mobile productivity is a must for her, and her email and calendar strategies play a big part in making this possible.

Intentional use of business email helps with time management

With all the different ways clients can potentially reach out, prioritizing responses can get a little overwhelming. Mellicia solves this by being clear about what types of correspondence calls for an email, and what calls for a text:

“When something is time sensitive, I use text messages, and ask that my clients do the same. Otherwise, we email. This keeps solid boundaries, but also ensures we’re connected in a timely fashion when that’s desired.”

Utilizing business calendaring for managing time and so much more

“My calendar is my life,” Marx says. She is diligent about keeping her shared calendar with her husband in check—her motto is, use it, respect it, and update it immediately. “I use my calendar to plan for the year, balance client events, peaks in work, vacations, and so on. I also look forward to identifying any breaks in billable time. Do I need to complete something on a day without a client or can I just take the day to spend it with my son?”

But for her, business calendaring is much more than just keeping future events in sight—she also uses it to look back at her previous month to see what did or didn’t work. “I can compare my earnings with the white space on my calendar. Did I feel like I was all over the place and yet my calendar doesn’t reflect that? Did I use my non-billable hours wisely? Did I complete big projects when I had the chance? I can’t emphasize enough how integral [my calendar] is to my success.”

Working across devices to keep up with business email and business calendaring

Again, Marx is constantly on the go, so staying on top of mobile productivity is all about being able to communicate with her mobile device. As many SMBs do, Marx accesses her calendar and email from both her computer and her phone, and it’s the ability to seamlessly transition between the two that allows her to stay engaged with clients when it’s important for her to do so.

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