My #1 time saver – canned responses
Do you find yourself answering the same questions over and over again? Perhaps you don’t want to answer pricing or sensitive questions on an FAQ page – the answer for you is canned responses!
I use gmail, so I added a lab called "canned responses" for my most commonly asked questions. I've got pre-written responses for leads, consults, scheduling and support. All I have to do is click "insert canned response" and boom, email is ready to send. No more cut and paste, no more wasted time.
My #2 time saver – online scheduler
Arranging client appointments used to take forever – and at least 3 emails back and forth. Two years ago, I stopped playing the tag game by using timetrade.com. This simple online scheduler ties into my google calendar – I simply set the days and times in TimeTrade that I'm available to talk – and I'm given a link to send to clients. The clients then chooses the best date and time to talk. If I have other appointments in Google calendar, TimeTrade won't allow my client to book that time.
No more back and forth! By far, the best $50 I spend all year. There are tons of scheduling options out there (and ones that will also take payment) so search for the best solution for your needs.
#My 3 time saver – pre-made survey and client briefs
I do a lot of consulting and I like to be well-prepared. Before each session, I send the client a simple form I've created using using wufoo.com – the client fills out the info and I get notified when they've completed the form. I could make a google form, but I like Wufoo for its ease of use and quick customization to match my branding colors. Free + paid plans available.
Quick tip: I get amazing testimonials by sending a pre-made follow-up survey right after my consult calls.
My #4 time saver – pre-made Basecamp project templates
My primary work is custom WordPress site design – so most projects have standard milestones and deliverables. I use Basecamp to manage projects and it allows me to create project templates and to-do lists. Now I can setup new projects in seconds.
My #5 time saver – Boomerang for gmail
I'm admittedly a night-owl – I do my best design work at night. Sometimes I like to respond to emails to get them out the way for the next day – but I never want to setup the expectation that I'm available 24/7. (It's funny, I get more emails Sunday night than any other day…)
My solution? Boomerang for gmail allows me to respond to emails and schedule them to be sent during working hours. Free + paid plans available.