One of the most common questions I get from aspiring planners is what programs I use to both plan weddings and manage my business. I’ve been a Smartsheet user for over a year now, and I don’t know that I will ever go back to anything else. I guest posted for them back in June, and I thought I would share that post here today, with you.
Originally posted on June 5, 2014 on Smartsheet’s blog:
I spent nearly three years searching for the perfect planning solution before finding Smartsheet. I have no idea how many trials and subscriptions I went through, but I was so particular about what it was that I wanted. I was in software development prior to becoming a wedding planner, after all, so I knew what I did and didn’t want. My problem has always been that weddings are only a portion of what I do as a creative small business owner. I’m also a blogger, calligrapher, entrepreneur, employer, administrative assistant, accountant, project manager, etc. (you get the picture)
I’ve been using Smartsheet for almost a year now and I doubt that I’ll be looking back anytime soon. It wasn’t until I found Smartsheet that I finally figured out a system that reconciled all of these things and gave me a tool to manage all of my projects and tasks at once.
I have different spreadsheets for my clients and my weddings, but I also have a spreadsheet solely for my current projects. It’s here that I can assign projects to my assistants, confirm whether something is in progress or not, and see the priority of a certain project. One glance at this spreadsheet lets me know what I should be working on in any given day.
Client Information Form
One of my favorite Smartsheet features is the ability to create forms from a single sheet, namely client information. Once a client confirms that they’re going to book with me, I send them a link to my Client Information form, where they input all of the information I need from them in order to create a contract. The form automatically inserts their information into my general Clients spreadsheet, where I can see all of my client information at once.
Wedding Planning Spreadsheets and Checklists
Now, this is where the functionality of Smartsheet really stands apart from other programs I’ve used in my wedding planning processes in the past. I love that I can create a wedding planning template and use it for all of my clients.
I prefer to use the Red-Yellow-Green light balls for my status column, so that I can see, at a glance, what I’m currently working on and what we still need to get done. I also specify a due date (obviously) and an assigned column. Though I have myself as assigned by default, I do have two assistants that I can assign specific tasks to, if needed.
The columns on the left side of the sheet really help with ongoing tasks, like coordinating a photographer or researching caterers. I use the Discussion column to record notes and phone calls regarding a specific task, and will attach other templates and documents related to the task, such as rental worksheets and design plans, to the row, typically from Google Drive.
These are just a few ways that I use Smartsheet for my wedding planning business. I also manage all of my clients’ budgets, figure out rental orders, and keep track of all of my vendor contacts in the program as well!
Note that this post contains affiliate links and that I may make a small profit if you sign up to use Smartsheet.