What tools do you use to keep yourself organized in an industry driven by timelines, design details, vendor contracts, and unforeseen challenges?

What tools do you use to keep yourself organized in an industry driven by timelines, design details, vendor contracts, and unforeseen challenges?
Staying organized and focused in an industry with so many moving parts takes a concerted effort. Event professionals explain how they and their teams stay on top of it all.

I use Honeybook for all proposal building, contracts, payments, and billing.

I’m all about efficiencies! Anything I can do to save time or streamline work-flows… I’m all for! I use Honeybook for all proposal building, contracts, payments, and billing. I love this software because it saves me a ton of time and…time = money!! I was previously spending too much time on proposals and the follow-up process in addition to invoicing and billing. It got to be too much to keep up with. Finding a platform that could streamline this workflow was so important and here are the features I love about it (as well as a discount code below):
HONEYBOOK
– 1-click system for clients! In just one click the client can see the proposal, the contract details, and the payment plan. No more back and forth of proposal agreements then contracts then another form for payment. One-click, one step, so easy to use!
– Payment Processing! In the first contact (proposal/contract) that is initiated, the client can book our services immediately without any further back and forth. The contract is signed and the payment can be made right online with the option of setting up auto-pay.
– Proposal Follow Up & Reminders! I have set up the system to send a nice follow-up email to the client 3-days after opening the proposal. This takes an entire step out of my regular process. In addition, I will get an email from the system when clients have viewed the contract, signed the contract and paid my retainer!!
– Templates! I have each of my planning packages pre-set as a template as well as my add-on services so I’m not re-typing the same information in multiple proposals. I have also set templates for all emails that go along with each step in the process. I still take a second to personalize them where necessary but the bulk of the information is reutilized saving me time and it ensures that all clients are getting the same initial information!
– Personalization! Everything is branded to our brand name Wedicity and our Logo is used throughout. In addition, we can use our own header images which can be changed out to showcase your own work!
– Payment Reminders! Clients receive alerts when a payment is upcoming or when an auto-payment is about to withdraw. The system also sends us an email when clients pay their invoices and installment payments!
I highly suggest Honeybook for any small business! See the link below for a 50% discount coded link!
Honeybook:
Get 50% off your membership!!
"I use Honeybook for all proposal building, contracts, payments, and billing." Click to Tweet

Tionna Van Gundy

Wedding Planner & CEO

Wedicity, Chicago, IL

When it comes to productivity and organization, we (Brink Events) use a slew of software tools to keep us on track.

When it comes to productivity and organization, we (Brink Events) use a slew of software tools to keep us on track. This all starts with the most important and most used communication medium – e-mail. Our in-house client of choice is Gmail.

Taking it one step further, we take full advantage of many features including the ability to “snooze” e-mails or “send later” (at a date and time of your choice). We recommend investigating these features if you don’t already use them. In addition, we also make prevalent use of other notable Google products – including Google Calendar, Google Drive, and Google Docs. The real-time, collaborative, “access from anywhere” nature of these systems makes them versatile and unique when compared with traditional desktop applications.

Beyond the typical productivity suite, we use countless other web-based applications for more specific tasks. From Basecamp for project management, to Buffer for social media scheduling, and Pinterest for mood boards, there are a ton of options out there. It’s important to note that there isn’t a universally perfect combination of software or tools for any given company. It’s up to each company to determine what combination works best for them.

"When it comes to productivity and organization, we (Brink Events) use a slew of software tools to keep us on track." @brinkevents Click to Tweet

Aidan Henry

Owner & Creative Director

Brink Events, Victoria, BC

Aisle Planner is an amazing software that I can do proposals, invoices, vendor timelines, client timelines, my timeline, design, notes, scheduling, checklists - you name it!

When I started my business, I didn’t have a client management system in place. I was using paper folders, excel, and word docs. While my methods were fine and I did stay organized, my workflow was not there and I was wasting a ton of time redoing things and copying and pasting.

I was fortunate enough that my business grew quickly. 6 months after I started, I started researching software, apps, and anything that would make life a little more organized and a little easier.

I found my best friend, Aisle Planner! Aisle Planner is an amazing software that I can do proposals, invoices, vendor timelines, client timelines, my timeline, design, notes, scheduling, checklists – you name it!

I created templates for every situation, every package and it seriously has changed my life. To send a proposal out, literally 2 mins. To send a contract and invoice, 5 mins and they can pay right there! All of my leads through my website are streamlined right through this platform and it just makes everything so seamless. I input all of my vendor contacts in here as soon as I get them! I can also make notes on each vendor that remains private from clients. If you choose so, you can even invite your clients to participate in their project, taking some of the tasks off of your plate! It’s definitely worth checking out!

All of my assistants have access to this software and are invited to a specific project if they are working it so they can be in the know of everything that is going on!

I also have 2 emergency bags (one as a backup if needed). This little baby is used at every single event I do! Want to talk organized lol! I even have a map inside of the bag to show where each labeled bag is located. This not only makes it easier to find things, but it also helps me quickly identify if I am in need of restocking items I use a lot of!

Check it out:

https://www.aisleplanner.com/referral/oadq

"Aisle Planner is an amazing software that I can do proposals, invoices, vendor timelines, client timelines, my timeline, design, notes, scheduling, checklists - you name it!" @evl_events Click to Tweet

Samantha Nelson

Owner

Ellicottville Events, Ellicottville, NY

There are some great app-based tools as well that can be applied to event production, but ultimately wisdom and experience are irreplaceable assets in this industry.

Organization is life when it comes to event production. If you don’t have hyper-hyper organizational skills, you might be in the wrong industry.

Managing the creative elements along with the logistical elements of any given event can include requesting vectorized files from your clients’ other agencies to signing & returning legal documents from an airplane and everything in between. Because we work nationally, Joe Moller Events (JME) utilizes a cloud-based operating system that allows us global access from our smartphone to any terminal in the world; to allow us to very efficiently access and manage all our digital assets.

In the field, we have a road-tested tool kit that we bring to every event that allows us the ability to complete known and unknown tasks in the field. Also having some diversification within your team can be a powerful tool. We have a “signage guy” and a “decor guy” and a few other key players that take the lead on making sure everything is executed as planned on event days. We developed both our tool kits and our production management capabilities over time, learning and perfecting our craft at every opportunity.

There are some great app-based tools as well that can be applied to event production, but ultimately wisdom and experience are irreplaceable assets in this industry. And clients expect their production teams to be more developed and seasoned than the tools they are using.

"There are some great app-based tools as well that can be applied to event production, but ultimately wisdom and experience are irreplaceable assets in this industry." Click to Tweet
Joe Moller Events

Joe Moller

CEO

Joe Moller Events (JME), Los Angeles, CA

Strong organizational skills are the key ingredient to being a successful event planner.

Strong organizational skills are the key ingredient to being a successful event planner. When you’re working on a big event, communication and documentation skills also play a major role in not only organizing yourself, but everyone involved. When everything is organized you have less stress and your creativity as a planner can shine.

I keep a firm handle on the details from the beginning and that starts with the proposal. I use Proposable to create the proposal, deliver, track, collaborate, price and ultimately contract. It’s an amazing tool that streamlines everything. In our industry, we always hear “I need it yesterday” and by using Proposable it helps me be more efficient and make it happen even when I’m on the go.

Cvent is also a great tool, especially when it comes to gathering information about multiple venues and/or space. It has everything you need to know about the space and it’s all in one place. Every venue and hotel has that info available on their website but digging to find it can be time-consuming. Having all those details saved in the client file and ready to go in case you need it is a huge time saver.

I also love Social Tables for creating diagrams, quickly. It helps you map out the smallest details and really brings the event to life. There’s no better way to guarantee that you and your client are on the same page than having a visual aide. It also helps from the operational standpoint because everything is approved and ready to go for the vendors.

Last but not least it really comes down to the basics. Saving files and documenting all the details, making sure your emails are sorted and organized and your calendar is up to date. Putting together an event is a team effort, so make sure you have all the information available so that everyone is on the same page.

"Strong organizational skills are the key ingredient to being a successful event planner." @echelon_eventsg Click to Tweet

Dorie Beacham

VP of Sales

Echelon Events Group, Las Vegas, NV

The best tool that I use that allows not only my team to collaborate and see where things are in the planning journey, but also allows clients to see what is being done and when is Aisle Planner.

The best tool that I use that allows not only my team to collaborate and see where things are in the planning journey, but also allows clients to see what is being done and when is Aisle Planner.

Our clients like to be informed. Sometimes they have questions at 2 am in the morning and aren’t able to reach us. We’ve removed a lot of stress by housing everything in Aisle Planner which answers those 2 am questions.

Contracts, design boards, timelines, you name it is there. I don’t like sending my clients to multiple platforms or searching through emails just to find what they need. I much rather give them one central location for it all and Aisle Planner does that for us.

The best takeaway is that this is in the cloud. That means our clients can access this information from around the world.

"The best tool that I use that allows not only my team to collaborate and see where things are in the planning journey, but also allows clients to see what is being done and when is Aisle Planner." @MrAndrewRoby Click to Tweet

Andrew Roby

Event Storyteller

Andrew Roby Events, Washington, D.C.

I learned about these tools when I attended a planner's conference in NYC organized by Liz King - Techsytalk Live Events.

I would like to share two of the most important tools that I use to coordinate, and manage events. I learned about these tools when I attended a planner’s conference in NYC organized by Liz King – Techsytalk Live Events.

I met amazing industry professionals who have many years of experience coordinating, planning and managing conferences, various types of corporate socials, galas and weddings.

I have implemented both programs for every client and it helps to make the planning process both efficient, and effective. Your team members will love receiving “real time” updates.

Allseated.com:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RW9QKn5abZU&feature=share

Prepared.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5MV3gJrIp4&feature=share

My passion is to curate the most awesome team of industry professionals, highlight my clients’ unique signature style and vision and create a beautiful experience. This is all possible thanks to the talent that we have in this industry and the use of specialized tools and apps which help planners create a seamless and user-friendly experience for the entire team.

"I learned about these tools when I attended a planner's conference in NYC organized by Liz King - Techsytalk Live Events." Click to Tweet

Abigail Vasquez Bruton

Director of Creative Experiences

Signature Events by Abby, Palm Beach, FL

Our team uses a task management software, Asana, to keep track of all our inquiries, projects, logistics, purchasing needs, and event deadlines.

Our team uses a task management software, Asana, to keep track of all our inquiries, projects, logistics, purchasing needs, and event deadlines. We weave that into other applications including Quickbooks, which we use for accounting and Microsoft 365 which keeps all our client and vendor information organized in folders, emails, files, and spreadsheets. In addition, we utilize cloud storage and apps to communicate and stay organized on larger projects that involve communicating with a team of people outside our organization.

The key to using any of these apps or programs is keeping them organized. The tools alone are not the solution for organization, but rather a tool that can be used to assist in becoming and staying organized. Each needs to be programmed to best fit your own teams’ working method. Like any tool, they are only useful if everyone on the team is trained to use them and actually uses them. I have each of our planners organize their file folders and names of documents the same way so any one of us can put our hands on a document in their absence.

"Our team uses a task management software, Asana, to keep track of all our inquiries, projects, logistics, purchasing needs, and event deadlines." @hidartist Click to Tweet

Heidi Hiller

Owner | Creative Director

Innovative Party Planners, Baltimore, Maryland

Boomerang for Gmail is my best friend.

Boomerang for Gmail is my best friend. As a wedding planner, I get a lot of correspondence that’s important, but not at this very moment. With Boomerang, I can set the message to come back later at an appropriate time. This tool is one of the most important ways that I manage my daily workload.

I don’t know what I’d do without AislePlanner. I used to run my events off of spreadsheets and DropBox, but every process took up a lot of time. When last-minute guest changes rolled in (as they always do!) I had to manually update every component of the event. When I wanted to create custom timelines for each vendor, I had to copy/paste the entire timeline into a new document, edit it as needed, and then remember to go back and change it if something changed on a different timeline! It was so stressful. Now, these things are as easy as checking a box and re-printing the documents.

"Boomerang for Gmail is my best friend." @MeggieFrancisco Click to Tweet

Meggie Francisco

Wedding Planner and Designer

Meggie Francisco Events, Columbus, OH

I use a three-page form that I created from experience.

I use a three-page form that I created from experience. When everything is filled out, it is time to Party!!! It is a document that keeps me very organized. I go through it with a client multiple times during the planning process. It makes it impossible to forget anything.

"I use a three-page form that I created from experience." Click to Tweet

Jamie Joffe

Owner/Planner

Jamie Joffe Events, Chicago, IL

I utilize Aisle Planner as my CRM system...

I utilize Aisle Planner as my CRM system to assist with managing initial inquiries in addition to contracting & invoicing and project management for each wedding & event.

Internally, my team and I stay organized through Google Drive, Calendly and Planoly for social media management.

"I utilize Aisle Planner as my CRM system..." @urban_soiree Click to Tweet

Renee Sabo

Founder and Lead Wedding Consultant

Urban Soiree, Boston, MA

Tools New Creations Weddings utilizes to keep ourselves organized is mainly Dropbox.

Tools New Creations Weddings utilizes to keep ourselves organized is mainly Dropbox. My team and I share an account that houses all our files and is an easy place to drag and drop to store planning docs, checklists, as well as our huge photo files from past weddings. We have created checklist docs specific to each type of service we offer that includes everything from Contracts and Retainers received to the Post-wedding Questionnaire sent. This helps ensure everyone on the team is following the same format and offering consistent service across our company.

We’ve tried Aisle Planner, however, found that it wasn’t for us. It’s been really easy for each of us to share and access Dropbox, and that has worked very well for us. That’s pretty much it! We’ve tried not to reinvent the wheel, and just use what works for us and our clients.

"Tools New Creations Weddings utilizes to keep ourselves organized is mainly Dropbox." @NewCreationsWed Click to Tweet

Rebecca Grant

Owner/Lead Planner

New Creations Weddings, Kirkland, WA

I live and breathe on Google Drive!

I live and breathe on Google Drive! This allows me to easily share documents and timelines with my clients, vendors, and colleagues and ensure everyone has the most up to date version at all times.

I also use Microsoft One Note for internal purposes for me to track meeting notes, brainstorming ideas, goals, leads, documents and much more! What I love about both is that I can access them on my computer and mobile devices so no matter where I am I have easy access to the information.

"I live and breathe in Google Drive!" Click to Tweet

Kelly Soule

Founder/Principal Planner

Kelly Elizabeth Events, Boston, MA

I use Honeybook as a CRM to manage inquiries, send proposals, sign contracts, store documents and send emails

I use Honeybook as a CRM to manage inquiries, send proposals, sign contracts, store documents and send emails—so pretty much everything!

When it comes to creating timelines, I’m a huge fan of Timeline Genius—software that saves planners hours when the time comes to create timelines for client events.

"I use Honeybook as a CRM to manage inquiries, send proposals, sign contracts, store documents and send emails" Click to Tweet

Maya Tarach

Owner and Certified Wedding & Event Planner

Preoccupied Bride Events, Evanston, IL

You need a lot of tools to keep all the events straight especially if there are multiples in one day!

I use a lot of different things. I have a computer file for each event with details on spreadsheets and individual tabs.
I have a calendar on my phone and I have a calendar on my wall with all my events on them.
You need a lot of tools to keep all the events straight especially if there are multiples in one day!
"You need a lot of tools to keep all the events straight especially if there are multiples in one day!" Click to Tweet

Lori Rizzo

CEO/Creative Founder

Lori Rizzo Events,