For print on demand manufacturers and retailers, the holiday shopping season can be something of a mixed blessing. Yes, it can be an extraordinarily successful time of the year, a great chance to expand your customer roster and hit yearly sales quotas. However, it can also be a season of unparalleled craziness and stress.
A week out from Black Friday, the crazy is about to truly begin in earnest. To help you navigate this busy time of year, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite organization tools, productivity boosters, and more.
10 Organization Tools for Your Print on Demand Business
Here are a few of our favorite tools to help you navigate the holiday crazies.
1) A good playlist of classical music.
We’re going to start here because we believe in entertainment and music’s ability to change the weather in the room, and to immediately transport you into a more focused, relaxed, and healthy headspace. As you make the final touches on this year’s print on demand offers, look into some good, mind-freeing classical playlists. Here’s one of our favorites, available on Spotify, but you can easily find many more besides.
2) Some ambient tones (for classical music skeptics).
Classical not your thing? Ambient music can help put you in a more relaxed state. Again, there are lots of options to choose from, so we’ll pinpoint just one option, the “Deep Focus” playlist from Spotify.
3) The nTask to-do app.
Whether you’re looking for a personal to-do list or something your whole team can use together, we think nTask is one of the best of the best. Create tasks and subtasks, schedule and assign them, and keep track of everything you need to cross off your list in time for the BFCM craziness.
4) Microsoft To-Do.
An alternative to nTask, this Microsoft product integrates perfectly with your existing Office suite, which may be reason enough for some print on demand pros to start with this one. In particular, we love how this software allows you to import tasks from Outlook or other Microsoft programs, which will save you the time of having to rewrite entries on your to-do list.
Software like this can really help you feel organized, like your head is above water, heading into a busy season. We really recommend getting hooked up with a good to-do app ASAP.
5) Apps that will remind you to give your eyes a break.
If you’re like us, you spend a huge amount of time staring at blue screens, particularly in the weeks leading up to the holiday rush. That’s an inevitable part of the print on demand manufacturing business, but keep in mind that your eyes need breaks sometimes in order to avoid tremendous strain, which can in turn lead to headaches and to increased stress. We really like an app called Eyeleo, which will provide you with reminders throughout your workday to step away for short breaks, as well as the occasional longer one.
6) Apps that encourage you to maintain work/life balance.
In keeping with the previous tool, we think it’s really important to pause for breaks throughout the day. Taking the time to get up, stretch, circulate blood, and perhaps even breathe some fresh air can go a long way toward maintaining sanity during a hectic time of year.
Take a minute to explore Workrave, which is a good tool for keeping you disciplined and focused while still urging you to take mental health breaks as needed. This highly-customizable tool is just great for busy professionals working at peak seasons.
7) A scheduling/calendar app.
Do you have a lot of upcoming meetings with print on demand manufacturing partners, designers, and other key collaborators? If so, you’ll want to get some organization tools that will help you keep track of your availability, without it becoming too cumbersome. The SavvyCal app is a good option because it syncs with Google Calendar, and basically eliminates all the busywork from scheduling meetings, checking availability, etc.
8) An app that provides you with notifications and reminders.
Just want a simple app that will help you keep track of all your due dates and appointments? One tool you might explore is Due, an efficient and streamlined app that makes it easy for you to compile all your obligations in one place, then manage them with minimal effort.
9) Apps to help you manage stress.
Let’s be honest: Pretty much all of us experience stress during the holiday season, and that stress may be especially acute for print on demand manufacturers during BFCM season. As such, you may want to get a little extra help channeling that stress in a productive way, whether that means meditation, breathing exercises, or something else altogether.
There are lots of great stress management apps out there, but we’ll highlight just one Gooten team favorite: Aura furnishes you with a mindfulness journal, soothing nature sounds, breathing exercises, and plenty of other easy ways to keep anxiety at bay.
10) Nature sounds.
For our final recommendation, we’re going to circle back to the idea of relaxing sounds. If you need a break from music but still want something soothing coming through your headphones, you could do a lot worse than the “nature sounds” options available on Spotify, in which you can enjoy some lovely, mind-clearing white noise.