15 Things That Bring Joy to My “Type-A, Frugal, Glass Half-Full” Life


Photo by Angela Garbot Photography

Due to childcare  and illness issues, earlier this week, three! of my five speakers on a panel I curated cancelled last minute. That and bad weather are an Event Planner’s worst nightmare. All of the planning, the promotion, the webpage creation, the logistical emails…oy. Ironically, I had created the event four months in advance so as to save any scrambling (patted myself on the back a few times for being such a long-term visionary) and it was a panel on balancing life as an entrepreneur, delving into time-management, efficiency, and organization. So much for any of those!

The continual stream of inquiries I get from strangers and friends alike, asking me some version of the questions “How do you stay so organized? How do you juggle everything? Can I pick your brain about _____?” combined with the speaker cancellations resulted in me jumping on my own panel at the eleventh hour; luckily, it was still a fab evening. I wasn’t stoned by the masses who had come to see not-me, folks enjoyed drink and food by Chocolate Shop Wine and The Cooking Chicks, and discussion, both informal during the un-networking and formal during the panel, was thought-provoking and collaborative.

Steered by Miki Johnson, Tricia Meyer of Meyer Law, Bryn McCoy of Citizen Made, and I of Mac ‘n Cheese Productions shared personal stories about being proverbial wearer of many hats female small business owners, and tips and tricks that’ve made our lives easier. Since there were so many ohhh’s and ahhh’s when I mentioned some of the simple ‘n free tools I use, thought I’d share them with you, dear blog-reader, in hopes that you may find some calm in any chaos you may have in your life. Even if the chaos is just an inbox with an overwhelming number of unread emails.

Some of the list inclusions have nothing to do with time-management or the like, but are entities that’ve  enriched my life via personal development or saving a buck or two. If you have your own life-savers, do share!

More photos from the panel.

Fifteen Life of Yes! Loves

  1. Rapportive – Rapportive shows you everything about your contacts right inside your inbox. Photo of them, their title, where they work, and links to their social media accounts, so you can link to them right there, without having to leave gmail.
  2. Boomerang – If you’re looking for a simple system to send off emails at a specified date, Boomerang does the trick wonderfully. It also tracks emails to remind you to follow up with someone, and reminds you if someone doesn’t get back to you.
  3. Buffer –  Buffer makes your life easier with a smarter way to schedule the great content you find. Fill up your Buffer at one time in the day and Buffer automagically posts them for you through the day. Simply keep that Buffer topped up to have a consistent social media presence all day round, all week long.
  4. LastPass – This free password manager and form filler relieves the stress of trying to remember a slew of passwords. If you regularly move between multiple computers, devices and operating systems, LastPass securely stores and gives you access to any of your account credentials.
  5. Swizzle – Subscribed to tons of newsletters you no longer read but still get? Swizzle helps you easily unsubscribe from unwanted commercial email and rolls up the emails you do want into one simple daily digest.
  6. HelloSign – no more printing out a document, signing it, scanning it, and sending! Digitize your signature and do it all in Gmail.
  7. ToDoist – online ToDoList. I love always having access to my list! (And Fiancé and I are using WeDoist to plan our wedding)
  8. Doodle – If you’re trying to find a convenient time to meet several people. No more 23 emails back and forth trying to find a time that works for all!
  9. Canned Responses – If you’re sick of typing out the same reply every time someone emails you with a common question, now you can compose your reply once and save the message text with the “Canned responses” button. Later, you can open that same message and send it again and again.
  10. Airbnb – Our fave travel-lodging site! If you’d rather stay in a home than in a hotel, this is for you. We had a gorgeous condo for $37 a night in Asheville, NC, and just booked our Hawaii honeymoon with them.
  11. Prezi – stop using Powerpoint for presentations! Easy, fun way to make you look like a creative genius. Just don’t go overboard on the zooming.
  12. Lifehacker – my go to resource for all things random yet useful, from technology reviews to DIY projects to how to save money tips.
  13. Power2Switch – Power2Switch is the easiest way to switch your electricity supplier and save money on your electric bill. Since I switched in the Fall, have saved over $80, for doing nothing but saying no thanks, ComEd!
  14. Uber – request a cab ride anytime anywhere using this awesomely simple app! No cash is exchanged, even tip, it all goes on the credit card linked to your account. I usually get rides in five minutes.
  15. Dabble – Whether learning a new skill, dusting off a rusty one, or finding a new pastime, Dabble makes it easy to try something new. Or you can be a teacher instead of a student, and earn some extra income doing what you love!!! [I’ve had 20+ students at all my How to Design a Life of Yes! classes thus far; was going to take a break for awhile but so energized by awesome last class, added another!]