Apptastic – My Favorite Ipad/Iphone Apps for My Business

I frequently get asked about the apps I use for my business so I decided to put all my thoughts in one place.  I’ve also included my other favorite apps, including the ones my kids like to play when they can pry my ipad out of my hands! :) I LOVE my ipad and when I can’t sleep at night, I often pass the time looking for new apps.  

FOR DIRECT SALES

  • Checkout Helper – This is the primary app I use to calculate my Thirty-One orders.  I like the look of it and it is simple and easy to read.  Before using the app for the first time, you program your shipping and tax rates so you only have to enter the product prices when you are calculating an order. There is a running “tape” that shows you every entry you have made so you can quickly double check all the prices that you have entered.  You can also quickly add a discount.  There is even a function that allows you to run reports! You can view all transactions or summaries by day, month, quarter, or year.  There are times when I need a basic calculator and it is frustrating to have to leave the app, open the calculator app, and then go back.  myConsultant DOES have a built-in pop-out calculator that doesn’t disrupt the order you are calculating but I still prefer Checkout Helper.
  • myConsultant – Although I personally prefer Checkout Helper, myConsultant has lots of great features!  There are two components to the app, myCalc and myMileage.  The myCalc component allows you to program your shipping and tax rates as well as an additional shipping charge (this is great for Thirty-One consultants because we have a $4 direct ship charge if the customer would like the order shipped directly to their home instead of to the hostess).  You can even enter the percentage you earn for commission and it will show you how much commission you are earning on that order (This is optional.)  The myMileage component is great for tracking mileage!  It allows you to enter your purpose, start/end odometer readings, and fees.  This information can be exported to your email.  Overall, I think this is an awesome app for all direct sales consultants!  
  • 30/30 – Have a lot to do and a short amount of time?  Do you like tackling tasks the Flylady way? Let’s say you have one hour and you want to get the most out of that power hour by breaking up your tasks.  You can set what tasks you want to accomplish, how long you want to work on those tasks, and what order you want to tackle the tasks.  When you are ready, you simply touch the dial and your time starts.  An example of a power hour might include 10 minutes returning emails, 30 minutes making customer care cals, and 20 minutes touching base with your team through phone calls, emails, or cards.  At the end of each time period, the app will chime letting you know it is time to move on to the next task. Because you know you only have a limited time to spend on each task, you are more likely to give your undivided, focused attention to the task without getting distracted by the other things you need to do.  Of course, it is also a great app for getting chores done around the house, getting your kids to focus on areas of their room, etc.
  • intuit GoPayment – I love having my intuit card reader at vendor events so that I can take credit/debit card payments on the spot!
  • Red Stamp – WARNING – THIS APP CAN BE ADDICTIVE!  Send out fun invitations, party reminders, thank you notes to hostesses, shout outs to team members, etc.  Just plain fun!
  • Names In A Hat – doing an online team or customer incentive where you need to draw a name?  Simply enter all the entrants into this app and it will pull a name out of the hat for you!  Taking a screen-shot of the name and using it as a photo on your group gives credibility to your contest!
  • Hostess Coaching –  I am just starting to use this app this month but I think I’m going to love it! Enter your part information, your to do list, your coaching steps, etc.  Decide on your timing for each step and receive reminders so that you never again forget one of your hostess coaching steps!
  • GoToMeeting – if you ever have to attend a webinar through Go To Meeting, you can add this to your phone so that you don’t miss out even if you are on the go!
  • Puffin – a browser for your ipad/iphone that allows  you to open websites that use flash

BANKING/FINANCIAL

  • Take photos of your receipts.  You can then organize them and make reports of your spending!
  • Pageonce – bill paying

SHOPPING

  • SnipSnap – save, share, and search for awesome coupons!
  • Retail Me Not – because online savings is awesome!
  • Living Social – awesome deals!
  • Groupon – even more awesome deals!
  • Target – because it’s awesome
  • Home Lobby – because the owners are awesome (and so is the store)
  • Etsy – because buying handmade is awesome
  • Zulily – because sales are awesome
  • OKay, I’ll stop with the awesome

PHOTOGRAPHY -I love taking pictures and one of the reasons I wanted to upgrade from the iphone 4 to the iphone 5 was the higher quality camera.  

  • Dash of Color – transforms your photo into a black and white photo and lets you isolate the areas that you want to be in color.
  • PhotoPad – allows you to “write” on your photos
  • Snap – allows you to type notes on your photo
  • Pic Collage – great for sharing multiple photos at once or for comparing before/after photos
  • Diptic – same as Pic Collage
  • Pro HDR – my favorite camera app if you are taking a photo of something still…don’t try it with kids! 

CALENDARS/TO-DO/ORGANIZERS – these just plain don’t work for me.  I like my pen and paper Arc planner too much.  I tried.  I really, really tried.  I don’t remember enough about each one to give good pros/cons and so much is personal preference so I’m just going to list some options to look into.

  • Cozi – this is probably the highest rated of the ones I tried and many of my friends and fellow Thirty-One consultants use and love this app.  I especially loved that my husband and I could share the program so anything he put on his phone would sync to mine and vice versa.  LOTS of options.  My main complaint was that I could not view the calendar the way I wanted to!
  • Life Topix – PACKED with options to organize your life!
  • Crosscheck
  • RTM (Remember the Milk)
  • Get it Done
  • UYH (Use Your Handwriting) – I thought MAYBE this would help me with the transition from paper and pen but the novelty wore off
  • Awesome Calendar

NOTES

  • Noteshelf – this is my favorite!
  • 53 Paper – for drawing and sketching, this can’t be beat.  LOVE IT.  I bought the extra pens making this probably the most expensive app I’ve purchased but my kids love to draw and I was tired of the paper everywhere.  This way they get to each have their own “sketchbook” with a custom color they pick.
  • Penultimate
  • Notability
  • Remarks

TAKE A BREAK

  • Not Always Right – these are always a fun read
  • Candy Crush Saga – this game is crazy addictive but you only get 5 lives at a time so it is nice when I need a brief break and I know I won’t get caught up for too long!

TRAVEL

  • Yelp – great when you are trying to find a particular type of restaurant and the reviews are usually very helpful
  • Find Me Gluten Free – if you or someone close to you is GF (like me!), this is a must when traveling and trying to find a place to eat!

GOOD TO HAVE

  • Find iPhone – I hate to admit that I misplace my phone…in my house…all the time.  Having this app on my ipad helps me to make sure I can find it quickly!  You should always make sure you have this option enabled on your Apple devices in case of theft.  It won’t help if your thief knows what they are doing but hopefully if this ever happens to you, the crook won’t be as smart as the one who stole my first ipad!
  • QR Reader – look for one with good ratings but they should all be pretty much the same
  • Quick Scan – I LOVE that you can find reviews online before you buy and I hate making a purchase without researching first.  But what if you are in a store and see something you think you might want to purchase?  This awesome app scans the barcode (or you can type it in) and then pulls up reviews, online prices, retailers, etc.  LOVE! (scans QR AND barcodes if you purchase the pro version)
  • Sign Now – allows you to “sign” online documents
  • MyScript Calculator – somehow reads your handwritten math problem (including square root and fractions) and gives you the answer.  SO wonderful for quickly checking homework! 

MOM-APPROVED GAMES

  • My PlayHome – my 10 year old likes this but my 7 year old could literally play with it for HOURS!
  • Cupcakes and Cupcake Chef – I will never quite understand the appeal to these but at least Cupcake Chef actually teaches *a little* about cooking
  • Sock Puppets – I can’t even describe how much fun it is!
  • Flow – I really encourage this one because it is a great way to practice quick critical thinking
  • Number Cruncher – gets some math studying in!
  • Gelato Mania – Fun visual puzzle
  • Where’s My Water – okay, this is one of my favorites too!
  • Unblock Me – puzzle
  • Cooking Mama
  • Temple Run
  • Mancala
  • Battleship – Just like the board game! Can play 1 or 2 player
  • Toca Band – you might even want to join in!
  • Bubble Mania
  • The Electric Company Game – needs sibling cooperation!
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Spelling Bee

So proud of Hailey for winning her school spelling bee! The county spelling bee is the 16th!

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A Dream Come True – Part 2

In just a few short months, I will celebrate my fourth anniversary with Thirty-One.  For the past three years, I have been in leadership and eligible to earn the Leadership Incentive Trip.  The first year I was eligible, I didn’t think much about it because it seemed out of my reach and the Thirty-One lightbulb hadn’t fully turned on for me yet.  Although I was recruiting and loving the company and the products, I wasn’t having as many parties as I needed in order to make the sales volume to earn the trip and that was okay with me.  At that point in my life, having more than 1-2 parties a month was not a goal for me.  I was happy with where I was and had my hands full with everything else that was going on in my life.  I did, however, turn a little green when I started seeing my friends post about the awesome time they were having and starting seeing the gorgeous photos from Riviera Maya. I decided then that I was going to actually make it a goal to earn the trip the next year.  Although I didn’t make it again the next year, I was grew my business and my team and was able to cut my hours at my job to part-time.  Once again, I lived vicariously through my friends as they posted their photos and their experiences on Facebook.  The only difference was that by then, I had MORE friends who were on the trip.  There was NO WAY I was going to miss the trip for a third time in a row!!  With goals of being able to quit my other job completely AND make it on the leadership trip, I had to get serious…and I did.  Together with my Thirty-One sales coach, we worked through the steps I needed to take and the objectives I would need to meet in order to earn my seat by the pool!  The day I met the last requirement for that trip was a day I hope never to forget.  I was so proud of that accomplishment and so excited that I was able to take my husband on an all-expense paid trip to Cancun, Mexico! (and when I say all expenses, I mean ALL expenses…they even sent us pre-paid credit cards for any incidentals we might incur such as parking, taxis, or tips getting to and from the airport!)

I had never been out of the country before so even getting my passport in the mail was a huge thrill for me! There were so many wonderful things about the trip that I can’t possibly name them all but among the highlights were going snorkeling for the first time, meeting some fabulous new friends, getting to personally thank Scott and Cindy Monroe for the trip and the coaching opportunity they provide to their leaders, and of course…the food.  Having food restrictions (I can’t have gluten, dairy, or eggs) made me a little nervous…it wasn’t like I could just run to Whole Foods and pick up something to eat.  I was BLOWN AWAY by how wonderful the resort staff was about my food restrictions and how they made it feel like I was doing THEM a favor by allowing them to make me a special meal.  The food was out of this world amazing…I even had one of the Chefs (Chef Alejandro) come out so that I could thank him and give him a big hug!

Thirty-One provides us with incentives and rewards to challenge us and encourage us to grow and sustain our business.  The great thing is that if you set goals and objectives and work your plan…the sky is your limit and you can have one of the most rewarding careers available!

Here are just a few photos from our amazing trip!  I am so thankful to my amazing team, my customers, and my family for everything they did to help make this trip possible…and to Thirty-One for providing us with a vacation that really was a dream come true!

Our goodie bag we received at check-in!

Our goodie bag we received at check-in!

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Thirty-One added a little fun to our arrival!

A beautiful welcome!

A beautiful welcome!

 

Welcome dinner by the beach

Welcome dinner by the beach

 

Temporary but fun!

Temporary but fun!

 

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Just gorgeous - taken from our balcony.

Just gorgeous – taken from our balcony.

 

After dinner with great friends!

After dinner with great friends!

 

Before leaving to renew our vows!

Before leaving to renew our vows!

 

We renewed our vows by the beach thanks to our friend, Robin!

We renewed our vows by the beach thanks to our friend, Robin!

 

My new vow-renewal ring!

My new vow-renewal ring!

 

Mayan coffee

Mayan coffee

 

 

 

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A Dream Come True!

So…I’ve been a little busy.  My poor blog has been neglected once again.  However, thanks to some awesome news I have to share, I will hopefully be back to updating more frequently.

From the end of my pregnancy with Hailey until the end of my maternity leave, I remember sitting in front of the computer in our living room searching and searching for a way to make money from home.  It was a dream of mine to be with my new baby all day and I searched and reviewed and read countless websites.  Unfortunately, I never considered in-home sales.  I am not a natural salesperson.  Not only that, I had this image in my head of what a typical sales consultant would be like and how a home show would play out.  This is funny because I had NEVER gone to a direct sales party other than one of those crazy sales meetings they have at the hotels that seem solely focused on the recruiting and team building instead of the actual product.  I’ll just say it…when I thought of direct sales, I immediately thought “pyramid scheme”.  My thoughts and preconceived notions couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Although it would be easy for me to say I wish I had found the Thirty-One opportunity sooner, in retrospect, I can see why God led me down the path that He did and I know that His timing is perfect.  I started working as the director of a child care center right before Hailey turned 2 so I really had the best of both worlds – I had the financial security AND I got to be with my kids during the day.

As my children got older and I started to get more involved with Thirty-One, I realized that it was within my reach to build my team and my business and get to the point where I could quit my job and stay at home working my Thirty-One business full-time.  At the end of 2012, I knew that it was the right time for me to make this leap of faith. I am very excited to say that December 21 was my last day at the child care center!!  What an amazing feeling it was to know that I would be able to be there for my daughters even more as they reach the difficult years of middle school and beyond.

Stay tuned…I have 2 more “dreams come true” stories to share!

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Spread the Word – End the Word!

Spread the Word – End the Word!

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Happy Anniversary to ME!

It has been three years since I joined Thirty-One gifts as a consultant.  I had NO IDEA how my life would change as a result of that one decision.

I saw a Thirty-One booth at our county fair in the fall of 2008.  I remember telling my husband that I would never “do” direct sales but if I did, those were the products I wanted to sell.  It stayed on my mind for months and when I saw that a friend was selling, I asked her for a catalog and HAD TO HAVE the skirt purse (this was the OLD one with the ties which I never use anymore because I like the newer style better but I refuse to get rid of it!).  I booked a party with her for April but couldn’t wait to get my purse so I ordered it for my birthday in March (easiest birthday present my husband ever got me!).  At my party, I talked more than the hostess did and she said I should be a consultant.  There was a special that month that allowed you to join for $25 and they took the balance out of your first commission check…what did I have to lose?

In the beginning my WHY was to earn enough money to be able to buy Thirty-One and other “fun” non-essential things without worrying about our budget or feeling guilty for spending money.  When I realized that I could actually make pretty good money with Thirty-One, my WHY was expanded.  I had always said that I wanted to be home with my girls in the afternoon by the time Hailey started middle school.  It was a dream because I never thought it would actually be possible.  I was able to go part-time at my job in the middle of Hailey’s third grade year (and I owe a lot to my boss for allowing me to do that!).  Now my WHY is to continue to be able to spend more time with my family and continue on our path to being debt-free (happy to say we have NO credit cards!).  My WHY is also to share this opportunity with other women to empower them to have control over their lives and their finances and to be able to achieve their dreams.  I especially love helping those that are trying to find a way to stay at home with their babies.  I remember sitting at my computer desk during my maternity leave searching online for a work-at-home opportunity that wasn’t a scam or a pyramid scheme.  That was not in God’s plan for me at the time but His plan is always greater than our plan!  As I look at my downline numbers now, I know without a doubt that I am exactly where He wants me to be and I thank Him for his many blessings!

Thirty-One is not MY business, it is my FAMILY’S business.  My husband is a HOTtie (Husband of Thirty-One) and supports me 100% even when that means helping me put labels on catalogs in the middle of the night!  My children of course carry Thirty-One wherever they go and my oldest especially loves to tell everyone about Thirty-One and will tell them what they need to buy!  My girls help sort orders when they come in, they help stamp order forms, label catalogs, etc.  It doesn’t hurt that they know that our upcoming trip to Disney is being paid for by Thirty-One Dream Rewards!

I can’t wait to see what the next 3 years have in store for me!

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Thirty-One Outlet Sale Starts April 18th!

If you don’t know me personally, you can probably tell by my banner photo that I don’t just sell Thirty-One, I LOVE the products and use them in all aspects of my life.

(In fact, it *might* be getting a little crazy. Tonight I reworked my keys so that I can unsnap them from my Thirty-One key fobs so that I can change my key fob to match the purse I am carrying or my mood for that day!)

I get SO excited when we have an outlet sale because you never know what might be included and with prices marked down 50-80%, I can scoop up lots of bargains for hostess gifts, party prizes, baby gifts, birthday gifts…you get the idea. Less than 8 hours to go!! The outlet sale opens at 9 AM EST today, Wednesday, April 18th, and will be open until midnight on the 20th or while supplies last!

 

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