Update From The Trenches...

If my titles of late sound a little dramatic that would be a fairly accurate impression! Between finishing off my website projects and starting to work on my e-course I also squeezed in a couple of small one-page projects AND decided to clean up my computer and some of my productivity processes.

You could argue that the latter could perhaps have waited but I know myself: when my desktop and filing system become too messy and overwhelming then I find it hard to focus on other things that require my full attention. It’s a bit like your home, you can be tidy on the surface but if you keep stuffing things into drawers and cupboards it will catch up with you eventually! And then the clutter turns into energy drainers that make you feel tired and overwhelmed. 

 

So I decided to have a bit of a digital clean-up.

 

First, I dumped Google Apps and Google Drive.

Google Drive was slowing down my computer and to be honest: while it’s very powerful I am just not that enamored with Google, I find it confusing and it never helped me feel more organized, quite the contrary. As part of this I also removed the business email that I had configured through Squarespace. If you purchase your business email through Squarespace it essentially creates a Google Apps account and Google are the ones who host that email. This is not a bad thing at all if you are likely to use all the things that come with a Google Apps account, such as Google Drive and its substantial free cloud storage. It is also nice if you register your domain name through Squarespace as well as your email, then everything is in one convenient place. 

In my case, however, I decided that I really didn’t need to pay the $5 monthly fee for my Google business email. I’ve been a Dreamhost customer for 15 years, that’s where I register all my domain names and host my Wordpress sites (pssst… yes, I still have a couple of dormant WP sites!). I pay Dreamhost a very reasonable annual fee and for that I get unlimited website hosting and unlimited business emails. So when the contractor I work with asked whether he could have his own @kerstinmartin.com email address I decided to cancel my own business email through Squarespace/Google and put it back with Dreamhost, hence saving the monthly fee I was paying. And that is really what triggered this whole process of reviewing my productivity and deciding to dump Google. I do still have one gmail address which I use for Google Search Console so that I can take those extra SEO steps for my website. 

Secondly, I deleted all my files from all cloud services.

I was using three: Google Drive, Dropbox and iCloud. I downloaded everything to my hard drive and then backed it up onto an external hard drive. Of which I have about three or four. Oh, and while I was in there I tidied up a couple of those external hard drives too. I am the first to admit. I get lazy about backing up. Especially since I started using cloud services. But I still think that having local back-ups is a very good idea as well. So now I’ve set a reminder for myself to do weekly back-ups and I am storing one of those outside of our home. And yes - once I have a bit more time I will put selected files back into a cloud service, either dropbox or iCloud. These will be my working files and I am doing this for convenience so that I can access them from all of my devices. But instead of three I am going to use just one cloud service!

Lastly, I organized my digital business folder.

This is where I keep all my client projects and related files. Now that I have a decent client list it made sense to streamline everything and make it easier to access.

Phew. How did this turn into a productivity update??? That wasn’t really my intention when I started writing this post! But as I mentioned earlier, all of these things were draining my energy in a big way and I just needed to create the space to fully focus on my e-course. Mission accomplished!

Thank you for good friends who invite you to a barbecue so you can take some time out!

Thank you for good friends who invite you to a barbecue so you can take some time out!

onwards to those other updates...

I thought it might be nice to share the websites that I recently finished. If you are on the fence about Squarespace I think these can give you a really good idea as to how versatile Squarespace is. Because...

 

Squarespace is so much more than just hipster-bearded-coffee-cup perfect! 

 

If you look at these websites you will get a real sense of how you can use the amazing structure and feel of Squarespace and turn it into your own beautiful website and create something that reflects YOU or YOUR business in a way that gives your visitors a sense of recognition and homecoming. Each of these sites is very different yet they all benefit from Squarespace's elegant touch and well thought-out features and functionality.

Here are my recently completed projects and the Squarespace templates I used:

Skye - A food coach: The Chopping Board
Marquee - A local massage studio: Veritas Massage
Bedford - A Jungian Councelor: Marlene Schiwy
Bedford - A realtor: The Hackner Group
Bedford - An accounting firm: Neweling Chartered Accountants
Cover page - A translation service: Alisa Hamilton Translations

Hmm, yes, I use Bedford a lot :) It's such a flexible template and my clients love it!

One final Squarespace/Mailchimp update: 

If you have a Squarespace blog and are using Mailchimp to send blog notification emails to your readers, Mailchimp implemented a feature that now resizes RSS images, meaning: emails no longer get blown up when the blog post image size exceeds the Mailchimp email template! This is good news!! So now you can set up an RSS campaign in Mailchimp for the full blog post and no longer need to do the excerpts. Unless of course you like those, some people do! If you need help with any of this feel free to contact me

Well, that’s all for today, back into the creation cave I go…. Have a lovely Sunday!