I have a lot of products that I use on a regular basis. This month, however, there have been a few that have stood out for a variety of reasons. Some of these products make my life easier, some make my business run smoothly, and others have kept me comfortable. Products I’ve been loving this month include:
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I bought a voice recorder recently to help me with this blog. Honestly, I spend a decent amount of time in the car and figured that maybe I could squeeze some extra time out of my day by recording my first draft of blog posts. I purchased this particular model and I’ve been loving it so far!
It picks up my voice easily so I can turn it on and put it next to me in the car. It’s not distracting that way. It’s simple to use and only has a few buttons. I’m a huge fan of simple and not overwhelming. With all my responsibilities, I don’t have time for fluff so let me hit record and go!
The battery life has been fantastic so far. I can record several car trips without needing to recharge. I’ve gotten a lot of great ideas down at times when I can’t write. My daughter isn’t the biggest fan of me writing (she wants to hold any pen she sees), so it’s also been wonderful for “writing” things down at home. I use a website called DeepGram to convert my words to text and the whole process saves me a lot of time!
I’ve had my tablet for a little while now and I LOVE it. Most of my day is spent on a computer between my part-time day job as a project manager and then again writing blog posts and marketing my Etsy shops. I create a lot of designs on my computer so even when I’m at home there’s a lot of time spent in front of a computer.
Having a tablet makes my life a lot easier. I can carry it around with me because it’s small. It makes answering emails or Etsy inquiries extremely simple. It’s easy to check my email or browse Facebook. I don’t do these things on my computer anymore because they are “time wasters”. Instead, I do them on my tablet so that when I sit down at my computer I’m there to get harder tasks accomplished.
I also love that I can read books on it. I have been plowing through books from my local library (they have Kindle books!) and it’s great to be able to read from my tablet. There’s an app that dims the light at night so I can read before bed and not worry about the blue light. Overall, a huge fan of this tablet.
This was a splurge for my business. After printing and taping each printing label for months, I decided to up my game and purchased a thermal printer. Etsy and Amazon both format their postage for these printers so printing becomes a snap. There’s no ink to worry about and I don’t have to spend two minutes taping it down so the label won’t come off.
The printer has streamlined my shipping process and made the whole thing a lot simpler. Because I can ship packages out faster with this gadget, I’m able to spend more time doing other things, like creating new items or adding personal touches to my packaging.
If you do a lot of shipping, it’s definitely worth it to upgrade to a great thermal printer.
I used to use Marmalead. It was OK, but then I switch to EtsyRank. I have a new specific way of figuring out what tags to use. First, I enter my main keyword into EtsyRank. This is how I would typically describe my product. Next, I go to the related keyword section. I sort by listing. I don’t want to be a little fish in a big pond when it comes to all of my listings.
I start with the smallest number of listings and I work my way down. I only use tags that have at least a medium demand. If I’m between two, I look for higher engagement levels. I never use tags with over 50,000 listings because I’ll never be found!
I do this process with a few different keyword ideas until I’m happy with my list. I try to add one or two competitive keywords (high competition on EtsyRank) to each listing so I’m not missing that traffic. Then I sit back and let the listing go. After about sixty days, I check to see if there are any keywords that just aren’t working for me anymore. I investigate in Etsy and Google Analytics and work on improving my weakest listings.
Since switching, I’ve made huge strides in traffic and this strategy is working well for me.
Our HVAC unit was busted at the end of July. I live in New England where we can easily have over 90 degree days during the summer and 0 or lower degree days in the winter. We also never know when the weather will shift and we’ve been known to have snowstorms one day and 80-degree weather the next. Suffice to say, heating and cooling are extremely important.
We got a few quotes from different companies and as of this week, we’re going to have a brand new unit! It will be a nice upgrade for us. This whole ordeal has shown me just how much I love my Nest Thermostat. We learned how to get a tiny bit of AC out of our old unit. It has made a significant difference (it would be 78 vs. 85 degrees). Part of our routine has become shutting down the system for a set period of time and then rebooting it.
That would have been annoying if we had a regular system, but because we have smart thermostats, I’ve been able to shut down the system when I leave work and turn it back on the second I get home. It usually cools down rather quickly afterward. Altogether, it’s made this summer a bit more comfortable and the Nest Thermostat was worth every single penny!
What products have you been using this month?
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