How to Work Smarter Not Harder

Raise your hand if you’ve heard this speech before.

If you own your own business, are a Manager/VP/higher up in a company, or, really, have any type of job, you have probably become very familiar with the “how to work smarter not harder” speech. However, sometimes we need to hear it again. And again.

Or at least I know I do…

As business men and women, it’s easy to talk about working smarter not harder, but it’s a completely different story to actually implement it in our everyday work lives. We get so set in our ways of working that we think if we change things up then our everyday tasks will actually become more difficult (hint: that won’t happen).

Over the past few months, I have completely redone the way I file through new clients, respond to current clients, and even how I time track. Check out a few of the programs I’ve started using below!


Do you ever feel like you’re drowning in emails? Do you send the. same. emails. when trying to pitch your services to every new client? I know you do.

17Hats will be your saving grace. It is an all inclusive client management platform that helps streamline processes so well that you could use it to keep your systems strong and consistent. Hypothetically, you get an inquiry from your website, have them set up a call, fill out a questionnaire, review a contract without ever opening your email. Like I said… your new saving grace.

Want to get started with 17Hats? Click here to get started!


These 2 programs work hand-in-hand with each other. They are great for companies with 20+ people and work just as well with a company of 1.

Just like you’ve probably heard “work smarter not harder” a hundred times, you’ve probably heard “don’t reinvent the wheel”. Asana is designed to help organize, track, and manage your workflow. It is so easy to lose track of where you are in a project when you have your work spread across too many tools (or too many people). Asana helps you consolidate the tasks in every project so nothing falls through the cracks.

“What about tracking time on those projects?” I’m glad you asked.

Everhour is a time tracking software that can link directly to Asana. You can set your rate, time limit, and even a price limit on every project. This works great for when I’m working on a design project for a client, and it works just as great for my team. I can see who is working on what and for how long.

There are so many great attributes to both Everhour and Asana. If you don’t have either of these, I highly suggest looking into them for your team.

Click here to get started with Asana, and click here to check out Everhour.


If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time in the car for work. For me, I am constantly running to the printers, dropping off designs at different companies, driving to speak at conferences, and so many other errands. Before the MileIQ app, I used my Notes app to log odometer readings + the purpose of each and every “work” errand I ran and frankly, wasting my time.

With the MileIQ app, it learns your frequent drives, and it allows you to file each drive as “personal” or “business”. Then, at the end of each month or year (depending on your preference), it will send you a report of the miles you logged. The app is about $60/year, but considering you’re saving so much time (and the fact that it is completely IRS compliant!), it is well worth it.

Does this sound like something you or your business needs? Click here to get started with MileIQ. (<— if you use my referral code, you’ll get 20% off!)

Is there something that your team uses that you just can’t live without? Drop a comment below! We’re always excited to learn about new ways to help streamline our process.

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are personal referral links, meaning you get a discount and I get a little incentive (discount or cash back) from the platform myself. It’s a win-win!

Laura Balfour2 Comments