9. The Power of Streamlining School Marketing Workflow and Project Management with Taylor Mobley
Do you wish you can get more done in a day? Taylor explains the power of streamlining your workflow and project management system for effective communication and sustainable processes across small or large teams. She shares her favorite tech tools for automation, helpful strategies for productivity, and how optimization can save your school time, energy, and resources.
About Taylor Mobley:
Taylor Mobley is a mom, content creator, Project Management & Productivity Coach, and host of the Hustle Like a Mother podcast. Her mission is to help women streamline the systems behind their business so that they can live truly in their zone of genius.
Aubrey: Today we’re joined by Taylor Mobley. Taylor is a mom, content creator podcast, host and productivity and efficiency coach. Her mission is to help women streamline the systems behind their businesses so that they can truly live in their zone of genius. Welcome Taylor.
Taylor: Thank you so much for having me. I am so excited to be here.
Tara: Yeah, we’re excited that you’re here too, and I’m excited to meet you and chat about all the geeky things that we do and like to do so, tell us more about yourself.
Taylor: Yeah. So as Aubrey said, I am first and foremost, a productivity and efficiency coach for small businesses, specifically women entrepreneurs.
And I work majority with moms as well, really my big passion since I had my son was being able to help moms in business really streamline their systems so that they can save time, still have success in their business, but also get that time with their kiddos. So that’s what I’m super passionate about.
And I’ve called myself a serial entrepreneur because I’ve started so many different things in my life before landing on the thing that I ended up really finding my zone of genius in which is the productivity and efficiency. I think it’s really helps me have a ton of perspectives for entrepreneurs to be able to help them really, I feel like I’ve really gotten the starting of a business down to a science on the productivity part of it with all of my past businesses.
And now that I’m really into my zone of genius here, I just feel like I have a lot of great tips and tricks for women in business to really succeed.
Aubrey: Yeah. And I would like to say that what you do is so important. Yeah. I have, I’ve seen your zone of genius and action. And it’s something that I think as we’re developing teams, whether it’s with women, entrepreneurs or schools, right. With the teams. And so often we forget that. Working as a team is different than just working on your own. And if you don’t have the systems and workflow in place, it becomes a whole lot of wasted time and money going down the drain because you’re not taking the time to thoughtfully add, let me plug it, mindfully, at least set up something that, that serves you. And in our, in the case of our audience schools, right in general and their mission. What I would say for those out there who don’t really know what workflow is or project management. Could you speak a little bit about that? So they have a better understanding.
Taylor: Oh my goodness, this is my favorite question. I’m ready, yes. So workflow and project management, I feel like is the base of a business, right? Essentially, this is how your business runs, the systems that you utilize to function. And everything that goes into the backend of organizing and running a business essentially. Right? Because what ends up happening is a lot of people who start businesses have this problem where they have all of their ideas in a million different spots, they’re running a million different apps. They have a dozen different programs. There’s not communication effectively between them and their employees. And they end up just really floundering. So that’s where the workflow and project management comes in. So what that means is you end up streamlining all of your systems so that you have hopefully one home base, a one home project management system, and then all of your workflows, whether there are things that you do manually or automated and you have workflows, even if you don’t think you do, right. So it’s just your step-by-step processes that you use to run your business. But what I come in and do is I streamline those for you. So we take out any unnecessary steps and really make them streamlined workflows. And if we can automate them, then we automate them and if they need to be done manually that’s okay. But you at least have a system where you have that in place so that it can be done faster and with less stress and then project management, that’s what it sounds like, right? It’s managing your project, but in a very streamlined and efficient way. And I like to use project management tools for this. My personal favorite is Trello, but there are tons of project management tools. Asana, Dubsado, Monday. I mean, the list is literally endless. There’s tons and tons of project management systems you can work within. And they are so important because. This gives you your home base. So all of your workflows and your systems and your automations can happen in one spot. All of your templates can be in one spot, all of your clients or your employees, or your communication can be in one spot. And this eliminates the issue. The biggest issue I always find is. Having things in too many spots. So it eliminates that problem. Right? We’re able to put things in one place for you so that you can see it all at a glance and you can have things at your fingertips and you’re not going okay. Did I put this in Google docs or is this an, a note on my phone? Did I write this down on a notebook or is this, in a Evernote, is this is my phone, is it on my computer? Is it on my laptop? Or maybe I put that on my iPad. I don’t know where it is. And I don’t remember where I put it and who has access to it, and does everybody who’s supposed to have access to it and have access to it? Or do I need to copy it over? Do I need to write it out? Do I need to transcribe it from my paper into the computer. It eliminates all of that, which is a time suck. That’s a complete time suck. And that’s true whether you are a solo-preneur, a school a company with a few employees, somebody with one employee, it doesn’t matter. It’s true across the board. And having that project management home-based completely eliminates that issue.
Tara: Yeah. Oh my gosh. I could go in a hundred different directions just because from that you just talked about, you can. And I mean, I think because Aubrey and I, and you, we are female entrepreneurs, so, and moms, so as an experience we multitask, right? And I think what happens is a lot of times you put all this stuff in your head and I have found recently in my business, what I’ve started doing is creating a documentation website where I put all these processes, because like you said, I have, I use project management tools and I have things in a million places. And what I can say from a mindfulness perspective is that when you do that, first of all, it’s a huge relief to have all of that written down and taken out of your head. It allows you to be more mindful about other things when you’re not constantly stressed about what you’re doing. So I totally appreciate that. I think, as someone who makes websites for a living and seeing. Automation can happen with a website and what a website can do. And in terms of these processes and what Aubrey does and working with schools I’d be curious to know what are some of the challenges that you think a small school administrative and marketing office might face in terms of managing these processes and workflows?
Taylor: Yes. I feel like I have very intimate knowledge about this now after working with Aubrey and there are a lot of challenges that come to mind. But I think some of the most, the biggest ones is communication. And the right people not having access to certain things and struggling to have that streamlined efficiency when it comes to projects that are happening, the right people being, included in certain things, tasks being understood across the board and that there’s an a gap there between, this is what needs to happen, these are the people that need to be involved, and these are the task lists that need to be organized. Right. And everybody, that we have seen here. They kind of know what they’re supposed to do, but there’s nowhere that it’s written down and organized. So there’s no way to replicate these processes because they don’t actually exist on paper anywhere. So we’re missing steps between the, this is what needs to happen, and this is the final result. Right? And I think that’s a huge challenge. And one of the ways that workflows and project management systems can come in schools and really fix this issue is, it allows everybody to be in there in one spot together and see what actually needs to happen and who needs to be involved in the process. And it eliminates extra emails, extra meetings, people being confused about what they’re supposed to be doing, when deadlines are happening, what’s already gotten done. What still needs to be done. These are all things that if you don’t have a place for them to live and for task lists to be living, breathing parts of your company, they get lost in the shuffle.
Aubrey: And I would say having worked with several clients and then we have collaboratively worked with clients. I mean, the amount of people who either aren’t utilizing Google drive and are still using their desktops for important documentation, the people who go from a meeting and everyone at the meeting says, yeah, I’ll do that. And then you’re spending your time emailing back. Did that thing get done, or you’re looking at your paper calendar and wondering, oh, did I email X, Y, and Z to make sure that this person did this, or, you’re going to plan the next year, but people sort of have an idea of what they’re supposed to do for that event that’s coming up, but not really. Yeah. And then it gets lost in translation as to, oh, was that Jenny who was going to pick up the flowers for the events and set them on the tables or so on and so forth. And I think this idea of being mindful of how we’re communicating, being mindful of the systems we’re putting in place is critical to schools now, especially I think we’ve all seen now that when you’re forced to work remotely or, create something that the importance of having these systems in place. So I think it’s just such a valuable discussion teams should be having about, like, what does this look like? This back and forth emailing is not working or the dropping by the offices.
Taylor: The back and forth email too, especially people, don’t always, they’re not always included on these emails streams. So maybe then you have a whole chain of emails, right? Maybe you could look through, but the person who actually supposed to be a part of this, they’re not a part of that email chain. And I have to forward. Not only do they, it always comes in formatted weird, and now they have to scroll back through all these emails.
It’s a whole mess. Right. And you were saying too, They’re have they’re having their documents on their desktops, but not in like a Google doc. And that’s really hard because that’s not a living document. Right. So then you have to send it back and forth, attached to emails, and then it’s updated and you want to make sure you have the most updated one. And then what if the email that you’re forwarded doesn’t have the most updated copy. It’s a whole thing, right?
Tara: Yeah. It’s tricky. And I think, I mean, Google drive, I’m a huge fan of all the Google stuff, but a lot of people have a lot of trouble with it because you have so many different accounts. And so, and another challenge I’m thinking of is it takes a lot of time to set up all these processes. And so a lot of times it’s sort of like delegating, right? If I hire some to help me, I need to take the time to train them and explain something to them. Half the time I think to myself, I could do this myself so much faster. And so I think what happens in my experience just with myself, is taking the time to set up these processes is a big commitment. And it’s daunting at times to think about not moving forward and not just keeping going with the way you’ve been doing things cause you knew how to do it right. Rather than stopping, taking the time to set it up and then about what you’re going to gain and productivity down the road. Do you see that? I mean that must be one of the biggest challenges is convincing people or helping people prioritize the stop, set it up and then wait for the payoff.
Taylor:Right? What I tell people too, and this particular person was an individual entrepreneur who had a few employees, but it’s one of the best compliments I ever had about a workflow session with me. And she said the two hours that I spent with you saved me 15 hours a week. It was worth spending the time to do that. And that with schools, there’s a bigger time commitment, right? We have more people involved. So it’s a bigger time commitment we were looking at maybe, six to 10 hours set up time, something in that range. I believe Aubrey’s is similar to what we’ve done in the past. But if you think about it, if that person could say 15 hours, doing a two hour set up, think about the time that could be spent if we are doing, a six hour set up, for example, and the amount of time per week, you could be saving yourself. If you take the time to actually put the systems in place. And it’s not always easy. And I always tell the people that I work with too, you’ve got to allow yourself time to really sit in this system and get comfortable with it because it is a shift and it’s not going to be supernatural in the beginning to go towards these solutions necessarily because you’re really used to doing it one way. But if you can actually allow yourself that time and I believe it’s 30 days to cement a new habit. So if you really allow yourself that month of transition period, right. You will see that time being saved and you will see the benefit in actually having these systems set up. And it’s not just time saved either. It’s ease of communication. It’s the ability to have things passed through different employees. If somebody leaves the company, it’s the ability to know what their job is, and actually train a new person in a way that doesn’t leave you going well, you know what? Cindy really knew what she was doing, but I don’t really know what she was doing. So. Here’s the job. I hope you can do it. Right. There’s, there are so many other benefits besides just time to setting these systems up so that your business runs smoothly and you don’t have these hiccups that people so often come across.
Aubrey: Absolutely. I wanted to just shout out from the rooftops when you were saying the person leaves the job position. I’ve worked in schools and with schools, and that is like the number one. I guess issue. We see it’s like Susie was there for 20 years and Susie did so much. Susie left, now we have no idea what Susie did. We had a two week layover with Susie, right. But beyond that, good luck, new person who comes in and attempts to figure out what Susie did.
So the workflow management that schools are setting up. It serves them so well in the long-term like, imagine, I mean, we’re working with a client right now. Who’s going on maternity leave. Great. She can go on maternity leave and the rest of the team knows exactly what she was doing and can now take over the task withouta lot of back and forth, or, those phone calls on maternity leave. I went on maternity leave. And let me just tell you, it was very loosely termed maternity leave. As I was answering tons of emails and phone calls. This was a long time ago and we did not have a project management system set up.
Right. So, so it’s giving, it’s both a gift to your employees, right. And a gift to the school because you’re saving time and energy and money in the long run. So, of course we can talk about that.
Taylor: Imagine how much oh, sanity too, you can save. If you have a document that says, these are the tasks that this job entails, and this is exactly what the person previous was doing. Here’s how they did it. Here’s the systems that they were utilizing. You can now come in and that probably takes a month of transition down to, a week or two for somebody coming in. That’s huge.
Aubrey: Absolutely. I think that’s the key. And I think when schools are identifying the time commitment to set up a system, it’s remembering the payoff in the end. Now I know that you probably have some great tech tool tips here and Tara, I you’re welcome to ask cause she’s a big productivity nerd, like I am. And so we’d love to hear it kind of what, in this space you’re seeing as some great maybe apps or tools or platforms that you would recommend schools and other moms to, to use.
Taylor: Yes. I mean, there are, there’s a lot out there, right? There’s endless amounts of productivity tools, my personal favorites that I use in my own business that I recommend other businesses using, I love Trello. I talked about this earlier, too. My very favorite. There’s a ton that you can do it. It’s a very robust product management tool. And I also use it for my family. So it’s not just for businesses. Like I run my entire life off of this platform. All of the appointments, the, to do list things that have happened for my business, the communication with my employee, the communication with my husband, when it comes to things for our family, that all lives there. And it’s great. It’s great for small teams, individual people. It’s great for larger teams. It’s a really great system that I love. And it’s very easy to use. I think it’s pretty intuitive. I know I’ve turned Aubrey on to it too, and she’s had a great experience as well. We’ve worked with a small school on it and they’ve had a great experience too. It’s just a good system. So that’s probably my number one tool, but I also think Google docs is great as well. And if you’re not using Google docs yet, I think it’s just really nice to have something that lives in breeds when you’re making notes for things and being able to, add people to a document, share people to the document. I use it all the time with my spouse. I use it with my employee. I use it with other people that I’m collaborating with. I think Google docs is really great. And you might be saying, okay, that’s not really a productivity tool, but it kind of is because it eliminates time spent sending documents back and forth that you can’t edit together. And I’m always surprised. I always think everybody uses Google docs and they don’t, and I’m always shocked because I think everybody should use it or is using it because I’ve used it for years, and so if you’re not using that as an alternative to, other, a document platforms that aren’t living, I would highly suggest moving over because it does save that time. That goes to, have you seen the edit here or we need to send this back and forth. Can you make this edit now? And then maybe you can make this and I can’t see your notes because not on your computer. So if you could send those over too, right. So it does eliminate some of those problems that I think it’s really important.
Tara: Yeah. And Google sheets. I’m a spreadsheet junkie.
Taylor: I love Google Sheets.
Tara: I know. And I know we’re interviewing you, but I’m going to go ahead and say that I find with myself and with other people who I’ve talked to about productivity stuff. And that’s many schools are starting to use, I think, but not enough is a tool that’s schedules. Calendly or Acuity or something like that because these schools are going back and forth trying to arrange tours and to arrange meetings and the back and forth is saved so much. There’s also, I also use boomerang in my Gmail, which allows you to also embed a calendar in your email. So, I mean, you could get me going, we could go forever and ever on productivity tools. But I had to mention those because I think they’re super applicable for our school audience.
Aubrey: Absolutely by the way, those are, I was just cheering for you Tara, because that is so true. Like the amount of schools I go to their admissions page and I’m like, wait, I have to email someone, and then we’re going to email back and forth to schedule a simple tool. Or it just boggles my mind. Like people don’t act like that. They will be like, oh, I guess I’ll do that later. And then later never happens. Right. So I think those are cool. And then Tara, what is the one, the cool thing that you’re doing with like where you video screen and then your face shows up?
Tara: I use I use Cloud App to do videos all the time, and there are other tools Loom do this too, where you can do, you can either put your picture in with it, your camera and a screenshot. Or you can just do the screen any of that works, but yeah. And then Zapier, as we talked about before, Zapier is amazing. It does amazing things. Email me when it’s going to rain tomorrow. That’s how basic it is. That’s very fun.
Taylor: I love that. I use Zapier here all the time. I use it all the time. It’s part of my business. And to even just a social media scheduling apps as well, I think are really cool and important when you are running a business as well.
Tara: Yeah. Okay. We could keep going and I’m probably, I don’t, I hope we’re not boring people with this topic cause I could really just go off. I’m such a, I’m such a nerd about this stuff, but we’re going to, we’re going to talk about some questions that we ask all of our guests. Now we’re going to start this.
So what are the most important things that you do to grow professionally and personally Taylor?
Taylor: I love this question. Professionally having a business coach was really important for me. So making that investment it’s a large investment, but it was really worth it for my business because I have been able to really scale and grow what I was doing once I hired a business coach and I think I waited too long to do it. It was always something where I was like, well, if I need a coach and maybe I’m not good enough to be doing this right. If I need somebody to teach me how to do it, maybe I shouldn’t be doing it. And that’s really the wrong mindset to have about it. If you look at everybody who is some of the most successful people in the world, they all have business coaches. It’s not doesn’t mean you’re not successful. So I really have loved my business coach. I also read a ton of business-based books and money mindset books are really important for me because I have a lot of things I have to unpack and financial realm, just mindset, why it’s from, you know, growing up and how I was raised in that kind of thing. So those two things helped me grow professionally exponentially because I’m able to unpack those limiting mindsets and beliefs. And I have always found that those hold me back more than anything else. It’s never the strategy or the marketing or the things like that. Those come pretty naturally. It’s always my own mindset and worrying about, that next client or things that are happening.
And I, when I’m able to work with somebody who can help me unpack those. And work on mindset and limiting beliefs. I go so much further with my business. So that’s definitely what I do to grow professionally. Which is the most important, in my opinion. And personally, I listen to a lot of podcasts that are not business-related. And I do that on purpose because I need to do something. I need to have a personality outside of being a business owner. And sometimes that’s hard for me cause it’s my favorite thing. Right. So I try to do things that are not related to my business at all and have hobbies outside of that. And that actually does help me remain grounded and grow personally when I’m able to do those things. I have a lot of podcasts. I like to do embroidery. I read a lot of books that are just not business-related at all. I like just, fictional books that are, that make me happy, like feel-good things. Right. And. Hanging out with my husband, that always helps me when we’re able to talk and connect and we both grow personally that way too. So I think those are the most important things.
Aubrey: I love what you just said here, because I think too, like, I think there are several things I’d love our school leaders to hear about. And that is one having an outside perspective on what you’re doing. I think a lot of school leaders, either in the like blinders on either in their school, what their school has already done or always done, and let’s just keep doing it or within the independent school community, the blinders on. Right. And it’s looking outside and having someone come in and really see the bigger picture like you were talking about with a coach is so important, a hundred percent so they can be able to, take it to the next level and see what limiting beliefs they perhaps have in their school. Like it could be like, well, we’ve always done it this way. The parents won’t like it another way or something like that. So very good. I really appreciate you sharing that.
Taylor: You know I’ll add one more thing to the girl professionally. Yeah. It’s hiring people whose zone of genius, I don’t have to help me with certain aspects of my business. And that’s one that I think is huge and that’s a newer one in the last, two or three years for me is finally being in a position to be like, I’m not good at this. So I need to hire somebody else to come in and help me with this. And that could be anything, right? It could be the workflow and project management. If that’s not your strength. For me, it was hiring somebody to do podcast management for my podcast, because it’s not a strength of mine. It wasn’t something I loved. I loved the recording, right. It’s somebody else who does love the management side of that come in and take over and make that a lot more smooth for me, I don’t love making graphics. So it was having somebody come in and be, create graphics for my business. There are just things where I realized they weren’t in my wheelhouse. They weren’t in my zone of genius and I was spending more time away from my income-generating tasks, doing those things. Right. And it was so much more helpful to free up that time for me to be able to actually connect with clients and have somebody else operate in their zone of genius for me.
Aubrey: Absolutely. And I think schools can apply that by saying they’re hiring. We tend to hire like, like, right, oh, this person has a similar blah, blah, blah. And we tend to hire that way. And so it’s being very thoughtful and mindful in the hiring process as to complementary skills for your team and looking at that. So thank you. I appreciate you sharing this. Now. I have a second question. What is one of the most important things we can do to be more mindful?
Taylor: I think one of the most important things we can do to be more mindful, to check in with ourselves and kind of see where we’re at, when it comes to our business. I skipped over that a lot in the first few years of owning a business. I forgot to check in with myself and see where I needed to let certain things go or bring certain things in. And I held on to things a lot longer than I needed to. And I think respecting boundaries and respecting my own personal ideals for what I wanted my brand to do was something I didn’t do very often in the beginning. And then I’m growing to do more, is being mindful of where I really want my business to be and taking those steps to get there and being respectful of the boundaries that I set for myself within my business.
Tara: That’s great. Thank you for sharing that. Okay. When to end with some rapid fire questions. All right. So what’s a book that’s had an impact on you that would, you would include in the high school curriculum?
Taylor: Okay. So I would include money, mindset books in high school curriculums. And I think it’s really important because I didn’t realize how much my parents’ view on money, grandparents, view on money, just society as a whole affected how I operated finances as an adult. And so I would really love to see more books geared towards life in high school curriculums. And one of my favorite ones is it’s called Rich AF, More Money Than You Know What To Do With, by Amanda Francis. And it’s a phenomenal read. It’s so great at kind of realizing what those money-limiting mindsets are so that you can get those out of your head and just focus on making the money that makes you feel good in a way that makes you feel good. And I don’t think we talk about that enough and in school. Yeah.
Aubrey: Absolutely. And I think in Tara and I’s first episode, we, one of the things I said, well, we got to this question cause we didn’t know ourselves is financial books, life skill books, like that was so key. And I think as we’re applying this to schools, it’s key for us all to remember that, like to go back to the basics and the things that perhaps we’re missing from our particular education. Absolutely. I think that was key. So, moving on to your rapid-fire question, number two, what are you reading right now?
Taylor: Right now I’m reading the book Overcoming the Mom Life Crisis. It’s great because I struggled with a lot of mom guilt as a working mom and somebody who has childcare come in for my son. I struggle a ton with mom, girl, and the fact that he’s two and he’s so much fun and he’s so busy and I work. So I don’t get all my days with him, but I know that it’s better for me to be a working mom. And I’m a better mom when I work. There’s all that mom guilt associated with that. So I’m working on unpacking that for myself and it’s a great read.
Tara: Oh, that’s great. Okay. Next question. What is one app you could not live without?
Taylor: This is a hard one, but I think of my podcast app. Because I listen to podcasts all of the time and I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have access to my podcasts because I’ve listened when I’m cleaning, when I’m working, when I’m getting ready in the morning, and when I’m driving. Like I’m just a huge fan of podcasts, even like non-business-related ones, my big, true crime fan. So I feel like I would be really sad if I didn’t have that podcast app..
Tara: That’s great. You’re the second person to say that.
Aubrey: So, this is your last one. It’s a goodie. What is one great piece of advice you’d like to leave us with?
Taylor: I think my biggest piece of advice that I would leave people with is allow yourself that time of transition and grace, when you’re starting a new project or you’re implementing new systems. Right. I think a lot of times we think, oh, we’ll just change this and we’ll jump right into it and it’ll be perfect and it’ll be great. And we’ll never have to worry about anything ever again. Right. And that’s just not realistic. And I think one of the pieces of advice I leave my workflow clients specifically is it’s going to be a struggle the first month usually, right? Because you’ve implemented an entirely new system. So remembering that one, you’re a human being who has done something one way for probably years, means that overnight, you’re not going to be able to flip a switch and do something a different way. So being able to ease yourself into transition and start small and add and stack onto your transition into different systems and processes, is going to be really huge. And it’s also going to help your mental state too, right? Because if you think overnight, you’re going to be a whole new person. That’s like saying, somebody, who’s not a morning person just deciding that they’re going to wake up at 4:00 AM every day. It’s not going to happen. What? That doesn’t make any sense. If they’re not a morning person is not going to work like that. So they need to if they want to wake up earlier than you do ease themselves into it, right. Waking up maybe 15 minutes earlier every day until they get to their desired time, it’s the same thing so reminding yourself, that you’re just a human, and if you have a company, a school specifically with multiple employees, you now have to also recognize that they’re all in transition too. And so allowing not only yourself, but your team to have that time of transition and ease everybody into it and making sure that everybody feels supported in this time and the best way that you can be going to be really huge. And it’s going to make the transition so much better and it’s going to make the time that you spend prepping these systems worth every single minute.
Tara: Yeah. That’s a great point. That’s part of that commitment to setting up these processes is understanding that. So thanks for that advice.
That’s wonderful. We’re so glad that you could join us today. Taylor, where can people find you online?
Taylor: All over the place everywhere. Find me @taylormobleycoaching on Instagram is probably the best place because everything is linked from there, my website and my podcast as well is there too. But if you are a podcast listener, you can listen to Hustle Like Another Podcast everywhere that podcasts are available. And yeah, Taylor will be coaching on Instagram is the best place to be because all of my links and programs and everything is going to be linked there.
Aubrey: Great, thank you so much. Thank you.
Tara: We appreciate you coming on today.
Taylor: Thanks for having me.