Being the curious person that I am, just wondering how your shopping day starts and how it ends.
Mine starts with a cup of coffee at about 5:00 AM, then out for a walk with the dogs. I try to print the paperwork needed the night before. When I am awarded a shop, I put the information in my daily calendar and input the data into Quicken. I do not use a spreadsheet anymore because I was doing double duty. I configured Quicken to track needed for a given shop and print an invoice for every shop. I do not send the invoices. It is merely a way of tracking my shops for each MSC. So, when it is time for taxes, I can print a report that shows my income, reimbursements, mileage, cost for supplies, etc. - basically everything I need. When I complete a report, I pull the paperwork from the binder and make a file for each shop. I put everything in the file and file it away. When I am paid for the shop, I input the data into Quicken, print a final invoice and put the file in a banker's box. I also have a file that contains month-end reports created by Quicken.
I try to read through the material for each shop as soon as it is assigned. While I am drinking my coffee, plan my route,re-read the material, make any notes of things I need to remember and put everything in a binder in the order I do the shops . The binder contains all of the paperwork for my shops. Then, I'm off to Starbucks for a grande mocha.
My day ends with reading through the posts here and reports. Also, I keep a calendar at home that shows my schedule as well as my husband's. He is a pilot and needs to be available 24/7. For instance, he was supposed to have this week off, but another pilot got sick. Urggg! I was looking forward to having him at home. One of the reasons I decided to start shopping is because my husband is gone so much and I needed something to do to keep me busy. Well, I found something to keep me busy, that is for sure.
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Goodness, you are super organized. I don't have the time, wish I did. I have an excel file that lists the shops, mileage and details, I update when I get paid. I have everything ready the night before. I get a huge cup of ice water and I am out the door. Come home, breath a sigh of relief I survived the crazy drivers, then start the reports.
I was married to a pilot also, was being the operative word. It was difficult having him gone for so much and it was also difficult having him home for weeks at a time while he was on stand-by. Made for a hard time raising children and we are now divorced but the kids are grown. You are so much more organized than I am. I typically pull up my shops for the next day the night before and read the instructions. Then I wake up when I wake up and start my day. The traffic here is horrendous so I try and do my shops between 11 and 3 but it rarely works out. I am usually back home around 7 and enter my reports. My filing system is a box where I put my CPI's and receipt stapled to the top. After I am paid I shred the paperwork since what I need for taxes is on my computer. I use an old-fashioned calender (not a spreadsheet) to write down my jobs for the month. Really after reading your post I feel like a slacker with my accounting system!
I work a full-time job, so during the weekdays, I squeeze in the shops, whether it's before work, during lunch or after work. I'm also OK with assigning shops the day of, pending on how things are going at work.
I complete the reports at night and at the very least, I input the basic information in my spreadsheet like the date, client, MSC and the status of the report and input the other information (expenses, mileage, etc.) later, unless time permits. Sometimes I end up having a backlog of like 25-30 assignments for filing and organizing, but it isn't so bad as it's all admin work / data entry and I have a pretty straight-forward system in place, so I can just cruise along the data entry while watching TV or something. I try and not let the backlog pile up too much, but my full-time job is already a lot on my mind and takes a lot of my time as it is.
Whenever I'm assigned a shop or signed up for one, I input this immediately into my calendar, no exceptions. I peek at my email hourly and have a tab for my Gmail account open, even during work, just in case I see an email the requires a prompt response.
Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 31 year old male and willing to travel!
I start with email and farmville 2 with my coffee (if I have time) then I get my stuff together and get out the door for the day. I re-read all the instructions just before I do the shop. Then I come home, put on the coffee pot and start submitting all the reports, and getting my shop paperwork ready for the next day. The last thing I do is enter the days information on my spreadsheet. Then if I'm lucky I have time to watch tv with my "herd".
I used to get up early every morning, put on the coffee, then jump on the computer hunting better paying work. No more. Now I book all I can do of the base pay shops as soon as they're offered. If bonuses come up during the month, good. If not, okay, I'm busy anyway. I don't hang on the computer hour after hour looking for work and I grossed $2298 in October with my average shop being $17.40. Since I'm saving myself hours and hours of computer searching, I actually have much more time to do shops. That works well enough for me, but I realize I'm just supplementing and some of you have to bring in much more money during the month. My hat's off to all of you who make that work.
Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
My day begins with one of my kids waking me up before the alarm. I stay in bed a few minutes and check e-mails/Facebook on my phone. Then I think to myself, "Oh crap, why did I sign up for 7 shops today?" and think of various excuses I can make in order to cancel the shops. I don't cancel the shops, but instead get up, shower and head out the door.
Since I'm familiar with most of the shops, I bring a clipboard and a piece of paper with me that has a few reminders of the various requirements. As soon as I leave the shop, I go to my car and write everything down on the piece of paper while it's still fresh in my mind. I attach the receipts to the clipboard as well.
I try to conclude my shops by 6 PM so that I have time to enter all the reports. As I'm typing up the 7 reports again I ask myself, "Why did I sign up for 7 shops today?"
Go to bed at 11, wake up the next morning and do the same thing....
I wake up with the children around 6:30-7AM on a day when hubby is working and get them to school/daycare. If he is home, I am up around 8-9AM. I check my phone for emails, if there any instant assign shops available, I go on the computer and add new shops in to Google Calendar. I shop from then on until 5PM. Sometimes I have photography projects with my other business so I'm busy with that until then. Head into the office, switch roles from Shopper to Scheduler. Out by 11PM, sometimes midnight. Go home and work on any reports that I didn't manage to get done on the go (e.g. long narratives). In between all of that, I'm always checking emails and sites for more shops.
That is a typical day. Sometimes I work at the office during the day and do concert photos/journalism at night. If I am doing my other business at night, I am up getting photos ready then I publish them. Bed.
Silver Certified ~ Shopping all of Toronto and beyond
I start my day with being woken up by my 11 month old. I feed and change her. Then I check emails to make sure nothing was cancelled. Drink coffee, make sure 13 year old is good for school and then I get dressed and go.
At night, I make dinner, then I do the reports for the day and enter it all in to my records. I plan a route for the next day and print up anything I need. If I have time, I will browse the job boards to see if there is anything I can add that didn't get emailed (typically just the MSCs that don't email). Then I drink a glass of wine while spending time with the family for an hour or so. Then bed.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/06/2014 05:37PM by Bellusion.
Get up at 6 am with Honey, make her coffee and feed the cats, then by 6:30 I'm at my computer with my coffee. Go through emails, make sure I have everything I need for the day, then Rosetta Stone for 1/2 hour, then either walk or exercise for 1/2 hour, then out the door usually by 9 am. I try to get home by 4:00 to 1) avoid heinous rush hour traffic and 2) have time to do most of my reports before dinner. After dinner finish up reports, look for work if I need to, then practice for my next guitar lesson, watch some TV, and go to bed by 10:30.
My shopping day begins actually the night before....
I check my calendar and get all my forms, guidelines together. I grab my GPS and program in all my shops. I have MapQuest in front of me, to use and confirm where I think the shop is located. Once I get all my shops together I calculate how much money I need to bring for the shops.
I make small notes for each shop, such as DT, Dine In, special notes like Special Orders or anything else pertinent for that particular shop.
I place my work by the front door, and then in the morning, get my bottle of water, purse and whatever else I need.
You notice most of my prep is done the night before?
That is so I don't run around disorganized, get lost trying to find a new place, because I failed to set my GPS.
99% of my days are pretty great. That 1%, where for some reason, I can't find the location and resort to calling to find directions.
I could not do this line of work without being organized.
My filing system consists of me tossing papers on my desk or the bookcase behind me or maybe onto the 3 TV trays that I have blocking me into my workstation piled with papers. My siamese cat that keeps wanting to rub against the mouse and even caused to to flake on a job because of the head butting on the mouse. It's now 1:30 AM and time for bed. Since the wife is at work the Gorgi dog will want to sleep with me. His legs are so short I will have to lift him up. The Corgi-Husky mix can get herself up on the bed. She has back legs like a jack rabbit.
> My filing system consists of me tossing papers on
> my desk or the bookcase behind me or maybe onto
> the 3 TV trays that I have blocking me into my
> workstation piled with papers.
Oh Sunny, I thought it was just me checking, double checking and rechecking addresses It takes more time upfront but the time saved from hunting down addresses is priceless.
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