From time to time, I come across software that I love so much I just have to pass on, like YouSendIt, MailChimp, PDFtoWord, Mint and more.  Right now, that software is HighRise HQ.

I’ve signed up and adore the task management system.  As The Leone Company grows, I need to make sure my “To Do” list stays in check and, after looking from system to system, this one does the trick.  It allows me to sort by client or project, by deadline, sends me notification if I’ve passed said deadline (gasp!), has an app to keep me in check on the go, and far, far more options.  There are even features to attach notes to contacts.  Score!

Check it out here, and let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

Do you have a software or productivity tip?  I’d love to hear it!

(But on your “To Do” list? No matter your candidate of choice, make sure to vote today!)

New Year’s Resolutions: Vitamins, Dishes, Lists and Happiness

Almost everyone I know has New Year’s resolutions.  Before she had her daughter, in fact, my friend Lyndsay, used to have a series of them which she grouped by category and then deadline.  If you know Lyndsay, believe me, this makes sense.

In fact, this blog was the product of a 2011 New Year’s resolution, before The Leone Company even existed, when Heather Whaling at let me know that, like, Nike, I should “Just do it!” and get blogging already!

And so, more than a week into the new year, I’m laying mine out there.  Hold me accountable, please:

  1. Always put my dishes in the dishwasher before going to bed. (Dad, you’d be ashamed at the piles that we woke up to some mornings!)
  2. Take my vitamins every night.  (Yes, sometimes I count chewable Airborne tablets as my vitamins for the day.)
  3. Always work with clients and projects that make me happy. (Check out that rockstar list of The Leone Company’s clients here.)
  4. Keep a daily, running “To Do” list that, each day, must have items that have been crossed off.

The clients? This is more to keep me on track. I’ve been fortunate to work with a number of wonderful clients through The Leone Company this year, ranging from fundraising to community outreach to marketing projects.  Even contracts that have ended did so on a high note, and something I pride myself on.  Going into the new year, I always want to keep a focus on this.

The “To Do” list? It’s working out well!  Each day, I start out with a freshly printed list (on the reverse side of previously used paper, of course!).  A clean list makes me feel like I’m not bringing yesterday’s baggage into the next morning.  Each list has four categories:

  1. To Do: The Leone Company. (Remember my post about Dedicating Time For Company Growth?  Those are the items on this list.  Updating my website.  Working on potential new clients.  Blogging.  )
  2. To Do: Insert “Client Name” here.  Each client has their own list.  This gathers all of the social media notes, random thoughts I had in the shower, phone calls to return and tasks that require an action item in one place.
  3. To Do: Errands. Taking client packages to the post office.  Picking up dry cleaning.  And yes, even returning two lampshades to Lowe’s because, well, why not just buy three and decide on your favorite at home? (Don’t judge me.  Or my dishes.  Or the fact that I have the vitamin habits of a five-year-old.)
  4. To Do: Personal. You know what goes in this list.  Really, just send your cousins’ holiday gifts already!

After trying apps and other electronic options, I’ve found a hard copy of the list just makes me happier. But I’m always up for new things!

What are your resolutions this year? Send me a note, a tweet at @marashorr or leave a comment below!

This week, I’m a guest blogger at, the website for the Kissimmee Convention and Visitors’ Bureau.  Check it out!

10 iPhone Apps To Increase Productivity

I receive daily e-mails from the Orlando Business Journal.  Like any publication, some items are more relevant to my daily life than others.

Note two things about me here.  First, I don’t pay for apps for my iPhone.  (I’m not sure how, but in 2 1/2 years, I’ve never purchased an app.)  Second, I love any tool that keeps me more productive.

Keeping that in mind, I loved this article, showcasing the best in free and low cost apps, including great applications for mileage reimbursement, dictation in the car, push-to-talk-esque voicemail features and cloud computing.

Enjoy!  And, please do share below: What are the apps that keep YOU most productive?

Opportunities for Improvement

Each year, following our largest event (the Florida Film Festival, April 8-17, in which 25,000 attendees enjoy a whopping 165 films over 10 fabulous days), we ask our staff to write a series of departmental “Post Morts” following the Festival.  In theory, we all keep records of our triumphs and issues throughout the event but, without fail, life gets busy.

This year, we one of our team members, whose calm, unflustered approach to each issue is an incredible strength to all of us, suggested that, as issues arise over the 10 days, we should think of them not as problems, but as “Opportunities for Improvement.”

I love this thought process, and the phrase has resonated with the rest of our team.  So much so that our Project Manager sent us a link to a branded Wufoo form he created yesterday afternoon; we’re all now able to fill this out as soon as an “Opportunity” arises so as not to forget it once the moment passes.  With Wufoo, a free, online form builder, we’re able to bookmark the site on our mobile devices and fill out the form remotely anytime, anywhere.  (On the back end, all items can be collected into an easy-to-sort Excel document and analyzed from there.) 

Fields include:

  • Name of Person Filling Out Form
  • Location of Occurrence
  • Date and Time of Occurrence
  • Event
  • Issue
  • Resolution
  • Other Notes