Our Latest Life-Changing Business Tool

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If there is one thing that I’m certain of, it’s that running a small business will NEVER look the same year after year. Systems are made to be enhanced over and over again. If I was STILL using my own “to-do” system from years ago I would have ugly charts and spreadsheets taped all over my office walls. I welcome change in our business and I think that’s a big reason why we’re still growing after seven years!

So when it comes to GETTING STUFF DONE, I have struggled recently. My BIG LIST system just wasn’t cutting it anymore. There is too much going on and too many projects with too many PEOPLE to maintain! My systems and workflows include Michael now, so having a system on paper is not ideal. I needed the following in a task management system:

  • I needed a way to include Michael that was seamless and simple.  If it wasn’t simple, we wouldn’t keep up with it.
  • I needed something that I could set due dates on and would send reminder emails to Michael and myself when we’re getting close to forgetting something!
  • I needed a way to categorize my “To-do’s” into multiple categories because we have 6 micro businesses in ONE! This is why ONE to-do list on paper was driving me crazy!
  • I needed something pretty and simple so that I would WANT to maintain it!
  • I needed something with an APP that was easy to access and update!
  • I needed a way to assign a task and then within that task, have a checklist for our workflow! This is HUGE!
  • I needed a way to GROW. I was drowning in to-do lists and I needed a change.

Now, let me introduce you to TRELLO!!!! My new best friend and office buddy!!! Thankfully, Zach Gray  shared this with me several months ago and it has been life changing to say the least!!! Can’t thank you enough Zach! So let me explain a little bit about why I’m obsessed with this new found love!!

Trello is an online task manager that is simple and yet so complex at the same time! The options are endless. There are a few things I wish it had (Like mirroring a card to multiple boards) but we have found a way around that! Here are all of the things you need to know about what Trello can do for you! :

  • Well first, it’s FREE! So there’s that!
  • In Trello there are BOARDS, LISTS, CARDS and CHECKLISTS
  • Here’s a breakdown of our boards: HMH, Advertising, Coaching, Emy (my sister is helping us out!), KJP Katelyn, KJP Michael, Workshops, The Collection, Personal. So basically, this was my BIG TO-DO LIST and I made it into multiple lists.
  • Within each BOARD, there are LISTS. Lists are just what they sound like, they are the lists of what needs to be done, what has been done, and what is ongoing. Michael and I like using lists in this capacity: URGENT, TO-DO, DONE and ONGOING. The “ONGOING” list is just where we store CARDS that we re-use!
  • CARDS are actual ACTION ITEMS! These are your tasks! You can add members to them, set due dates, move to other boards if you need to, etc.
  • Within a CARD you can have a CHECKLIST! This is how we manage any and all workflows! So for example, we shot Nick and Megan’s wedding this past weekend and so I went to my “ONGOING” list in the “KJP-Katelyn” board and I started a “Post Wedding : Nick and Megan” card. Within that card there is a CHECKLIST for me and one for Michael! Once I have done my part, I move it to his board and he gets a tap on his wrist about it. LITERALLY… his apple watch “taps” him. It’s the future.

So, now that you’re completely overwhelmed, just know this. You can make this super intense, or super easy. You can use it for managing a grocery list or managing a small corporation. The options are endless!! Give it a try and you can thank me later!!!! :) Ps. If this is intriguing to you and you have more questions, let us know and we’ll explain more about it down the road!

Trello_Life_Changing_small_Business_tool _for_task_management_0118Trello_Life_Changing_small_Business_tool _for_task_management_0120 Trello_Life_Changing_small_Business_tool _for_task_management_0119

Ps. For those shooting weddings this weekend, be sure to check THE COLLECTION  to see if any of our Mini-Guides can help you take your upcoming wedding to the next level!! Happy Friday everyone! Our Latest Life Changing Task Management System by Katelyn James Photography

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

Tyler + Abby | Engaged A Washington DC Capitol Engagement Session

This shoot was supposed to happen about a month earlier on the exact day that leftover rains from a hurricane swept through Washington. I’m so thankful we rescheduled! Our reschedule date was absolute perfection! The temperature, the glow, the locations…. it was beautiful! Tyler and Abby’s outfit choices were wonderful and the leaves were full of color and still hanging on the trees.


When Michael and I were in our early years of dating, I would go on trips with his family for Thanksgiving and summer trips to West Virginia and I spent time with his cousins! “Bri-Bri” was so little! He’s the youngest of all of the cousins and it’s crazy to think that he’s old enough to be getting MARRIED! He’s actually older than we were when we got married!! We have known Shannon for years and we were THRILLED when we heard that Brian had proposed because we always hoped that would happen!!!


Brian + Shannon | Engaged Virginia Arboretum Engagement Session


KJ Student Spotlight November 2020

Maybe it’s just me…. but I feel like this fall is FLYING by! It seems like just the other day that I was sharing about three more KJ Students who are doing amazing things in their businesses! Well, this weeks marks the beginning of November and I have three amazing students to introduce you too!!!


Nikhil + Paige | Engaged A South Congress Engagement Session

This session is beautiful… if I do say so myself! It’s colorful, it’s vibrant, it’s full of joy and it’s also LONG! It’s a lengthy post because I just had so many favorites and I absolutely loved my time with these two last week! Paige, like a lot of our brides, is a photographer herself! She’s talented, full of life, energetic and creative. I felt the pressure to take this location that she knows well and make it look fresh and knew to her!! Nikhil is an audio engineer for Apple (which we think is fascinating!) and despite hardly ever wearing a suit, he wore one for Paige and made all of her outfit dreams come true!


I’m so excited to share this final 2020 Wedding with you all!! It’s a special one! We photographed this beautiful wedding day on our own 10 year anniversary! Ten years ago on this day, we were celebrating in my parent’s backyard under a massive white tent too! This was my brother-in-law’s baby sister’s wedding day and celebrating with the Malizia family was such a treat! They are a family MADE for weddings!


Samantha + Evan Private Estate, Backyard Wedding


Nick + Katherine | Maternity Oatlands Historic Home and Gardens Portrait Session

Well, I realize this isn’t normal for KJ! I don’t shoot portraits these days but this session was my first non-wedding shoot with my new Canon R6 and I’m obsessed with how these images turned out! It was the most perfect evening for this early fall shoot and the light was incredible!




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A wintery boston wedding

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