Use Technology to Save Time, Not Take Time

You may be one of those people who works better with distractions and prefers to multitask, but it may not be the most effective approach for everything you do. Working out a new jewelry design, for example, may require total concentration. For different reasons, administrative work and bookkeeping may be another. Figure out what you need to get the job done.

Mobile devices can be a distraction but they can also save time, which is why most of us work with one at hand – even self-professed old-school jewelry artists such as Carolyn Morris Bach. Bach refuses to hire an assistant and carves every little face that appears in her jewelry, yet she relies heavily on her iPhone when she does custom work.

"In the studio, my iPhone has become my best friend. I can work on a piece, take a picture, email it, go back and forth with the customers," Morris Bach says. "Every time I put something on my website, I have to pay someone to photograph it and then upload it. This is instant.

"These are not very sophisticated images," she adds. "I just take a quarter out of my change and put it next to my piece for scale. But the iPhone actually takes a pretty remarkable photograph for what it is." Indeed. The video is pretty clean, too.

Even as she was saying that, I was recording our interview with my iPhone using the iRecorder app. The built-in flashlight also comes in handy if a bead rolls under the table, and who could survive without GPS when on the road? I even use an app as a level and ruler.

If you do use your phone this heavily, remember to periodically turn off apps not in use to avoid taxing the battery. If you have an iPhone, you can do this by pushing the bottom button twice. This will bring up all the apps you've turned on into a horizontal row. When you finger-swipe an app upward, it disappears and turns off.

When you have work to do on the computer, consider turning off access to the Internet for an hour or so using an app such as MacFreedom. Even if you use your smartphone as a tool, it's useful to turn off the volume on calls and texts long enough to complete the jewelry project at hand.

Obviously there are cases where you need to have a line open – a child at school or an aging parent, for example – but if the constant binging of texts is keeping you from getting a jewelry project finished or billing for the last one, minimize the distraction.

CATHLEEN MCCARTHY is a freelance writer whose stories appear in Town & Country, AmericanStyle, Art & Antiques, and her own site, The Jewelry Loupe. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

NET PROFITS is a regular feature about using the Internet for jewelry selling of special interest to those with a home-based jewelry business that appears in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. Learn more in "Making Time for Jewelry Making."





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