We're Elevate

What started as a side hustle for two creative, driven sisters has now become one of the Midwest’s premier event planning and design firms. At Elevate, we find pure, unbridled joy in celebrating all aspects of life - big moments, small gatherings and anything in between.

Planner U: Tools We Cherish – Aisle Planner

We’ll give it to you straight: If you are a wedding planner and are still using Google Drive to manage most of your operations, you should reconsider. In case you weren’t aware, there is already a magical software out there that houses your timelines, proposals, contracts, layouts, and budget management tools all in one convenient location, and allows you to conduct ALL of your client communication under one umbrella rather than thousands of emails back and forth.

Yep, we love you, Aisle Planner.

While there are actually quite a few client relationship management tools out there in the wedding industry, we have grown incredibly fond of this powerful platform and have developed a really solid workflow with AP as our central method for all of our client-facing tools and communications.

Before you start reading this thinking it’s a blatant paid advertisement for AP, know that this post is truly sprung out of nothing but love for our planner pals, and a major desire to help anyone who may be struggling to find an overall CRM for their planning clients in general. We just love this platform and tool that much!

We have been members of Aisle Planner since the winter of 2016 and have grown to love the software more and more with each passing year. Once we realized how inefficient our existing “system” truly was, our decision to invest in Aisle Planner came quite clearly. Let us break down our previously messy process for you just a bit (just please, promise not to laugh):

  1. Once a client was interested in booking, we struggled through the continuous annoyance of literally copying and saving a new Word Document for each new invoice and client contract.
  2. As we were beginning our planning journey, we were creating ALL of our pertinent documents (timeline, layouts, ceremony cues, day-of checklist) in Google Docs, from scratch, each and every time.
  3. When it came to a checklist and task management… you guys, we were using our draft emails to keep track of our to-do items for each contracted event. We figured, well, put it all in one space, and then just remove tasks once they’ve been accomplished, right….?

WHAT. WERE. WE. DOING?! The short answer is: making it work, but the longer answer is, of course, spending far too much time creating and then recreating documents that could have already been not only templated, but completely branded to the look we and our clients desired, and planning notes that could be housed within the same project (or event) as opposed to 5, 6, even 7 different places. 

*OUCH. The inefficiencies hurt a bit more now that we know.*

You guys, we limped along like this until we discovered Aisle Planner, an all-in-one platform where we can populate our event management tools into each new client project knowing they precisely meet our standards, easily collaborate with clients and partners, generate invoices and contracts with a few clicks (and send automated payment reminders!), and produce and design incredible events down to the very last detail. Sure, like any program there are always a few kinks that could be ironed out, but we also really love how responsive AP is to feedback from other planners like us!

Though our internal processes, apps and systems are constantly being analyzed, improved, and modified, we have a pretty good feeling that Aisle Planner is here to stay.

How about you? Is there a preferred CRM that you use and cherish? Clients, have you loved your experience with Aisle Planner as much as we have? Sound below, and happy planning, everyone!