Marta Cros has discovered that good things come in twos: She is a mama to two, and if that wasn’t enough she runs two businesses as well. The Ritualist and APTO Skincare are Brooklyn-based brands that often pop up at our NYC events or are in goodie bags in other events throughout our communities. While Marta managed the business-owner-maternity-leave juggle during her first child, she figured out a few tips and tricks to make her second maternity leave a bit easier. Read on to learn about her top tools that helped her continue to run her businesses while still enjoying those newborn cuddles.
When I had my son back in 2017, my business was just starting to take off and I didn’t have much help. Those first couple of months were quite stressful; trying to juggle being a new mom and running the company—it was a lot. I’ll be honest: I shed a few tears and was jealous of my friends with corporate jobs and lengthy maternity leaves.
Fast forward to two years later. While pregnant with my daughter, I decided I needed to get organized in order to be able to fully enjoy those first few weeks of newborn bliss while handling the anticipated rollercoaster of emotions of my now toddler son and still keeping a close eye on my businesses, The Ritualist and APTO Skincare. Aside from my new business partner, an amazing small team, and our social media marketing agency, these are the seven tools that helped me stay organized, make the most of my time, and delegate and share the famous “mental load” whenever possible.
We started implementing Asana for project management a few months before my due date. I had tried several different productivity apps and systems in the past—always getting frustrated about one thing or another, eventually just dropping the whole thing off after just a few weeks. This time, however, we hired a consultant to help us with implementation and training, and we just could not be happier. My inbox is way lighter, and I have all my projects and tasks neatly organized with due dates, important files, and the ability to share tasks with my team.
If you run a client-facing business on Shopify, Gorgias is a fantastic app to manage customer requests. For us, it is important to stay in touch with our clients directly. But, as we grew, the volume of requests escalated to an unsustainable number. With Gorgias, we are able to create “macros”, which are standard responses for the most common requests (i.e where is my order? how should I use this mask? etc.). I am now also able to oversee everything while assigning each request to the right person and jumping in with internal notes when necessary. Total gamechanger.
I consider myself a Trader Joe’s shopper through and through. But since I live in Williamsburg and the closest location is one subway stop away on 1st avenue, I decided to cave in and try Prime Now, which delivers groceries from Whole Foods within 2 hours. It’s incredibly convenient. And, although the produce and fruit selection would be better if I was doing that myself, I will trade a green banana for some more cuddles any day.
If I had a penny for every time I’ve spent half an hour trying to remember and then recover a password, I’d have So. Many. Pennies! So frustrating. LastPass is great because it automatically prompts you to save your password every time you open a new account. I also love that you can share the passwords with your team (bye, bye never up-to-date Google Sheets) and family (I no longer need to text my husband to remind me of our Netflix credentials).
Since I have worked through my maternity leave, I have relied on my mother and a couple of amazing nannies to help a few hours every day so that I can catch up on emails and any other urgent matters that require my attention. BabyTracker allows everyone to log feeding times, nap times, and diaper changes, which I find very useful during the first few months of that newborn stage when a routine is still not completely established.
I love lists—they give me a sense of purpose and accomplishment. I use Google Keep to make shopping lists, save recipes straight from my browser, and for a general ongoing to-do list for just about everything else. I use Done to keep track of some small daily habits I try to keep up with no matter what: walk 12k steps, drink five glasses of water, and read at least 10 pages of “paper.”