Whether you’re the lead of a small business inching through its first year or a project manager struggling to get all of your ducklings in a row, everyone needs a bit of help organizing and looking towards the future of their business and their goals. It’s not all in the endless meetings and seminars that teach you how to be better organized – sometimes it’s simply the tools you’re using. So, to help you find the right tools for your case and to give you an idea of what you should be using in the first place, here are some tips:
Do I need a tool for that?
That is the first question everyone should be asking. For some things, sure – you need a tool to help you out and get you organized and on top of your lists. But sometimes, it can be overkill. Sure, you can spend some money on a team-only chat service that will allow everyone to reach one another digitally – but, if your whole team is five people who all sit in the same room, you don’t really need it, do you? So, before you start thinking about what the right tool is, you need to see if there are other ways to organize who needs to replace the coffee filter on which day.
Get your team online
The first thing you need to take care of when connecting your team is that you all have instant access to everything that has been done and that needs to be done. This means being online, so that no matter where you are you can still see what is going on. This will usually be some kind of cloud, whether it’s a Google document sheet or a service like Trello. Everyone needs to have an access to it not only from the office but from their home as well, which is why closed-circuit and VPN options aren’t always that great. Today, many people work from home or from the other part of the world, and you want them to have the same access as everyone else.
Use what others have done before you
If you want to get organized, you need to know that you don’t have to do everything from scratch. If you’re looking for a method to get your team to work together, things like SCRUM and other Agile systems are already thought-through and certified to work, if you only applied them. If you’re a student trying to catch up on some reading, why make the notes yourself, when you can get hsc chemistry notes online and study from them? People have been working together and running businesses since the dawn of time, so use what they have learned and get moving a lot more quickly and efficiently.
There’s no use in doing a million things if you don’t know what you’re working towards and how you’re going to get there. This is why task-lists exist. Programs like Jira make it easy for everyone to be on the same page about what the current tasks are and who is in charge of which task. There’s no “trading tasks” and “I thought he was going to do it!”. If everyone knows their role in the machine, their deadline and how to do their job – it’s not always enough. However, if you know what everyone else is doing as well and whom you can ask for certain things, now you’re on a roll. Going through task lists will not only make it easier to keep an eye on everything that is going on, but also help keep motivation high, when tasks start flying off the list. You should divide bigger tasks into smaller task lists and tackle them one part at a time, so it wouldn’t seem like a mountain with no way to the peak.
It’s so easy to make a mistake when you’re typing in endless numbers by hand. Why risk having something so important be subject to human error when you can have a program do it for you flawlessly? Now, programs will never have the grasp of ever-changing laws and rules surrounding finance, so you will need to keep someone on-hand who knows when to do what and how to solve an issue, but for number-oriented tasks, there are tools that will help you manage your money help you manage your money and make sure there’s never a dime missing.
Remember that tools are exactly what the word says – they won’t do the job for you, but they will massively help you. You’ll much more easily dig a hole with a shovel than with your bare hands, but a shovel won’t do it by itself. The trick is not getting overwhelmed with tools and data and letting them consume you, but rather being a master of them and using them to your advantage when you need them. Remember that people always come first, but the better you equip them, the better it will be for everyone.