As my business continues to grow, staying organized becomes more and more important. In this post I thought I’d share a few of the tools that I use to stay organized and efficient as possible.
1 | My Planner
I’ve used the Kate Spade 17-month agenda for a little over a year and I love the way it’s laid out. Having a place to physically write down to-do’s is really important to me. I’m considering trying Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner this next year, just because I like the fact that it has prompts for a few key things like meal planning. (Eating is important!)
a few things I look for in a planner
1) A spiral binding. I prefer notebooks that can lay flat on a surface so I can quickly write or read what’s written.
2) Plenty of blank space to write. I don’t need a lot of extra sections or divisions in my planner. I’d rather the have extra white space so I don’t have to cram all the words into a tiny section on the page.
3) A hard cover. My planner goes many places and gets taken in and out of my tote or laptop bag quite a bit.
The brand of the planner is not as big of a deal to me as these three things are. I’m willing to invest extra on a planner because I’m going to use it for at least 365 days! A few others that my friends like include the Day Designer and the She Plans planners.
2 | Evernote
Evernote is a word document app installed on both my computer and my phone that syncs when connected to the Internet. You can create different notebooks and organized your notes according to topic. I use Evernote to brain dump ideas, keep track of long-term progress and anything that starts with me writing content.
There’s a lot more that can be done with Evernote and I know I haven’t scratched the surface of the possibilities there yet! It’s already something I use on a daily basis.
3 | Asana
Asana is project management and to-do list app. I use it for both my business and with the teams I where I do design and creative direction. The options for breaking down large projects are quite extensive and it’s a lifesaver when it comes to assigning different parts of projects to different people. Each individual member can view their assignments + due dates for tasks in one spot as well as seeing how each item fits into the larger project. There’s also a phone app and daily reminder emails for projects with deadlines. #awesome
4 | Google Calendar
Even though Asana has a calendar function, I like putting all of my scheduled meetings and phone calls in Google Calendar. It allows you to schedule a specific time on a specific day, a feature Asana does not have yet. I also use Google Calendar for keeping track of church and family commitments, birthdays and other personal agenda items.
5 | Slack
I didn’t really get the point of using Slack–until I started using it regularly. It’s dedicated text messaging for teams. It keeps conversations about minutia and small details from getting lost in long email threads. Plus, it also allows you to break up different topics and projects into channels. Now email can be dedicated to larger, more important conversations like client inquiries and new business instead of going back and forth with commentary and changes.
what do you like to use to stay organized?
Other tools I’m considering adding include Trello for project overview, Honeybook for contracts and invoicing and Calendly for scheduling meetings. I believe in using a few tools strategically, so if you’ve tried any of these I’d love to know your thoughts!