Here’s to staying on track and feeling good!
Running a business can be overwhelming at times. Have you ever sat down at the end of the day and didn’t know where the time had gone or couldn’t name three things you accomplished for the day? This has happened to me on more than one occasion.
When most of us first start out, we wear all the hats in our business. It can be extremely difficult to keep up with everything. A system to manage those tasks and projects will help you be more productive, easily manage your day and relieve the stress of overwhelm and confusion.
My Winning Tool
The tool I currently use is Trello. Now, I’m not claiming that this is the best tool, but it is the best one for me at this time. There are MANY great tools you can use but the keyword is USE.
The truth is, most tools will work if you use them. I’ve used several tools both in and out of corporate and they all worked. The key is to find what aligns best with how you work and interact with your team.
As someone that has managed multi-million-dollar projects, I understand the importance of being able to manage various phases. I also love being able to see the big picture and check off my lists (probably a personality trait of being an INTJ?). Most importantly, as an entrepreneur and leader, I like being able to easily manage my projects and track progress.
Well, Trello brings all of this together for me. I can see the big picture with the boards, I can visually see my progress as I move the cards from one list to another. It also allows me to include checklists within the cards (YES!) being able to check off tasks as they are completed. I can share my board, collaborate with others and store documents.
Another necessary feature is the ability to integrate with my other tools, this is a must have for me. Trello is integrated with my primary google calendar so that I can see everything at a glance. I can even update cards from my email. If you really want to heat things up, you can use their power ups!
That’s great for me but what about you?
My number one piece of advice when picking a project management tool or any software for your business, is to make sure it meets your needs and the needs of your business. Quite often we pick a tool because it works for someone else. That may be a good reason to try a tool but not a good reason to select a tool.
Here are a couple of things to consider when you are looking for a Project Management tool.
- Usage – What would you like to manage within your tool (projects/tasks, your team, Content calendar)? Do you need to track time? Store documents?
- Collaboration – Who will be using this tool? Will you need to collaborate with other team members, vendors, etc.? How will you need to collaborate (sharing files, dashboard)
- Functionality – What must be included? Does it need to integrate with other tools? Do you need to store documents? Do you need to track budgets? What reports do you require?
- Budget – What is your monthly budget? If you are willing to give up features that may reduce time or help you be more productive, be sure to include the cost of your time.
- Ease of use – Is it easy to implement? Will too many features cause technology overwhelm? It only works if you work it.
- How does it make you feel – I know you may be surprised to see this but it’s very important. After trying many different tools, I noticed that some of them left me feeling tired. Like my head was about to explode. With Trello, I can include pictures on cards as well as in the background of the board, the colored labels are also helpful and I feel good when I move a card to the next list. There’s a feeling of accomplishment.
- Try it out – Don’t be afraid to try out different tools before you decide. Most project management tools have a free trial period, take advantage of it to see how you like it.
As your business grows and changes, your needs may also change. Try to select tools that are innovative and looking for ways to improve. This way, you won’t be forced into frequently changing your tools.
Having the right systems in place will save you time and money while positioning your business for growth. If you’re ready to maximize the use of systems and automation in your business, join me in my THRIVE systems small group coaching.
We’ll have your systems up and going before the holidays.