Having multiple tasks and roles to juggle everyday, it is inevitable to have your tasks organized and a foolproof workflow!
I don’t remember quite when my obsession for to-do-list started to kick in, but I know it was very early. I always been the one who love to jot things down. If I am assigned a project, I have to make sure that all scenarios and pointers comes to consideration. I have to anticipate any question or problem that might arise, and I won’t rest till I know I covered everything.
Also, my head is filled with ideas all the time! And I hate that they go to waste by forgetting them.
I must however say that the tools now for keeping organized can be quite overwhelming. Before, it was sufficient with paper and pen, but lack of search function and keeping track of where the notes are placed are obvious downsides. In this day of age, there is sea of choices. With mobile devices and apps in the mix, you have a carousel deemed to make you dizzy.
Then there are your different needs! Calendar for private and work (work number 1 and 2). Calendar for booking, household chores, blog sched and you name it. To do list for clients, administration and for the home. Multiple platform and devices. Sync possibilities. And then keeping your sanity above it all. Believe me though, that if you skip this, your sanity is more in danger.
I am a mom, wife, an entrepreneur and work 80 % as an accountant. All roles demanding so much of my time. This is what my situation is today, and till I can afford to go down on my work percentage, I just have to do the best of it. There is a lot of stuff that goes to the bottom of the list, but I just have to be patient and ensure myself that eventually, if things are done right, I’ll reach that bottom.
So, over to the tools. Since I use so many as of this moment, this will not be a review of each software/tool. That post will come later on. This is more of an introduction. Also as a disclaimer, this is what works for me. Some tips are of a general nature, while some are more case-to-case basis.
- To buy
- Client projects
- Client questionnaire’s
- Social media
- My blog
- My website
- Analytics tools
- Blogs I read
- Bookmarked sites
- Inspirations and ideas (images from web)
- Webclips and articles
- Online image album
- Publishing pdf’s
- Calendar/time management
- Managing hours worked on projects
- Image catalog
- Accessibility and multi-platform compatibility – Having my home office with both mac and pc for the time being, an iPhone, an iPad and laptop, I need my most important tools, to be accessible at any time in any of these devices. One solution is that the tool offer a web accessible platform. As long as you have a webbrowser and it is not flash based (mobile devices incompatibility), your good to go. Another solution is in the next pointer…
- Sync capabilities – Many tools offer possibility to synchronize. Some tools lets you sync across different platforms/softwares. Take for example awesome note/anote app, which lets you import/export/sync to Google or Evernote.
- Functionality – It is important that the functionality cater your needs. Whether it be, your available time, what it is meant for, your learning curve and so on….
- Cost– many tools have free versions wherein you can upgrade at a cost if you need more functions. Some of the tools I have is free, and wherein I don’t see the need for an upgrade. Many tools also offer trial periods. I suggest you go for this, if you have several alternatives you are considering. I would advice though that you don’t plot in a lot of data in case you find that it doesn’t meet your need. The pricing structure is also very different. Some offer one time purchase, while others are subscription and periodical payments.
- Customer service – There are plenty of tools who looks the same, but most probably it will boil down to customer service. For me, this is an important point. Helpful, competent and service oriented employees, available most of the time if not 24/7., and giving you swift reply. Living in Norway, with most tools developed in USA, a live chat is also a good feature. The most successful ventures, are most often associated with good customer service, and they get a loyal following.
- Look – Not the most important factor, but a good bonus. I like them sleek, modern and I also like that they assist me visually.
- Performance – Preferably, it shouldn’t be a memory hog.