What is the best way to manage my business tasks?
I have a lot of to do lists.
Tasks I’m working on for clients. Projects I want to complete for my business. Action items from meetings.
Having a system to manage these tasks is crucial, because I have a lot of competing priorities and deadlines.
I have to be honest with you - I used to track a lot of my tasks using sticky notes. 🙈
I still use sticky notes to record quick items from meetings and reminders for myself (I love office supplies - I’m not giving up my sticky notes that easily!) But I realized fairly quickly in my business that this was not a good option for keeping track of all of the different tasks and projects in my business! I accidentally threw out some important notes, and that was the end of this system!
Finding the right task management system for your business is completely personal - it might require some trial and error before you find what works best for you. Here are some steps to get started!
Listen to the audio:
Who are you organizing your business tasks for?
What is the best way to organize tasks in my business and keep track of them? This is such an important question, because it impacts how your business functions and how you get through each day in your business.
If you've ever wondered if the way that you organize your tasks is the best and most efficient for your business, or if you don't really have a system of organizing your tasks, keep reading!
When we think about organizing our tasks in our business, what we're really talking about is project managing our business. The first thing to establish is are you managing tasks just for yourself or are you managing them for a team? The answer to this question might drastically affect the way that you organize your tasks.
I know that for myself, within my business I have a to-do list function in my client relations management (CRM) software and I use that for myself. I have multiple to-do lists set up depending on whether it's a task for a client or for my business or for something outside of my business, and that keeps me personally on track.
But then for my team I use a project management software to manage the things that we're working on together and the things that my team is working on independently so that those tasks stay on track as well.
You may not need multiple systems or programs to organize your tasks, but it is something to think about. If you are managing tasks just for yourself, you might be able to utilize something that you have already. But if you are organizing tasks for a team, you might need a new software for that or a new system for that.
What task organization system is best for you?
The next thing to think about is how do you want to group and organize your tasks? How do you want to track them?
For example, I organize the tasks that my team is working on based on which client those tasks are assigned to. Within my project management software, I have a project for each client and then tasks are grouped and broken down by project or type within that client's project.
But this might not work for your type of business. Maybe you need to group tasks based on a particular project. Maybe you need to group tasks based on an area of your business. For example, you might have a project for operations tasks or marketing tasks.
I would encourage you to think about what makes the most sense for you. How do you want to group your tasks together so that they make sense for you or for others if that's applicable to your business?
One thing that I do want to emphasize is there is no right or wrong. As long as you pick something that works well for you and for anyone else that might be using your system, that's okay! Take these tips and see if they help you streamline and create more efficiency. But if you are doing something completely different from any of the methods that I lay out here, that does not mean you are doing something wrong, okay?
What method is best for tracking your tasks?
The next thing to think about is what method do you want to use to track these tasks? Do you need a software? Is there some type of program that you want to use? Here are some options.
If you want to go basic and free, you can definitely use a spreadsheet. I have also had a lot of success with organizing shared tasks with clients in a Google Doc and putting in checkboxes so that we can check tasks off as we finish them.
If you want to get a little more sophisticated, if you have a CRM software that you use, there might be capabilities within that of organizing to do lists and tasks. Just keep in mind that if someone else is fulfilling those tasks for you, they're going to need access to that software. Depending on licensing or if there's things that you don't want team members having access to, it may not make sense for them to be added to your account on that software.
Another software that you might consider to keep track of tasks is Trello. In Trello, you organize things in a board format and you can have multiple columns in your board and move things along to different columns. It's a great way to see progress on a project and the status of things very quickly. You can also assign due dates.
If you want something that has more capabilities, that's a little more sophisticated, you might consider Asana or ClickUp. Both of these are project management softwares that allow you to organize projects with a team or by yourself.
You can add team members to your account - although you might be limited depending on the type of account that you have. Both of these have free accounts, but of course being a free account there are limitations, and to do some things you might need a paid account. But with both of these softwares, you can create multiple projects within the software and then organize tasks within that project. You can do this in a list format if that's how your brain works, or you can do it in a board format more like Trello. They give you several different organization options so you can pick the one that works best for your brain, the project you're working on, and the team you're working with.
You can assign tasks to different team members, you can assign different due dates, and you can attach or link to documents. There are a lot of capabilities using this type of software. I would say that both softwares have a bit of a learning curve when you're just getting started, so if you don't have a lot of time to devote to it right now or you feel like you're not particularly tech-savvy and you don't want to bring on a whole new software that you're not used to, you may want to go with like a spreadsheet or a Google Doc for now to start getting things organized and then look at bringing in one of these softwares later.
These are just some of the many options that are out there to help assist you with getting organized and staying organized.
Are you working in your business or on your business?
I also encourage you to think about things in terms of tasks that are happening in your business - tasks for clients and relating to the work that you're doing for and with clients - and then tasks that are working on your business - anything that you are creating or setting up or administrative tasks.
Personally, I organize both of these areas of my business separately. The client tasks are organized in their own projects and have their own deadlines, structures, and priorities. And then the tasks working on my business are separate.
If I have a week where things are crazy busy and I have to prioritize, I'm probably going to prioritize more of those client tasks than those business tasks. But that's just how the hierarchy of tasks within my business works. You need to find what works best for you and your business.
If you have any questions about this, if you're not sure which organization method is going to work best for you and your team or your business, or if you have questions about a specific program or software to help you do this, please let me know down in the comments or feel free to reach out.