If you run your own business, I’m going to assume you have a to do list.
But everyone’s to do list is different, depending on the person.
Some have lists scribbled on notepads, crossed out, surrounded by doodles. Others have everything organized in a paper diary, or perhaps in blocks on an online calendar. I’ve seen some people with page after page of things to do and others who cover their walls with Post-Its of tasks.
But did you know there are apps for that?
Of course there are!
There are a number of organisational apps and online software programmes to help you stay organised, whatever you do and whatever you need organising. Some are little apps on your device which are digital to do lists and others are big organisational treats, like Evernote.
You may have heard of some of the online organisational software. Teamwork, 17Hats, Trello, to name a few, and Asana, which I personally use.
I have trouble letting go of paper to do lists, so I use a paper diary to organise my days but I now also use Asana so I know not just what I’m doing today and tomorrow, but next month too.
Basic Asana is free to use and oh so simple. I was introduced to it by a lovely client and we do our main communication and work through it, so it’s great for teams too.
Because it’s free, it’s definitely worth creating an account at asana.com and having a play around.
Let me walk you through it while, at the same time, giving you a glimpse at my own to do list…
An Asana Walkthrough
You can create Organisations and Workspaces for each of your clients, your businesses or your teams, and have different dashboards for those different Workspaces. It means that you can use Asana to work with different people and those people can’t see the tasks you have for each of them. You control who sees what.
Organisations are for companies or people who share the same domain in their email addresses, but you can also add ‘guests’ who don’t have the same email domains, such as contractors and freelancers.
Workspaces are great for one on one type relationships with clients or when working with people who don’t share the same email domain as you.
You also get a ‘Personal Projects’ workspace which is all yours and this is what I use for my personal to do list.
I would show you this, but it would mean showing you my clients, so you’ll just have to play around with this. But you can access it by clicking on your profile image in the top right and selecting More -> Create Workspace.
- You can create projects to organise your tasks, and when you do your projects will appear in the left column for easy access.
2. When you create a task (click on the line and press return after each title), you can complete it by clicking this tick. It’s so satisfying! At the top of the dashboard you can view completed tasks and filter tasks.
3. All the tasks you create will appear on the dashboard, ready and waiting. When you click on them, or create a new task, the box on the right will appear…
4. Here you can assign a task to someone. All these tasks are assigned to me, but if you Workspace is shared with your client or colleagues, you can assign the task to them. The task will disappear from your dashboard once you assign it to someone else, but you can go to their dashboard by clicking on the search bar.
5. Set your deadline. Click to choose either when it needs to be done by or what day you’ll be doing this particular task.
6. I love this button. There’s something a little bit fun about creating mini tasks within your main task, which is what this button does… Oh, is it just me that finds that fun?
7. You can probably guess what this does. It attaches files to your task! Send files from your computer, Google Drive, Dropbox and Box.
8. This is the profile picture in the top right I mentioned earlier. Use this to go to your account or between Workspaces. You can also use this to go to your account settings and change the theme. You can see my theme is wintery right now, I need to go change it to something more spring-like.
9. This is the project name. Use this how you will. I use it to split up my tasks between my businesses.
10. Put the title of your task here. This is what will appear on your to do list in the dashboard.
11. And you can put any information about the task in the description. This is great if you’re sharing tasks between colleagues to explain what’s needed.
12. These are those mini tasks I mentioned in number 6! So pretty… Use these to break down the task into smaller pieces and you can assign separate deadlines to each.
13. Use the comment boxes to talk to your colleagues. And yes, you can even use emojis.
14. If you have a task that needs to be assigned to one person but another colleague needs to be aware of it, this is where you put all their names so they can all follow the task.
It may seem a bit daunting at first, but trust me, these organizational apps and websites can change how you work for the better.
Take some time to play around, see which one you like and then get organized. See how much more you can get done.
At the beginning of February, I shared with you what productivity really means and my simple tips to becoming more productive. See, it’s all connected.
And now, I’m off to play with those mini-tasks some more…