Regardless of what type of business you’re in, you’ll need to stay organized in order to succeed. The last thing you want to have happen is for an important task to fall through the cracks, particularly if it relates to a scheduled communication with one of your clients or potential clients.
There are different ways you can choose to organize your business’ to-do list, of course. You can use relatively low tech methods like a dry erase board that you hang up in a well-travelled area of your office, so that everyone can see their tasks and the status of the projects as a whole. But what if you have employees or contractors who work off-site? Or what if you have multiple projects to track, or a large number of clients who each have a set of tasks that you need to worry about.
If you need to keep track of more than just a single list, you may wish to consider using a more formal project management system to keep track of your to do list. Unfortunately, the term “project management” often conjures up images of Microsoft SharePoint and seemingly endless Gantt charts in the minds of individuals who have used those tools before. While those tools can be used for project management purposes, your business may likely excel with something a little less all consuming.
Basecamp, for example, is a popular online service that provides project management services to businesses of varying sizes. You can organize multiple projects, provide different levels of access to different individuals within your organization, use calendars to track all deliverables and other client materials, store and upload documents to share amongst the members of your team, and have notifications automatically emailed to you when tasks are due, overdue, or completed. The pricing for Basecamp is flexible enough to be able to fit within the budgets of most companies.
If you’re willing to install and host the project management tools yourself, WebCollab is a good open source option. The software is free, but make sure you have the expertise and the resources to keep this properly up and running. You don’t want your project management tool to create an entirely new list of tasks for you to worry about.
Finally, you can also use online tools like Google’s suite of services that include Google Docs, Google Drive and Gmail. You can use Google Docs, for example, to create spreadsheets of tasks that you can then share with the appropriate team members, who can then update the charts as they complete individual tasks within a given project.
The most important thing to do is to find a solution that’s right for you and your team. What’s good for one company won’t necessarily be good for another.
I'm Burty, a geologist and freelance web designer based in Vancouver, Canada. I like music, gadget and love to sit in front of my computer.