Picture this: you walk to your desk and there are scraps of paper all over, calendars on the wall with a myriad of coloured appointments, an agenda is open somewhere under the stacks of paperwork, and sticky notes adorn every surface. Sound familiar? How can you be expected to keep up with deadlines and make sure nothing is missed when you can’t even find the source of that weird smell?! Now imagine if your whole team had workspaces like this...definitely not the ideal environment for productivity!
When your brain and/or workspace is cluttered, it can stress you out, make you feel overwhelmed and less productive. While not quite at the level described above, we've all had the feeling that we're drowning in paper scraps and bits of information with no real system to keep us tethered. Enter team management software!
There are so many software programs out there that are made specifically to help keep you and your team organized and on task. This can be both exciting and a little daunting! With so many different options, how do you know which is the best? Start by making a wishlist of what your team needs and how you want to use the software. Will it be for task management? Team communication? Billing? All of the above? To get you started, here’s what was on our wishlist.
What We Needed
Since we have many clients, each with their own schedules and priorities, we wanted somewhere that we could have a separate space for each client’s information and content
Most people like to check things off of lists and we are no exception! For that reason, we wanted software that had task lists or checklists of some kind
We also wanted to be able to add due dates and create recurring tasks for things like content creation that we do on a weekly basis
I can’t even tell you how many different types of software I researched, tried out and added to comparison charts - there are so many to choose from! In the end, we chose to use Monday.com and it has been a game-changer for our productivity!
Now that you’ve chosen a team management software to use, it’s time to make it work for you! It’s pretty much inevitable that your ideas of what you need are going to evolve as you do some software research and actually implement it. While we definitely use our program for the things we initially thought we needed, we also use it for many more things and continue to evolve our work processes with it. Here are some of the most important things we’ve been able to do with our new software.
How We Use it Now
Customization One of the things we love the most about our task management software is how customizable it is! We can create different clients, colour-code tasks or social media platforms, create sub-teams of people in our company and so much more!
Keeping track of tasks that need to progress through multiple people For tasks that need to go through multiple people, such as content creation, we are able to create a drop-down list with customized statuses like “Working on it”, “Proofreading”, “Revisions”, and “Done”. So when the item is first created (as a recurring task each week), it is assigned to our content creation team who put that they are “Working on it”. Once they’re done, they’ll assign the task to our editor and change the status to “Proofreading”. If there are any edits to be made, the editor will write notes right in the task and re-assign it to the content creators with the “Revisions” status. Once the content is completely good to go, we change the status to “Done” (which we’ve set up to then automatically archive the item) and move on to the next item! We also have statuses like “Waiting on client”, “Stuck” and others so, at a glance, everyone can see what’s holding something up.
Calendars (blogs, ads etc.)
We can also create custom calendars from different groups on our software. We have a blog calendar that links the information from every “blog” category across all our clients and puts it into one calendar, making it easy to see what’s coming up and meet our deadlines!
Tips From Our Experience
You have to prepare yourself for some research! The very first thing you find when you type “Team management software” into Google might be the one that works for you, but more often than not, it’ll take some digging. Every team is unique and has unique needs. Luckily, there are many different types of team management software out there, so you should be able to find one to suit your needs.
Free trials are amazing! If you find a platform that sounds like it has all the features you need, looks amazing and is in your budget, hooray! But, before you pull the trigger and agree to a year+ with this company, see if they have a free trial! Oftentimes, the features sound like everything you want when in list format but can be different than you expected when you actually try putting your information in.
Finally, don’t be afraid to use more than one platform. I know it sounds counterproductive - you’re trying to declutter and streamline after all! - but sometimes it can be better to have one software that is really excellent at one thing rather than just okay at a bunch of things. Be smart about it; using too many different types of software may be more hassle than help. Most team management software includes integrations so you can still keep your information from different sources together in one place, which is a great feature!
Good luck organizing!!