In some ways I miss the old way I kept track of my to do list. It was a piece of paper with an item on every line. I would draw a small box to the left of the item, then a description to the right. When the item was completed, I colored in the box. Seeing a full sheet of paper with all the boxes filled in was extremely satisfying.
But it was worth giving up that column of boxes to go digital. I like having access to my projects on my laptop and from my smartphone wherever I go. Instead of writing BUY MILK on my hand with a Sharpie, I have setup an alert for when I leave the office that will remind me to stop at the store. ServiceTrade uses a couple of applications to share project details across our teams and with our customers.
Service companies can use a project management application to prepare for major projects (taxes, renovations to the office, renewing benefits plans) and manage regular, recurring tasks (vehicle maintenance, financial analysis and reporting, adding new software, monthly snack shopping trip). Whether it’s a big project that will help evolve the company, or simply the work that has to get done, you’ll be more efficient with the information organized in one place.
ServiceTrade’s services team relies on Asana to manage all manner of large and small projects, from onboarding new customers, to internal company tasks.
A member of the services team sets up the new project, enters and assigns the tasks, and invites the customer to join, with tasks assigned to them, too. It keeps the project on time, and helps us review project status and next steps any time. Having discussions, relevant files, notes, and tasks all inside the application is what makes Asana stand out.
Asana has a generous feature set in its free version, and is a strong choice for a professional project and task management platform for any type of business. www.asana.com
ServiceTrade’s marketing team uses Trello to keep track of its daily and weekly tasks, and to prioritize long-term projects. One of the challenges we face in marketing is that new ideas and opportunities come up every day. Using Trello helps us prioritize those new opportunities against our established plans and upcoming deadlines. www.trello.com
This project and task manager will help you arrange projects, assign tasks, assign one-time or recurring deadlines and share files. It is more lightweight than the robust Asana for keeping track of complex projects, and is probably better suited for keeping track of a set of one-time or recurring tasks. www.wunderlist.com
If nothing else, the Reminders app on iOS devices and many other note-taking applications are a quick and easy way to enter a task and set a reminder. I use these in my personal life to keep track of errands, shopping lists and tasks.
More than keeping your to do list in front of you, these applications will help you:
- Be more productive, efficient and focused on the right things
- Manage the day-to-day and remind you what to do between calls, fire drills, or when you need a nap at 3pm
- Plan near-term priorities so you know what to do and when, and decide what needs to wait until later
- Lay out long-term projects and store a list of future projects and ideas so they don’t get lost
- Centralize information and collaborate with others in an affordable, accessible, cloud-based application
Companies who use ServiceTrade are used to having data at their fingertips about the status of their work. These applications will give your team the same type of visibility and control to your internal projects that you have in your customer engagement and service delivery.
Since these applications are free, download each of them and try them out. You’ll find one is a better fit for your business, that you can adopt and share with the rest of your team.
Have you tried any other project or task managers that you like? Let us know in the comments below.