The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
No, it’s not an app. It’s actually a real whiteboard that hangs on the wall next to my desk. On it, I keep two lists: (1) my ongoing projects and (2) my daily tasks. Each morning, I write down what I want to accomplish that day. This allows me to stay focused and motivated. Whether you use a whiteboard, notebook, calendar, agenda or otherwise, lists are a fundamental tool for organization.
This simple tool allows me to write notes in the office or on the go. Pictures, text, audio and more can be added to various notebooks, and the notes inside each book can be organized, sent, saved as a PDF and more. It’s my go-to tool for a never-ending list of ideas and to do’s. It’s free too, though the upgrade is worth it.
Asana is the platform my team uses to stay organized and on top of our projects with specific deadlines and notes. This gives us a way for each employee to view their workload on a daily basis and check off tasks as they go. Asana also helps with being able to see what tasks everyone is working on, so if one person is overloaded, we can reassign tasks very easily.
4. Confluence Wiki
We keep track of everything in our company-wide wiki, which is shared among everyone on our team. The wiki includes everything from weekly tech meeting notes to monthly invoices and earnings to even a calendar of previous and upcoming launches. Our team is completely remote, so the wiki keeps everyone on the same page no matter where they are.
The pomodoro technique is killer for us entrepreneurs with ADHD. Work in 20 to 25-minute sprints, take a five-minute break, then focus on the next thing. It essentially gamifies your day.
I love LastPass. It remembers all of my passwords, enabling me to get things done faster in a very organized way. Before using this tool, I would refer to an Excel file for my passwords. I think many people do that. But now with these types of tools, you cut out time spent on unnecessary stuff and focus on the essentials.
7. Old School Email
My email inbox is my to-do list. It’s simple to manage and update. Any task that needs action stays in the inbox until complete. I can email myself ideas, tasks, and of course, I get hundreds of emails per day from the team and clients. I know it’s time to delegate when there are more than 10 emails in my inbox. By day’s end, my goal is to have a clean inbox with only long-term projects left.
We use Podio, a browser-based project management system. We use it to handle both client communications as well as our internal processes. Because we keep everything in one centralized location, everything is documented and we always have a backup in the cloud. Podio is intuitive to use and can be customized to meet almost any need.
We predominantly use Slack to not only keep our clients and projects organized but our employees as well. Slack has been replacing email in our company and brings all of our communication together in one place. It not only serves as a real-time messaging, archiving and search platform, but also allows us to share files, images, PDFs, documents and spreadsheets with our team.
Trello is our go-to tool for keeping our team organized at work. As a manager, I use Trello to keep track of what my team is working on. I can easily add tasks to an employee’s board and label it appropriately as either high, medium or low priority. Using this system lets me see what everyone is working on without disrupting them, and they also have an understanding of what they need to get done.
My team and I use Basecamp to set our weekly, monthly and quarterly priorities. It’s a great platform because it allows you to create projects and assign responsibilities per task with a deadline. Plus you can add comments and tag other team members to keep everyone in the loop on specific projects. Every Monday, we review Basecamp to ensure priorities are aligned with our goals and we have a clear direction.
12. Google Docs
I receive Google Docs from others without any hassle, and I can access them anytime, anywhere. It has the ability to sync all of my docs and save them in the cloud without the fear of losing them. I can also see what my remote team is working on in “real time.” Most importantly, I can pick up where I left off without the need to save every now and then.
IDoneThis is a super easy tool to share what you accomplished each day with team members. The interface is incredibly simple to use. Every day, just write what you’ve completed and it will share in a daily email to the rest of the team. It helps everyone understand what each team member is working on in a fun way.
Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com
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Small Business Technology Tour (Fall 2011)
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