Staying organized is easier for some than others—that is a fact. Even the savviest of us have had something fall through the cracks. With the end of the year coming, and a million and one projects to get done, it’s nice to get back to the basics of organization. You don’t need a complex system to stay organized, you just need to find a system that is right for you, and you alone.
- Tackling the Email Beast. As a PR professional, or marketer it’s likely to get hundreds (if not thousands) of emails a day. We can’t sit around all day and just respond to emails–so what do we do? We need to tackle the beast in one fell swoop. Folders will save your life–seriously, they will. If I need to find an email quick, fast and in a hurry I know I can go to the folder and find it fairly easily. This also cuts down on your inbox number, and keeps your important emails stay where you can see them. If you use Gmail, you should try their new feature Priority Inbox, which does this process for you automatically.
- Calendar Updates. Especially in the PR field, following up with a client or reporter is a must. Put reminders on your calendar as soon as you know about it. If you are managing 5 accounts, it can get complicated fast. When you are setting up a reminder, in Outlook or in another email platform you also need to consider when you need to be reminded of the task. If it is an important call, should you be reminded a day before to prepare? Editing the reminder to pop up a day before, as well as a few minutes before the scheduled meeting can be very beneficial.
- Track Your Time. Many people spend too much time doing certain tasks and don’t even realize it. Tracking your time allows you to see where you spend the most time, and how you can streamline certain tasks. If you know a certain site will drive your attention away from the task at hand, Rescue Time might be a great asset for you. It has a feature to block any website you wish, in blocks of time you pick. The program is free, and has a pumped up version for pretty cheap as well. Project Bubble helps keep track of your time and manage it better, and also bills your clients via PayPal. If you are running a one man show, you can get the software for $7 a month, and for small business owners with 10 or less employees, you can get this service for $19 a month.
- Working in The Cloud. Unless you work from home, having access to documents at home is hard to come by. If you have a great idea, instead of just emailing it to yourself, have a spreadsheet in Google docs. This also helps when you are sick, and someone else needs the information. To upload a Word document or Excel spreadsheet, Google has made it quite easy. Once you log into your Google account, click on documents tab and then hit upload. You can drag any file into the uploader and upload multiple items at once.
- Schedule Your Time. We all like to pride ourselves in our multitasking abilities, but sometimes it’s multitasking that actually gets in the way. Put aside a number of hours a day (even on a certain day) to do ongoing tasks such as pitching, or catching up on emails. If you constantly check your email, you might not be concentrating on the other task you are doing. The same goes for pitching. Keep a time of the day blocked out and get on the phone. It’s ok to say you can’t meet during that time period.
If you have found some easy ways to keep you more organized, let us know in the comments.
Shannon Suetos is an expert writer on phone systems based in San Diego, California. She writes extensively for an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs such as VoIP service at Resource Nation.
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