1. Use a wall/desk calendar
I”m not at all the best with remembering dates. I’m the friend who forgets birthdays and special occasions constantly! Thank god for Facebook reminders. I find having a giant wall calendar right next to my computer desk works best for me. If I get an email or phone call I can quickly refer to my wall calendar to check my availability. I pencil out every day on the calendar that I know I have something booked or need to leave a day free for work. Its also really helps me plan out my year, work out how many more clients I can take on and when I can take time of for holidays.
2. Invest in a great diary with a weekly and monthly view
I can’t go past my Kikki K diary. It is really amazing! Not only does it have a monthly and weekly view it also has tabs that can be personalised for anything. I have broken my calendar down into 7 parts – monthly calendar view, weekly calendar view, To Buy Lists, Work Meeting Notes, Planning, To Action lists and Project ideas to work on. The great thing about the Kikki K diary is that you can personalise them as much as you want. I also purchased the stickers so I can colour code my meetings.
3. Use a project management system like – Basecamp
In recent months I have been finding it harder and harder to remember specific agenda items I need to go through with my clients. Although I keep email records and files for each client it is easy to overlook something important. I have recently started using an online project management system called Basecamp. Basecamp is great as it is really affordable and super easy to use. You can also set staff up with user names and add them to your projects. I use this program to keep an ongoing to do list for every client I’m currently working with.
4. All clients get assigned an individual folder for all files/photos/contracts etc.
Who ever said paper free offices were a good thing in my opinion were wrong. I love to have inspirations boards and proposals printed out in colour in client files to go through with them at our meetings. There is really something nice about having a beautiful printed proposal in your hand. The downside is I spend a small fortune on ink cartridges! I find it so much easier to hand write notes and draw quick pictures than trying to make notes on my iPad through out my meetings. Sometimes I do however have to rely on my iPad for certain things. I also think its important to keep invoices and the original signed version of contracts in paper form. For tax purposes in Australia it is of course required that you keep all invoices/receipts for a 5 year period.
6. Sync all calendars together
I switched to using a Mac desktop computer about 5 years ago now and although it took me a little while to learn everything I definitely couldn’t go back to my old PC. I love that I can work on my calendar and then take my iPad and iPhone with me and everything is synced. I already need to remember to update my wall and diary calenders with meetings I wouldn’t want to be updating my iPhone, iPad and Laptop every day too!
7. Keep a daily to do list
I have always kept a daily to do list and don’t think I could live my life without it. I use it for both work and personal releated things I need to action. It’s great at the end of each day being able to go through a to do list and tick of everything thats been completed. It actually makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something.
8. Organise your inbox
I’m currently using Gmail, Mail and Outlook on my Mac computer to manage all my emails. I have broken my inbox down into a folder for everything so that once my emails have been actioned I can file them under a relevant folder. I break down my folders with headings and subheadings. I also have a folder for each current client so I can easily keep track of all my client correspondence. Normally when I’m out of the office I check my emails as soon as I receive them on my iPhone. Anything important gets actioned immediately and everything else gets flagged for me to action when I’m back in the office. Although I spend time working on my emails nearly every day and every weekend I do try to keep everything in drafts to only send during work hours. I think if you start sending emails at 7pm on a Sunday night clients will automatically assume that this is an ok time to be contacting you. I do my best to schedule time in my diary which I’ll dedicate to tackling my emails.
I hope these above tips are helpful in managing your day to day workload. Wishing you all a wonderful week!