Nowadays, the most valuable “thing” we have is our time. Many people would argue this statement and say it’s not. I beg to differ. For everything you do, every place you want to visit, if you just want to go out and watch a movie, you need time. And yes, you also need all other sorts of things, but If you don’t have the time to do anything, all the money in the world won’t help you. I thought about this a lot and decided to write about it.

We live in a stressful world. Organizing yourself is a huge bonus; you get things done in an orderly fashion, you don’t miss deadlines and you keep your clients (and yourself!) happy. A while ago I was wondering why I can’t get enough sleep, why I can’t find the time to eat right, can’t seem to get enough of sleep,always work late or see my family and friends. I realized that I didn’t have s schedule. I slowly started sorting things out.

trello

The first thing I did was check all of my ongoing projects. I needed to write them down by name, write every single task that needs to be done and who has to do it. As a project manager I have to be on track of what’s going on with every single project that is assigned to me. I realized that there is no way I would write everything down on paper and then try and find it every time I would need to check on a specific project. I started looking for tools and i found Trello.

 

I instantly saw all the bonuses in it. A board for every single project. Lists you can create to know the steps of the projects and tasks you can give to every single team member. You can add a team member to any specific task or list, make a due date for when the task needs to be done, create To Do lists in those tasks… I could go on for days. If you need a tool to organize your project, Trello is the app to go to. There are other apps you can use like Avada or Google Tasks, but Trello suits me best. There’s a lot more to it than I’ve described here, it offers a lot more features – do yourself a favour, check it out and become a fan :).

slack

With that set, I was looking for a solution, that would help our file sharing and conversation between team members better. We discovered Slack. We were already using Skype for chatting and Dropbox for file sharing, but kind of wanted to use both at one place. Slack gives you that. Not only that, you can create channels – we have one for almost every project, a channel for random stuff, a channel for laughs and you can chat privately with other team members. It allows you to share files, videos, documents and it works like a charm. We love it and for now, no other app beat it, so we’re sticking with it. You can integrate a lot of apps – Dropbox, GitHub, Google Drive, WordPress and many more. We use all of those, so yes, Slack gives us all we need and more on the same spot. I definitely recommend it to everyone working as a team.

About 6 months ago I started working with social media – marketing. At first I didn’t know what exactly I was doing, or how to grow audience, where to find followers, how to make the most of it. I did a lot of research, looking for people who wrote about social media marketing, started to learn from them and somewhere along the way I came across Buffer.

logo_buffer

This is where I can say this – it was love at first sight. Or would it be more reasonable to say at first read – I read about it at first, did some research and realized that this is what I was looking for. All the things I used to do on every single social network I can now do in one place. Post, write, upload images/videos, follow the progress of the post, see the reach it got, actions it got – every single thing in one place. And what’s best of all, you can schedule all your posts. The first thing that came across my mind was this – JACKPOT. I am never going to be able to express my gratitude to the Buffer team, first of all for the app itself, second, for their blogs (I am a huge fan and follower of their work) and third, but not last, their customer service. For every question I’ve had, they’ve responded, mostly in matter of minutes. Always kind, always wanting to help and always finding a solution. Thanks Buffer team.

After I started using all of these apps, the last thing I realized I needed was a calendar. I use the one Google has, because it gives me everything I need. I mark down what I will be doing on what day, estimate the time I will need to do it and write it down. For most of the things I write down I already know when, how and for how long I will be doing it, but for those I don’t, I usually set a reminder – just in case.

I am never going to be able to express my gratitude to the Buffer team!

All of the apps I’ve listed of course have substitutions – as I’ve said, instead of Trello, you can use Asana, Insted of Buffer, you can use Hootsuite….. I’ve listed the apps that I use, because I trust them and they have never failed me. And, all of these apps are available on your phone which means that you can check what’s going on from everywhere.

The time that I use now is efficient and not a single project now passes the deadline. I’ve organized myself, my workflow, my team’s workflow and we all have better results now. Once a week I take 2 hours, write everything down into Trello and my calendar and then I just work and have fun. I cut down about 20-25 hours of work a week, have a lot more time to read books, research, be with my loved ones or just get a good night sleep.

I highly recommend you to find tools, that’ll make things easier for you. Optimizing your workflow means optimizing your life.

Have fun guys and ’till next time.
Ana