When you set up your business, there always seem like a million and one tasks to do. It feels like once you get through the initial few months then things might calm down and your to-do list will start looking shorter.
But, in reality, your to-do list just gets longer and more complex.
Whether it’s because your client list grows, your product and services are taking off, or you’re rapidly increasing your product suite, the to-do list of an entrepreneur is ever-growing, and you’re no different.
So as a small business owner, how do you go about keeping your to-do list organised? Yes, notebooks are fab, but if you’re anything like me, you don’t carry a notebook everywhere you go (let alone a pen!).
What you need is some sort of software where you can organise your to-do lists by priority, set deadlines, write down notes when you think of them, and keep them all in one place.
Enter project management software.
Why use project management software?
It might just be me, but when I started my business, I was more than happy with writing out lists in Google Docs or a notebook, maybe using Google Sheets if I was feeling fancy.
It wasn’t until I started talking to a fellow entrepreneur and they were talking about Asana that I thought I needed to look into this project management software stuff a little bit more.
“So I just keep track of all of my stuff in Asana,” she’d said to me, “What do you use?”
“Yeah, me too, Asana, I love it!” I replied whilst making a mental note to go and look up Asana later. (I don’t advocate lying, but they weren’t someone who I wanted to appear stupid in front of and like I didn’t know what I was talking about.
So, I went back to my laptop, opened an Asana account, and half-heartedly used it for a couple of months.
Then I started working with my first business coach.
“Do you use Asana?” she asked me in our kick-off call.
“Sure!” I said, a lot more confidently this time because I did, at least, have an account and some thrown together lists and boards now.
“Great!” she said, “I’ll get us a board set up for our work together.”
I smiled, unsure of what would happen next.
The thing to happen next was that I fell in love with project management software.
It was a game-changer for my business, to say the least.
Fast-forward 5 months and every single project in my business have its own Asana board, with multiple lists attached to each sub-project. I have checklists, I have links, I have to-do lists; you name it, it’s plugged into my Asana.
And I love it.
Well for 2 reasons:
- It keeps all of my projects organised;
- If I’m ever having a day where I feel unmotivated and have no idea where to start, I log into Asana and work on a task in there.
Also, as an aside, whenever I check off a task in Asana, this strange little unicorn-type animal flies across my screen…it’s the little things!
Project Management Software Options
There are a whole heap of project management software options available to you, and like most tools, it’s best to think about what features you need from such a tool and then try a couple out before settling on one.
But, remember that hoping between a load of tools won’t benefit you in the long term. You’ll spend a lot of time being busy whilst setting them up to your liking, but this business won’t translate into needle-moving activities for your business. So be warned; you make your business, not the software and tools that you use.
Some project management software options you might want to try out include:
Whilst they all have their unique selling points, their one goal is clear: to help you project manage your tasks in a more effective and efficient way.
Asana has many features, and I’m still working through them.
But, to me, the best thing about Asana is that it’s free for you and up to 15 teammates to use. This is a huge bonus when you consider that a lot of tools limit you to only yourself to use before you need to pay to collaborate with others.
The reason I love this is that I can have my business coach and virtual assistant both be part of my Asana at no additional cost to me.
Plus, I can assign them boards with tasks I want them to see, and keep other boards private just for me/just for one of them and me.
And it’s all free!!
Also included in the free plan are the following features:
- Manage tasks and personal to-dos:
- Unlimited tasks
- Unlimited projects
- Unlimited messages
- Unlimited activity log
- Unlimited file storage (100MB per file)
- Collaborate with up to 15 teammates
- List view projects
- Board view projects
- Calendar view
- Assignee and due dates
- Project Overview
- Project Brief
- iOS and Android mobile apps
- Time tracking with integrations
- 100+ free integrations with your favourite apps
Ok, ok, I’ve mentioned it a few times already, but truely, one of the best things about Asana, is that it’s free plan is amazing. In fact, it’s the one business tool that I’ve never even considered upgrading to a paid-for plan, simply because I have everything I need in the free version.
In conclusion, even if you think you’re on top of your business organisation and to-do list, I’d highly recommend you checking out and using a project management tool like Asana. And if you need reminding, here is my summary of why using project management tools is so beneficial for your sanity and your business:
- Have access to your ideas whenever you want. A good project management tool will have an app where you can quickly add in a note or something to your to-do list when you think of it, and not once you’ve found a notebook and pen.
- You can add team members to your to-do lists and boards, assigning them tasks, and checking off when tasks have been completed.
- You can add deadlines to your tasks, and you’ll be reminded of these deadlines depending on how you set your notifications.
- You can set your tasks in boards, lists, charts, timelines – however, your mind works, you can set up your project management tool layout to how you think and visualise your work best (my favourite way is with a board by the way!).
Whichever way you choose to organise your business goals and tasks, doing it with a project management software tool (like Asana!!) is definitely the way to go.
Which project management software tool is your favourite? Let me know in the comments below!