4 Reasons You Need A Project Management System

 

4 Reasons You Need A Project Management System AmandaLeighVA.com 1

If you have any projects going on at the moment, you need a project management system.

That would be you!

I know. A “project management system” sounds so intimidating. You may think because you only do (insert what you do here), that you don’t need a system.

I’m sorry, but I think you’re wrong.

A project management system is just that. It is a way to organize everything that you have going on.

No matter what stage you are in with your business, a project management system is essential to staying on top of all of your “to-dos”. (We all know that there are a lot of those!)

I personally love Asana, but there are so many systems out there for you to choose from.

I honestly don’t know what I would do without Asana, so it’s not difficult to come up with 1,000 reasons why you need a system, but I thought 4 would be a good start.

  1. Everything is in one place

Maybe you have sticky notes all over your desk.

You have a notebook full of notes.

Your inbox is full of to-do tasks.

You forget to do things because either (1) you have things written in so many different areas, you wouldn’t know where to look or (2) you never wrote it down anywhere!

You have so many ideas that you try to remember. That project that would be great, but just not at this moment. What about your blog post ideas? Do you think of a great idea, only to forget about it later?

Well, with a project management system, this is all solved. Your project management system will be your one-stop shop for everything that’s going on in your business (and your personal life).

When I open Asana, I see a list of all of my tasks that must be done (with due dates).

I have projects that are filled with blog ideas and notes.

I also have a project for my social media planning, marketing, and client tasks.

There’s something amazing about being able to have one spot for everything!

  1. Keep track of due dates

I mentioned due dates before. It deserves a whole category for itself.

Having all of your tasks compiled in one area is great, but how do you know what to work on?

Have you ever looked at the date and thought “Oh, no! I was supposed to do XYZ today!”

Well, when you have a project management system like Asana, you can enter due dates. That way, anything that must be done immediately will show up on the top of your list. Any tasks that you do not have to worry about at the time will show up on the bottom of your list.

Sometimes, I put tasks in there each year so that I don’t have to think about it anymore – just put it in Asana and it’ll be there when you need it.

  1. Communication becomes streamlined

Do you have to search through your emails to find the ones from your clients?

Then each client will have 1,000 different email chains?

You are trying to find information about a particular project, but can’t seem to find it?

Or maybe you constantly receive emails from clients, or are constantly sending emails to clients, that say “What’s the status on…”.

Can you relate?

Well, it doesn’t have to be like that!

You can use your project management system to correct this time-consuming issue by sharing your system with your clients!

Make a project with information for each particular project. Share that with your clients!

All of your deliverables will be listed out so, at any point, you and your client can see what has been done.

All of your communication can be right in the project. (Feedback, questions, etc.)

There aren’t any more missed/forgotten emails. Nothing goes to spam.

  1. Documents are in one place

Have you ever received (or sent) an email that says “I know that was sent, but I can’t find it.”

What about losing track of how many times a deliverable was edited or not being able to find previous edits/notes?

Any attachments can be stored right in Asana (and most other project management systems out there), so there’s no more scrolling through emails looking for your attachments.

I have many tasks where I update a spreadsheet each week. I post a Google Doc link to that spreadsheet in my task so that I never have to go searching for it!

So,  what are you waiting for?


Amanda Leigh, with her business savvy tools and upbeat attitude, helps entrepreneurs develop systems that work for, not against them. By setting up project management systems and email management protocols curated specifically for each business, Amanda’s dedication to helping others thrive means making sure nothing is forgotten.

If you could use an extra set of hands in your business, Schedule a
FREE Discovery Call here


 

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Use Asana to Get to Inbox Zero

Working for yourself is the most amazing experience, but it can be so overwhelming.

Do you have an inbox full of unread emails, sticky notes covering your desk, and a whole list of tasks that should have been done already?

The stress tends to either lead to all day/night working episodes, or completely ignoring all of your responsibilities because starting is just too overwhelming.

I’m all about getting to inbox zero, but it’s nearly impossible to do without a proper project management system in place.

I’ve told you about my dear friend followupthen! This is great when you want to remind yourself of an email at a later point in time, but what about all the other stuff?

You know, the email that you think is a great resource, the information about a project, client information, and all the other things that should be on your to-do list. (Your inbox should not be your to-do list!)

Enter Asana. Now, there are two major ways that you can use Asana to help you get to inbox zero.

  1.         Forward or Copy & Paste Emails into Asana

There are some emails that come in that I just want to save. Can you relate? They are either full of information or have links/passwords included.

If this happens, you simply either forward the email directly to Asana or simply copy and paste the important information into an Asana project.

This way, you always have the information and it isn’t taking up valuable retail space in your inbox.

To find the email for an individual project, go to the project. Click the down arrow > Add Tasks via > email.

The email address for that specific project will pop up.

Asana Screenshot

When you forward the email, the subject will become the task name and the body of the email will become the task description. If there is an attachment, that will stay.

You can put multiple projects in as contacts in your email, but I like to create a separate project that says “add to projects” and simply sort the information from there.

  1.         Communicate within Asana

Do you ever get the “what’s the status of….” email? What about the “I can’t find that x you sent me, can you resend”? Or even better, “I didn’t get that or it went to spam”.

Well, you can communicate with your clients and employees right in Asana.

You can see what has been done and what hasn’t been done.

You can assign tasks to each other with due dates, and you can communicate within the tasks.

You can add comments, tag a team members using the @ symbol, and keep project communication out of your inbox.

Attach documents right in the project, so it won’t get lost. Attach links to Google docs for easy access.

The options are endless.

Did I mention that Asana was free? You and up to 14 team members can be on your workspace for free. Now, there is an upgrade available that has some pretty cool features, but the free version works amazingly!

Do you use Asana to help organize your tasks get to inbox zero?


Amanda Leigh, with her business savvy tools and upbeat attitude, helps entrepreneurs develop systems that work for, not against them. By setting up project management systems and email management protocols curated specifically for each business, Amanda’s dedication to helping others thrive means making sure nothing is forgotten.

If you could use an extra set of hands in your business, Schedule a
FREE Discovery Call here


How To Use Asana To Achieve Inbox Zero #productivity #automation AmandaLeighVA.com 1How To Use Asana To Achieve Inbox Zero #productivity #automation AmandaLeighVA.com 2How To Use Asana To Achieve Inbox Zero #productivity #automation AmandaLeighVA.com 3

Don’t be Perfect

I know what it’s like to have a business. I have so many things that I want to do.

I want all of it to be perfect.

In fact, I could spend an hour making a single social media graphic. I could spend an entire 40 hour work week perfecting my website. I could spend 5 hours writing a blog post.

All in the sake of being perfect.

But you know what? Perfect isn’t always the best way to go.

Perfect can be your downfall.

You should just finish it. Your graphics should look great, but they don’t have to be perfect. Your website should look great, but I’m not sure those are ever perfect. Blog posts should be helpful to your readers, but it doesn’t have to be award winning.

Don’t use perfection as an excuse.

Don’t delay creating a blog because you can’t write perfect posts every week. Don’t delay launching that e-book because it isn’t perfect yet. Just do it!

You can always edit it at a later time, but don’t let perfection be an excuse.

In fact, launching a product that isn’t perfect is absolutely ideal. You’re going to get feedback from users and you can adjust the product to suit their needs!

If you wait on everything being perfect, you’re going to lose out on sales, spend tons of valuable time doing tasks that should be used elsewhere, and you may never actually launch it!

Do you find yourself coming up with amazing plans, research it, start this amazing product, only to never actually finish it? You begin getting bored and discouraged because it isn’t perfect?

Stop doing that!

You’re probably your own worst critic. Do you ever think your own work is ever perfect? I feel I can always tweak and improve nearly every aspect of my business.

You should always be proud of your product, but perfect is a nearly impossible goal to reach. Don’t let that get in the way of you putting out an amazing product.

So, are you pushing back starting/finishing anything in your business because you’re concerned it won’t be perfect?



Amanda Leigh, with her business savvy tools and upbeat attitude, helps entrepreneurs develop systems that work for, not against them. By setting up project management systems and email management protocols curated specifically for each business, Amanda’s dedication to helping others thrive means making sure nothing is forgotten.

If you could use an extra set of hands in your business, Schedule a
FREE Discovery Call here


 

Stay Productive by Planning

Plan to have a productive week in your business and an entrepreneur
How to have a productive week even when you’re an overwhelmed entrepreneur. AmandaLeighVA.com

Staying productive can seem like such an impossible task, but it is completely doable with a plan.

Set out a time every week for a plan. I like to plan on Sundays, but first thing Monday morning or last thing on Friday works as well.

Bonus tip: while planning out your week, make sure you schedule time for batch processing!

Ideally, the planning would include several aspects.

  1. What is your biggest priority for this upcoming week and how are you going to accomplish that goal? (Examples: Write your blog posts, course creation, follow up with x number of leads, big client projects, etc.)
  2. What activities do you do daily? (Examples: Check emails, social media interaction, other client work, etc.)
  3. What appointments do you have set up?

First, look at your biggest goal for the week. What do you have to do every day to complete that goal? For example, if your goal is to write blog posts for next month, start every day dedicating an hour to writing blog posts. If you batch process your blog writing, take one hour on Monday and Tuesday to write your posts, one hour Wednesday and Thursday to edit them, and one hour on Friday to make graphics, format, and schedule them to post.

(Note that I didn’t say to do this after you check your emails and social media, those take too long and can be way too distracting)

Next, schedule blocks of time to work on your business and your client work. Don’t worry about the details just yet!

For example, maybe your week will look like this:

Monday

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday

Friday

Work on week’s goal Work on week’s goal Work on week’s goal Work on week’s goal Work on week’s goal
Business admin/marketing Business admin/marketing Business admin/marketing Meetings Business admin/marketing
Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
Client work Client work Meetings Client work Client work

Everyone’s list is going to look differently. Because much of my work is other entrepreneur’s “business admin/marketing”, I group my email, social media, and Asana updates with my clients, so my weeks look more like this:

Monday

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday

Friday

Work on week’s goal Work on week’s goal Work on week’s goal Work on week’s goal Work on week’s goal
Check and respond to emails Check and respond to emails Check and respond to emails Check and respond to emails Check and respond to emails
Social media posting Amanda Leigh Marketing Client work Client work Client work
Update Asana Update Asana Update Asana Update Asana Update Asana

After the days are somewhat grouped and batched, it’s time to plan out the details. Try to batch as much as possible together. Do you have multiple clients that you need to create graphics for? Are you creating multiple brand boards or logos? Try to batch like projects together.

I would also suggest not giving yourself exact times to work on these. It just seems like once you start running behind, it’s easy to get stressed and less motivated.

Side note, I can’t talk about planning a productive week without touching on emails and other incoming notifications. You can schedule time open and check your emails/social media, if that’s what you’d like to do. It is known to be best practice to only check your emails at certain times, but I understand how difficult that can be. I do, however, believe that you should schedule a chunk of time to check emails and then perhaps just glance at it throughout the day to satisfy the need to stay at inbox zero.

Instead, provide yourself with a list of tasks from most to least important that you’d like to get done each day, and in each category.

The next day, look at what you didn’t complete the day before and repeat!

How do you plan for your week?


Amanda Leigh, with her business savvy tools and upbeat attitude, helps entrepreneurs develop systems that work for, not against them. By setting up project management systems and email management protocols curated specifically for each business, Amanda’s dedication to helping others thrive means making sure nothing is forgotten.

If you could use an extra set of hands in your business, Schedule a FREE Discovery Call here


Get out of the overwhelm

Solopreneur Overwhelm - AmandaLeighVA.com

We all do it. We have a to-do list with exactly 1,382,401 items on it. It’s overwhelming. How in the world are you going to complete all of these tasks!?

You aren’t.

I hate to break it to you, but you just aren’t going to complete 1,382,401 tasks. Well, not without doing just one task first.

When I get overwhelmed, I go get myself a cup of hot tea (I’m not really a coffee drinker, does this make me less trustworthy 🙂 ). I sit down and come up with one goal.

I’ll look through my Asana projects and determine what I’d like to get done TODAY? Not tomorrow, not at some point, but today.

Maybe it’s to be more active in a certain Facebook group or write 4 blog posts. Maybe it’s to finish a project with a client. Now I determine what I can do to complete that one goal.

Then do the first step! Check it off the list!

Now you are one task down! Then do another and check it off!

How are you feeling now that you’re rolling?

You see, you can’t do everything at once. It’s impossible, I promise. But you can do one thing at a time.

So, what are you going to complete today?


 

Amanda Leigh, with her business savvy tools and upbeat attitude, helps entrepreneurs develop systems that work for, not against them. By setting up project management systems and email management protocols curated specifically for each business, Amanda’s dedication to helping others thrive means making sure nothing is forgotten.

 

If you could use an extra set of hands in your business, Schedule a
FREE Discovery Call here

How I use batch processing to be more efficient

Batch processing.

You may have heard to term, but do you use it?

If you don’t, you should!

Batch processing is a time management tool where you group like tasks together. By doing this, completing your tasks simply become more efficient.

There are so many examples, but I’ll give you a few of the ones I use most frequently.

  1. Batch process your blogs. I like to be a month ahead, so I do a month’s worth of blog posts at once.
  • I already have outlines in Asana that I put in there as soon as I come up with an idea.
  • One day a month, I block out time to write the following month’s blog posts. I just sit and write. Don’t worry about editing.
  • Another day, I’ll edit all of the posts at one time.
  • I’ll batch process all of the graphics for each posts (for the blog, Facebook, and Pinterest).
  • I’ll then schedule these out for every platform that I use.
  1. Batch process your invoicing.

I invoice once per month, but send updates every week. I will batch process my invoicing by preparing invoices from every client at one time.

  1. Batch process checking notifications.

Do you find yourself with your email and social media accounts open all the time? You can’t get anything done because you’re always checking every email and notification as they come in. Now, I’m not going to tell you to check your emails once or twice a day, but I am going to suggest batch processing this task. For example, if you are working on creating graphics, don’t check anything! Shut off your email and social media accounts. After you’re finished with creating your graphics, take 10 minutes (seriously, set a timer) to check your emails and other notification.

Batch processing makes things so much easier for 2 main reasons.

  • You get less distracted. You are focusing on one task at a time, so your brain isn’t going back and forth between different types of tasks.
  • You get things done ahead of time! Yay! By batching projects together, it forces you to plan everything out. No more waiting until the last minute because it is already done!

What tasks are you going to start batch processing?

Batch Processing Pinterest Image 1  Batch Processing Pinterest Image 2  Batch Processing Pinterest Image 3


Amanda Leigh, with her business savvy tools and upbeat attitude, helps entrepreneurs develop systems that work for, not against them. By setting up project management systems and email management protocols curated specifically for each business, Amanda’s dedication to helping others thrive means making sure nothing is forgotten.

 

If you could use an extra set of hands in your business, Schedule a
FREE Discovery Call here

It’s Almost New Year’s, Are You Ready?

It’s almost 2018! I just can’t believe how quickly time flies. What about you?

I love taking this time of year to reflect. I don’t necessarily make resolutions, I just like to look back at how much things have changed in that year.

This year was a really big year for me, both professionally and personally. I moved into my new home, finally graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in accounting, got engaged, and opened my virtual assistant business.

But, there are some things that I didn’t do that I really wanted to. I wanted to have all of my social media platforms up and running by year end. I am this close to that goal, but I still have some odds and ends to do. I also wanted to have my blog posts completely finished through the end of January. 

Do you have anything that you wanted to do in 2017 that you just haven’t gotten around to doing or were just shy of?

Write them down! How are you going to correct this? I’m going to add time to my schedule to finish my Facebook and Pinterest accounts. I’m also going to schedule out time to create the graphics and upload/schedule my blog posts for the next month. 

Are there any goals that you have for 2018 that weren’t on your 2017 list? Write them down!

Now, these goals are just sitting on your bulletin board so that you can see them every day, but now what? Well, you need to create an action plan! These goals won’t make themselves.

So, let’s first look at the goals that weren’t completed in 2017. Think about why they weren’t completed. Did you not share your product/services with enough people? Did you not go to networking events as you planned? Maybe you didn’t write enough blogs. Really think about this.

Now think about your new goals for 2018. How are you going to make these happen? What steps do you need to take throughout the year for you to achieve these goals?

Now you have this giant list of things you need to do! Take each goal, one by one, and list out exactly how you’re going to achieve it in your project management system!

For example, let’s say you want to increase your traffic to your website using Pinterest. Perhaps you can schedule and assign the following steps:

  1. Create your business Pinterest account
  2. Create several graphics for each of your blog posts that you already have
  3. Add “create graphics” to your blog post creation process for future posts

So, what type of goals are you going to create?

2017%2F2018 New Year (1).png


Amanda Leigh, with her business savvy tools and upbeat attitude, helps entrepreneurs develop systems that work for, not against them. By setting up project management systems and email management protocols curated specifically for each business, Amanda’s dedication to helping others thrive means making sure nothing is forgotten.

 

If you could use an extra set of hands in your business, Schedule a
FREE Discovery Call here