Keeping Organized on a Budget
The past year has been very hard for most people, especially with the pandemic and economy. Many businesses have shuttered their doors for a variety of reasons. While it has always been important to stay organized and methodical, in practice it can very difficult. This especially true when dealing with the public and even co-workers.
Paper management systems can be VERY tedious, especially if other team members need to access similar information at the same. Clearly, there is no lack of companies willing to sell business management software and with many companies moving to a subscription model, this can cost several hundred dollars per year! For those who have stand alone copies of integrated office programs such as Microsoft Office including Excel (still available on site such as Ebay), this can be option which a variety of downloadable templates. As convenient as this may be, if the spreadsheets formulas need to be customized and linked to other spreadsheets, some specialized knowledge is certainly required.
Trello is a Free project management service that is loosely based on a Kanban board system. Think of the sticky notes on a white board going all the way across describing ideas, stages of a project, who is responsible, and all without the mess to clean up afterwards. The service allows for standardized templates or you can design your own. A calendar feature or voting options is available with the free service, and of course you can opt in for additional features for an annual fee.
Another service that takes a slightly different path is Asana. Starter program for this service is also free and allows for a fairly robust integration of team members input into a project or projects. One can assign a specific person to a certain project with a due date. Calendar and board views are also available with this service. Lists can be private or shared with an entire group. Both Trello and Asana are available as mobile Apps, which is also a major plus when out on the road.
So, what if you are sort of a grass roots person, and want to built an integrated system yourself that is totally private? Of course this is going to take a little more work on your part but is certainly possible. A service such as Tiaga may be a good choice for you. The starter package is again free, but for about $5.00 per month you obtain a step up in resources that is a reasonable value for your money.
We all need a little help now and again, so it may be worth taking a look at some of these services to see if they may be right for you.