Running a small distributor business demands to stay on top of multiple tasks. With so much on your plate, both business and personal, making sure nothing falls through the cracks can be can very stressful. Staying organized is both critical and a challenge.
The good news is, it can be achieved with the right tools, and in this post I’d like to share some of my favorite ones I use everyday to help me get more done. I love that they are very easy to use, they all sync across my desktop and mobile devices, and have highly functional mobile apps. In addition all of them offer a free level that is sufficient for everyday tasks management. That said, even the paid upgrades are very affordable.
Trello is a simple but powerful project management tool that organizes your to-dos into boards. Each board is organized in columns that hold your lists, which by default are “to do”, “doing” and “done”, but you can customize the way you want. You add items to your lists by using “cards”, much like post it notes. Each card lets you add checklists, attachments, labels and comments, and even share it with someone you want to delegate the task to. In one glance, Trello tells you what’s being done, who’s working on what, and where something is in the process. It can be very useful to keep track of orders, marketing tasks, business development projects, and anything else you want to get done in your business.
Have you ever been enjoying some R&R with family or friends when all of a sudden you remember you have to get samples for a client? Or maybe that you have to get your passport renewed? That’s when this app comes in very handy. Wunderlist puts all your to-do lists in one place and lets you add sub tasks, attachments and notes to them; and it syncs between calendars on your phone and computer. For me, this is the ultimate digital planner. You just add tasks as they come to mind, and when you are planning your day you schedule them as you wish. You can also set a task as recurrent, which is super useful for those tasks that are due every month, such as payments, and include a note with the payment link.
Evernote is one of the most popular note taking apps today. You can save notes (both audio and text), take photos from the note and add them to it, set reminders, and upload attachments. All beautifully synced across your various desktop and mobile devices. Plus, Evernote’s bookmarklet makes it easy to clip web articles and store them for later reading. It has excellent search capabilities so you can find important information quickly. I use it for everything from taking notes at client’s meetings, drafting blog articles, idea boards for new projects, and personal items like recipes.
This has been a game changer for me. It brings together in one place all the tasks form all other apps. Chances are you use different software that has their own task management function. This means that you have tasks listed in several different places. With Taco, tasks in Wunderlist, Trello, and Evernote (and a whole lot of other apps), are brought to the same place as a running list in one column, where you drag on to a separate column those tasks you’ll be working on next. This way when you are planning your day you truly have all you have on your plate in the same place, so nothing gets forgotten. Further, when you check off a task on Taco it syncs with the app and it’s checked on there as well.
Website: Google Calendar
Google Calendar is an outstanding online calendar application that integrates with many other calendars and software. It’s basically a “master calendar” with individual calendars aggregated in one place. You can have a separate calendar for personal, business, holidays, payables, and anything else you want. It also allows you to turn on and off specific calendars, so you can focus on just one. You can also share selected calendars with team members, plus many other features that make this a very useful tool.
You Can Book Me
Setting appointments with clients, potential clients, service providers you want to interview, etc, can take days if you’re trying to do it via email. What if the other party could just grab your calendar and choose the time for themselves? That’s what this app allows you to do. You Can Book me is a cloud-based service which allows anyone to schedule appointments with you using your google calendar. You just send them an email with the link and that’s it! The app sends you a notification every time someone books a time, collects their contact information, and syncs with most CRMs.
There you have it!
These are some of my favorite tools I use everyday, and could not do without. Except for Evernote, the free level has been more than enough for me but even the paid levels are very inexpensive and affordable, especially when you factor in the time and stress you save.
How about you?