I was asked the question recently, how I am able to manage a business with so many different services offered to so many different clientele. My answer was “Barely!”
The truth is, it can be overwhelming trying to remember so many different tax schedules, accounting schedules, web maintenance schedules, payroll deadlines and more.
Especially when you receive hundreds of emails a day and are bombarded with questions, calls and distractions. Try working from a home office with a 5 and 4 year old and you will know what I mean.
Well obviously we have heard it all when it comes to this topic. Time management, self-discipline, turning off social media, etc… All of which I am very poor at. After all, I work from home.
For me it’s come down to this being the most essential:
I have been using task management lists since first reading Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Successful People and the initial release of the first Palm Pilot (that’s 1996 for you youngsters who don’t remember either).
Not to mention my years of mastering Outlook and even creating some pretty nifty mobile solutions just using MS Excel and a flash drive.
Then came Google Calendar and I found my mobile solution. Not that my old school Day-Timer Planner wasn’t mobile, it just wasn’t cool anymore.
I have to admit the task management feature in Google Calendar is very limited and could not accomplish lists the way I needed them to work. But the benefit of using Google Calendar, was that I could manage my tasks and Calendar from anywhere and as smartphones became the norm, it was just the best cross-platform solution.
But then my world was rocked when I stumbled upon this little bad boy.
GoTasks (Google Tasks™ client)
This amazing app took Google Tasks to another level. And the fact that it sync’s so nicely with Google, my info is accessible all the time on all my devices. So whether I’m using my iPhone, iPad or PC, I can manage my tasks easily.
But the perk, is how I learned to use it efficiently and effectively.
Managing Multiple Tasks for Multiple Clients
In Google Calendar on my PC, I set up my different lists. Each list a particular customer. And then I started adding as many unique or recurring tasks for each client that I could think of.
Now the problem with the task feature in Google, is that you can only view one list at time which was a bummer because I needed to see all the items for each list for any given day. And as any gCalendar user knows, space is pretty limited for each day.
With GoTasks I can view all my tasks in one day and on every day. And it even allows me to give each list a color of it’s own. So just by looking down my list I can see how much work i need to do for one particular client on any given day.
My current list looks something like this on my iPhone.
As you can see, I can just look down the list and not have to think about what I am forgetting. Whats great about the colors is I can easily arrange all tasks by the client and in the order I need it (something you cant do in Google Calendar).
I can also separate them so that higher priority tasks can be towards the top and lower priority can be by the bottom no matter which customer it is.
In most cases I try to work on one client at a time because switching from bookkeeping, to website design to payroll back to website design can be pretty daunting after awhile. That is why in my list, all the tasks are grouped by client.
But that’s only one of many options you have. It very flexible.
You Have Many Options
When you complete a one-time task, it’s easy to check off and/or delete. And when I complete a recurring task, I just open it up and change the date to the next due date.
It even allows you to see all the lists for only one client at a time. Here is what my personal list looks like. If a client becomes a regular client, they get their own list, until then, I keep them on this list. I can move things around by just pressing with my finger and dragging it around.
Best of All… It’s Free!!
So now wherever I am, I can stop to look at the list and make adjustments, changes or new tasks on the fly.
It really comes in handy on super busy days. As the day comes to a close, I can move high priority items higher up and move less priority items to another day.
And it all sync’s up with my Google Calendar on any device I have this app installed on. And NO this is not an affiliate post. Because the app is free.
But you might have to invest in this nifty little phone stand so that you can have your list right in front you to remind you that you have too much on your plate and to get off of Facebook!
And before somebody comments that I should add a new task, I know I know. Tonight I will add a new task to start reading some of those magazines piling up in the right hand corner where monitor #6 will be very soon.
As for the Calendar itself, I use another app called CalenMob. But I don’t use that nearly as much as I use this task manager. Its mostly for events and appointments which is what calendars were meant to be used for. More on that in another post.
Well that’s all for now. I hope you find this article useful.
Would you consider a small tip?