Organization is key for… nearly everything. Being organized has only become more important as we run our own businesses. We have to schedule meetings, plan projects, and set aside time to work on our projects for clients and internal ones, which is only on the business side. Being organized also allows us to ensure we have a proper work-life balance and not overburden ourselves.
There are multiple strategies for being organized: from to-do lists to reminders to calendars, etc. The best strategy for being organized is going to depend on what works best for you. Some people work best through a pen-and-paper strategy: taking a calendar and blocking out times or writing notes and projects in a daily journal. Others need to be actively alerted through reminders and timers.
Since we work together and often need to view each other's schedules, collaborative organizational tools work best. We use two tools to accomplish this: Google Calendar and Calendly.
Google has many tools that are helpful for organizing oneself. Google Calendar is one of these where not only can you plan events, but they offer distinctions through what you can create and layer on your digital calendar. You can insert events, focus times (where you are working and don’t want to be disturbed), appointments, tasks, reminders, etc. There are options to indicate where you are working from (location) and represent when you are out of the office (OOO) to have new appointments immediately declined after that time.
For collaborative means, you can “subscribe” to other calendars. When you do this, you are able to view the calendar of another. Not only can you see another’s calendar, but if you need to schedule a meeting with them, you can compare schedules and create an event, invite them to it, and have a pretty good idea of when you are free. This means a reduction in declined meetings or overbooking.
This tool is best and only really works if you utilize the suite of Google applications. Also to view another’s calendar, they need to use Google too and have a Gmail account.
Calendly is a free online appointment scheduling tool. It makes it easier for others to find“free time” within your schedule to plan appointments. It is specifically a scheduling tool, with a focus on scheduling external meetings. It can reduce potentially wasted time of emails sent back and forth trying to find a time to meet. The software’s offering is specifically focused on scheduling meetings and does so automatically for you.
Overall, we utilize both tools when working with clients and each other at LiveFive Web Design. My personal tendency is more toward Google Calendar, and that is because Calendly doesn’t take into account meetings scheduled outside of its platform (such as Zoom meetings I schedule) and therefore I have to input busy times there when scheduling outside of that platform. They both have their benefits and limitations when it comes to organizing. Outside of these digital options, our team still uses a planner to input all the details of our workday.
What do you do to stay organized?