Tools to Stay Organized as a Small Business
When the sun is shining and the beach is calling, I tend to ignore when my spreadsheets need some love. I'm usually very organized, but we get so few nice-weather months I have no problem spending less time in excel sheets and more time with the shells at the beach. If summertime has caught up with your business, don’t beat yourself up! It’s important to enjoy yourself along the way, now sit down and get yourself organized again!
Staying organized is all about finding the tools that work best for you. I personally love an excel spreadsheet and use a number of different apps and tools to keep myself organized. These are just a few suggestions on the types of organization that will really help to elevate your production level. If you have any other tools you love please let me know in the comments! I’m always looking for new ways to keep myself together.
Organize the Internet
There are certain websites that we frequent, and using your browser's bookmark tools and folders can make a huge difference in saving time and staying organized. You may already be aware that you can create bookmarks on your Chrome browser, but you can also create folders to better organize your bookmarks.
For example, I have a folder for social sites, like Instagram and Facebook, and another for finances, which contains my bank and invoicing websites. There is limited space in the bookmarks bar, and using the folders allows you to organize more pages in less space.
Get a Planner
Whether you love pen and paper or prefer the keyboard, getting a planner is one of the only reasons I am still alive as an adult. I personally use the combination of a physical planner/agenda and a digital organizer on my computer. On my desk, I have a Band.o planner, which is a big chunky spiral notebook planner that I use for my day to day planning. It has a weekly planner that I keep all my to-do lists on, doodle notes on and cross things off.
In the digital realms of my office, I use an app called Notion to organize my projects and ideas. This app is a little bit overwhelming at first, but once you figure out how to use it for what you need, it is an amazing organizational tool. I use it for work and also have a personal section that I keep recipes or lists of movies I want to see.
Know your Projects
Google excel sheets are a wonderful and free way to keep track of your current projects. Create a document that organizes your projects by month and use it to keep track of the status of each project. Have a list of your projects, and then create columns for invoice #, paid or unpaid, invoice sent, due date etc. Utilize the tools and formulas within excel and you can manage your totals so that you have a current understanding of how much money is still owed to you or who needs to be invoiced. Google even has templates that you can use if you are at a loss of where to start ;)
Invoice like a Pro
Creating invoices and organizing your bank statement can be nausea-inducing, I get it. Apps like Mint and Wave have helped me to be better at organizing my invoices and finances. Mint is an app that links with your bank, and with just a bit of time, you can create categories to better understand where you are spending your money. They also have budgets you can set up to help you stay on track. I am currently using Wave for my invoicing, and it is more complicated than what I use it for, but it has been sufficient in my invoicing process. I use it for invoice templates and tracking but there are many other features that could be utilized as well.