I can relax at last, now I have my life organized with tasks, events and workflow
Personal time management and organization has always been a big challenge for me. How to make efficient use of your most precious resource: time, has always been difficult and cumbersome. Up until recently I was disappointed by a variety of CRM systems, MS Outlook and various Smartphones and portable organizers. I really did feel stressed.
As a business owner I am always inundated with a combination of business and personal items and activities. Keeping track is a nightmare. I use a calendar to record events, but often I have two or three calendars depending on where I was when the appointment was made.
Business tasks have been a minefield: a legion and never ending whirl of information requests, invitations, preparation for meetings, follow up on meetings, consulting work commitments, project tasks and long-term planning initiatives.
I have had great difficulty remembering to do pre-planned quarterly, or even monthly recurring tasks like “review your business plan”, particularly if they were not immediately income generating.
I used to find myself waking up from a deep sleep with an awful premonition of a missed task, or something urgent that was due today.
My salvation has involved several key technical components plus a strategy.
The Components Include:
- Always carrying a smartphone with the ability to create or review tasks and calendar events that automatically update my central CRM, making phone-created tasks and events available on my laptop or anywhere on the web
- Having the ability to create tasks quickly and easily and associate them appropriately with projects, people, companies or sales
- A task list that is prioritized and easy to work from – direct links to make calls or send emails to contacts, or review details of organizations and notes for example.
The Strategy is:
- To do task management in “down times”: riding on a bus, waiting in a Doctor’s office
- To make a task that recurs for monthly and quarterly commitments
- To prioritize my tasks I use a star system:
That way when I review my list I do the 4 star first then the 3 star, etc.
- 1 star = Not urgent and not important
- 2 star =important but not urgent or urgent not important
- 3 star =urgent and important
- 4 star =top priority.
- To not be overly concerned if I do not get through to 2 star or 1 star tasks today, at least they are recorded and not forgotten. I may delegate these tasks if I get overloaded.
- To have my task list available on my smartphone with full capability to complete the task – access to contacts, project details and emails
- To have the tasks process open as I review my email tide. If I see a request in an email I create a task associated with that person.
- To always have a next task set up for every target, prospect or customer so I don not lose touch. (More on this strategy in my next blog)
- To automatically create a future task using workflow when I add a new contact. Typically when I add a contact I create an introductory email. The automated task reminds me 3 days later to follow up with a phone call.
- To visually identify automatically generated proactive tasks and prioritize them appropriately
The system was recently put to the test. I had a trip to the UK and Europe that took me away from the office for 11 days. I took my smart phone and a palm-top computer. By analysis of my task list and calendar during the flight I was able to arrange my commitments and subsequently stay on top of business developments in just a few minutes each day.
I am sleeping better already and have a great sense of peace of mind. I know that I am operating an efficient, useable and helpful system and I don’t have to constantly worry “Have I missed something important”.
I use the Cloud-based ZOHO CRM system, which has friendly and useful Task and Event management, an Apple iPhone and the Zoho Mobile app.
Click here to learn more and watch a Video on ZOHO CRM for Smartphones.
Peter Coy | President | Prodigm Inc. | Toronto
“CRM that Fits”
Peter has a Masters Certificate in Project Management from Schulich School of Business and has managed hundreds of projects for large and small organizations in a long IT career in Development, Design, Sales and Marketing.
Contact: +1 416 564 1446 | email@example.com | www.prodigm.ca