Organization, Insightly CRM, CRM, New Year

MY TOP 3 TIPS FOR ORGANIZING THE NEW YEAR

Is it just me, or does a blank calendar fill you with anticipation?  A new year is full of possibilities, and I can’t wait to see where it will take me! I love the whole process of defining my vision, breaking it into projects, setting goals and then scheduling tasks and milestones to make sure it all happens.

I always organize my to-do list in Insightly CRM and my appointments on Google Calendar. But I still love pen and paper for brainstorming and planning. As you think about the upcoming year, grab a sheet of paper, a blank desk calendar or my favorite – giant sticky notes. Make sure you have room to write down all of your plans and ideas even if they won’t all end up on your final calendar.

Use highlighters, markers or sticky notes to jot down ideas, color code or group topics and projects together, and move things around to find the best fit. Whether it’s product launches, marketing plans or a social media schedule, once you have a good plan in place, go ahead and move everything to one central calendar.

While paper and pen are great for brainstorming, a central online calendar will ensure that you always have the information you need wherever you are. Make sure that your plans, visions and goals are recorded, including deadlines and milestones to keep you on track. Success is scheduled after all!

Here are three of my top tips for organizing and scheduling your new year:

1. SCHEDULE EVERYTHING ON YOUR ONLINE CALENDAR

Google Calendar is perfect for keeping track of appointments and events. Google Calendar integrates with your Gmail account so that invitations, events and meetings sent to your email are automatically added to your calendar. When you schedule something on your calendar, you have the option of sending an email invitation for others to join you. You can set up notifications and reminders so that you never miss an important date or deadline. You can even share your Google Calendar with team members or clients to make it easier for them to schedule time with you. Whether you choose Google Calendar or another platform, an online scheduler will keep you organized and on task.

 

2. CREATE TASKS TO KEEP YOU ON TRACK AND MOVING TOWARDS YOUR GOALS

Make sure that you don’t miss anything by creating a running to-do list with assignments and deadlines. While there are many ways to do this, my favorite way to organize tasks is with my CRM. I create tasks in Insightly CRM for everything that needs to get done. Tasks can be used as a running to-do list, to log meetings and phone calls, and to set up email reminders. Tasks can also:

  • Organize all of your to-do items so that nothing is overlooked or forgotten.
  • Can be related to contacts, organizations, opportunities, projects and even emails.
  • Include start dates and deadlines as well as note the status or progress towards completion.
  • Be assigned a category, allowing you to view at a glance where you need to focus your attention
  • Be assigned to yourself, to another person or to a team.
  • Be given a priority to help you focus on the most urgent or important items first.
  • Include details, notes and links with all of the information you will need to complete the task.
  • Send reminders to help you meet deadlines.
  • Connect from Insightly to your Google Calendar for automatic updates.

As you create tasks for the upcoming year, be mindful of the things you do on a regular basis. Are there phone calls that need to be made each day? Do you write a weekly blog post? Monthly tasks such as pulling reports or reviewing analytics, or even yearly tasks such as event planning or tax preparation can be set to repeat automatically. Consider these suggestions from Insightly as you determine which of your tasks could be automated:

For Business Owners

  • Monthly accounting work
  • Payroll activities
  • Reviewing website analytics
  • Writing new blog content
  • Quarterly estimated taxes
  • Budgeting
  • Year-end tax work
  • Paying sales tax
  • Invoicing clients
  • Prioritizing new product ideas
  • Spending time on recruiting
  • Comparing forecasts vs. actual demand

For Sales Reps

  • Reaching out to stale leads
  • Cold calling
  • Submitting your work hours
  • Preparing expense reports
  • Updating opportunity revenue forecasts & probability information
  • Circling back on proposals you’ve made
  • Ensuring your bonus has been accurately paid on time
  • Asking customers to leave online reviews
  • Making time for ongoing continuing education

 

Once you have a list of the things you need to on a regular basis, divide them into daily, weekly, monthly and yearly tasks. Set a start date for each task and enter them into your CRM. Then when a task is completed, Insightly CRM will automatically create a new task according to the timeframe you set initially. The little bit of time you invest upfront to enter these repeating tasks will save you time and focus going forward. Repeating tasks allow you to “set it and forget it” yet they also keep you from forgetting important tasks and activities.

 

3. REVIEW AND REVISE

All of this planning, organizing and scheduling should give you a great foundation to work from as the year progresses. However, new industry trends, personnel changes, or unexpected opportunities can alter even the best laid plans. While you’re scheduling your activities and tasks, don’t forget to add a task to review and revise your calendar. This should be done monthly at best, or quarterly at least. Take a few minutes to review your goals and projects and make sure that you are spending your time in a way that is consistent with your vision. List changes or other influencing factors that need to be considered. Make revisions or adjustments to keep you moving forwards towards your goals.

In summary, my top three tips for organizing your new year are:

  1.     Schedule everything on your online calendar
  2.     Create tasks to keep you on track
  3.     Plan a time to review and revise

 

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Need help? I would love to help you organize your processes and create business automations that work for you. Schedule a free strategy session here.

 

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