Scheduling meetings, sharing info, brainstorming, last minute updates, responding to clients and co-workers. Phew! All in a day’s work and it’s a lot. For many managers the constant managing of the job is often more taxing and difficult than actually doing the job. But help is out there.
These programs are specifically designed to help with tasks such as communication, scheduling, and consistency – not to mention saving you time and effort by providing a central location for all input and activity. Here are 5 great management tools – that resolve different issues – that you might want to explore and see if they work for you.
Suite of Office Tools – Google Docs
Google Docs provides free tools that can be used on any computer, and you don’t have to download software. The tools include templates for spreadsheets, documents, and slide presentations. Everything you work on is stored locally on your computer so even when you don’t have WIFI you can access it. When you need other people’s input, you can set permissions to fit your needs and let others access the docs to edit, comment, or view only. Another great thing about these tools is that you can see the revision history of your docs so you can go back and review previous iterations.
Cloud Storage – Google Drive
This is another free tool from Google that provides access to docs that will sync with all your computers because it’s stored in the cloud. So when you change or edit something on a doc stored on the drive it will automatically change it everywhere, eliminating confusion and disruption in tracking different versions. It’s also a great place to store any type of documents (under a gig) for everyone to review in the same place.
Team Communication – Slack
This is a great tool for communicating among team members. It eliminates the mess and tracking of single-line emails that can clutter your inbox. You can set up different channels within Slack that pertain to specific jobs or clients, helping you to organize information. Within Slack you can set reminders, tag people, and add links that will bring team members directly to a document you’d like them to see. Once you download the app on your phone or have it on your desktop, you’ll get alerts when someone has posted to a channel that you’re part of, so you don’t have to keep checking for messages.
Screen Sharing – Google Hangouts
As more employees work remotely these days, software has evolved to help everyone get the job done. Google Hangouts is one of these tools that can benefit your team when people are scattered in different locations. By connecting with others on Google Hangouts you can participate in video conferencing, group conference calls, and also screen sharing. It’s a great tool for getting everyone on a call together with the ability to run through a slide presentation or word document as if you were all in the same room together.
Task Management – Trello
Once you begin using Trello you might wonder how you ever managed your work without it. You can input whatever tasks you want whether you list your goals, give your team information on classes, post articles, or documents. At a glance you can see who is doing what, what tasks are completed, and what still needs to be done. You can divide Trello up by project or subject matter, or any other way you work best. It’s easy to use, has checklists, due dates, sends notifications, and is free.