No time is a bad time to work on how to stay organized at work. By leveraging your leadership, you can guide the rest of your team toward being more organized, too. As a result, everyone will spend less time looking for what they need to work on and more time actually working.
To help team members reap the benefits of organization, invest in these four productivity tools. They can help you improve time management and work smarter.
1. Cloud Storage
More small-business owners now work in multiple locations and many of their co-workers or employees work remotely, so cloud storage has become one of the best work organization tools you can add.
Cloud storage is ideal for all types of roles and functions at a company. One example where it's particularly productive is in content marketing.
Say a remote worker is producing content for a campaign and needs to access other existing content or appropriate visuals to use. Cloud storage serves as an effective task management tool. It's usually structured like a library, organizing files and folders by project. Search functionality makes it easy for remote workers to locate what they need no matter where they are in the world.
Examples of cloud storage solutions include DropBox and Google Drive. Cloud companies typically offer subscription packages featuring various storage capacities. This helps you keep investment in line with company size and budget but lets you scale up as you expand.
2. Calendar Sharing
Screenshots of schedules aren't necessary for today's modern workers to know what's going on. Nor do team members have to search long email threads to organize meetings or events.
Technology is only a solution when you create strategies to implement it in ways that address your pain points.
Instead, digital calendars offer calendar sharing functionality so everyone knows what's going on. Calendar sharing can help provide real-time insights on availability and scheduling. You can pick and choose from a list of available times a colleague can meet.
If you have Microsoft Outlook, Apple Calendar or a Google account with a Google Calendar, you can use sharing features to select who can see your schedule. There are also apps like Calendar and Calendly that provide ways to connect, sync and share digital calendars.
3. Collaboration Tools
Working together on a digital platform saves considerable time. This is better than sifting through email file attachments and folders to figure out where projects stand. Aside from the project management benefits, collaboration tools can help you with note-taking, time tracking and communication. They also offer to-do list features that can help your team get organized.
The best collaboration software solutions are cloud-based. Teams can sign in from their devices and access the same documents, projects, lists and messages. Everyone can contribute their ideas for the team to see and offer immediate feedback.
There are many examples of collaboration software. You can try free options like Google Docs and Google Keep. There are also tiered payment solutions that fit small businesses to large enterprises. Examples include Trello, Evernote, Asana, Todoist, Zapier and Slack.
4. Expense Tracking Apps
Small-business owners need to stay on top of how money flows in and out of the company. With receipts and digital payments, it can be challenging to stay organized with finances. That can result in you spending more than you make. This dries up cash flow and creates unnecessary financial pressure.
However, expense tracking apps make it easy to organize finances whether you are in the office or traveling on business. Many of these apps let you use your smartphone to scan paper receipts so you don't forget to include expenses for tax or accounting purposes. Not only do these finance apps record each expense, but also categorize and organize expenses for you.
Some expense tracking apps offer other features that help you organize business finances. Many professionals use mileage tracking with their apps. They also offer corporate card reconciliation, per diem functionality and currency support. Some apps even offer integrations with online and software accounting services.
Expense tracking apps that deliver financial organization help include Expensify, Zoho Expense and Shoeboxed.
Selecting Organization Tools
Before signing up for every available organization tool, platform and app out there, assess what you need. Target those areas first. Technology is only a solution when you create strategies to implement it in ways that address your pain points.
For example, if you have a team that travels and spends a lot, then an expense tracking app is a good investment. Or if your remote team needs a way to centralize projects and communication, then a collaboration tool is a good place to start. If you need more than a couple organizational tools, then look for those that may integrate with each other to boost the benefits.
Next, take time researching available tools to guide how to stay organized at work. Take advantage of any available trials to see how they work for you and the team. Once you feel comfortable and see the benefits of using a set of tools, then you can keep implementing them and organizing teams for success.
Photo: Getty Images