Whether you are
- a psychologist, healing practitioner, coach, therapist or counselor,
- an interior designer or photographer,
- a musician, an actor, artist or author,
- a personal trainer, writer, or educator,
- a certified specialist or a change agent of some kind.
You are or were confronted with this insidious wave of ‘too-much’ that targets one when challenges roll in.
Taking the first tech-steps
Do you remember how it was like when you were trying to find again this certain link you once found in an article?
Do you remember how it feels like when you knew that a dozen notes to this one idea are spread all over the place, and now that you urgently need them, you can’t find anything?
For every entrepreneur with serious commitments, it is inevitable to have a clean and clear structure on how to organize information, so that you and your business can make the impact you anticipate and the world needs.
But it’s not only about professional approaches to vital information collection. It is also imperative to give some thought about how to set up your technological infrastructure.
In this article I am going to elaborate on why a well-thought-out strategy for using business tools – particularly if you are a not a tech-savvy person – will pay off later.
The matter isn’t complicated, but complex; so it’s best not to expect universal solutions. There are lots of factors involved in finding the right tools and these factors are discussed below.
How to get your technology organized
This is usually a 3-phase design.
The first phase is characterized by collecting information and starting the idea evolution process. When you read this, you are probably in the middle of it and you’ve had drawbacks or limitations in properly organizing your information.
The big issue here is, how do you organize all the disparate threads of information so that you can find them when you need them – with pinpoint accuracy? This is really your first step and it is crucial that you give attention to it. Because you don’t want to spend long hours, looking for precious little pieces of the information puzzle that you deposited somewhere on a cluttered file drive.
There is really no good reason at all to be overwhelmingly tensed because of the information chaos that is now threatening to eat you alive.
Having your information’s and ideas structured in a clear and concise manner will be a huge live saver for you. So, I urge you to spend some few hours thinking about what could work best for you and start implementing it. Believe me; later on you will be so glad that you did.
There are different possibilities to consider moving forward. OneNote is a digital notebook application that comes with a Microsoft Office Suite but is also available for Mac and mobile devices, and can be synced between multiple computers and devices, and also offers shared notebooks.
But there are also, other multitude of web applications that are capable of meeting exactly these needs. A widely favorite tool is Evernote; Evernote makes capturing information on most devices and platforms easy.
Another tool that may not have been originally created for this purpose, but would also work beautifully well – at least in the beginning stages of a business setup – is Trello.
Different sections of information can be stored in boards, and can also be sub-classified in lists. For each item in your lists you can add due dates and notifications, flexibly move them around and add members to an item (if another person is involved). Trello is free to use for up to 5 users and can be upgraded inexpensively.
Of course, there are dozens of other tools available, many of them are free or open source tools. Feel free to check whether or not they are compatible with your working style and preferences.
In the second phase the entrepreneur is on the lookout for business-specific tools that can help to execute tasks, to enhance productivity, to organize resources or to streamline the business processes. These are mainly the tools that you need to run your business, to birth and create your products and services and to make these processes for you and your clients as smooth as possible.
It’s a wide field and cannot be pinpointed to serve everybody’s needs.
I have found that there are usually a few convenient tools available for everybody, but this depends a lot on one’s situation. In my Business Tool Clarity Sessions I give guidance to solopreneurs and entrepreneurs based on their individual skills, needs and goals. We go through that professionally, and I help them to understand their options and put the pieces of their personal puzzles together. If this sounds intriguing to you, or like your next highest step, come over here and learn more about it.
“Dissatisfaction and discouragement doesn’t come from the absence of things, it comes from the absence of vision.”
The second and the third phase are somewhat overlapping. When the third phase starts things are getting serious. Your business has gained momentum.
You have mastered or are about to master the first hurdles of technology successfully, and you are aware that another step needs to be taken. Invoicing, financing, accounting and taxes, time-scheduling are all topics that apply to every entrepreneur – and now to you too.
Again, there are many paths you could take. Which tools would be most suitable for you, will depend on your skill level and goals.
Approaching the issue of a clear and concise technological organizational structure will pay off later. You will avoid wasting countless hours on looking for things. Be smart.
What are your experiences with finding the right and perfect tool for you and your working style? Have you ever made a no-go experience? – Please share with us and comment in the section below.