One of the biggest challenges that many want to take on in the New Year is improving organization. Not only does staying organized help you be more productive and efficient at work, but it also lets your colleagues and clients know that you’re making your work a priority by creating an effective and streamlined system.
If you haven’t quite nailed down that system yet, let The YGS Group help! I’ve asked several people throughout the company to offer their organizational solutions—and it looks like everyone likes similar tools and techniques!
Marketing Account Manager Kali Eskew keeps two separate notebooks—one specifically for her running to-do list and one for meeting notes. She makes check boxes for each task and crosses them off as a task is completed. Kali says that this method helps her keep everything in the same place because for her “sticky notes just don’t cut it!”
Corporate Sales Executive Dave Smith is also a big fan of to-do lists. For him it’s helpful to make his list at the end of every workday and highlight the priority tasks for the next day. Dave’s sales position keeps him moving all day, so writing things down as they occur is the best way for Dave to remember what needs to be completed and when. When he’s out of the office, he says “it’s not uncommon to have a dozen or more notes in my pocket at any given time.”
When he’s back in the office, Dave uses our in-house virtual resources, such as ePace and our customer relationship management (CRM) system Salesforce, to keep track of all the client information that is flowing in. At the end of the day, though, Dave prefers paper and pencil. Staying organized in this way for Dave means each of his clients feels as though they are his only one!
Audrey Kahala, account executive at YGS’ Seattle location, likes to study the processes that are already in place when she takes on a new account or project. Once she understands how things operate, she makes her own fixes to ensure efficiency is number one. A big fix to her project management organization was switching from organizing files by client to organizing by project. When the change was all said and done, everything was filed in a simpler way, which allowed her to access what she needed faster. Audrey says, “For me, it’s all about finding things quickly, not what my desk looks like.”
Audrey, like Dave and Kali, also benefits from list making. She makes a list at the end of each day so she knows exactly where to start when she comes in the next morning. “This gets me in gear on the right things when I get to work so I can be more efficient as new things come up during the day,” Audrey explains.
Lori Husted, content marketing specialist, finds the benefits of technology help her stay on top of her responsibilities. Our CRM system Salesforce allows her to set up reports that categorize the type of leads and opportunities that are available to her. With this tool she organizes her day by the sales stages of her leads or by publisher. Lori also finds scheduling reminders in Outlook for research and phone calls helps keep her from being caught off guard.
Customer Service Manager Janet Kennedy knows that organization is crucial to her success in her position. Like Lori, Janet finds the best tools are in the systems we use everyday. Janet uses Outlook to not only keep her client information organized, but information for and about her colleagues here at YGS, too. She has a folder for each employee in her department to keep track of attendance and other performance inquiries. This, she says, “is very beneficial when preparing employee performance write-ups and evaluations.”
Janet uses the calendar in Outlook to show on-site client tours and company functions, and this calendar sends out a reminder to those who have access to it. She also uses the Outlook calendar to schedule reminders—similar to the way Lori uses it to plan phone calls and research. Janet makes sure these reminders are marked private and set to show her as free during the day, so she can still be invited to meetings and appointments as needed.
This exercise gave us a good look at how The YGS Group stays organized in order to continue providing incredible products and services to our clients. The big ticket item is making a list: writing things down will give you the muscle memory of having written the reminder, and provides a visual cue when you check the list later. But don’t be afraid to use the technology that is available. An inbox for every client and color-coded spreadsheets are only the beginning; test out new possibilities and let us know what works for you!