Running a small business is hard and sometimes just keeping track of what you're doing sometimes can be a challenge in itself. It's can be crazy keeping track of what's done, what's blocked, what's scheduled, and where things left off. Thankfully there are a million (slight exaggeration) online apps for tracking your tasks and they're pretty easy to use! So put those sticky notes away and take a look at these tools.
Asana keeps it simple
I've mentioned Asana before and I'll mention it again, it's a great tool for keeping track of to-do's. I highly recommend breaking your tasks into different boards which allows you to create simple flows. Below I've created a simple board for all of my brand-building tasks. Asana handles attachments and big text blobs like a champ and is great when you have a lot of simple tasks.
Attached to those sticky notes? Use Trello
Sometimes the simplest solution is the best one. Trello lets you create super simple tasks and move them from to left to right in a really intuitive way. The downside is that if you've got big tasks or lots of attachments it gets pretty hard to manage.
Got more complicated flows?
For more complicated flows we've used Basecamp, JIRA, and Salesforce plugins. While these tools are great we don't recommend using them without an administrator who understands these systems. JIRA, for example, offers robust integrations with other software, customization in how your workflows go, have custom fields, advance searches, and observe common development workflows like scrum and kanban.
When using a task manager like this I have a few tips I use to make sure I deliver consistently and never miss a deadline
Always plan for less work than you know you can do in an ideal day. Not all days are ideal, emails need to be sent, and sometimes you need to run an errand for 30 minutes. This should not be the end of the world. If you feel like you have too many interruptions to finish what you need to do then you've simply overbooked your day.
Use your historical data
Keep track of how much you and your staff get done. This is purely meant to be a tool for you to know how much your team is capable of doing. If your team has demonstrated that they can close 10 deals a day, don't count on them closing 15 the next day. If you have performance issues then resolve those via training, coaching, and other supportive techniques, don't just expect them to get better because you want them to. Using this mindset will keep your team from constantly missing deadlines (we've all been there).
Set up a monthly or twice-monthly meeting to make sure your process is still working for your team. Try new things. Record what you tried and go back to the old method if that doesn't work. Let's say your team added a "review" process to your leads but it slows down the sales funnel too much. You'd then turn back to your old method with no harm, no foul.
Not sure what's right for you?
Trello and Asana offer free versions so I say you just go out and try them! If you have complex sales, development, or design flows reach out to an expert (such as us) and you'll get a solution that makes sense for you business.