Project Management

  • How to go from busy to boss with a work management system

    Have you been running your business without a task management system? Its time to upgrade and scale your business with a work management system.

    If you are still using to-do lists, “sticky notes” and five different coloured notebooks, that system could possibly work for you in the first few months of running your business. But when you reach a certain point in your business where you are running with a number of things, serving numerous clients, and maybe you’ve even hired one or two people you’ll realize that the sticky note and notebook system is not sustainable.

    You’ll find that the notebook and sticky note system can easily result in things falling through the cracks. And it can easily result in things just not moving as streamlined as they should be when you are a business owner.

    So I want you to ask yourself these questions:

    Do you want to open your laptop and spend a hot minute just trying to navigate the scattered to-do list and tech tools that are barely integrated with your daily mode of operations? Or do you want to have a business that runs on autopilot while giving you time for YOU and for YOUR business?

    The truth is, the way your back-end looks and the way you run your business always reflects on how well you can deliver your promised client experience, and how fast you can scale your business. 

    Because when you don’t have a streamlined back-end, you by default start working on the busy tasks and don’t have time to be in your zone of genius, doing what you need to do to take your business to the next level.

    The Answer? A Work Management System!

    What is a work management system?

    A work management system is just a way of organizing, tracking and managing your work as a business owner to streamline your business activities. A work management system is also referred to as task management or project management system.

    You may be familiar with Asana, Trello, Click up or JIRA. These are all examples of tools that can help you create an efficient work management system in your business.

    It is so important to have a system to manage your day to day work. Not just because you want to be more organized, but because you want to give your clients an amazing experience. You want the way you manage your business to reflect your brand and reputation. These are some of the very important reasons why you need a work management system.

    Why do you need a task management system

    To see what’s happening in your business

    Make sure you know, what is happening in your business at all times. There’s no need for you to be walking around with five different notebooks and sticky notes. And God forbid, some of those sticky notes get lost, or the kids use them as their toys. Imagine how detrimental it would be if those million-dollar ideas got lost in those sticky notes. 

    A work management system gives you the ability to see what’s happening in your business. It provides a workspace where you can keep your ideas, notes about your business and strategy all in one single workspace. Having all that in one central space makes it so much easier to refer to both yourself and your team members. And having it on a digital platform is much more effective than having it in notebooks and sticky notes.

    Stop being the bottleneck of your business

    It’s so easy as a CEO to not realize that you’re being the bottleneck and the one who’s actually holding things off. When you are taking note of your action points on a notebook while having back and forth emails with your clients or your team, it’s very easy to miss a key date or to even double book yourself.

    Having a work management system is going to eliminate that completely. With a work management system, at the click of a button, you will be able to see what’s happening and what needs to be done. You will also never double book yourself or have an unexpected deadline come up because all that is an easy purview.

    Get rid of unnecessary anxiety

    Make sure that you are not having unnecessary anxiety. For me, having papers all around gives me so much anxiety. And having an online work management system has helped me in just eliminating that stress and anxiety.

    Having flexibility and adaptability

    As a business owner, you need the flexibility and adaptability to move things around in your business. This is especially crucial for heavy-duty projects such as launches.

    For instance, you might have planned for certain activities to be done on specific days or weeks. And ahead of that time, you realize that it’s actually too much of a workload for yourself or even your team members. You want to be able to move things around easily and communicate that with the other people you are working with.

    On the contrary, if you are doing that on notebooks and sticky notes it’ll be one long strenuous process. You’ll have to remember where you had written those specific notes, scratch out the dates that you had put in, add the correct dates and then email and communicate with the people you are working with to notify them of the change of plans Sigh!

    Now, with a work management system, there’s no need to go through that hassle. All you need to do is drag and drop and move tasks around depending on the work management tool you’re using.

    Things you can do with a project management system?

    I have already mentioned; managing your team, managing your work and the things that you need to do. A work management system is really like a to-do list on steroids. It eliminates the manual nature of having to write things down and keeping tabs on where you wrote things in different notebooks. It allows you to have everything in one place.

    Client Management

    You can use a work management system to manage your clients. I use it to manage my client projects. Every time I onboard a new client, I create a new project in my work management system. Within it, I assign them tasks and they can keep tabs on the deliverables that I need to give them. It’s just a much more streamlined and better client experience. It is also a better experience for me too because I do not have to remember my tasks for the week. All I need is to go to my work management system, open a specific client project and see what are things need to be done.

    Content Creation

    Did you know you can use a work management system for content creation? I have a whole content bank in there and a content calendar for each of my content media channels. And you can use it to streamline the process and collaborate with other people.

    If you have a virtual assistant who helps you with content creation, you can communicate with them easily on the work management system. As opposed to sending her emails and 50 different messages to remind her of things that need to be done. You can do all that in your work management space and make the communication so much easier and more streamlined.

    Lead generation and Sales

    I have a lead generation project within my work management space, where I keep tabs on the hot, warm and cold leads.  I make sure I keep tabs, monitor and track them. It’s so much easier if I need to assign some of the leads to my VA to help with the follow-up.  As opposed to having that on a spreadsheet or even worse, having that in my head.

    That’s the one thing I would love you to do as a first step when you are ready to create your work management system. Put your lead generation list on your work management tool. Do not keep that list in your head because you are bound to forget things. And you will leave money on the table by not following up properly and not having a proper lead generation system.

    Product development and launching

    I use my work management system for launching! Especially when it’s those long launches like challenges or master classes, where there are so many moving parts and a launch can take anything from six to eight weeks.

    It’s so much more streamlined to have everything in one place and for me to see what’s happening; where are the gaps? Which areas do I need help with? Versus having all that in my notebook, and not being able to track it in a more streamlined way.

    Team Management

    Last but not least: “team management.” I’ve mentioned having team members in almost all of the previous areas. It’s so useful when you have one workspace for everyone in your business.  

    At the start of the day, they know what needs to be done, their responsibilities and their tasks. They don’t need to be asking you every now and then because they also have access to your work management system. It makes it so much better because you are all on one page.

    Everyone knows what is happening, who is holding things off and who is the bottleneck in the business. Hopefully, there are no such people in your team. The work management system holds everyone in your team accountable. It allows you to easily track and monitor everyone’s work without having to call them and being on the phone all the time. Or having to do so many emails and back and forth, trying to make sure things get done on time.

    Have you been running your business without a task management system? Its time to upgrade and scale your business with a work management system.

    How to determine which is the best project management system

    I mentioned Asana Trello, Click up and JIRA earlier on in this blog. But I know that there tends to be a lot of people online who will tell you that one or another tool is the only tool that will work for your business. You may want to read this post where I talk about these tools and how to know which one is going to work best for your business.

    And even though I do have my preferences, it is going to be different for each business. There is no single business that looks alike. We all have different goals and visions for our business. We all have different setups and methods of operation, so one system does not necessarily fit all businesses.

     Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you figure out which work management tool would be best for your business:

    1. What does your team look like currently?
    2. What does your team construct look like?
    3. And what are your future plans? Are you planning to just be a lean outfit or are you planning to hire a really big team over time?
    4. What is your working style and preference? Do you want a system that’s robust or do you just want something that is simple to replace your notebooks and your sticky notes?

    It really depends and differs from one person to another. And this is something we talked about in my VIP Day, where we help you pick the right tools for your business, depending on your strategy and vision. Because like I said, it is different for everyone.

    How to optimize your work management space

    Step 1: Pick your tool of choice

    Obviously, the first step is picking your tool of choice. If you are really unsure and you need help, check out my VIP day. You and I will go through the motions and make sure that you are picking the right tool for your business, from the onset.

    Alternatively, you can read this blog, where I show you how to set up your workspace specifically in Asana. Asana is my preferred work management system right now, but I have used the others and they are great.

    I will briefly highlight the other work management tools. Trello is really good if you are looking for something simplistic. Click up is great if you are looking for a robust system and you want something with all the bells and whistles.

    Step 2: Create a hierarchy for your workspace.

    The workspace is going to come as an empty shell. You are going to have to put in the necessary projects and teams so that everything is well organized within your workspace.

    I like to use the four core areas of business for my hierarchy. So, I have a team for; sales, marketing and content creation, operations and client management. And then within each of those teams, I have separate projects. For example, with my client team, I have separate projects for each client.

    Step 3: Create tasks

    Thirdly, create tasks for each of your projects from your standard of procedures or just by migrating your notebook and sticky notes into your space. Because you don’t want to still have that system as a way of tracking your tasks. The goal is to have one work management system.

     Step 4: Allocate tasks and team members to the appropriate projects

    It’s best to do this from the onset than just having one big project with so many different tasks and different things, all bunched in one project.

    If you have a team, ensure that each of them is actually relevant for those projects. For example, with my social media manager, I do not have her in my team for operations because she’s only helping me with content creation. So, she is only a team member of my content creation, project and team.

    Step 5: Setting up a weekly task’s project

    Make sure you have a separate project where you can track your weekly tasks. I have one that is called weekly planning, and that is where I put in my top three priorities for the week and the main task(s) for the week.

    PRO TIP: Link your tasks to the other relevant project(s). For instance, your task is to create a specific piece of content that is relevant to your content creation project. You can actually link your task(s) in your weekly planning project to the other relevant project(s) and you’ll view them in both projects when you open those project workspaces.

    To have a better understanding of how to set up your business in Asana as your preferred work management system read this blog. I show you how to actually do this in practice. If you have any questions or need help ensuring that you create your workspace the right way, slide into my DM I’m always a DM away.

    If you would prefer to have someone else support you in creating your work management workspace, feel free to reach out. It’s a service I offer through my systems set up service where we help you create and set up your project management and client relationship management systems.

    In conclusion,

    I hope this post has convinced you of the need to have a work management system for your business. Remember having a work management space is way more than the tool that you use. It is more of what you actually put in that tool and how you set it up so that you can be more efficient, save time and be more streamlined in how you manage your day-to-day activities in your business. Listen to the full podcast here.

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  • How I use Asana to manage my coaching business

    Do you have a task management system to help manage your business? I use Asana to manage my business and it's been a game changer. Here's how I use it.

    Here’s one thing I can say for sure since I started using Asana: I have spent way less time toggling between tabs trying to multitask and remember what I need to do next. Managing my business with Asana has made it so much easier to stay focused on the things that actually matter while keeping everything in one place. 

    Basically, Asana has become the control tower in my business. And the best thing? It’s free! While Asana does have a paid version, the free version has a number of powerful features and functionalities that will see your productivity go up significantly while saving time that we all need more of.

    If you want to start setting up your Asana workspace, check out this blog post where I give all the steps to getting started with Asana within a day.

    Here are just a few ways I manage my coaching business with Asana:

    Client Management

    I manage all my client projects and interactions within  Asana. For each client, I create a new project within my Asana workspace and then invite the client as a collaborator. This enables them to view, edit and complete tasks that I assign to them.

    It’s also easy for me to share resources with them through the Google Drive integration that comes with Asana. This way, we only stay in one digital workspace. And my clients know that all communication with them should go through Asana.

    I use Asana to create reminders for our client calls and assign homework to them ahead of time. They get to ask questions for clarification through the tool and can share their completed homework on Asana. As a result, we stay out of email exchanges and increase our productivity overall. It’s a win-win for me and my clients!

    Other benefits of managing your client’s on Asana:

    • Create template projects that can be re-used for each client
    • Saves time in the onboarding process
    • Keeps communication in one place
    • Easy to automate accountability & follow-ups with client

    Content Creation & Repurposing

    Content creation is a big component of every online business. However, it can be extremely time-consuming without a proper system in place.

    This is why I manage this aspect of my business in Asana. I have created a content creation team and a number of projects within it on my  Asana workspace, including:

    • Content creation workflows
    • Content bank
    • A Content calendar

    I have workflows for each type of content so that I don’t have to create the process from scratch every single time. This helps save mental space and speeds up the process of creating content. 

    I can also assign steps within the content creation process that don’t require me to do, to my virtual assistant. With Asana I can easily track the tasks that I have assigned to someone else. 

    There is also a messaging functionality within each task that makes it easier to communicate about specific tasks with my team members.

    The calendar view option in Asana allows you to view your tasks in a calendar format. Making it a great tool to plan and schedule all content in one place. I have a single project that I use to schedule all my content, including my podcast, blog & Instagram content.

    This also allows me to easily repurpose content across my platforms, saving me even more time without having to create content from scratch for each platform.

    Live launches

    Launching can be extremely stressful without a clear plan and a way of keeping organized and tracking what’s going on.

    I manage all my launches within Asana. Whether it’s a new website, project, a Facebook challenge, my podcast, it all goes in Asana.

    I use Asana to assign tasks to people on my team. And any contractors I outsource work to before the launch. I can easily see what’s happening on a calendar, and drag and drop tasks while in Calendar view, to manage my workload on a daily basis. Dragging and dropping the tasks in the Calendar view automatically updates the due date to the date on which the task has been dropped.

    Team Management

    Say Goodbye to back-and-forth emails. Asana is the only app you need to communicate with your team members. I still use Slack, but 80% of our communication is within Asana, which makes it easy to track and follow up.

    It’s important to give your team members an orientation of how your business works, how you manage your team members and any other important information they need to know. You can create a workspace with general information about your business within Asana, making it easier for everyone to access one source of information.

    You can also create a hub for your Standard Operating Procedures and Operating framework within Asana. This way, your team members don’t have to waste time trying to find out how specific tasks are done, they can easily find the relevant SOP within Asana.

    If you need help setting up your SOPs and becoming a more organized business for your team to thrive in, let’s hop on a call and see how we can help you.

    Additional Team Management Perks

    Asana also makes it easy to manage your team members by;

    • Assigning them tasks & easily following up on them
    • Viewing and tracking all messages sent to you in a separate ‘inbox’
    • Ease of tagging team members in tasks
    • Use of the message feature functionality to communicate with everyone in a specific project, without having to mention them individually

    Pro tip: You can connect Slack with Asana, and use Slack as a primary messaging tool with your clients. Once you connect Slack and Asana, you can refer to tasks in Asana through Slack or vice versa. Making it easier to track communication and tasks related to the communication.

    Want help setting up your task management tool? Check out my VIP day where we map out your processes and create a systems setup plan to get your Asana workspace set up in 30 days.

    Do you have a task management system to help manage your business? I use Asana to manage my business and it's been a game changer. Here's how I use it.

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  • How to set up Asana for your online business

    Do you have a task management system for your business? It's not too late to get started! Here's a guide on how to set up Asana for your small business.

    If you aren’t using a task management system such as asana to manage your small business, you are missing out on a lot of time saved and productivity lost from using papers & emails to do so.

    Asana has become a central hub in my business, and since I started using it, I have eliminated:

    • To-do lists: Even though I plan my week ahead using my priority planner, my priorities eventually go onto Asana. And I use Asana to track them going forward
    • Notebooks & sticky notes: While I love good colour coded sticky notes, you’ll eventually outgrow them in managing the different moving parts of your business
    • Emails: I hardly ever send an email to a contractor or team member in my business. We communicate primarily through Asana and occasionally on Slack
    • Reminder apps: I have a personal project within my Asana workspace where I add all my errands and personal things that need to get done. I assign myself to each task and a date. That way, nothing falls through the cracks.

    As you can see, Asana is a powerful tool that you can use to replace at least 4-5 other apps/tools you may be using in your business. The problem with having so many different apps is that it gets confusing. And most times the apps don’t talk to each other. It also becomes overwhelming to have to open three different apps to figure out what you need to do everyday in your business.

    Asana eliminates the overwhelm, creating one central hub for everyone in your business to access and keep up with their tasks.

    The best thing? It’s free! There is a paid version, but you definitely do not need it to start streamlining your business today. 

    If you want to feel more organized and less scattered, here are the steps to get started with Asana in an hour:

    Step #1: Sign up for Asana

    You can either use your personal email or an email with a business domain to sign up for Asana. If you use an email with a business domain, you automatically get free access to adding 15 additional members to each of your projects for free. 

    Step #2: Decide on your organizational hierarchy

    Now it’s important to have a good idea of how you want to organize your Asana workspace. Asana is structured in 4 hierarchies:

    1. Teams: A team is a group of projects that belong to a similar area in your business. Think of teams as the main departments in your business, e.g. marketing, operations, clients, products
    2. Projects: A project belongs to a specific team in Asana. You could have more than one project in each team, depending on how similar or different the tasks in those projects are. For example, you may want to have a project for each product you have developed in your business. You may want to have a project for each social media platform you create content. 
    3. Lists: A list is a group of related tasks. Lists help you organize the tasks within your project. Making it easier to track, drag-and-drop and view your tasks based on the list in which the task belongs
    4. Tasks: A task is the actual activity that is tracked in Asana. You can assign people, dates, priorities, subtasks within tasks and many more options.

    The important thing to note is that there is no one size that fits all when it comes to your organizational hierarchy. Start simple, and build as you go along. You could also align your hierarchy to how you have organized your folders in your digital workspace. 

    Just make sure that you can easily track everything. Here’s an example of an organizational hierarchy for a small business in Asana:

    Do you have a task management system for your business? It's not too late to get started! Here's a guide on how to set up Asana for your small business.

    Step #3: Create your teams

    Once you have signed up and you have an outline of your hierarchy, you can start creating your teams. Click ‘Add Team’ to add a team.

    Step #4: Create your projects

    You can only create your projects once you have created your teams. Every project must belong to a team in Asana.

    Click on any team and click ‘Add Project’. You can either create a new project by;

    • using a template from the Asana library,
    • Creating a project from scratch (I use this option the most)
    • Creating a new project from a spreadsheet template (use this option if you have purchased done-for-you or downloaded our free team onboarding Asana template)

    Step #5: Add team members to your projects

    If you already have an existing team or contracts you have outsourced work to, it’s a good idea to get them set up in Asana. This way, you have one central place to manage your team and have a view of what everyone is working on.

    You can start by adding your team members to your workspace, and then adding them to specific projects or teams. This makes it more efficient for your team, especially contractors, as they only see projects and teams of which they are members. 

    You can also make projects private (no one in your organization will have access to a private project unless you invite them).

    PRO Tip: Once you have gotten comfortable with Asana, you can integrate a time tracking app like Toggl, so that your team members can track time spent on each of their tasks, to boost productivity, increase accountability and analyse whether you are getting more efficiencies from using Asana to manage tasks.

    Step #6: Create tasks

    This is where you will spend the most time. If you have a task list somewhere, now is a good time to copy and paste those tasks into the relevant projects in your Asana workspace. Once you have created your projects, you will need to create lists within those projects. You will then click ‘Add Task’ under each list to start creating a task.

    If you have Standard Operating Procedures already in place, you can also start to create the tasks that are relevant to your SOPs, and create the steps/workflows in your task card.

    Setting up recurring tasks is also a good place to start, as these are the tasks that are typically the most time-consuming. You can automate recurring tasks by setting the frequency at which the task needs to be completed.

    Once the task is completed, Asana will automatically create the same task with its new due date.

    Good practices when it comes to setting up tasks:

    1. Always assign a due date to a task that requires action
    2. Always assign a person to a task that requires action
    3. Mark tasks as complete once you complete them, and get your team members to follow suit.

    Step #7: Colour code and tag your tasks

    You can colour code each project so that you can track your project tasks when viewing all of your tasks in one view. This is called the ‘My Tasks’ view in Asana.

    I like to colour code my projects in the same team with the same colour. That way, I don’t have many different colours to deal with in my workspace, and it’s easy for me to remember which colour relates to which type of task. For instance, pink relates to content creation and yellow relates to client management tasks in my business.

    Hint: You can use the same colour codes for your task types as the ones you use in your Google Calendar. That way,

    everything is consistent and easy to remember.

    Do you have a task management system for your business? It's not too late to get started! Here's a guide on how to set up asana for your small business.

    A few other amazing features in Asana

    1. Phone app: Download the phone app to view everything that’s going on in your business while you’re on the go
    2. Messaging tab: You can send messages to your team within Asana
    3. Mentions using @: You can mention people using the ‘@’ sign in the comments section of each task
    4. Attachments: You can attach documents straight from Google Drive, or file uploads into each specific task
    5. Zapier integrations: You can integrate Asana with so many other applications in your business, and further reduce the amount of manual work done in your business
    6. Multiple project view: You can view your projects in board, list, calendar view formats. There are a few other view formats on the paid version, but the free version gives you enough formats to use as a start.

    In conclusion

    Asana is a powerful way to organize your small business and set up the right foundation for scalable growth. Not only does it eliminate the need for 10 other apps to manage your to-do’s and team members, but also gives you the ability to manage pretty much every other core area of your business efficiently.

    You can use Asana for;

    • Onboarding & managing client projects
    • Tracking leads & sales
    • Tracking key performance indicators
    • Setting & tracking goals and progress
    • Prioritizing tasks
    • Weekly planning 
    • Managing your teams
    • Managing launches
    • Creating a database of important business information
    • Bringing your SOPs to life
    • Creating and using templates for consistency and quality control

    Want to know what else you can do with Asana? Check out this blog and my community here to find out about other powerful ways to boost your productivity and scale your small business with Asana.

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  • 7 Features of Asana I absolutely love for my coaching business

    Asana has been a life saver for my online business. These are my 7 best features.

    By now you probably know that if there’s one topic I could talk about all day, it’s my love for Asana and how it has literally saved my sanity while scaling my coaching business. Asana is also the tool that I use as one of the 5 core systems that are needed to scale and save time in your online business.

    Asana is a project or task management tool which helps you manage all the tasks of your online business. It’s way better than using 5 different notebooks and 10 different colour versions of sticky notes. It’s particularly powerful as a team management tool if you have already started outsourcing different areas of your business. Here are just a few reasons why you should use a task management tool like Asana for your online business:

    • Streamlines the team management process
    • Increases return on investment in your payroll
    • Ease of SOP and task automation
    • Gives you a CEO high level overview of everything that is happening in your business
    • Increases productivity by viewing only the tasks that are a priority in your business

    If you haven’t come across Asana, I would highly recommend that you check it out. They have a free version which you can sign up for and get access to an additional 15 team members to use your workspace at no additional cost. 

    There is so much to say about it but here are a few of the features that are an absolute win!

    #1: Calendar view

    Seeing my tasks in calendar view. And being able to easily drag and drop them to manage my daily schedule is a win! You can toggle between different calendar, board and list view so easily

    #2: My task view

    This is probably my favourite feature. I love that Asana allows you to organize your activities by project and team/department. But as a CEO you also need to see the bigger picture. The ‘My tasks’ view in asana helps you see all the activities happening in your online business in one dashboard.

    #3: Messaging tab

    Say goodbye to email back-and-forth exchanges which often get lost in translation. With Asana you can use the messaging tab feature within each project to talk to your team members and follow up on tasks. It’s a great feature because everyone in the team sees your messages. This reduces the need to duplicate messages into another forum.

    #4: Recurring tasks

    You know those tasks you do on repeat in your online business like lead generating, following up with clients, creating content? Instead of manually creating a task every time you need to work on it, you can simply automate it in Asana. A new task with a new due date is created every time it is marked as complete. This saves a lot of time & brain space, allowing you to focus on being a CEO. And not having to worry that things will fall through the cracks.

    Asana has been a life saver for my online business. These are my 7 best features.

    #5: Multiple Project linking

    Not sure if a task falls in one or another project? No problem! You can link the task to multiple projects so that you can see that very same task in more than one dashboard. I use this feature a lot when I am planning out my week. That way I’m able to see my priority tasks in one dashboard, even though they belong to other projects.

    #6: Guest collaborations

    This is powerful for your online business because you have an unlimited amount of guests you can collaborate with on your Asana account on the paid version. You can collaborate with up to 15 people per project on the free version. Which is still a good deal, more than any other project management tool I know of.

    This means you can keep your clients within your Asana workspace even after completing your coaching project with them, which makes it easier to follow up & potentially get follow-on opportunities.

    #7: Flying unicorns

    Between this feature and the functionality that allows you to see your tasks in one dashboard, I am not sure which feature I love more. Every time you complete a few tasks, flying unicorns fly across your screen. This puts a smile on my face every time, and they come in different colours too 🦄🦄🦄 This is enough to keep me hooked to Asana!

    Do you use Asana for your online business? Which feature do you love the most? If you need help setting up your project management system, let’s hop on a call and see how we can help you!

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