Building a business takes a ton of work, a ton of organization, and requires many moving pieces. You can’t run a business with all these pieces in your head or on a post-it living on your desk.
You NEED a PROJECT MANAGEMENT TOOL. (Period, mic-drop, just do it)
What’s a project management tool?
Think of it as a central hub for your business. It can include:
- Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly tasks
- Client tasks + data
- Organization of ideas, research, and inspiration
- Tracking of goals and strategic vision
- Operations documentation + business data/resources
- Content calendars + launch plans
- And more!
Basically, anything that needs doing or tracking in your business can have a home in your project management tool. Now that’s not to say it’s the only tool you need in your business, BUT it’s definitely a tool you shouldn’t be doing business without.
As you build your business having piles of paper with to-do and ideas jotted down scattered around your office, random bookmarks, or 5000-word documents to keep your business running is just not going to cut it. You need one central place to organize, categorize, and track all the pieces that go into running a business, and that place is a project management tool.
Choose Your Weapon (umm tool)
There are a lot of project management tools to choose from, but I’m going to keep this simple and I recommend one of these three:
Trello is my personal choice. I’m going to keep this one brief, as I have plenty of posts all about how I use Trello as my business hub. Here are a few posts to learn more about Trello:
10 Ways I Use Trello To Run My Business
Why I love Trello to organize all the things
Trello basics explained
Want to get started with Trello, you can get started with my course: TRELLO 101: Learn the basic features + functions of this project management tool
Asana is probably the other most popular project management tool for online entrepreneurs (most online business owners being team Asana or Trello-you can read about my comparison here).
I think Asana is better if you have a team and multiple, multiple-step projects to manage.
I’ve recently started exploring Clickup, and I can see how it’s the new “hot” tool on the market for project management. Many people describe it as a mix between Trello and Asana, and I agree, but it seems more different than Asana or Trello than the two are from each other.
I think of Airtable as spreadsheets amped up, it’s like prettier spreadsheets. I personally think it’s not as robust as Asana, Trello, or Clickup in terms of some of the features, but at the same time it’s all about what works for you. And it’s all about figuring out how to make it work.
Want to learn more about how to use Airtable in your business? My operations biz pal Lanie offers some amazing training on using Airtable to rock your business. Check that out here!
Need help deciding?
Take my quiz! I’ve created a quiz to help match you with a project management tool! Once you take the quiz, not only will you get your match, but I will provide you some tips to help you get started!
After you find your match, I recommend you start with one area of your business to get set-up first and see how you like working in there. It depends on your business what system area you want to get set-up first.
I started with my content marketing system when I got started with Trello, because at that time, that had the most moving pieces to keep up with, from planning to publishing blog posts + promoting them + keeping my other social media going (see my blog post process here). Start with your most pressing need to keep organized.
It’s not going to be easy
YOU WILL have to train yourself to use the system you set up, it’s going to require work, and you will want to revert back to however you use to do it because that’s more comfortable.
Figuring out your systems and processes is an ongoing process. And no tool is going to make the process flawless and easy; you have to train yourself to use the system and make it part of your day-to-day.
BUT I promise your business life will be a whole lot more organized and less stressful, if you start a system now. The longer you wait the harder it is to get one started. It’s much better to have a structure and get use to documenting your processes than worrying about picking the “right” tool.