Today I’m continuing this blog series based on Marie Kondo and her hit Netflix show ‘Tidying Up With Marie Kondo’. As a professional organizer and tidying expert, her KonMari Method has inspired millions of people to ditch the clutter and embrace organization in their homes, in order to inspire a life of minimalism and joy.
This same series has inspired me to create a blog series on how to embrace the popular #KonMari methods, in order to better organize your business. In this blog series, I will cover: Reducing Clutter, Organization, Productivity, How to #KonMari Your Inbox, Documentation, and Automation.
So far, I’ve talked about Reducing Clutter in your business. So here is part two in this blog series, and it’s all about Organization.
Keep your business organized to save time and money, with project management and collaboration tools. There are many FREE or almost free tools available in the market these days that can help with organizing not only your business, but also projects within your business, and client projects as well. There are a ton of these tools on the market, but here are just a few that I’ve personally researched and found to be some of the best in their league:
Trello (PM tool)- Trello has received a lot of rave reviews from small business owners in various industries. It’s popular because of its simplicity, because it has a FREE version, because you can add and also because it’s a more visual project management tool.
I personally use this tool in my own business for my social media management, as well as (more recently) product launches. There is also a (FREE) Google plug-in for Trello called Elegantt, which is a more robust project management tool that allows you to create Gantt charts within Trello, to keep even more organized when managing more complex projects. I’ve just started using Trello fairly recently, but so far, I like it!
Get started with Trello for FREE here.
Asana (PM tool)- Another very popular (FREE) PM tool. While it has many of the features of Trello, it is less of a “visual” tool, and seems to have less flexibility in its features.
Zoho Projects (PM tool)- This is another PM tool, made popular by the branded Zoho suite of business products. While I haven’t used this specific Zoho product, I have used a few others, and I would have to agree with many of the reviews that say it is not as easy to use as some other PM tools…there is a bit of a learning curve with Zoho products. That said, for those who are already using and loving Zoho products, Zoho Projects provides a PM tool that can seamlessly integrate with the other Zoho products your business might currently be using.
MeisterTask- Also a less “visual” PM tool, but has many similar features to the other PM tools I’ve mentioned.
Some other (FREE) Project Management tools you might like to check out:
Other critical activities to stay on top of to keep your business organized, are your leads management, as well as your customer/client interactions and any services provided. There are many CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools on the market these days that can help you keep track of all your customer interactions and purchases (so you can ditch those crazy spreadsheets!).
To help you with your leads management activities and customer/client communications, here are just a few of the most popular CRM tools available today:
HubSpot (FREE)- This CRM is simple to use, yet with plenty of functionality to improve small business processes and organization, at no cost. It also has a lot of great training resources in its online library for small business owners, including learning guides, invoice template generators, email signature generators, and marketing plan template generators.
SalesForce (Small Business Edition)- An already popular CRM tool for large enterprises, SalesForce’s Small Business Edition lets entrepreneurs and small business owner’s enjoy many of SalesForce’s robust set of CRM tools and resources at a more affordable price.
SalesForce’s platform is pretty easy to use, and offers features like lead generation, contact and opportunity management, workflow automation, sales forecasting, and much more.
Zoho CRM- A simple CRM solution, that integrates easily with a plethora of other Zoho small business products.
What are some ways that you keep organized in your own biz?
By now you’ve probably heard all about Marie Kondo and her hit Netflix show ‘Tidying Up With Marie Kondo’. As a professional organizer and tidying expert, her KonMari Method has inspired millions of people to ditch the clutter and embrace organization in their homes, in order to inspire a life of minimalism and joy.
I admit, when I first heard about some of her unconventional methods (why are we thanking our clothes? Do we have to?), I initially dismissed some of her ideas.
But, after learning more about her methods, and the reasons behind them, I can see why so many people are jumping onboard with this tidying up craze.
It also got me thinking…how could entrepreneurs and business owners apply some of these methods in their businesses, to spark joy in their work life too?
So, I’ve put together some Marie Kondo inspired tips that can be useful to get rid of the business clutter that accumulates (way too easily), and ways that we can stay organized, productive, minimalist, and efficient (and joyful!) in our businesses too.
In this blog series, I’ll be covering these topics: Reducing Clutter, Organization, Productivity, How to #KonMari Your Inbox, Documentation, and Automation.
And I’ll be giving you a boat load of suggestions for awesome software and tools, many of them that I use in my own business (and many of them FREE! BOOYA!), that will be amazing resources for you to tidy up your business processes.
Let’s start with…
This tip is based on Marie’s central message- get rid of the “stuff”.
Some of the most easily-accumulated “stuff” in business (and that takes up the most space!) is paper…hoards and hoards of paper. Paper receipts, paper invoices, paper contracts, paper notes, paper spreadsheets, paper project docs, paper meeting minutes…you get the picture.
In 2019, with so much digital technology available to us (much of it free!) there is no real need for most paper documents anymore.
The best first step to reducing this clutter is by first going through your papers with a shredding machine and a couple of recycling bags, and getting rid of everything that you really don’t need. If it’s older than a year (and you haven’t seen it in that long!), and it’s no longer an “active” document (ie. an active contract), and you don’t need it for regulatory or tax purposes, get rid of it. If it contains personal info, shred it first, then get rid of it.
Whatever is left that you want to keep…scan it, and then get rid of it. (Again, unless it’s needed for regulatory or tax purposes.)
There are many apps that can help with this process, but some awesome (and mostly free!) ones are:
CamScanner (scans any document, and stores it wherever you want)
CardScanner (scans paper business cards, like a digital rolodex)
Dropbox (cloud storage)
OneDrive (cloud storage, and also has a free scanning feature)
Google Drive (cloud storage)
If your clutter pile is more of a mountain, and you can’t bare the thought of having to sift through it all, there are even services that can help with this process.
For example, Shoeboxed is a company that can take care of the sorting and scanning for you...all you have to do is ship them your boxes of “stuff”, give them instructions, and free your time up to do something more important.
Some more tips for saving your documents…save documents grouped in folders by category, and create a naming system for your folders and documents, so you can easily find what you need.
You should also take this opportunity to analyze your processes, to see where you can eliminate generating paper documents in your business moving forward (I’ll talk about this in more detail when I cover Documentation at a later date!).
>>> What are some ways that you like to reduce clutter in your own biz? <<<
I'm a mom, wife, MBA student, and student of life...serial entrepreneur, dreamer, and goal-setter. My mission is to empower moms to start their own businesses from home.