Attempting to keep all the "big rocks" and the little items into a squeezed time planner, getting a great overview is a necessity. Taking those things off my mind and into print keeps the mind fresh. Although everyone will need to find what works best for them - mine are electronic. The reason for that is the accessibility by a personal assistant, plus my spouse. Entering that one time will automatically update everyone's calendars.
Additionally, changes to the people's cellphones, email addresses, addresses, etc is so frequent, paper and pen are simply ineffective for me. Having databases allows me to update one and all the gadgets are tied to the one update. No matter where it is entered, the other gadgets are up-to-date.
Here are the tools that aid my work flow.
In order to maintain an overview of upcoming tasks, I have adopted the Getting Things Done (gtd) approach. It is a system that requires you to make a decision up front as to how it will be handled. A question is posed: Does this require action? If not, it is either trash, it will someday require action, or it is reference material never requiring action.
If it does require action, then the question is posed: can it be done in under 2 minutes, will it be delegated, or is it future action? Those actions are then sorted into categories or their project classification. once you get the swing of it, it is not nearly as formidable as it sounds.
That system has two wings: a calendar and an ability to access written documents.
First, written documents.
1. Evernote : free : searchable written documents access anywhere you access your files. Evernote is a password protected system that allows you to store documents and transfer the information between a variety of formats. You even have the ability to share documents with others.
2. Tap2ever free : free : a quick way to type Evernote documents.
3. Awesome note hd : commercial : a document system that allows you to sync with Evernote.
Those systems utilize tags, which keep documents grouped together for easy access. No need to tag words in the document, this will automatically be searchable. Handwritten documents are also searchable, when submitted by a selection of programs.
I find these helpful on my iPad, and everything is automatically synced onto my PC. Traveling just became simpler because I do not have to carry every project on a USB stick in order to have access.
4. Pocket information hd : commercial
Tasks and events are placed on a calendar. Every calendar software has that ability. This is separated from the rest in that every todo action is tagged, placed in a project, and can carry a customizable context. Tasks requiring attention someday, but without a definite date, are carried forward. Repeatable tasks - taxes, time sensitive reports, meetings - are all carried forward. Tasks and events are also convertible for calendar usage.
One note here: my calendar is synced with google calendar, allowing both my wife and my personal assistant to have access and overview. They have the ability to enter information and monitor workload, when others ask for FaceTime. It aids tremendously in internal communication.
For a price tag of under $50, you owe it to yourself to get resources that will free you to do your job better.
What tool(s) have you implemented that aided your administrative workflow?
What tips have helped you the most in your growing responsibility?