Do you receive emails or calls from clients or suppliers chasing you for product samples, quotations, or chasing for time in your diary? Whatever you’re being chased for and assuming you care, it increases your levels of anxiety and stress. You’ll feel on the backfoot and will begin your response with “My apologies for the delay in….”
This apologetic feeling knocks on to every aspect of your relationship with that person. If it’s a client and you need to raise your fees, you’ll feel less inclined to do so. If it’s a supplier who is being difficult with delivery deadlines, you don’t feel you can push them harder. Being on point and on time maintains the equilibrium in relationships. It demonstrates you are a person of your word, you can be trusted to deliver.
Knowing what needs doing and when is the key to staying on top of and better still, ahead of your workload. However, checking due dates across multiple cloud-based software or between your calendar and your to-do list takes a lot of time, and it’s easy to miss things.
Google Calendar will bring all your cloud-based due dates and actions together. How?
1. You need to decide where you’d like your alerts to arrive.
Every morning at 0500 I receive one email, delivered to my inbox, which tells me what tasks/actions are in my calendar for that day (I have a separate calendar for meetings). I could also receive individual event reminders, but one email prevents the notification noise.
If you prefer to use Slack as your collection bucket, you can have notifications for calendar events appear in a specific channel. The added benefit is team members in the same channel can expand the reminders for more options and information.
If you want to go old school, you can receive an SMS for an approaching calendar event.
2. Integrating Google Calendar with your other cloud-based software.
Google have always been big on integrating with software that small business owners already use. Here’s some software you may already be using which you can easily sync with your Google Calendar.
Once you’ve set a due date on a card, it will appear in your Google Calendar
Schedule an activity, and it will appear in your calendar.
Instead of checking your bank feed to see when a payment has been received, your calendar will be updated, and this alerts you to the next action you need to take.
If you like to publicise what you’re doing, you can link your Google calendar to Twitter, so next time an event starts, it’s posted to your Twitter feed.
You can create a new Asana task from a Google Calendar event
Sync your Insightly events, tasks, and milestones
Sync your task calendar to Google
From Evernote reminders, you can create calendar events
The list goes on and on and will continue getting longer.
With these integrations in place, your future actions will fall gracefully into the collection bucket that is your calendar, and subsequently into your chosen alert destination.
3. How do you make this happen?
It’s all about planning, research and implementation
- Decide where you want your alerts to arrive
- Write down all the apps and cloud-based software you use
- Research whether there is a Google Calendar integration already in place or whether you need to employ Zapier to do the work
- Start applying due dates to follow up actions
When your business is growing, and your work levels are increasing it’s difficult to maintain high levels of service. You need to create space for you to breathe, to think, to plan. When you have this space, you’re proactive rather than reactive, and you will add more value to the work you do with your clients.
Automating your to-do list will create this space and reduce your anxiety. You’ll have a detailed view of the follow-up actions your business needs to make and it’s an ideal opportunity to decide if you are the best person to be doing them or whether someone else should have the responsibility.
If you don’t have control of your day-to-day business admin, it can be a huge source of stress, and when you’re working hard and focused on your work, disorganisation is a huge distraction. An Administration Consultant will advise how to streamline and automate your task-based workload and, should you choose to outsource will crack on with the follow-up actions as well.
If you’d like to find out more about automating aspects of your business, please give me a call on 01223803666.