Keep track of your tasks and your time

Are you the type of person who has sticky notes pasted all over your office, your desk, your computer, your… everywhere? Do you have countless tasks, but no order to them? Are they blending into one huge monster of a task?

Do you feel like you are constantly busy, yet you never get anything done?

I have the answers to those questions to help create a system for you.

#1 Task Management App — Asana

There are many different task management apps out there, but the one that I use, and recommend is Asana.

Asana is a free app (with some premium features if needed) that allows you to dump all of the to-do list items out of your brain and into a well organized, structured format.

There is both a web-based app and a mobile phone app — no matter where you are you can have your to-do list with you.

How many times have you been out of the office and tried desperately to remember what you wrote on that post-it note? Asana solves this problem.

Here is a bit more about how to use Asana.

There are two levels of Asana — projects and tasks. Projects are the big item that you need to get accomplished, like a website design, or it could also be an ongoing project like social media. Then, in those projects, you have tasks, which are all the individual tasks that are needed to accomplish the projects.

Each of the tasks should be assigned to someone and have a due date set. I generally think of them as “do” dates rather than when the task needs to be done. So, you set the due date to be however long the task will take to complete before it is actually due.

I always say you should outsource your brain so you can to free up your mental capacity for higher-level strategic thinking. Asana is one way to start outsourcing your brain.

I could talk more about how Asana has helped my business, but I try to keep these emails brief so if you want to hear more about Asana just reply to this email and I would love to talk more.

#2 Time Tracking App — Toggl

“Don’t mistake being busy with being productive”

Just because you are always busy doesn’t mean that you are using your time effectively. Whenever I talk to a client who says that they feel like they are spinning their wheels and not using their time productively I always suggest they do a time audit.

For one week, meticulously track your time with Toggl or another time tracking app. After the week is up, review what you’ve done. What you spent time on, what you didn’t. Then, figure out whether you were spending your time effectively to accomplish your short and long-term goals.

More often than not you will find that you are spending too much of your time on menial tasks that could either be outsourced, delegated, or even just forgotten about.

Beyond time audits you can also use Toggl to keep track of projects and tasks. If you are working on a project that has a specific budget you can track your time to make sure the project is still profitable and you are staying on your estimate. Alternatively, if you bill out hourly you can track how many hours you spend on your client work.

Three other cool features:

  1. Toggl has a browser add-on so you can start your timer right in Asana or email or wherever.
  2. You can export a .pdf or .csv of your time reports.
  3. There is a mobile app so you can track time on the go.

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