Whether you’re back in the office or working from home, keeping your team organized is crucial. While the “new normal” of Covid-19 is still solidifying, take the opportunity to re-evaluate your company’s organizational toolkit.
With so many tools on the market, it’s important to start with your decision-making framework. Here’s how to do it:
Choosing the right tools for you
How big is your team?
Not all tools can scale as well as you want them to. On the other hand, some will have far more features than you need. For instance, a team of three people might not require something as robust as a platform that would better serve dozens. When reviewing your options, ask whether a particular candidate is a tool for one project team, a department or the entire company.
What are your goals?
Beyond keeping your team organized, what are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to find more clients and analyze customer conversion and engagement? A CRM might be your best option. Want to create beautiful presentations, infographics and charts for stakeholders? Look into a whiteboarding tool.
What is your budget?
Some organizational tools are free, while others require subscriptions or full purchases. Other paid tools have more stripped-down free versions that might provide enough of what you’re looking for. Regardless, it’s important to consider your budget and not spend money on apps and features your team doesn’t need.
With that said, there’s a reason some names are big in the space. Start your search with popular tools.
Organizational software to check out
For 2021, top picks in organizational programs include:
Airtable is a lightweight project management tool that combines the organization of a spreadsheet with the depth of a database. Users create entries that can be expanded, commented upon and linked to other pieces of relevant information. For instance, you can create a content calendar for your corporate blog or a project tracker across multiple teams.
Like Trello (#6), Airtable lets team members communicate directly on tasks, give feedback and mark progress. Depending on your preference, you can organize that information in a calendar or spreadsheet or as a Kanban chart. You can also integrate dozens of other apps to streamline your processes, including Dropbox, Twitter, Google Drive and others.
Asana is another great project management tool that leverages automation and integration to keep team members on track and in sync. With built-in analytics and presets, Asana allows your team to focus less on reporting and more on the important parts of their work.
By minimizing the time it takes to generate progress reports, project managers can easily see their team’s timeline and performance. Asana is so good at this that some teams have foregone emails entirely, preferring this platform instead.
Asana works best by breaking down large projects into smaller tasks. Since each task can only be assigned to one person, the platform includes dependencies to keep tasks linked together. Given that potential limitation, Asana is best used in smaller teams rather than across companies of 100 employees or more.
While Canva is best known — and deservedly so — as a web-based graphic design suite, it also offers effective tools for organization. Among all its templates, there are plenty of available charts and graphs that are useful for project presentation. Visualizing project timelines and dependencies can be a powerful way to communicate milestones and team member responsibilities.
With Canva, you can easily create presentations for stakeholders, clients or internal communication, as well as hierarchical charts and project timelines. Even if you’re not familiar with graphic design, Canva’s interface is intuitive enough for anyone to use.
4. G Suite and Google Docs
There’s a reason 6 million businesses use G-Suite: Google always seems to be rolling out some new helpful tool or feature. These include website-integrated Gmail accounts, a shared Google Drive and access to Google Analytics and Google Ads, among others.
Google Hangouts can be used for team messaging and video calls, while Google Docs lets your team collaborate in real time. Virtually all of these features are accessible on mobile devices, enabling your team to stay connected on the go. While users will require a Google account to log in, G Suite keeps your organizational needs neatly housed under one roof.
To say Nimble is an organizational tool is an understatement. This heavy-duty platform acts as a digital dashboard that allows your team members to track events, projects and internal and external contacts. Built with customer relationship management in mind, its web extensions let your team discover prospects and analyze marketing campaigns with ease.
Nimble also connects all of your team’s contacts, events and communications; that’s in addition to its over 160 application integrations. Besides Nimble’s robust features, it’s easy-to-navigate interface keeps everything organized and accessible. And with so many integrations, everything you need will be within reach no matter where you are.
By now, Trello has established itself as one of the quintessential team organizational tools. Making use of Kanban charts, this app keeps track of all your projects, the status of each and who’s working on them. With integrations to chat apps like Slack, Trello makes remote work and collaboration seamless.
What makes Trello stand out is that it can be scaled to any sized team with any specialization. Whether you’re a group of graphic designers or financial analysts, Trello is flexible enough to be useful in your environment.
If “to do,” “doing” and “done” aren’t enough, you can customize status columns on Trello’s board depending on your team’s requirements. You can move tasks around on the board, comment on them and attach relevant resources to organize everything you need.
While this list doesn’t exhaust all the organizational tools available, it does highlight some of the best options out there. By considering your scale, goals and budget, you’re sure to find a tool that will work for you and your team.