I get asked all the time about organization and strategy. After all, it is my job and it is what our company, Assistants 4 Hire, does for our clients. Still, it is still not as easy as meets the eye. I think even the most organized people, me included, have some misses. We forget our process or simply don’t take the time to implement it. Today, I am going to give you my top five secrets for getting organized!
1. Save all of your files on the same platform.
What does this mean? The easiest example and the most prominent I work with, is that
I have clients who have some files on their iCloud, some in their Dropbox and some in their Google Drive. The biggest reason this is not a good method, is it may take you 5 minutes to figure out where you stored each file.
Simply decide on which platform makes the most sense for you. I am a huge fan of Google Suite simply because all the documents are live, you can view version history and it creates transparency for our team and our clients when working on a project. It also has an amazing search feature to help find documents quickly.
Take the time to get all of your files in the same place so you know exactly where they are. Even if you commit one hour a week for the next three months to accomplish this task, you’ll thank yourself for getting your files organized.
2. Create a consistent naming convention.
It may seem simple and some of you are already saying, “MerriLyn, I know this already.” Still, how many of you are putting this into practice?
Here is a simple routine to follow for all of you business owners storing files for your clients:
Right-click to “save as” or “rename” if needed, any file you need to save.
First, write the name of the client.- Smith, John or simply Smith, J or John Smith.
The date of the document if needed 1/18/22
And the details of the document- Blog Jan 2022.
Then store under the folder of the client. - Yes, this also needs to be set up if not already done so.
This process takes about a minute or so for you to do. Still, it may save you up to 20 minutes trying to find that document three months from now when you need to retrieve it again.
3. Organize your email.
The vain of so many peoples’ existence. This is something I have written over and over again throughout the years, still, it is so important. I have done so many business assessments over the years where people are spending 3-4 hrs a day in their inbox. That to me is not a good use of time as so many of us don’t get paid to be in our inbox. Let’s get that down to 1 hr tops people! You can do it!
For my best practices on how to organize your inbox, read my past blog, 6 Tips to Avoid the BLACK HOLE of Your Inbox
4. Start using Templates.
Anytime you notice that you are writing the same thing over and over again, create a template.
The easiest way to start is to create a google or word document named (Your Business Name- Email Templates.)
Then start saving any repetitive emails that come into play. This could be an introductory letter to a new client that comes on board with your company, an introductory email to someone you met at a networking event, or a “Welcome To The Team” to new hires.
I even have a document called “A4H’ Networking Referrals” where I keep any introduction I have made to another networking colleague for reference so I don’t have to write the introduction over and over again when I continually refer them.
5. STOP trying to do everything yourself!
If you said during this blog and you made it this far, “MerriLyn, these are all great ideas, but I just don’t have time to implement them.” Then you are in the market for a VA.
Even if you just get started with project-based work to get all of these elements created so it’s easier for you to execute more organization, consider it for your 2022 plan.
Want to learn more about what a VA can do for you? Schedule a FREE Discovery Call with me
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Written by MerriLyn Gibbs