7 Top Time Saving Social Media Marketing Tips

Some readers may already know this, but being a social media marketer stirs up some fairly passionate cocktail conversation. When mutterings about the weather naturally turn to the obligatory, “So what do you do?” question, the response I receive is almost always met with the dropping of a veil.

It’s as if the words “social media” give rise to this fire in people’s bellies, and that fire usually lies on two very opposite ends of the spectrum. Of course, some people still wonder what in the world a marketer might do to promote a brand online, but for those that know (or think they know), there’s either deep appreciation or extreme apprehension.

On occasion those that think they know (and believe that social media is a horrible waste of time), are willing to listen to my case long enough for me to explain that tools like Twitter aren’t predominately filled with listings of people’s breakfast cereals. Those that begin to understand social media’s utilities though, are often still apprehensive about the social media time suck.

“But how would I have any time to work?” they almost always ask. And so instead of spending time listing alternatives, I plan to direct up and coming social media marketers to this post. Here I bring you 7 ways to save time in social media marketing.

Seven Ways to Save Time While Marketing with Social Media

1. Create a timetable

Some people use a buzzer, others simply have a rule. Regardless of your time tracking tool of choice, employ it here, as many marketers say you’ll start to see the benefits of social media marketing if you invest just fifteen minutes per day.

2. Use applications and bookmarking services to save content for later

Instapaper, Readability and ReadItLater are probably the industry leaders when it comes to bookmarking content for offline reading on any device when the reading is convenient. Pick one of these offline reading services and install the app and bookmarks across all your devices. Bookmark intriguing content when you run across it, but do the heavy reading in your free time so you can stick to the task at hand.

3. Schedule your tweets, but don’t schedule everything

Scheduling tweets on Twitter allows you the ability to spread out your content while making it feel like you’re everywhere at once. Tools like Buffer, SocialOomph, and a collection of others were designed specifically for the task, but be careful when it comes to scheduling across social channels, as third part scheduling tools for Facebook have shown up to an 80 percent reduction in engagement with fans.

4. Found the bulk of your strategy on repeatability

I recently read a review of a book called Repeatability by Chris Zook and James Allen. In it the authors argue that businesses founded on repeatable ideas (as opposed to far reaching innovations) are five times more likely to succeed. I believe the same rule applies to social media, not only because simplicity rules, but also because repeatability saves time and gives your audience time to scale. Some good examples of repeatability include “Mobile Mondays” or “Small Business Saturdays,” both of which were started by one business but hijacked by other users. In the beginning you’ll have to work, but before long the routine becomes automatic and your audience begins to do the work.

5. Calibrate notifications with care

When it comes to “always on” social media channels, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of updates on everything from comments to additional followers. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that this kind of constant monitoring is work. At the same time, don’t feel like you have to turn everything off. After all, being on top of an important comment or update can make the difference between viral and low impact. Use something like Notification Control or an app like Echophon that gives you full control over how and when you see updates.

6. Consistency is more important than volume

Yes, it has been proven that posting every day on Facebook improves your EdgeRank and as a result, makes you more visible in your fan’s news feeds. It’s also true that people who tweet more often tend to have high Klout scores. But relationships and expectations trump volume and noise any day. If you’re too busy too check in daily that’s okay. Just provide value to your followers and that alone will pay dividends.

7. Take a hands off approach and hire someone to market across social channels for you

If you still want the search engine and lead generating benefits of social media but don’t have any interest in keeping up with the platform trends you can always hire someone to do the work for you. When hiring a social media marketer, keep in mind the importance of someone who can translate your brand voice across social properties and use metrics to optimize their efforts for maximum returns.


Lauren Proctor is a social media marketer and the founder of Proctor + Hall, a company that helps companies increase revenues and exposure through digital marketing. Sign up for her free 32-part social media strategy optimization course today.

This small business Blog is produced by SimplifyThis,  a Web-based invoicing and appointment scheduling tool that helps small business owners to streamline administrative tasks.

The No-Fail Way to Stay in the Productivity Zone

Do you find yourself busier than ever with little to show for it at the end of the day? If so, you may be spending your time on the wrong activities. In today’s climate of instant gratification, you may feel enormous pressure to do everything right now. When you feel this pressure, ask yourself, “does this need to be done right now or can it wait?”

What is the Urgency Trap?

If you feel like the hamster on the wheel of life running as fast as you can but getting nowhere, chances are that you’ve fallen into the urgency trap. The urgency trap is when everything seems urgent. Whether it is an expectation that you’ve placed on yourself or someone else has placed on you; you are feeling overwhelmed. It could be anything from a complicated report that your boss wants completed in 30 minutes or buying groceries for dinner tonight. No matter how hard you try to avoid it, life is full of demands. Even worse, many of those demands are unrealistic.

How Do You Get Off the Hamster Wheel?

If you have found yourself in the urgency trap, how do you get out of it? The key lies in the Productivity Zone. The productivity zone is the area where the Important Activities in your life overlap the Urgent Activities. The problem for most people is that urgent activities are usually trivial or not important; whereas, important activities are not urgent. For example, booking an airline ticket for a trip in three weeks could save you a tremendous amount of money. This is an important activity but it’s not urgent.

The critical underlying secret to time management is to understand that you must make time for the important activities. Unfortunately, if you’re like most people, you are so busy, you don’t feel like you have time to even decide what is and what isn’t important. Further, when everything seems urgent, you don’t want to take the time to prioritize. So, even before deciding what’s important, you need to create a block of time to relieve the pressure. This block of time is called a time wedge.

Create a Time Wedge

The place to start to get into the productive zone is to set aside some time to plan. Specifically, you need to plan your day, your week, and your month; if not beyond. But, first things first, you need to create a small slice of time to allow yourself room for planning. Here are some ways to create this slice:

  • Stop. Quit doing something that you are currently doing. If you are wasting time on anything, stop doing it. This could be something as simple as turning off the television for 10 minutes or checking your e-mail one less time during the day.
  • Double Up. Combine activities whenever possible. An effective way to create space in your day is to overlap activities. For example, you can listen to books on tape while you are driving or watch your favorite show on Netflix (on you iphone or ipad) while you are doing your laundry.
  • Schedule. Block off time on your calendar for deciding what’s important. You schedule everything else, why not schedule a little time for yourself?

Now, that you have created a time wedge, use that time to list everything that you are committed to do. For each item, write U for urgent, I for important for B for both urgent and important. Now, move the B items to the top of the list. These are the tasks that you will want to do first. This is the Productivity Zone. One of the B items that needs to be on your list is time to plan.

This planning time needs to be used for three activities. First, prioritize your activities as U, I, or B. Second, create a plan for accomplishing the B and I tasks. Third, develop a solution for eliminating or compressing the U tasks.

If you will use your time wedge to plan on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, you will find that you have learned the secret to stay in the Productivity Zone.

If you are caught in the urgency trap, we would love to help you get free with one of these daily planners designed to keep you in the Productivity Zone.


SimplifyThis is an online invoicing and appointment setting solution designed for small businesses and entrepreneurs. 



Top 5 SEO Plugins for WordPress

WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems available for developing websites and blogs. It is famous for providing a very easy and efficient CMS based website that can be easily managed by the admin from the backend. For this reason it is a great DIY marketing solution for small business owners and freelancers. The admin can easily add, delete and edit the content of the website without requiring any help from developers or designers. There are many Plugins available for WordPress that can help these websites in increasing their ranking over major search engines and optimize them accordingly.

Top 5 WordPress plugins that can help in effective SEO

All in One SEO Pack

This is one of the most effective and popular search engine optimization tools available for WordPress websites. This is a one stop solution for all the basic SEO requirements of a Website. You can easily add titles, tags and many more SEO activities. The best feature of the tool is that it is among the most easy to use SEO plugins that can be used by even the non-technical users who don’t have much knowledge about it.

SEO Smart Links Pro

This plug-in allows you to create effective interlinking between your webpage, posts etc on your website via keywords. A properly interlinked website has a better chance of getting indexed quickly. You can choose the keywords for interlinking pages, the page where the link will point to and many more features through this plug-in. It is highly customizable and easy to use interlinking plugin for WordPress.

SEO Friendly Images

Most of the websites are nowadays making a lot of use of images. High quality and expressive images are very effective in impressing and attracting online visitors. It is always an effective SEO strategy to optimize these images for relevant keywords. This plug-in allows the admin to optimize the images on the website for related keywords.


This plug-in is most effective in optimizing the particular blog posts for most prominent search engines. The plug-in is very effective in driving in large amount of organic web traffic onto the website. Small scale businesses can make the most out of this plug-in as it provides better SEO than any other plugin.

SEO NO Duplicate

Duplicate content is one of the most harmful things for the SEO campaigns of websites. Website admin should be very careful in this regard. The SEO No Duplicate WordPress plugin can easily save you from making such mistakes with your website.

Optimizing a personal website is not so difficult if you can get some knowledge and necessary plugins. However, for more professional and accurate results you can always hire a reputed and experienced web development company and let them handle the SEO campaign of your website.


About the Author: Chris Miller is a blogger cum developer @ Xicom Technologies. Hire PHP Developers from  a leading  CMMI Level-3 PHP  development company. Custom php development, offshore php development , php development outsourcing  services from a leading offshore  PHP development company.

This small business Blog is produced by SimplifyThis,  a Web-based invoicing and appointment scheduling tool that helps small business owners to streamline administrative tasks.

How Pinterest Benefits Freelancers

If you’re not on the social media hot spot called Pinterest, you might want to reconsider. Freelancers in particular might be curious as to how the site can benefit them. Even though this site may seem like another Tumblr, in reality it can be very beneficial to you and your business and not to mention very different from other social media platforms. It cultivates inspiration, allows you to create a portfolio, and builds your reputation as a freelancer.

Find New Clients and Cultivate Creativity

Since Pinterest is all about “pinning” pictures from websites you like into folders that you’ve created on your Pinterest profile, it’s easy to save pictures from articles and sites that you want to remember. Think of Pinterest as an excellent storage space that you’ve never had before. If you’re a writer the folders are great for cultivating creativity. If you ever get writer’s block you can hop on Pinterest and look at the inspiring photos. You never know what ideas could pop into your head to write about.

Pinterest is also excellent for finding new companies that are pinning as well. Perhaps they are looking for a freelancer and are new to the site. Connect with them and exchange info and you never know what could take place. You may become their next social media specialist or you may make contacts that can get you in touch with other people for future opportunities.

Build a Social Media Presence

Most freelancers desire to build a social media presence, and unlike other social media sites, Pinterest creates an easy way to gain credibility: through pinning. If you’re having a hard time generating traffic, pinning often can generate more traffic to your Pinterest boards. Hence there will be more clicks on the links, through the pictures, that you have pinned. This puts the power in your hands to pin what you want your audience to see and click on.

One example is to advertise your skills through a portfolio of your work. So continue to pin what matters most to you. This will show clients that you enjoy building a social media presence and interacting on the web. It will also give you more credibility as a freelancer as you continue to make yourself known to future clients.

So what are you waiting for? Take the plunge and start pinning. Before you know it you’ll have many boards that inspire you, new potential clients, and you will be building a social media presence simultaneously. You never know what doors pinning on Pinterest could open up for you.


Sierra is a freelance writer for JoeShopping.com. She’s currently obsessed with Pinterest. Check out her pins on her Ocean Dreams boards.

SimplifyThis is an online invoicing and appointment scheduling solution that helps freelancers to automate administrative tasks, manage their time, and project a profesional image.



How Helpdesk Software Can Benefit Your Online Business

Online companies may be at a disadvantage compared to traditional brick-and-mortar businesses when it comes to customer service because there often is no face associated with the company. Clients are forced to make contact through the Internet, or over the phone, so finding a way to make the experience smooth and easy is important. Helpdesk software can aid in this, as well as other problems online companies may face.

Customer Service

Helpdesk software is adaptable to many different business situations and can expand as the company grows. It can help provide better customer service in a variety of ways.

  • Solutions – Customers can find answers to questions on their own, without engaging a customer service agent from the company. The software will create a central data base of knowledge with information from previous issues which can be used by clients to seek solutions. A forum can also be created in which customers help each other. If an answer cannot be found in either of these manners, a patron can e-mail a query to the business and get a reply from an employee.
  • Hot issues – With the data base collecting information, employees are able to monitor any hot button issues that may be arising and can then address them in an appropriate manner.
  • Reports – Customer satisfaction can be easily measured through feedback given on the site. In addition, the software can monitor how long it took to find a resolution and present findings.

Technical Help

Helpdesk software can also assist online companies with solving problems within the organization. The system allows information technologists to react faster to a crisis.

  • Efficiency – Techs are able to work more efficiently for several reasons. Fellow employees can e-mail their requests, which can be answered when the tech is available and not in the middle of another job. The system can also prioritize tasks in order of importance, letting the tech know if any other jobs can be completed in the current area. It will also prevent tasks from being overlooked.
  • Information gathering – Just like the data base for customer service, helpdesk can keep information in one, easily accessible location so techs can quickly solve any reoccurring problems.
  • Assignments – Reports can be created on how much time is spent on trouble tickets. This can also help automatically assign tasks to the appropriate technicians. Due dates can also be assigned automatically.

While specific information can be gathered over the telephone, helpdesk software can organize it better and make it more accessible. It can often make workers more efficient and provide better customer service. The biggest roadblock for many companies is the cost factor. There are free versions, while paid ones can run into thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. The advantages it can provide must be weighed against the cost of having it installed and employees trained to use it.


This guest post was written by Sarah Peterson on behalf of a website that compares helpdesk systems. Sarah believes businesses need to keep up-to-date with the latest technological advancements by installing appropriate software to help them run more efficiently and increase productivity.

Office Automation 101

Blogging tip #1: Write for people, not Google

SimplifyThis helps entrepreneurs and freelancers save time by automating invoicing and scheduling with our Web based software. If you are new to the concept of automation, read on. Below is an overview of some basic software packages most small businesses can benefit from. With a bevvy of software available, this isn’t everything a business can use, but the most basic software packages most need.

The Pros of Automation Products

Owners of small businesses all across the country, no matter what services and products they are offering have the same problem: all the time that you as a business owner would like to devote to developing the business to the next level is filled up with those mundane daily tasks that multiply and eat away at the owner’s time. It’s not to say that these tasks are unimportant; rather, this work is vital to the operation of the business.

One solution is office automation software that turns minor repetitive tasks from items that fill the day into tasks that are done successfully in the blink of an eye. It’s not a matter of spending vast amounts of cash for the latest technology. It’s more the development of an automation plan that will make office work easier, quicker and much more efficient.

If you need a few more reasons why it’s worth investing a few dollars in office automation products for your small business, here’s a short list:

  • There’s more time for the owner to focus on those high-priority plans and projects that will bring a greater return and a higher rate of growth to the business, such as making alliances with other businesses, creating focused business plans and imagining new products and services.
  • You can delegate simple tasks which, without office automation, are time-sinks for managers and owners because of inefficiencies in the process.
  • You can eliminate repetitive redundant tasks that can take up to 80% of the work-day of staff and managers and that add nothing to the bottom line.
  • You can standardize the office’s work processes so that staff can work where needed.
  • Training for staff is easier because of standard training programs for new and existing staff that can quickly bring all workers up to speed on the office automation processes being used

Once you’ve committed to an office automation plan for your small business, then you can pick out the software programs that will accomplish the goals outlined in your plan. One criteria that must be paramount when picking out software is the complexity of operation. If the software makes the task more complicated, then it’s not the right choice. There are four areas you’ll want to consider

Office Task Automation

You’ll want a suite of programs that will work well together and that will let you transfer the information contained in one type of function easily to another function. For example, you’ll want to move transparently from word processing to spreadsheet accounting to document publishing to the slide presentations for customers.

This type of program integration is common in many of the office software suites available today. The most popular choice is Microsoft Office Professional 2010, which includes the following software packages, each of which can be used separately or in conjunction with each other:

  • MS Word for word processing
  • MS Excel for numerical calculation and summaries
  • MS Access for databases
  • MS PowerPoint for visual presentations
  • MS Outlook Client for email
  • MS OneNote for internal office communication
  • MS Publisher for document publishing

Computer Protection

Besides the hardware requirements of an office for reliable power through an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) and for a reliable secure network through a firewall, a small business needs a software package that can detect and remove computer viruses and other malware from the business computers and network.

Spyware can be installed surreptitiously on office computers that could reveal your company’s secrets to your competitors. Protection of the company’s web site is also necessary. The best software of this type offers options for filtering the network and for updating the signatures used to detect malware.

McAfee, Norton and Symantec all offer excellent packages for detecting and removing malware, along with additional modules for website monitoring.

Managing Customer Relations and Sales

A contact management system is a vital component for a company’s sale force to track the progress of an initial contact from a prospective customer to an actual sale. Besides keeping track of customers, this type of software is also useful for managing sales staff.

One major criteria is the ability of the contact management software to integrate easily with the company’s e-mail system and to allow import of data from other software. Outlook’s Business Contact Manager an Act! Pro from Sage are popular choices.

Small Business Accounting

Small business accounting greatly benefits from software. Both data entry and report production are greatly simplified. Depending on what software you select, you can also get tools that help you with your payroll and with state and federal tax collections and reporting–from our own invoicing software to Quickbooks and TurboTax–there is a range of software for this important business function.


Author Bio: Rachel B. is a freelance writer for an auto insurance website. She writes about ways to save money on business car insurance by comparing quotes online.


Dwolla Could Revolutionize Payment Processing for Small Business and Ecommerce

For decades, the payment processing industry has circled around credit cards while charging merchants of all sizes large transaction fees. Many small businesses held off accepting credit cards for years, or only accepted them on purchases over a certain threshold. However, with the shift in consumer spending habits moving toward plastic, merchants have been forced to accept credit cards along with the high transaction fees.

Web-based businesses have had no choice but to take credit card payments since accepting cash or checks is almost impossible. Combined with the fact that transactions run manually with no card physically present carry higher costs, online merchants have watched credit card transaction fees eat up their profits for years.

There is a company out to change all that, and its name is Dwolla (visit them at dwolla.com). Dwolla has built a new payment system from the ground up and designed it with a vision of how a payment processor would be put together given today’s technological advancements over the legacy system that credit cards use. Founded by a former ecommerce business owner, Dwolla sets out to drastically reduce the payment acceptance overhead most organizations experience, while making payments easier and more social.

Benefits of Dwolla

One of the unique features of Dwolla is you can pay a merchant or individual from their email address, Facebook account or Twitter handle. The information is not shared with the social networks in any way, but makes it easy to add your friends and associates to you address book.

Perhaps the most exciting part of Dwolla’s system is the fee structure. Business owners are used to lengthy payment contracts with annual commitments, monthly fees and high transaction costs. Dwolla does things completely different. There are only two fee categories:

  1. If a transaction is over $10, the cost is $0.25 regardless of amount.
  2. For transactions under $10, there is no charge.

There are no monthly minimums or PCI Compliance fees. No annual contracts or equipment leases. Nothing.

Merchants everywhere have been getting pretty excited at the prospect of paying almost nothing for their payment processing costs. (Except those who sell everything just above $10. That puts their transaction costs at around 2.5%, which is pretty typical for a credit card contract.) But it is not that cut and dry. It has taken decades for consumer spending habits to put credit cards at the forefront of most everyday purchases, and while Dwolla may begin to take market share away, it could be a long time before it takes over as King of the payment world.

The Hurdles Ahead

The two hurdles that Dwolla faces right now are getting merchants to accept it and consumers to use it. As with most new payment technologies, it becomes a question as to which party is going to adopt first. If merchants everywhere were accepting Dwolla and promoted that fact, people would start to become curious and eventually look into it. On the flip side, if consumers were adopting Dwolla quickly, you could bet that businesses would be keeping their employees late to train them on the new payment acceptance procedures.

The good news for Dwolla is mobile payment methods have been on the rise and there are a lot of big names bringing attention to it. Dwolla has found themselves on the front of the new payment technology wave, and if things continue as they have the last 12 months, the entire payment industry could take a turn for the better where merchants are concerned.


Eric Stauffer is part of a watchdog group that rates and reviews payment processing companies on behalf of small businesses. Their list of ratings includes companies like Dwolla, as well as more traditional merchant service companies such as Crescent Processing Company. They also provide contract review services for business owners that wish to get a second opinion before agreeing to payment terms.

SimplifyThis is dedicated to creating simple, intuitive, and easy to use solutions for prevalent age-old business problems. Our online invoicing and appointment scheduling software helps small business owners to simplify administrative tasks.

How to Create a Successful Social Strategy [Infographic]

By Adria Saracino

Are you considering whether your business should enter the social space? Are you seasoned at creating social media campaigns that get results? No matter where you are at in the social strategy development process, it is imperative that you have a plan and stick to it.

Having a plan is important for few distinct reasons. First, it allows a team to pinpoint where it made mistakes. If there was never really any plan to begin with, it is harder to dissect where in the process a campaign went wrong. Being able to assess where your team went wrong is imperative to growth and improvement.

Second, a process allows a team to add measurable metrics to each step. Metrics are important to social media because it allows you to effectively measure the ROI of your efforts. Why would your business do anything that it can’t see the direct effects of? It doesn’t make business sense to mindlessly commit time, money, and resources to a project, so make sure your process can be carefully evaluated upon completion.

Now that you are convinced a plan is important, how do you go about making one? Simply Business created the below step-by-step guide to social media success. It takes teams both new and seasoned through the campaign creation process, helping them clarify objectives and ensure a successful project.

Think you already have a successful plan? See how yours stacks up against this one. Also, read the resources accompanying each step in the visualization from industry leaders. Read to begin? Click the image below to launch the interactive version:

Click image to open interactive version (via Simply Business).


Simplifyhis is an all-in-one online invoicing and web appointment scheduling tool that helps small businesses and entrepreneurs to simplify administrative tasks.

Smartphone Apps That Every Small Business Owner Should Have

Smartphone apps have changed the way we live our lives. Now, they’re changing the way we do business. This is especially true for small business owners. Apps can speed up tasks that use to to be time consuming, giving business owners the chance to ramp up their productivity at very little cost. In addition to our own appointment scheduling and invoicing app for iPhone and Android, here are six apps to give your small business a boost.


  • Square is an innovative solution for small businesses to accept credit and debit card payments. Install the app, and the makers will send you a free card reader that plugs into your smartphone. From there, you can accept payments from all major credit cards with no annual fees. You only pay 2.75% per swipe.The app is great for small businesses that might otherwise lose sales due to not having a card reader. Where it really shines, though, is in its usefulness to contractors, technicians and other professionals who make frequent stops at the houses of their clients. With Square, you’ll never have to miss a sale again.


  • CamScanner is, as its name suggests, a mobile document scanner. Use your smartphones camera and make backups of important documents such as bills and receipts. Again, this is an app that will be especially handy for individuals in the field. If a client’s signature is necessary, CamScanner lets you be sure that you won’t have to deal with the consequences of misplacing it. It’s a free app, and lets you save as a number of formats including PDF and Google Doc.

QuickOffice Pro

  • QuickOffice Pro can increase your productivity even when you’re away from the office. It lets you create, edit and save files in mobile versions of the Microsoft Office software bundle. Excel files, Word documents and PowerPoint are all available here.QuickOffice also integrates with your Google Docs or Dropbox account so that you can manage your files seamlessly across the cloud. At $14.99, it’s definitely not a free app, but there is a trial edition to get you started. Give it a shot, and you might find that QuickOffice is something you can’t live without.

SplashTop Remote Desktop

  • If just being able to manage and edit documents on the go isn’t enough, SplashTop Remote Desktop might be an app more suited towards your needs. Just install the companion desktop application on any computer, and you’ll be able to remotely access your computer no matter where you are. Your computer’s display is shown on your phone’s touchscreen, and you have access to a number of controls. Intuitive gestures let you quickly operate the mouse, manipulate programs and more. The application runs smoothly and is responsive, making it ideal if your computer is sometimes necessary in your small business.

UPS Mobile

  • UPS Mobile takes the hassle out of shipping. Naturally, it lets you track any packages that you’ve ordered, but it provides so much more. UPS Mobile can be used to get a shipping quote and even email or print a label for a package. The app also contains an index of UPS store locations, letting you spend less time on shipping and more time running your company.


  • Shoeboxed provides similar functionality to CamScanner, but the focus is on receipts. With Shoeboxed, you can take a photo of a receipt. The app then scans and logs the receipt. What really sets Shoeboxed apart, though, is its ability to extract information from the receipt and file it appropriately. Thanks to this feature, it’s easier to keep track of your company’s expenses. You’ll never have an excuse to go over budget again.

With these apps, you’ll be able to run your business quickly. You’ll find yourself spending less time performing tedious administrative tasks and more time growing your business. Your smartphone might just me employee of the month.


Simplifythis puts your office in your palm so that you are not ties to your computer. Check your schedule, add appointments, view clients details, and invoice clients – all from your iphone or Android phones. Learn more.

Drew C. works as a blog writer at carinsurancecomparison.com, where you can find a chart comparing car insurance. When he isn’t working, Drew enjoys coaching his son’s soccer team, biking, and spending time with his family.

Staying Organized at Work

The modern world is a mess of meetings and deadlines that can seem impossible to make sense of. However, once you start to develop routines and good habits, you can begin to see where time is wasted during your day. These six important tips and tricks are designed to help you function without constantly looking at your blackberry to find out what you’re doing next.

1) Start Clean, Finish Clean

One of the most underrated office activities is dedicating some time to a clean desk. You should walk into your space and immediately be able to focus on articles of importance, without having to search for them. Keep organizer trays, folders, and information for everything. Dedicate twenty minutes a day to putting things in their place and making notes for the next day. When you return the next day, you’re reminded of your tasks simply by the way you’ve arranged your desk.

2) One Inbox to Rule Them All

Every day I walk into my office and see my coworkers flipping through piles, making phone calls while shuffling documents, and searching for paperwork. At my desk, I have an inbox, an outbox, and an urgent box. Things that need to get done go on top of my inbox, and I take them off from the bottom and handle them one at a time. When I’m done, they go in the outbox. Nothing could be more simple, and “must-handle” things have their own clearly defined spot.

This is less chaotic than one big pile of documents and less time-consuming than filing away in multiple cabinets and stacks. Urgent bills such as business insurance and expense notifications always make it to the top so they don’t get missed, and yet they are separate from the inbox which defines the steady flow of progress throughout the day.

3) Quick Reference

For important notes and documents, I have vanilla file folders in a filing cabinet. My top drawer is stuff that I work on and work with regularly. It is labelled “active”. When I’m done with an activity, it immediately goes in the bottom drawer – “completed”. My top drawer is only ever about a quarter full and I never have to hunt for anything I need. No fancy colors or highlighting or sorting structure – I just put the things I use often in a place that is easy to find. When I don’t need them any more, I put them away to avoid clutter.

4) If You’re Overworked, You’re not Working

If you find yourself constantly scrambling from place to place and working on multiple difficult projects at once, the multi-tasking you’re doing is most likely destroying your productivity. Not only do you have to conceptualize and act on many different ideas that require different actions, you have to mentally schedule and divide your time between these actions, check deadlines, get feedback and process the same information over and over.

Ask yourself, do I have time to separate these tasks and hammer them out one at a time? Are there recurring interruptions to my already busy day that I can delegate? Are there actions that I can consolidate? Am I just tackling the mess, or am I taking the time to sort the mess into manageable pieces?

The answers to these question can be quite revealing. If you see your work as a mountain of things to chip away at instead of achievable small tasks, its going to strain your productivity. You could use that time to sort out the mountain – and save time in the process.

5) Errand Time

When you have some away-from-desk errands to do, make a pile for them. When they start to pile up or you need to do one immediately, go do them all. Nothing is more distracting than having to run around the office all day looking for supplies, forms, your boss and the company Rolodex. Consolidate these tasks into one motion and save time and energy.

6) Dedicate a Day to It

You won’t need a planner if every Monday is Meeting Day and every Thursday is Deadline Day – you already know what you’re doing on those days. Simple, right? You’d be surprised how many people just try to handle everything as it comes in. Save time by associating days with important business habits.

Utilizing these tips will make you effective in managing your workload at the workplace, whatever that workload may be. Organize your habits first, before you pick up your planner. Once things are running more smoothly according to these tips, you will be more efficient than you ever thought possible without constant task lists.

Additional Reading on Time management:

The Best Time Management Techniques


Author Bio: Carl D. is an entrepreneur and business writer for an auto insurance website. He makes frequent use of these steps to synchronize his day of management and deadlines online. He has also consulted about ways to save money on auto insurance.

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