How organized is your business?
A lot of people think they are “too busy” to get organized. (✋ Been there, done that.)
But having an organized business saves you so much time and reduces your stress.
Oftentimes when I feel overwhelmed, it’s because my organization has gotten out of whack.
Or if I’m procrastinating on starting something, it’s because it isn’t organized yet. I have to get the project organized before I start working on it.
When your business is organized, you won’t waste time figuring out what to work to do next. You won’t waste time sorting through all the sticky notes on your desk. You won’t have to page through a million notebooks looking for that one idea you had.
Today, I’m going to share 9 ways to organize your business.
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1. Use a productivity tool
A productivity tool is the first step in getting organized.
This might be a paper planner or a digital app. You need a place that has all your appointments, your big picture goals, your monthly goals, your master task list, etc.
Some people prefer a paper planner because they really like physically writing things down. They prefer that hand-to-paper connection.
Other people, like me, prefer to have everything electronic. I want to be able to access my productivity tools no matter where I am and what device I’m using. And I want it to be searchable.
I use Asana as my productivity tool. I use it to organize projects and to manage all my tasks.
I can access Asana on my desktop computer, laptop, iPad, and phone. Wherever I am and whatever I’m doing, Asana is right there with me. I can always access it.
2. Use a note-taking app
A note-taking app lets you keep track of all your notes in the cloud. Evernote, OneNote, Google Keep, and Notion are examples of note-taking apps.
I’ve used Evernote for a million years. Seriously, I don’t even remember when I started using it.
As of this morning, I have 6,330 notes in Evernote.
Now try to imagine if those were paper notes and I was trying to find something? It would take forever.
Evernote is searchable. For example, my notes for this post are in Evernote. To call them up, I just typed in “organize your business,” and it brought up the note where I had jotted down ideas.
Evernote can be organized into notebook stacks (think filing cabinets), notebooks (think file folders), and notes. You can also add tags to your notes for another level or organization.
Any kind of information can be stored in Evernote.
I keep notes of ideas about products, launches, blog posts, Facebook lives, etc. I save articles from the web to Evernote. I keep my standard operating procedures in Evernote.
I also keep process notes about how to use various apps. For example, I use ThriveCart for my shopping cart, which is not the most intuitive system. So I have step-by-step instructions in Evernote on exactly how to set up a new product.
And, just like Asana, it’s accessible from all my devices. So wherever I am and whatever I’m doing, Evernote is with me.
3. Get control over paper
Paper can easily take over your office.
If you don’t have a filing system, then it is time to set one up. And it doesn’t have to be a big, ugly filing cabinet.
I have a pretty seagrass and wood file box, similar to this one. It holds hanging file folders. I like it because it’s functional and decorative.
Next (and this applies if you are starting fresh or if you already have a filing system), go through your papers. Get rid of anything that is no longer relevant to your business.
4. Track your income & expenses
This is definitely something that you want to do regularly. Don’t let it pile up. You can’t have an organized business unless your finances are organized.
You need to track your income & expenses for several reasons.
- How will you know if your business is profitable if you don’t track money going in and out?
- Tax time is going to be much easier if you have been tracking your finances.
- You need to keep a handle on expenses. They can get out of control if you don’t pay attention to them. You have recurring costs like hosting, email service provider, social media schedulers, etc. You also have one-off expenses, supplies, etc. These can add up quickly.
I use Freshbooks to track my income and expenses.
If you aren’t ready to invest in dedicated bookkeeping software, then just use a spreadsheet. Keep it simple, but do it!
5. Keep separate business banking accounts
Keeping your business money separate is a crucial part of being organized. You don’t want to have to go through your personal credit card statements and try to figure out which expenses were for the business.
You need a business checking account and a business credit card. You could even get away with just having a business PayPal account.
Just make sure that you keep business money and personal money separate. Don’t commingle your funds because that is an organization nightmare just waiting to happen.
6. Create a content calendar
You are likely creating content for your business. This might be blog posts, YouTube videos, or podcasts. And I bet you’re also writing social media content and sending emails.
A content calendar will help you keep track of what content you are going to produce, when you are publishing it, where you will publish it.
You can also use it to keep track of important dates like product launches and affiliate launches, so they don’t sneak up on you.
When you have your content organized, you can work more efficiently. You can batch your work, and you can work ahead so that you are not writing tomorrow’s content today. Or even worse, writing today’s content today. Writing content at the last minute is too stressful.
7. Organize your digital workspace
Create a dedicated space for your business files. This includes documents, photos, digital products that you’ve purchased like courses, e-books, templates, etc.
I use Dropbox for most of my files. I have a top-level folder for the business and then sub-folders for various business areas inside.
- I have a folder for all my blog assets, and it’s organized by blog post. There’s a separate sub-folder for each post that includes drafts, images, related social media graphics, etc.
- I have a similar folder for Facebook Lives.
- I have a folder for all my stock photos, organized by source.
- I also have a folder for my products, with subfolders for each individual product, so that all the information for that product is grouped together.
8. Periodically declutter
Declutter your digital workspace and your physical environment. Get rid of stuff you don’t need.
Clear off your desktop. What can be tossed? What can go into drawers or files?
Delete obsolete files from your computer and from your physical file storage.
Delete obsolete notes from your note-taking app.
Clear out tasks & projects from your productivity system that you are never going to get to. Archive completed projects so that they are not cluttering up your system.
9. Do a regular supply check
If you sell physical products, I would do a weekly supply check. Do a quick inventory of the materials you use to create your products. Also, check on packaging & shipping supplies.
If you don’t sell physical products, do a monthly supply check. What office supplies do you need? Do you have pens? Post-it notes? Printer ink? Batteries?
Make a simple inventory list of the supplies that you regularly use and how much of each item you want to keep on hand. When you do your supply check, just run through the list, and you’ll know exactly what to order.
Let’s recap: 9 ways to organize your business
- Use a productivity tool
- Use a note-taking app
- Get control over paper
- Track your income and expenses
- Keep separate business banking accounts
- Create a content calendar
- Organize your digital workspace
- Periodically declutter
- Do a regular supply check
Want to remember this? Save 9 Super-Easy Ways to Organize Your Business to your favorite Pinterest Board.
More ideas to help you organize your business:
- Get Organized! 20 Best Resources for Bloggers and Solopreneurs
- 5 Quick and Easy Tips to Organize Evernote
- How to Use a Spreadsheet to Organize Your Content Ideas
- How to Organize Your Blog Images in 6 Easy Steps
- 11 Best Free Printables To Help You Grow Your Business
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