This is the third post this week on the top productivity tools you should be using in your online service-based business. First, I wrote about booking client calls and accepting online applications, then I wrote about recording consultation and strategy calls. Today’s post is all about your project and file management systems.

Step One: Client Bookings & Applications

Step Two: Managing Client Calls & Recordings

Project management is key both when you have just a few people involved in your business operations and even more so when you expand, and bring more people on board.

Get yourself set up now for streamlined, effortless project and file management by using tools that systematize and automate:

  • Team communication
  • Routine tasks

Again, systematization and automation of recurring tasks and functions eliminates mistakes and omissions and makes sure your projects flow smoothly with good communication.

So let’s take a look at three especially useful and productive project/file management tools.

Teamwork

Project Management | EntreLeverage | April Sullivan | Online Business Manager | Virtual Assistant

Teamwork is the system my team has used for the past 3+ years. Its strongest advantages include a simple, user-friendly interface and dashboard that allows you to easily oversee one project or many.

It also boasts an online free app that you can use, as well as the ability to create templates for recurring tasks: A huge time-saver.

Teamwork has an advantage over more traditional project management systems such as Basecamp in that allows you to set milestones as well as deadlines. Using milestones ensures that all your team is on target all the time. It prevents reaching deadline day and discovering that one team member is behind.

Teamwork also allows you to track your budget with projects, and assign more than one person to a task, as well as set recurring activities for different types of launches and programs.

Other features include:

  • Teamwork Chat (we prefer Slack)
  • Teamwork Desk (huge time-saver!)

What tools like Teamwork truly do is take you from using several tools for project management to one central tool and system. I found this out the hard way when I recently tried switching from Teamwork to Asana.

And, it should be noted, you don’t just manage staff or freelancers with Teamwork: You can use it as a client management tool too.

Other Features:

One truly unique factor about Teamwork is its new integration with Microsoft Office, which promises to simplify workflow, even more, interfacing with MS suites such as MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Visio, Project, and Outlook.

And if you use Microsoft Project, you can import and export directly between Microsoft Project and Teamwork Projects.

Teamwork also provides a Resource Library, where you can help yourself to case studies, as well as its own blog and webinars, packed with training and tips, though it’s not hard to use at all.Project Management | EntreLeverage | April Sullivan | Online Business Manager | Virtual Assistant

Teamwork allows a 30-Day free, unlimited trial, and the Small Office version costs $44.92 USD per month ($539 USD, billed annually).

Dropbox

File Sharing | EntreLeverage | April Sullivan | Online Business Manager | Virtual Assistant

One of the simplest file sharing options (and it’s free, though there are paid versions) is still Dropbox, which stores and allows you to share files in the cloud.

If you’re brand new to Dropbox, the first time you sign in, you’ll be instantly offered a chance to upgrade to Dropbox Business. You’ll see at a glance the difference between free Dropbox and Business Dropbox.

File Sharing | EntreLeverage | April Sullivan | Online Business Manager | Virtual Assistant

Countless people find that 2 GB of space and simple file-sharing is all they need, but there are some powerful advantages to Dropbox Business—particularly if you think you’ll ever need remote file wipe, or you need a high degree of security (Password-protected and expiring shared links; advanced data protection; and 256-bit AES and SSL/TLS encryption).

Plus, you have priority email support, live chat and a whole host more features. You can find more information about Dropbox for Business on its Plans and Pricing page.  Otherwise, with the free version, once you log in, you can click on the icon menu to upload files, make a new file, share a file or delete one … and that’s it! Done.File Sharing | EntreLeverage | April Sullivan | Online Business Manager | Virtual Assistant

Dropbox may be an oldie, but it’s still a highly popular goodie when it comes to file sharing and project management. If your project management and file sharing needs are occasional or simple, this free app is definitely a great option.

Sign up, download the app (so you can share and access files from your desktop) and start using. You can share images, videos, audio files and more.

Can I add team members?

If you want to collaborate with a team member, simply send them an invitation to share any particular file. (No one else will be able to see any other files unless invited specifically to do so by you.)

Google Docs

File Sharing | EntreLeverage | April Sullivan | Online Business Manager | Virtual Assistant

If you need more storage than 2 GB, you can still find this for free—with Google Docs, which allows you 15GB storage.

When you first visit the Google Docs website, you’ll be offered a “tour”. Take it. You’ll quickly learn, going at your own pace through this simple slide tour, how easy it is to start a new document (or use a template) and invite team members to view, comment on or edit the document.

You’ll be introduced to tools such as the file picker icon, which allows you to browse your Google Drive folders, run a simple search, and more.

File Sharing | EntreLeverage | April Sullivan | Online Business Manager | Virtual Assistant

By the time the tour is finished, that’s all you need to know about this wonderful, free file-sharing tool. 

Google Docs syncs with Google drive and all your other Google apps, which you can access at any time simply by clicking on the Google grid icon in the top right corner of your Google Docs screen.File Sharing | EntreLeverage | April Sullivan | Online Business Manager | Virtual Assistant

Outsourcing

And let’s not forget about that other great focusing and automating strategy: Outsourcing recurring tasks; or tasks that drain your energy and swallow your time whole. Sometimes, it’s simply easier and faster to send a task or assign a function of your business to a trusted professional who excels in that area… but not when you have to start from scratch, trying out various contractors, checking references, fumbling over communication and so forth.

Let's Chat!

Are you actively looking for someone to partner with you in your business to make it a happier, more productive, more organized place to be? Schedule a free business chat with me to see if I can help!

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