How do you stay organized?
This is something that every entrepreneur has dealt with and a problem that never really goes away. Especially when you are a one or two person shop where you’re dealing with keeping yourself on track and managing a pile of work that should take a team of five. Instead it’s all you.
When you start to grow and bring on new team members, contractors or employees, you need to make sure that work is getting done and that it is seamless and painless.
At Hustle & Grind, we’ve been able to leverage past experiences to develop a list of tools that are tried and tested. These tools have allowed us to stay on track, stay on task and be more effective at shipping things than ever before. We understand the value of shipping and these tools have helped us ensure that we’re firing on all cylinders.
Like most entrepreneurs, we’re already hustling hard, these tools helped us be more effective and ultimately – hustle smart. Here are the five tools that help us communicate and stay on task:
Tool #1: Slack
Ross and I talk a lot, we have been friends for probably 3-4 years now and because of that we have a lot of different communication channels. While we were working towards the launch of HG we would constantly be talking on one channel or another, on email for one thing and then facebook chat for the next. This experience honestly just made for a few too many annoying moments when neither of us could remember what channel we had used to talk about any given topic.
Then we found slack!
Slack is a chat service that is supported on your PC, Mac, Mobile and Browser and it allows you to split all of your conversations into different “channels” and select which team members are in each room. We have channels set up for #Blogs, #B2B, #B2C, #ProductDevelopment and more. Here’s a quick look at what we use:
We use it as a place to keep all our conversations in one place, we sometimes have to remind the other one to stop talking about work in text, but overall this has consolidated all our teams discussions into one set place, that we always have access to no matter what.
Tool #2: Basecamp
We have tried a lot of different project management and productivity tools, we started with one and then switched to another and just could not find one that we liked. I have an addiction to To Do lists and Ross wanted something that allowed us to have our work split into projects.
We finally settled on Basecamp.
If you have never used Basecamp before it is amazingly easy to use, things are divided by projects and then under projects you set up tasks and To Do lists. You can set due dates for tasks, load in files from Google drive and leave comments on the status or nature of each task. I personally love being able to roll out of bed in the morning and check my daily or weekly to do list while I stand in the kitchen and make my morning coffee, planning what I need to do once my butt hits my office chair, it is part of my daily ritual.
Tool #3: Drive
I am a huge fan of Google Drive!
I tend to move around a lot working in multiple locations and sometimes from multiple systems, I might work on copy while on a school computer, sit in a coffee shop on my laptop, or work from my desktop when I really need to knuckle down.
Obviously because I switch from one system to another I need a way to keep all my files accessible and for that I use drive! Extending beyond just the access to my files it also gives me a basic office suite, document creation, spreadsheets to track costs, and can open almost any attachment you can throw at me, even stuff from outdated software. Google isn’t just a great overlord…I mean search engine, it can really help you step your remote working game up.
Tool #4: Buffer
You will need to manage multiple social channels and you need to do it in a way that is as efficient as possible, I have been a long time user of Buffer, starting just after they launched and it is probably the best tool I have found to push content.
I like to be in the right headspace to plan what I will be sharing for the next few days. I flip through my favourite blogs and mix our content in to create a social message that fits the H&G brand. Not all our content is automated using a tool like Buffer but I find some level of automation allows for consistency. Buffer has a very easy to use interface and while the free version is great (I used it for over a year) the flexibility of the paid version and low cost make this a must have tool.
Tool 5: Latergram
Hustle and Grinds marketing involves high quality visuals and we have used those to build a solid following on instagram (if you aren’t following us you really should be).
But solid visuals aren’t the only component of good instagram marketing, you need to share things at consistent times as well as pair the visuals with strong copy. To make this easier we use latergram, it allows us to load in all our visuals, copy and set the time that it will be shared and then sends us a push notification to load it at the correct time.
The best part about latergram for me is that I no longer have to type long form content with my thumbs or realize that I forgot to post the 1:00 pm image. The basic account will allow you to post only a limited amount of times each month but the cost for the full account is more than worth it.
These are not all the tools we use at H&G, both Ross and myself have our own tools for email management, content sourcing and productivity, but this is the basic stack of tools that we couldn’t operate without.