Have you ever stopped to count how many communication platforms you use in your role? Many of us are spread thin between email, chat, calendar, and mobile. We waste so much time bouncing back and forth between platforms as new tasks and chats come our way. Not only does this keep us from deep focus, but we risk important tasks falling through the cracks because there is no central management tool.
So little time, so many tools!
That’s one of the main reasons we created Office Otter—to help EAs and office managers wrangle the myriad of communications coming their way. We believe our tools should work for us and not the other way around.
To be more productive, you need to find a tool that integrates with your existing platforms. Let’s look at the main communication channels and some helpful tips for integrating and managing them.
- Email experts say the goal should be to get to inbox zero. It’s hard! Try taking 30 minutes to an hour each morning to go through your email.
- Categorize emails with labels and folders based on the performance metrics you want to track for your role.
- Archive emails once completed.
- Integrate your email with tools you already use (Asana, Trello, Office Otter, Evernote). Any emails that take more than a minute to do, you should forward to a task management platform.
- Slack and Teams are the big platforms in this arena.
- Turn off notifications for channels and threads that don’t apply to you
- Educate your team on the appropriate use of threads, so you don’t get inundated by irrelevant channel communications.
- Find a tool that integrates with Slack or Teams. Both have marketplaces for integrations, and most project management platforms integrate with these tools. Office Otter has a Slack app that turns a chat message into a task in two clicks.
- Use calendars for more than just meetings and events. Block out time to get tasks done. Office Otter allows you to turn a to-do into a calendar event in one click.
- Create a color-coding system to help you track performance metrics. For instance, if you color code all items related to your event work with the same color, you can quickly look back and tally up your time spent on that effort. You can also use this system to track how your executive spends their time.
- Allocate time each day for calendar management
- Find a tool that integrates with text or Siri, so you don’t have to have the app. Office Otter allows you to text tasks or have Siri send a task directly to your account. This feature allows you to add to-do’s quickly as they come to mind.
- Choose a tool that has a well-designed mobile app for on-the-go access.
- Try your best to set boundaries around your mobile use for work. Ask yourself how accessible you want to be. If you have to, delete your work apps from your phone.
Ideally, you want all of your tasks flowing from your communication channels into a centralized place so you can be more productive. We recommend finding something that integrates with your existing tools AND is simple and easy to use. You don’t want to get bogged down in yet another platform with features you don’t need.
We designed Office Otter to integrate with all of the channels above AND make it quick and easy to manage tasks. Want to take it for a spin? Give it a try for free.