When your team needs to stay on track, there's a lot you can do to help them get there.
When you're running a business, you're responsible for a lot of different people and processes. With so many tasks on your plate, it can be difficult to personally oversee your team's workflow and make sure they're staying on track.
Luckily, there are plenty of tech tools and strategies that can help you not only manage your staff's daily tasks, but improve their efficiency and productivity. We asked 15 members of Young Entrepreneur Council to share their favorite tips, processes and software for keeping their operations running smoothly.
1. Scrum Meetings
When I am tasked to handle goals and alignment of the organization, I like to start off the week with a few scrum meetings that help me organize everyone's goals and deliverables. We want to be able to ensure we are meeting our KPIs and goals we set for the month. The roles and responsibilities should be set at the beginning of the week to ensure we finish the week strong. Start your week with scrum meetings. - Sweta Patel, Silicon Valley Startup Marketing
Twice a year, we'll run a company off-site to set high-level goals, strategy and tactics, and assign different owners to the corresponding projects. We log all of this into AirTable as a way to track progress. AirTable's benefit is that you're easily able to toggle views between a traditional project management grid format, a calendar view and gallery view. - Fan Bi, Menswear Reviewed
3. Synchronized Scheduling
My teams are situated all around the world, so it makes no sense to try and get them all in one place at the same time. Investing in software that helps us synchronize (and automatically report back on activities) our responsibilities has been an absolute boon for productivity. Scheduling helps to sensitize and remind us of the fact that we're not all in one location, but it doesn't hold us back. - Cody McLain, SupportNinja
We love using Crew for communication among our two offices. It's easy to create a "task" in the middle of any conversation and assign responsibility to a team or an individual, which automatically starts a timer for how long it takes to get accomplished. This has been very helpful in turning ideas into actions. - Rachel Beider, Massage Greenpoint
5. Inbox Zero
Our single most effective way of keeping our team organized is by focusing on their inbox. Email (unfortunately) is such a critical part of communication it has become a necessary evil. We aggressively work on keeping spam and newsletter subscriptions to zero — this way, we can focus on the real tasks at hand. Everyone's goal is to reach inbox zero by the end of the day, and this increases our efficiency. - Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors
6. Asana and Google Drive
Asana and Google Drive are a powerful combo for keeping things organized across teams and tasks. Our business has some complex workflows with multiple nuanced handoffs and steps that are a breeze to manage in Asana once everything is set up properly. Attaching the relevant Google Docs or files allows us to track things to completion and Asana's workflow makes it easy to track progress at a glance. - Justin Faerman, Conscious Lifestyle Magazine
TimeCamp simplifies task management and comes with an array of additional features, such as automatic and manual time tracking, graphical timesheets, invoicing and reporting. This software gives you easy means to plan, schedule and track progress of tasks for multiple users. What sets is apart from much of its competition is that it lets you check how much time people spend on any given task. - Derek Robinson, Top Notch Dezigns
8. Google Calendar
All employees have the ability to add their meetings and tasks to the company calendar. This has made it easy to see when employees have days off, what people are working on and what meetings we have coming up. - Jared Atchison, WPForms
Basecamp makes it easy to create and manage projects with a lot of transparency. I love their to-do dashboard and the robust abilities to chat, handover projects and update files, etc. - Sam Saxton, Paragon Stairs
10. Slack and Trello
Whether one of our team members works in-house or remotely, I make sure to add them to our company Slack and Trello. These two apps are synchronized with each other so updates to an employee's Trello will trigger a response in Slack. Thanks to these two programs, keeping everything organized and facilitating communication between team members is easy and convenient. - Bryce Welker, CPA Exam Guy
I like a software called Highrise. It's a good tool for CRM and sales. You can color code stuff, make notes, assign contact info, and tasks can be assigned — most of the basic functionality that a small to medium business needs. And the basic service only costs $24. It doesn't come with all the bells and whistles of Salesforce, but it's simplicity and value make it a very attractive option. - Kevin Hong, The Outlier Approach
We've tried out a couple different project management tools over the years, but the one we've found the most success with is Teamwork.com. Not only does it help our team prioritize daily, weekly and monthly tasks, but it has an embedded time-tracking tool that allows us to stay on track and on budget for every project we're working on. - Lindsay Mullen, Prosper Strategies
Hands down the best product management software is Jira. A project manager assigns tasks for the week to each team member, and then the team member is responsible for completing their tasks. It creates a super transparent working environment, and everyone is held accountable. Also, being able to braindump all ideas into the backlog is a great way to ensure ideas or projects don't get lost in the everyday shuffle. - Chad Keller, Growth Stackers
14. Stand Up Meetings
Many agile teams use the term "stand up" to describe brief in-person meetings. For my teams, some of which are distributed, our system sends out an automated message to team members at the end of each day. That message contains three very simple questions: What did you accomplish today?, What will you accomplish tomorrow? and Which of our KPI's do these tasks or projects directly impact? - Logan Lenz, PartsMarket
We use Redmine software to keep people focused on the right tasks and stay organized. It allows us to create projects and assign people tasks that need to be completed within each project. When a task is completed, everyone on the project is notified, so work is constantly getting done, and no one is left wondering if anything is getting missed. We also set due dates for each project, which are flagged if they are missed. Because each task is recorded and statuses are updated regularly, we can go back and find out where the breakdown occurred, causing the missed deadline. This makes everything transparent and clean. - Vladimir Gendelman, Company Folders, Inc
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC has also launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.