If you spent most of 2015 being haunted by your never ending to-do list or lamenting that there just wasn’t enough time, now could be a good time to introduce some new productivity tools into your work life.
Achieving the same outcomes in less time is no simple task, so we have compiled a list of popular productivity tools used by event planners of all shapes and sizes, that can help you reclaim some ‘you time’ from your busy schedule.
Some events can become beasts, with many moving parts and multiple teams working on them. To keep everything in order and help you stay on top of all the different components, why not try using one of these well-loved project management tools?
Trello allows you to create visual boards of your event, so you can easily see what needs doing, what is underway, and what has been completed. There is a free plan for individuals, and then a per user fee for premium features and teams.
If you really mean business, Basecamp is less visual but packs in a lot of extra features in this much-loved project management software, including messaging and group chat, work schedules, reporting, and document management. Ideal for managing project work, external clients and teams, your first ‘Basecamp’ is free (for as long as you like), then plans start as low as $29 per month for unlimited users.
Document and Ideas Management
Get the post-it notes and paper piles off your desk with these simple tools that will help you collaborate on documents and keep your best ideas and inspiration organised. More importantly, all of these tools have handy search features for when you’re wracking your brain over something you’ve seen or said.
Need to reduce inbox clutter and large attachments? If you are looking for the simplest and cheapest solution to store and share your excel sheets, word docs, presentations and photos, this could be the choice for you. Documents can also be worked on collaboratively, allowing your team to leave comments and markups in real time.
Pocket is the ‘save it to read later’ app. There’s just so much to read online (this blog included) that you’ll probably always have a reading list of articles you mean to catch up on at some point. Well, rather than bookmark them, or worse, forget about them, you can use Pocket to keep them all in one place, conveniently waiting for when you’re ready to read them. It’s also completely free!
When you have finished reading something from your Pocket, and if you like it, you can keep it for reference in Evernote (they sync directly). However you can save just about everything in Evernote, from doodles to photos, pdfs to voice recordings. It helps you keep everything organised into notebooks and with tags. Indispensable for anyone who needs to keep track of multiple inputs and ideas each day. It’s also free to use the vast majority of its functionality.
Most of the best ideas come from your audience and community, so it’s important to have a simple way of keeping track of what they’re talking about, and then ideally to save them straight to Pocket or Evernote. Hootsuite lets you do this, sorting conversations by topic (via hashtags or keywords), by followers or by lists. It also has a fantastic free option.
If you find that you’re consistently doing the same task over and over again, consider whether ‘If This, Then That’ (IFTTT) could help you to automate it. For example are you always tweeting posts out from your blog manually? You can set up an automatic transaction for that, known as a ‘recipe’. Creating a spreadsheet of your new followers? You can set them up to do it automatically. Want to add photos of your event to Facebook? IFTTT will let it happen without you having to think about it again. And like most of these apps, it’s free to sign up and use!
Many of the apps on here could be equally useful whatever your day job, but if you’re day job is planning events, then there are also some pretty great tools out there that can also save you a ton of time.
If you’re stilling using excel sheets (or pen and paper) to manage your attendee lists, or trying to manage manual payments etc. then please, stop! Give yourself an easier life, save hours of time, headaches, lost revenue, long queues, missing or duplicate data and angry attendees…. Using Eventbrite will make ticketing, registration and promotion a simple task that it takes just a few minutes to do.
Need fast access to graphics for your event invitation and listing? Check out 99Designs to connect with designers who can create an inexpensive graphic – imported to your Eventbrite listing with just a click!