This third series of posts covers tools available to support productivity and effectiveness, with today’s edition looking at how you can manage your own work, as well as collaborative projects.
This can be particularly important when you are managing a complex or varied workload, or one with lots of dependencies (i.e. one thing needs to happen in order for other things to happen).
In such situations, it can be all too easy to rely on a sea of post-it notes, or simply to focus on the issues that seem most urgent, rather than stepping back and taking a wider perspective. However, this can lead to things being forgotten, in particular longer-term, more strategic activities.
It therefore helps when you can get a better overview of the tasks you have, and so understand better how you may need to sequence activities, or how to prioritise better.
Many of the tools in this space come from the world of project management, where there are deadlines and obligations to deliver. Others originate from programmers, who need to be able to keep a strong overview of development in order to finalise a product on time.
A well-known example is Trello, used by a wide variety of companies and public bodies in order to support team-working. It can serve both as a one-stop-shop for different information needed by everyone involved, or for task-management. For example, you can establish tasks to be done, those underway, and those which are completed, and assign responsibility, through a tool known as a Kanban board.
However, there are other tools out there of course!
Other free options include Notion, which provides lots of opportunities for organising your work, from keeping track of meetings and action points, Kanban boards, contact lists and others. This has been used effectively by teams working on advocacy for example.
Asana and Airtable also have free options, and there is a fuller list available on this blog.
Let us know which tools you prefer to use in the comments below!
If you are interested in issues around digital tools in libraries in general, you should take a look at the work of IFLA’s Information Technology Section.