I’m not the most organized person. Well, let me rephrase that, I have a tendency to keep everything up in my head. I hate lists. Always have. Always will. Making lists squashes my creativity, or at least that’s what I tell myself.
But the problem is when you go from running a TV newsroom to running your own company keeping everything you need to do up in your head, isn’t the most effective technique. Especially when you have freelance employees who aren’t located in the same place as you. One of my friends, Patty who happens to be my assistant suggested I use a Personal Kanban to get focus on the details, get organized and be able to collaborate all in one place.
So shortly after beginning Last Straw Media, she set me up on LeanKit Kanban. I’m not going to lie, I was adverse to the idea at first. It still seemed like a list to me. Did I mention I hate lists? But what I quickly found out, is Personal Kanban isn’t really about lists. Whew!
The great part about Personal Kanban, is you can assign tasks to different employees– helping us keep straight who’s responsible for which tasks. It’s not as overwhelming for me because I don’t feel like I’m alone, and as an entrepreneur it’s easy to feel that way. I also love the idea, I can go into each task and write notes– notes for myself, notes for my freelancers. It’s a great way to keep up with the progress of each task and collaborate on ideas that could improve the outcome for our clients.
Personal Kanban is customizable to my company’s needs and to my personal preferences. The way I use it to stay organized is probably very different from other people who use it. In addition to my business, I also teach part-time at the University of Tampa. I can also keep that aspect of my life organized without interfering with the business aspect– something a lot of other organizational methods make more challenging.
Using the Personal Kanban board has also helped me feel like I’m really accomplishing something. I can keep track of what tasks have been completed daily, but I can also see how far I’ve come from month to month. Another amazing benefit is we can each communicate directly through the board, which in turn saves valuable time that can be eaten up with multiple emails, conference calls, etc.
Last Straw Media’s Personal Kanban board also helps keep us all accountable, particularly me. I can set up deadlines on some of the cards, if a task needs to be completed ASAP. And if something has expired, my assistant can ask me hey what happened to that task? Can I help you get it done? That’s a huge benefit to me, a huge Type-A personality, who thinks I can do everything myself.
Of course, it’s still a learning process for me the woman who loathes lists, but adores Post-Its. Did I mention, I love that the cards look like Post-Its? I even color code them with pretty colors for tasks I like to complete, like purple, and my least favorite color, yellow, for tasks I tend dislike doing.
And as each day goes by, I feel like my business is getting more and more organized, without having to waste a lot of time or spend a lot of money. Because Personal Kanban is so customizable it’s great for a start-up business, but I can also see how it will grow with me as my company grows.
Owner, Last Straw Media