Five-Phase Workflow Management for the Social Strategist
Summer is approaching, and now may be a good time to evaluate your on-going projects and to complete pending tasks left over from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Last summer I read a classic book on workflow management, David Allen’s Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. I highly recommend this book if you are a social strategist or social manager juggling a lot of details and tasks all at once.
I have found one helpful, workflow management tool, called Workflowy, that perfectly syncs with David Allen’s five phases of workflow: Collect, Process, Organize, Review & Do. If you love to make lists, but hate being boxed in by formatting, Workflowy is a simple and free tool that may be for you. Here’s a peak into my five-phase workflow process that you can steal and modify for yourself.
Make a List: Collect
Spend some time emptying your mind and create a big list of everything that you would like to accomplish. Use sub-bullet points where needed for small tasks that correspond with larger projects; Workflowy will allow you to collapse each list so you can focus on one task at a time. It is important to document everything - from waxing your car, to crafting a corporate social media policy. Having trust in your list is critical for feeling less stressed about the tasks you need to complete. Make sure to continually update your list throughout the week as more items are added.
Create a Plan of Action: Process and Organize
Outline all project steps so that you can account for all tasks and corresponding details. Use hashtags to assign tasks to days of the week. I use #Monday - #Friday. The key is to create a list that can be filtered easily by using the search bar. There are several different ways that you can establish an effective tagging system for your workflow. Hone a tagging system that works best for you, assign due dates for all items on your task list, and efficiently work through items that have been blocked off for completion - one day at a time.
Document/Export: Review and Do
Every week, “Export All” completed tasks into a new document from the top right corner of the header bar. Review and edit the “Export List” field, leaving only completed items that have been marked out (Read: make sure that “Completed: Visible” is also enabled in the top right). Copy and paste the work into an Evernote, or word processor of your choice, and remove the “strike through” from the text (Note: The strike-through an be easily removed in Evernote by highlighting the text, right clicking the content, and going to font > styles > default). Now, you are able to view everything that has been completed from the week and you are ready to start processing and organizing your next week.
Do you have a process that helps you manage social using the five phases of workflow: Collect, Process, Organize, Review & Do? Please share in the comments!