I was speaking to my mate Nick recently and he reminded me about some of the challenges we’re facing in maintaining productivity whilst working remotely. Last month, I wrote about how we can leverage Microsoft tools like Outlook, Teams and Planner to stay organised and connected when working remotely.
Nick runs a small IT business and called me to ask how he should manage a particular type of activity. He’s had a few clients call him with work requests that are more than a task, but not quite a project. He uses Tasks in Outlook to manage his day-to-day actions, and he uses Planner for his projects. But these pieces of work seemed to fall in the middle. He wanted to know the most effective way to manage these jobs to completion, and to manage the communications around each job over the few weeks he was likely to be working on them. He wanted to ensure he had everything at his fingertips when he needed it.
My suggestion for jobs like this was to set up a Notebook in MS OneNote. Each job could have its own section in the notebook, which means that he could capture pages of information about the job in that section. The pages themselves could contain any of the following:
- Meeting notes
- A job checklist
- Associated budgets or spreadsheets
- Emails related to the job
- Thoughts, ideas, sketches, pictures and plans
This was the perfect solution for him. When he received an email related to the job, he could simply press the Send to OneNote button in Outlook and the email would be copied to a new page in the section he pointed to. He could also capture tasks in OneNote, and then send them to his Outlook task list when he needed to.
If you are working remotely, you too could benefit from simple strategies like this to manage your more complex work. If you are not fully taking advantage of tools like OneNote, there is no better time to get on board.