A few years ago, I would spend an hour or two every morning meeting with individual members of our team. During these meetings, we would go over all the assigned tasks and projects to see where we stood. Activities were assigned verbally and written in each person’s organizer. In follow-up meetings, I would find that we had miscommunicated, and the to-dos had been misunderstood. Valuable time had been wasted. We soon realized that this method was too inefficient, and something had to change.
After researching the benefits of cloud software, I knew a cloud-based project management system was right for our firm. Project management software would allow us to share tasks and deadlines as well as improve our effectiveness as a team. Because we did not have an IT department, we needed software that is constantly upgraded and easy to implement. I weighed many options and finally chose Wrike. Here’s why we love Wrike.
1. The entire team is on the same page
From the beginning, we trained our whole team to use the software, so that now we are all on the same page. Implementing the software was quick because if the user can navigate Facebook, Wrike is simple to learn.
For easy collaboration, the system allows you to set up folders that can be private or shared. We set up one-to-one folders, which are shared between two people and named after them. For example, Alex and I place the tasks that we are working on together in the Alex & Pamela folder. Therefore, Alex and I to have automatic access to anything placed in the folder as well as a central location to find everything we are collaborating on together.
These shared tasks have removed the need for those daily or weekly status meetings we had set up before using Wrike, saving precious time and energy. We have also created team folders for each department for collaboration between teams, streamlining the efforts of all parties.
2. Task management is made easy
Creating tasks takes no time at all within the software. You just hit the plus sign in the upper left-hand corner. Then, you type the title of the task, place it in your folder, assign yourself as the person responsible for completing it, and schedule it for the day in which it must be completed. By marking the due date for a given task, the task can easily be managed. These tasks and due dates can be shared with anybody on the account.
3. Better collaboration within the team
Instead of having to pick up the phone, send an email, or walk over to someone’s desk for something I may need, I simply assign a task to the person with the details of what is needed within the task. I did not envision this advantage to Wrike when I first researched it, but this simple feature has saved us hours of unnecessary meeting time and overlapping communication.
If for some reason, the person did not understand what I meant, it is easy for the assignee to comment on the task and mention me so that I will be notified. Of course, conversations are important for complex or new activities; with these types of tasks, I always recommend speaking with the person to ensure the message gets through clearly.
Comments in Wrike allow the users to have a conversation about the specific assignment. It becomes even more useful when you have more than two people working on the project in different locations, and you can communicate through the task. The users can modify everything about the task, including its title, description, and attachments, allowing the work to become truly collaborative.
4. We always know what to work on and when
Another Wrike feature I love is the visibility; our previous miscommunication problems almost disappeared. Because Wrike forces you to document everything, you must be explicit, which of course lowers the risk of misunderstandings.
All scheduled tasks for the day show up on your personalized dashboard. This panel can be customized to fit your needs, such as showing personal tasks, team tasks, and overdue tasks, among others. In our firm, we each have a panel with the tasks that are due on that day. Nothing ever gets lost or forgotten, and everybody knows what should be accomplished on each day.
5. It saves us time
Wrike has many features that allow work to be completed more efficiently: attaching documents, including more team members by just mentioning them, and adding subtasks. All these shortcuts save time that would otherwise be spent coordinating between team members.
Wrike also allows you to set up notifications, ranging from basic to extremely detailed. In my case, I prefer to keep interruptions to a minimum, so I receive emails only when someone mentions me. I will then check the task stream periodically to follow up on everything I am working on. You can experiment with the different notification options to find the combination that best works for you.
6. We never lose anything
In the days of the physically written calendar planner, once a task was completed, it was crossed out. If I needed to reference something in the past, I had to find the old notebook I used, which I of course hopefully had not thrown out. If I was lucky, I would find the item with the corresponding date, but probably no other comments or expansion.
With Wrike, all tasks are saved, and you can search and find virtually anything you have worked on. Furthermore, you can also use a feature to see how the task changed over time, revealing exactly who changed what and why. In our case, we have a collective archive that helps us document our work.
Check Out Wrike for More Efficient and Productive Project Management
Whether your firm needs to align on the same page or requires help on staying organized, you can find a great solution in Wrike’s services.
Wrike has completely transformed the way we work at our firm. Not only are we much more effective at managing our to-do items and our collaborative projects, we now have a permanent record of all our work and projects. With comparatively little investment, Wrike will help you take your business to new heights.
On a side note, I am not paid by Wrike for endorsing their software. I just love their product.