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Organization Tips and Tricks

Taylor Brazell – Account Executive

Everyone who works at an agency may have their own variations on an organization system for files and client work, but having some kind of system in place is an absolute necessity. Managing multiple clients at a time with several projects on each of those accounts would be impossible without one.

Agency life is not unique in its need for organizati

on, but it does quickly prove what works and what does not. Here are some tips I’ve picked up over my time in an agency that can help anyone go back to the basics to start establishing their own system of organization.

Old-Fashioned Organization Still Works

No matter how advanced technology gets, a notepad and pen will still be my go-to for gathering initial input. The freedom from sketching on a piece of paper allows me to dictate details and write out thoughts exactly how I want.

My whiteboard serves a similar purpose as a physical reminder of important deadlines or due dates upcoming. I don’t even have to leave my desk to reference the content I have drawn out on my board, and I can use it to help keep track of projects’ status when multiple items are in the air.

These options are great in the short term, but they are less than ideal as long-term organization methods. Notepads and whiteboards fill up quickly and can lead to slightly connected notes scattered everywhere, cluttering up the office.

Dive into Digital

When projects need more organization space than handwritten notes can offer, turning to digital tools can save a lot of headaches. A system for saving files in the same location on a server by project and client is inarguably important, but emails should also be similarly arranged to keep conversations in order. Creating folders for each client with subfolders on individual projects or reoccurring subjects makes it easier to access and report the latest communication from where it was left off. Relevant email threads are sorted into the folders, sometimes over the course of years, to keep track of communication.

I use my inbox for more pressing projects, remarking emails as “unread” until the important tasks are completed, addressed to the client or filed/noted in their proper way. This provides a quick list of outstanding work that I owe my team members or clients.

Most email platforms also have calendars attached. Those are useful tools for obvious reasons, such as organizing meetings and appointments. However, I also use my calendar to set notifications and reminders for myself. Larger projects will often have multiple deadlines for various components along the way, and keeping track of all of them without some kind of tool would be impossible. By putting those dates into the calendar to contact vendors, follow up with client on outstanding projects, submit content and accomplish other steps by a certain date, I get reminders and notifications as I need them to keep projects on track.

Delete Strategically

Though inbox folders and the server have much more storage capacity than a notepad, they can still get cluttered if old content continues to take up space. Files and emails can be moved to an archive, where they are out of the way without being permanently deleted, but doing this means that they are not readily accessible for client needs.

Deleting content is also occasionally necessary to open storage space and keep old drafts from being confused with newer versions of a file. However, deleting something as soon as you’re done with it or when it hits a certain age is unwise. Clients may change their mind about edits and ask to revert back to a former version of the copy or design. They may also pick projects back up after leaving them for a while or lose track of something and ask for it to be sent again. In any of these cases, having old files readily available can save the time and effort that would go into recreating them. Only delete files and emails when you’re sure the client will never need them again.

These tips may seem simple and somewhat obvious, but they are the foundation for our clients’ work and the reason we are able to provide effective full-service marketing services. Putting these to work can be key to putting some organization into the chaos of agency life.



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