How Online Notes can help Streamline your Workflows

Productivity can seem like the elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for small business owners. At any given moment, there are always a dozen urgent things that need your attention, as well as plenty of ongoing important tasks. 

It’s even harder to be productive when you’re working from home, especially if you don’t have a separate office and/or you’re trying to manage small children at the same time. The only way to succeed is to organize your time effectively, making a streamlined workflow that matches fluctuations in energy levels and the other demands on your time. 

There are some basic pieces of advice for planning a productive day, such as blocking off work time, batch processing similar tasks, and removing distractions like social media. But the right tools can also help you to organize your time into effective workflows that help you get more done. 

You can automate repetitive tasks like payroll calculations, or use AI to predict-type your emails, but there are simpler options as well. Online notes have been around for a while now, but they are still extremely useful for driving productivity. 

Here are 5 ways to use online notes to streamline your workflows. 

1. Break up big projects

One of the first steps in forming a successful workflow is to take your enormous projects and break them up into a number of smaller tasks. Then you can decide which ones need to be completed first, which elements could be left until later, and decide on the best order in which to tackle them. 

Online sticky notes are an ideal way to plot out your tasks. You can place each sub-task onto a different note and then arrange and rearrange the order as the project evolves. Tasks assigned to other people can be placed in different areas of the board, and you can select the times of day/week when you’re most productive for the more creative elements, and assign jobs like emailing or compiling data for your lower-energy times. 

2. Declutter your workspace

It’s always easier to concentrate when you have a clear desk and all your files, resources, and notes are neatly organized. Online notes help you cut down on physical clutter entirely by digitizing all your resources and storing them all in a single location. 

As well as making text notes, you can use online notes to link to files, videos, images, databases, and more. When all your raw content and fundamental resources are stored neatly away, you can focus on the work ahead of you, instead of getting distracted by your messy workspace. 

3. Cut down on interruptions

There’s nothing like that feeling of intense concentration, when all of your skills and abilities are working together successfully to complete the tasks at hand. Psychologists call it being in “the zone” or reaching “flow state,” meaning that you’re fully absorbed in what you’re doing. 

When you’re in that flow state, the last thing you want is to have to interrupt yourself, but sometimes that’s exactly when the best ideas appear in your head. Instead of breaking your concentration to pursue your latest brainwave or go and deal with a sudden urgent task, use your online notes. 

You can jot down your cool idea and return to it later, or make yourself a quick reminder to come back to the new urgent task when you’ve finished whatever it is you’re working on. That way, you won’t forget about the new issue, but you also won’t break your flow.

4. Save time searching for resources

Storing all your ideas, files, and resources in a single platform is good, but to really refine your workflow you should take it a step further and make each item searchable. Use keywords in your tags and save notes in different notebooks and folders, so that you can find them more easily later. 

Your online notes can organize everything, including spreadsheets, project briefs, screenshots, images, jotted notes, and that photo you took of a marketing flyer that you really liked. This way you can keep track of project ideas and inspiration points as easily as you do content files and business reports. 

5. Support smooth collaboration 

Waiting for people to respond to your questions or send resources you asked for can put a serious hurdle in your path. Cloud-based online notes enable you and your employees to share assets and feedback effortlessly, because they sync instantly with everyone devices. 

You can use online notes for real time collaboration with freelancers, employees, partners, and even friends whom you’d like to bounce ideas off. Delegate certain tasks to employees by tagging them on notes, and enable employees to update their notes with questions or to notify you about their progress. 

Whenever anyone edits a note or replies to a question, you’ll see it immediately. People can chat in real time, making it easier to brainstorm new ideas, find ways to troubleshoot new issues, or edit business materials. 

Online notes can be your secret sauce for productive workflows

Finding the sweet spot of workflow productivity isn;t easy at the best of times, and working at home during a global pandemic is far from the best of times. But when you use online tools to reduce interruptions, divide large projects into bitesize tasks, remove physical clutter, enable secure and swift collaboration, and organize all your resources, you can develop effective workflows that enable a more productive business lifestyle. 

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.