“If only there was more time in the day!”
As a school marketer you want to work smarter, not harder. But you’re often so busy juggling projects that even finding the time to consider managing your time more effectively seems out of reach.
It is important to set aside some time to assess your workflow processes. Here are five tips to help school marketers save time:
1. Task management apps
There are a lot of project management apps on the market, which are suited to personal use as well as larger teams. One example of this is Trello, a free app which helps you organise and track the progress of projects using boards, lists and cards. Its simple design uses the Kanban system (think whiteboard with coloured sticky notes) allowing you to create checklists and add due dates, comments, attachments and more. Another similar online tool to try is Asana.
2. Create reusable templates
Working in a school means many of your marketing projects and themes recur annually, biannually, termly and sometimes weekly. Taking the time to create templates such as job request forms, creative briefs or, in some cases, even design templates, could help save you a tonne of precious time in the long-term.
3. Streamlining processes
Think about the projects you have worked on across the course of the year. Have you established a clear process for timelines and approvals? Providing the staff involved with clear timelines, including copy and editing deadlines, numbers of revisions and sign-off dates, allows everyone to be on the same page and work towards the same end goal. Be a stickler to your approval process, and it should serve you well.
4. Visual timelines
See the bigger picture, literally. Keep track of all your projects by creating a visual timeline or master job sheet. Depending on what works for you, this could simply be a large whiteboard (a Trello board, even!) or a calendar on your office wall, highlighting the key stages of your projects. If you prefer to create something online, a simple master sheet created in Word, a Gantt chart (a bar chart for project scheduling) in Excel or using free software, will help give you an overall picture of your projects. Just remember to keep it simple – dates, not details.
5. Time tracking
While commonly used in agency settings for multiple clients, time tracking software can be highly valuable for planning projects or if you’re looking to expand your team in the future. Many of the task management apps, such as Asana and Trello, have these capabilities and there are a number of other time tracking programs available for free for individual use or for a minimal charge for small team use.