5 Tips for Contractors To Stay Organized in 2023

Staying organized is required for any contractor, so here are some tips that will improve your organization now and during 2023.

There’s a lot you can do to keep your business organized, but for that organization to stick it needs to turn into a routine. Sticking to a routine is easier when it feels natural in your daily workflow, so you may have to try a few things before finding what works for you.

With the start of a new year, we have a great opportunity to press the reset button and clean up the clutter from your workflow, whether that’s literal or not. Here are some organization tips for your contractor business that I hope will make your life easier.

Get rid of papers

Keeping papers in folders and drawers is a thing of the past at this point. You will still need to store receipts and a few other important documents, but you can do so with cloud technology now, which is far more convenient.

All you need is to use your smartphone camera with a scanner app, most of which are free. They will take a picture and straighten it perfectly to simulate a scanner.

As for cloud storage, these files are usually quite small so you don’t have to pay for extra storage anytime soon. Google Drive offers up to 15 GB of free storage, but there are other great options that you can also use for free, such as Dropbox, MEGA, OneDrive, and Box. All of these offer free storage space to start, with the option to add more for a fee if you want to.

As long as you properly name your files, you will never lose an important document again, as you can access these anywhere with an internet connection.

Learn more on digital workspaces for your business!

Centralize your tasks

Using apps on your phone or desktop to stay organized is great. It not only helps you stay focused but can also help you manage yourself and your team… but you have to keep everything in one or two places at most.

That is to say, if you’re using one app for your list of tasks, one for team management, one for chat, one for storage, one for time tracking… it’s easy for things to fall apart and it defeats the purpose of using apps to stay organized in the first place.

Try to pick one or two apps that you really like, and make sure they have good synergy with one another. For example, Slack is an excellent tool for chatting with your team, and it has great synergy with Google Drive – you can share and comment on documents inside Slack, without the need to open a second window.

Similarly, Trello is a great tool for organization and team management, that also has built-in Google Drive synergy, as well as many other apps. For example, you can create a task in Trello and embed a file from your chosen cloud storage service directly from Trello. It just makes it easier to work and stay organized.

Deal with your mail once a day

It’s important to reply to your emails, as many business opportunities may show up there – and occasionally, albeit rarely, clients will try to get in touch with you there. But just like with social media in general, you shouldn’t be taking constant breaks to check your email.

The best way to do it is once or twice a day, at most. You can choose the best times for you, but once in the morning and once in the afternoon is more than enough.

Your social media plan also can’t take most of your day to manage, it should be planned ahead and automated as much as possible. For more on that, check out our essential social media tips for contractors.

Use accounting software

These days it’s very difficult to manage all your finances with an Excel sheet. Those can get pretty complicated and a single mistake can affect your entire workflow – without some decent knowledge of how the program works, you might struggle to find your way again.

This is why accounting software is much better. There are plenty of options out there, but pretty much all of them allow you to control credit cards, set goals, generate reports, and register every single transaction that goes in or out easily. And most of them can be used on smartphones and desktops, meaning you retain insight into your finances even when away from your computer.

Of course, hiring someone to manage finances for you is ideal, but that’s not always possible at the start – especially since most contractors start solo. An accounting software will essentially be this extra employee for you.

Track your time

Business days for a contractor can be chaotic and it’s difficult to know how much time you’re spending on each task if you’re not paying close attention. And knowing this is important not only to better charge for your service but also to identify time sinks you can get rid of.

If you like using apps, there are plenty of free time trackers that work both on mobile and desktop, but simply using your clock also works. Take note of how much time you take to complete certain tasks and it will give you a much better idea of how your day goes.

This isn’t necessarily about optimizing every second, that’s not the goal here. But having these insights will help you better organize your days, charge for your work, and plan your week.

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