How to Stay Organized – A Project Manager’s Perspective

Organization. Some people are great at it, and the rest of us…well we just get along with whatever system we’ve come up with that week.

In agency life, organization is key. Whether some of us embrace it or not, is a whole other question. But one thing we do all know: with the number of clients and work constantly moving and shaking around here, good organization can save time, frustration, and even some confusion. That’s right. We said what we said.

Staying Organized Graphic

Thankfully, we have a group of incredible project managers (PMs) who make it their job to keep everyone, both internally and externally, on track. We love them and our agency, no matter how hard we’d try, just wouldn’t be the same without them. Curious how it’s done? Well, luckily for you, we asked one of our PMs for tips on staying organized in the workplace. Take a look for yourself while we go write these on sticky notes to put on our computer screens for later.

Set priorities: When jobs are flying in left and right, it can be difficult to bring all projects through to completion without prioritizing before moving in to copy, design, development, photo or video pre-production, or retouching. Client deadlines drive a lot of the prioritization, but you also need to look at resourcing, employee schedules, and how long a project will take. It’s a lot to juggle, so knowing what’s most important, and how long each step can take, can make this a lot easier.

Create and follow timelines: Creating timelines up front helps a project move smoothly from start to finish. Having smaller check points in place for the team (who rely on said organization) to complete will help everyone stay on task, and know when it’s their responsibility to step in. When everyone has access to the timeline, it’s an easy place to check in.

Utilize a job tracking portal: Most businesses (not just marketing agencies) have some sort of online portal where all team members can access and review shared documents and track time and progress. If you’re an agency like us, or a similar profession where you invoice based on hourly work, tools like this can save a ton of time and headache for estimating and invoicing. Thank you, digital age!

A ‘to-do’ list is your friend: While we all are constantly reminded of our projects through status meetings, emails, phone calls and discussions with coworkers, a physical to do list to keep track of projects and tasks is extremely helpful. Whether it’s digital, or pen to paper, you can reference this before your client meetings, at the end of the day to make sure you’ve completed all necessary tasks, or to calm the anxiety when you think you may have forgotten something. And keep the list in one place. Juggling three different lists will basically defeat the purpose.

Don’t forget about the face-to-face: In today’s day and age, we have an almost infinite number of tools, apps, and devices for communication. But sometimes, nothing’s better than an in person, face to face with your colleagues. A quick touch base on a random Tuesday could be what’s needed to help get the project moving along again. There’s nothing like an old-fashioned brainstorming session or even some encouragement to keep going strong!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Life as the keeper of the schedule can be hard sometimes, especially when those schedules, clients, and coworkers just keep needing your input or clarification on projects. It can get overwhelming, and that’s okay. That’s why all the other things are important too, because when you feel organized, you are confident handling whatever comes your way. And on days when the pile gets a little too high, find someone to help you steady it. Even if you just get one small problem solved with help, that’s one more thing you can cross off that to-do list you made. Right?

We have a system here, and our project managers are the rockstars of the agency. They keep everyone on track and work hard to make sure everyone’s happy, too. We love them and are grateful for the skills they have. Clearly, we can learn a lot from them, and we hope you can too.


Want to work with one of our amazing PMs? Contact us today and let’s get started on your next marketing project!