Track schedules, manage projects, train staff, lead meetings…managers do it all, and often in the same day.
Here’s the good news: you don’t have to do it all on your own. We gathered some of the best tools, templates, and resources to help you stay organized, and get stuff done.
Here are five free manager tools you can start using today.
Google knows pretty much everything – including how to be a good manager. Google’s re:Work blog is home to guides, case studies, and tools to help make managers’ lives easier. The manager feedback survey, 1:1 meeting agenda template, career conversation worksheet, and new manager training course materials are just a few examples of what’s available.
Project management tools
Online project management tools are a bit like a digital personal assistant. They can help you track milestones, share files, and communicate with your team via chat or message boards. There’s no shortage of online project management tools, and many of them allow you to get started for free.
For example, the likes of Airbnb and Apple use Freedcamp, and it offers unlimited users, projects and storage free. Asana is another platform that offers basic project tracking tools for up to 15 team members for free.
Keeping tabs on your team shouldn’t eat up a lot of your time. Whether you manage service industry schedules, need an easy way to track holidays and sick days for nine-to-fivers, or coordinate schedules for on-call or emergency staffing, there are online tools to help.
Best for managing small business shiftwork schedules, When I Work, for example, allows staff to input availability, swap schedules, and track time worked. For attendance tracking, Microsoft Office offers templates that you can download and tweak according to your needs.
If you’re looking for a tool that allows team members to check in and out, or simple way to track billable hours, try Jibble.io. Jibble’s standard features are free for an unlimited number of users (add-on options like a selfie check-in and GPS location tracking help keep staff honest).
You might already have an internal team chat platform that helps cut down on emails – but it’s worth looking at the more robust platforms out there that can also help you stay organized, easily search previous conversations, and boost engagement throughout the office.
For example, Slack helps track conversations and decisions (all chats are searchable), making it easy to troubleshoot issues with solutions that might be hidden in someone’s inbox. You can create channels for everything from lunch recommendations to social committee updates, and can even integrate free apps to give you daily tips, reminders, and more.
Courses and classes
Managers both new and experienced can benefit from free online courses.
Edx.org, for example, offers free courses from reputable universities like Harvard, Cornell, and the University of Toronto. Start with the People Management or Leading High-Performing Teams for the basics. Looking for new ideas to inspire your team? Check out courses like The Foundations of Happiness at Work or Teamwork and Collaboration.
These classes not only help you to hone your management chops – they also help you to offer career development to the rest of your team. After all, the more you learn, the more wisdom you can pass along to them.
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