Keeping your small business organized and under control can be a task that is much easier said than done.
I get it. As a branding and web designer, I have to keep client communications in order, keep track of current tasks, develop content calendars... you get the gist. Luckily, I found out about an amazing tool recently that has changed the way I keep my business organized and easy to manage, and moves all of those annoying things into one place. That tool is Coda. Let me tell you about it!
At its heart, Coda is a document app.
When you first open Coda, you are presented with a blank doc and a blinking cursor. Think of this page like a Google Doc, but infinite. Sure you can just type words onto this endless page and use it only for that function, but Coda goes so much deeper than that. Tables, graphs, automations, the list goes on and on. Utilizing all of these things, you can create complex task management systems, client communication paths, and more.
How I use Coda for my business
The best way to demonstrate how powerful Coda is is to just show you. I am going to walk you through how I manage my branding and web design business all within Coda.
When a client starts a project with me, they get their own custom client portal. This client portal has everything we need to have a successful and efficient project. I simply invite them to the doc when our project begins, and they are welcomed with an explanatory splash page to detail how we will use Coda throughout the project.
Within the sidebar, there are separate pages for quick access to contracts and invoicing, a personal project Pinterest board, and more.
There is a separate section for tasks currently in progress, as well as tasks assigned to the client to complete so that we can stay on time with our project. There is also a project timeline, so the client can see where we are in the grand scheme of things.
Lastly, we have a Completed Work tab that holds all of the files and presentations we give the client throughout a project for their business.
The nice thing about client portals is that they prevent uncertainty and miscommunication. If you have a question, you can probably find the answer somewhere within the Client Portal. That is a huge plus, especially for the client as they are running a business most of the day.
Having a separate doc all for marketing has been game changing for me and my business. In fact, this very article is being written within my Marketing Coda doc. Utilizing multiple pages for tracking post performance (such as likes and comments on Instagram) with tables and charts allows me to see what works and what doesn’t on social media.
Another page is designed specifically for post ideas. If I have a good idea, I will write it down so I can come back to it at a later time. It is nice having a full list of content ideas for social media at any time, which is something I know a lot of small business owners struggle with. Keeping an active list of any and all ideas running can help alleviate some of that stress!
There is another page I use to track all leads, and organize them based on hot/cold, where we are in the process, and more general information about them. Keeping that aspect of my business organized in a table, rather than a mess in my email inbox, is huge.
Lastly is a new doc that I recently started developing. The personal wiki is a doc designed to hold anything that might be super useful to reference in the future. This includes things that I learn work (or don’t work!) within a project process, standard email responses for inquiries and how they should be handled, my yearly, monthly, and daily goals, and more.
Having one place full of information that I may need to access at any point for day to day operations, lessons I’ve learned, and general knowledge gathering is one way I can focus on delivering great work for my clients and customers. If I am constantly having to remember small, minute things, I can’t fully focus on my craft. Utilizing a personal wiki will help alleviate some of that brain power.
So, that is how I organize and run my business with Coda.
Give it a try! I think you’ll be surprised at how much you can transform your business and its processes by diving in and trying Coda out.