513 – Organize Your Website Development Business Using 17 Hats

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Episode Notes

In today’s episode, we pull back the curtain on our process of organizing projects using 17 Hats.

Staying organized is a key to productivity in business and in life. If you have no system to keep your thoughts and things grouped, your life can become extremely frustrating.

Have you ever tried to find something you know you had, but just couldn’t find it? Have you started a project only to be overwhelmed by the amount of locations where different parts of the project lives? This was me in 2015. I was looking for the free platforms to piece together a system. This led me to a system that just didn’t work.

A good friend suggested 17Hats, so I took it for a test run. I was super confused at first. I can’t lie, it took me a while to get things where I wanted them. That’s not because 17Hats is hard to use. It was more because I wasn’t sure of the product offerings, workflows and generally how I wanted information to be stored for each project.

After a few projects, I really started to get the hang of the system. I started putting every contact I was working with into 17Hats contacts and building projects for each contact. This was a game changer. Now, everything from contact information, project notes, activity time logs and even emails from the client all lived in one place.

Next I started looking at workflows for each project. Sometimes projects veer from the standard path, but that’s okay. I adjust and keep moving along the workflow. It isn’t meant to be a one size fits all but more so a guideline to help get you back on the path when things get chaotic.

The final thing I did was organize a file structure inside of google drive. This was a real game-changer. My structure was simple. Create a template folder. Inside that template folder would live a few folders. Brand Standards, Site Page Content, Media, Site Review Notes and Pre-Launch Backup. Once the project folder was created, I would share it with the project lead for the client. This made media simple to share. No more tracking down emails looking for pictures. I created google docs within the drive folder for site content. This helped consolidate sitemaps and page copy into a single place.

I also built out lifecycles within 17Hats. This allowed me to track stages of each project. From lead to development to a nurturing phase where I routinely check in to see how things are going with a client’s site. This tied in to workflows that activate automatically when lifecycle status changes puts project management almost on autopilot.

There are a lot of platforms out there. I have been on 17Hats for over 2 years and can’t see myself using anything else. No platform is perfect. They all have opportunities. If you continue chasing the perfect platform you will never EVER make the progress you are hoping to make. You’ll spend all of your time learning the new platform, almost always leading you to the same or similar frustrations and limitations you have with your current platform.

Stay loyal, master the platform you’ve invested your time in as long as they are developing and interacting with the community. That’s a sign of positive things to come in the future.

Thanks for hanging out for another episode of Divi Addicts. If you want to support the podcast becasue we’ve brought you a ton of value, visit keeganlaniermedia.com/patreon to see the ways you can help us better serve up content for you. We’ll see you next week!

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