Project and task management is an uphill battle for most. Most hospitality properties have more daily tasks than any one person can remember and accomplish. Over the years, project and task management tools have become quite popular. Small property owners have many things to worry about each day, including processing reservations, keeping rates and availability up to date, managing their employees, marketing, and so much more. Without the right tools, it’s easy to lose track of time and forget important tasks.
We came up with a list of the most popular project management tools. Usually people suggest project management tools for startups and other desk jobs, but they could enhance many aspects of property owners’ lives.
When Project Management Tools are Useful
A team of one or a team of fifty can find project management tools helpful. However, the type of team you have could affect the usefulness of these platforms. If you’re a hotel or hostel with a few front desk staff members, project management tools like Trello and Basecamp, which we’ll discuss below, are great options.
Project management tools are most useful for employees who do administrative and business planning work for your business, including your front desk employees. These tools can help monitor employees’ tasks as well as keep team projects on track and updated. Communication between team members s essential to success.
Because project and time management tools are so popular, they have become quite sophisticated over the past few years. While they have many capabilities, they are relatively easy-to-use and can become a companion to your workday. Even more, most of them offer an accompanying mobile and/or tablet application so you can take it wherever you go.
The Best Project Management Tools
There are many, many project management tools out there. And when we use the term “project”, it doesn’t necessarily have to mean you use the tool to track something for a distinct period of time. You can use these platforms to track ongoing or never-ending projects. They work well because they are flexible and help keep you and your employees accountable
Trello’s website says “Trello is the free, flexible, and visual way to organize anything with anyone.” Sounds pretty great to us. Trello aims to cut down on emails, eliminate bad spreadsheets and outdated sticky notes.
Trello’s flexibility allows you to build a workflow that works for your team. They achieve this by using boards and cards. A board generally represents a certain project or facet of your business like “customer relations” or “marketing”, and then you can use cards which act as specific to-dos that contribute to the overall project.
Some other functionalities Trello offers include members, labels, checklists, due dates, and attachments. You can assign certain tasks to team members and track progress with checklists. Trello was really designed to work for anyone and everything, from personal projects to large-scale business initiatives.
For that reason, we recommend it to organize and create more efficiencies at your property. They also offer an easy-to-use mobile app and tablet app to keep you organized on the go.
Basecamp is the utilitarian time management solution of many technology start-ups. Basecamp has grown in popularity over the years, but their core audience has largely been start-ups and other businesses in the past. They offer a lot of great functionality that can help get your property more organized and keep you and team members on the same page.
Similar to Trello, they use projects and cards to keep tasks organized. They also offer message boards and comment threads in individual projects in an effort to make conversations more useful and contextualized. One of their new useful features includes what they call real-time chat and pings. Basecamp will atomically alert you and team members what needs to be done on a daily or weekly basis. It eliminates the need to individually reach out to someone to ask for a status update to complete something.
They also include a calendar to help users visualize when projects are due and get a sense of when projects are due and on the horizon. Time and context are often easy to forget when using software and tools that help you understand the content better help you get a better feel for what’s going on.
Asana is another project management tool that functions similarly to Trello and Basecamp. Some of their differentiating factors include a graphical illustration of how projects are progressing. Asana does a great job of showcasing the different ways major companies have used their product over the year. From planning and executing events to managing a social media team of many people, Asana works well for all different types of teams.
Asana doesn’t have boards or cards like Trello and Basecamp, but it uses projects and tasks in a similar way. It allows you to see the big picture, like planning a large event, while being able to manage the nitty gritty like buying paper plates and renting sound equipment.
How it Helps Your Property
These tools are open-ended and malleable by nature. They were created to work for any one person or any team. As a hotel or hostel owner, there are a lot of moving parts. You have guests to entertain, events to plan, employees to manage, marketing campaigns to execute, among many other things.
We envision hoteliers using these tools to manage the daily, weekly, and monthly goals of their properties. Most business owners or people that we come in contact with use spreadsheets for everything. And while spreadsheets have worked for many years, these new tools offer context and design to better visualize products, making them easier to use.
Ideas for Small Properties
Create an Events Board: Most hostels Cloudbeds works with host weekly happy hours that often incorporate some form of live entertainment. You can build boards on these pages to make sure that everything is in place to make the event a success. Trello, for example, allows you to copy and save certain board frameworks. For every event you throw, many of the tasks you must complete are the same for each event. You can then go through the motions knowing you covered everything.
Create an Employees Board: We previously posted a series on the importance of employee recognition and appreciation. You can use employee boards to track and reward well-performing employees and identify those that may need more attention.
Marketing Board: You can use the board to analyze your property’s different marketing projects and keep track of ongoing tasks like social media, email marketing, and other related campaigns.
Personal: You and your employees can create private, personal boards to manage your personal day-to-day tasks. They can replace those pesky post-it notes that seem to disappear twenty seconds after you write them.
As business people and business owners, we’re always looking for ways to increase efficiencies and decrease unnecessary steps. Project management software gives everyone the ability to organize their tasks in a way that work well for them. One of the best features of these products is that they give you a way to visualize sometimes seemingly endless tasks.
For any business, it’s important to find ways to reduce inefficiencies and save time. When you do, your property will become more productive and you’ll make more money.