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How to use technology to manage your time

The purpose of founding a nonprofit is to create a business model that helps people in need. But it can be difficult to focus on your core mission when you are bogged down with administrative and operational tasks.

How do you ensure that your main focus is on tasks that are critical to your mission? Online productivity apps and tools can help you to delegate and automate many of your operational tasks, such as accounting, communications, scheduling etc.

This is a step-by-step guide to using apps to make your daily tasks easier. 

Things you'll need

  • It's a good idea to start by calling a meeting, asking team members which apps they use, and figuring out which of your current apps just aren’t cutting it. Once this task is done, you are ready to begin considering one of the following five apps.

Find an app that will help you manage your daily tasks

There is no shortage of to-do list and task management apps. On Google Keep you can create lists, notes and reminders etc that can be shared across multiple devices.

If you are already using Google Drive and other Google productivity tools, you may want to check this one out. It’s not super rich in features, but the interface is easy to use, and when combined with other apps on this list can be a real asset.


Keep everybody on the same page when it comes to scheduling

There are many calendar apps that can help you and your team stay in sync and avoid messy scheduling conflicts. One of the main ones is Kalendi which allows both you and your team members to post events to public calendars, avoiding any conflicts. This can be useful for managers who want to know what team members have on their plate.


Invest in an easy-to-use project management app

Take a look at Trello. It's visual and easy-to-use interface that doesn’t require you to understand GANTT charts or project management lingo.

Trello uses an easy to understand card-based format. Each card can contain lists, and be moved around so that you can instantly change the order in which you want tasks to be done. Open up a card and you can upload files, make lists, and much more.

Another great feature is that you don’t have to open Trello to use it. Every board (aka project) that you create gets its own email address. So to add a card or make a change, just send an email.


Get a handle on your emails

'I have to deal with this right now. It’s important, but it can wait. This isn't spamming, but it can wait indefinitely.' Essentially, every email you receive falls into one of these three categories. With your personal email, you may be able to manage all of your emails on your own.

However your business email is usually a different story. With potentially hundreds of emails coming in daily, an app that helps you manage your correspondence can be essential.

 Sanebox is an email management app that allows you to manage your email directly from the web. You set up categories for certain people and topics, and the tool will help you to make sense of the emails that are already in your box.


Manage your content right from your phone

You’ve created a social media presence and earned followers. You're producing great content thanks to your own team or with the help of a writing service you hired by using the services by Your challenge now is to keep that momentum up. This means publishing, promoting, and creating content on the fly from your mobile.

For many nonprofits, the most powerful content you can present to your audience is storytelling. This is ultimately what will get people to feel emotionally invested in your brand and your mission.

Sometimes they are in visual form, sometimes they are videos, sometimes simple photo collages. Stories inform readers about the causes you support, the people you help, and even give an insider’s view of your organization. For the visual side of storytelling, look no further than the Pinterest app. You can use it to tell visual stories, pin content, and much more directly from your phone.

Further information

Whether you choose all of the apps listed here, just a few, or go your own way with an entirely different selection of tools, remember that daily operations will run much more smoothly if all team members are using the same technology.


Page last edited Apr 13, 2017 History

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