quality in

Quality » In [PMP #292]

Almost all of the Pipedrive and Asana clients we work with tell us the same thing – “We’re not getting as much as we can out of the tool”. A big part of getting more out of the tool is learning how to use the tool itself. But an often overlooked aspect is making sure you're inputting good data and keeping it up to date.

This is the whole ‘Quality In = Quality Out’ argument.

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The tools we use (whether they be task management systems, CRMs, email marketing tools or our calendar) all require quality inputs for them to be useful.

  • When your to-do list or project management tool is up to date, it more accurately reflects the current state of your work and what needs to be done next.
  • When you add all your appointments and block out time for your work on your calendar, it’s easier to plan and make time for new commitments.
  • When your CRM and contacts are up to date, you can save time by not having to search multiple databases or spreadsheets to find all your customer or contact data.
  • When your email marketing database is up to date, you can more efficiently send newsletters and offers to different cohorts of subscribers.

What’s funny is when people resist this idea. Sometimes I’ll face pushback and people tell me: “I don't want to waste time updating systems when I can just do the work”.

Of course, your systems need to be efficient and shouldn’t be a burden to update (which they can be if you haven’t kept them up to date). But they do require a minimum amount of input, otherwise, you’ll spend more time in the long run going back through emails, finding files and catching up on where you’re at. In previous blog posts, I’ve talked about the importance of organising in real time.

For example, when you complete one task, create your next action immediately so you know what needs to be done when you return to a project later. This also helps to reduce the ‘transition time’ between tasks. i.e. you can move from one task or project to the next with less downtime.

Or if a client sends you some important notes, copy them into your CRM or project management tool so you have them handy later on (that’ll be much more efficient and professional compared to going back through your email later).

In sales, sometimes a prospect will ask me to follow up in a few weeks. I’ll create an activity in my CRM so I can follow up at the right time. In my experience, this leads to a higher close rate and more revenue.

If you want to get more out of your tools in 2024 and you’d like to develop a more efficient productivity system, then focus on quality in and keeping your tools up to date. And if you’d like to learn more about how I use my email, calendar, notes and other productivity tools together, check out my Personal Productivity Toolkit.