5 Top Tips For Being An Organised Account Handler
There are a few tips and techniques you can use to be an organised account handler in a busy digital agency.
Here are my top 5:
1. To do list
I make a fresh to do list for the week ahead every Friday, that way when I come back in from the weekend I do not have to remember what from last week I need to start/ finish off. Setting my list on a Friday allows me to plan for the resource I need the following week and identify what briefs I need to write. I then come into work on a Monday with a clear action plan of what to do and when.
My to do list isn’t set in stone – I add to it as I go through the week, prioritising each task by urgency and deadline. One useful thing I find is using fresh page in my workbook for each week /day – that way I can clearly see tasks I need to complete on a daily basis (helping me to structure and prioritise rather than overload). Any task I don’t finalise – I carry over to the next day.
Emails that are in my Inbox I class as my ‘Inbox To Do List’. This is for smaller pieces of work such as the client queries, site bugs etc. that come in on a daily basis. Rather than noting in my workbook that I need to respond to these, I don’t file them in their client folder until I have replied/actioned. Once I have answered a client question I file their email in their client folder, essentially knocking it off my ‘Inbox To Do List’. If it a bigger piece of work such as a new brief – I will note it down on my to do list and follow up. This helps with time management and prioritising work.
2. Your workbook is key
My workbook is key to everything I do; without it I would be lost! I have a certain structure in mine which helps me organise my projects and reminds me what I need to do for a project. I use the same workbook to take notes during client meetings which I can then easily refer back to and prioritise work. I found that if I had a separate workbook for meetings flicking between the two would annoy me; for me it was much more helpful to have all my work in one place. Come up with a structure that works for you and helps you stay on track.
3. Keep momentum after meetings
You can easily come back from a client meeting having promised to send over files, images, calendar invites etc. Then, when you are back in the office you can get caught up in replying to emails, catching up on projects, pushing what you have promised in that meeting out of your mind. My top tip is to straight away add any actions to your to do list that you are responsible for – do this in the meeting or during the ride back to the office.
Writing up a contact report after a meeting or call and assigning tasks is a great way to keep momentum in a project. It also helps to clarify any fuzzy points for a project’s next steps and who needs to do what.
4. I love a good file structure
I love a good file structure on my emails and in a projects folder! It makes looking for information so much easier and quicker. I file my emails by clients and occasionally create subfolders for projects on an individual client basis for further ease of use.
Each project I set up in the client folder on the server is structured by job number and title. This keeps work organised. Within a project folder I have sub folders relating to all aspects of a job.
Key folders for each project I use are:
- Planning – for scoping documents, timing plans
- Creative – wireframes and creative briefs, save each version of creative in here so you have traceability
- Development – development briefs, functionality documents, briefs for any bugs found during testing
- Content – content for a website, app, email etc.
- SEO – any relevant SEO work
- Supplied – any assets supplied by the client
If everyone works to the same filing structure then when colleagues are absent it makes it much easier to find things that their clients may ask for in their absence – therefore making any colleague absences not a worry to clients – work will go on!
5. Keep on top of admin
Keep on top of admin whether it be updating forecasts, internal WIP’s, invoicing clients or creating PO’s. Doing small tasks like these can help to remind you what’s been spent on a project, what you last charged a client for a project and planning for future campaigns. Having what may seem dull and mundane pieces of information easily accessible to hand can speed up quoting for future jobs, help solve client invoice queries and allow you to see at a glance what suppliers charged you last time.