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Automation can save you time or money, simply by completing tasks faster and with fewer errors than if you were doing them manually. In this digital age, there are indeed several approaches to being more productive. Automation is one of them. If the latter interests you, then we offer you 10 steps to follow to get there. Here are some time-saving tips with automation:
Identify repetitive tasks:
Think about what tasks you do frequently that could be automated to get the most benefit from them. These tasks typically include managing emails, scheduling appointments, creating reports, and more.
How to identify repetitive tasks?
Identifying repetitive tasks is key to determining which processes can be automated. Here are some tips for identifying these tasks:
1. Analyze your daily routine
Review all the activities you do every day, including those that are done at regular intervals, like managing emails, updating spreadsheets, or entering data.
2. Assess the frequency
Identify tasks performed at fixed frequencies, such as multiple times a day, weekly, or monthly. The more a task is repeated, the more likely it is to be automated.
3. Examine business processes
In a business context, analyze business processes that involve repetitive tasks, such as invoicing, order management, or reporting.
4. Ask for feedback
Talk to your colleagues or employees and ask them to share their experiences with the repetitive tasks they perform. This will give you a different perspective and help you identify other tasks to automate.
5. Use time-tracking tools
Use time-tracking tools, such as Toggl or RescueTime, to analyze your activities and find out which tasks are taking the most time. Repetitive and time-consuming tasks are excellent candidates for automation.
6. Distinguish between simple and complex tasks
Identify repetitive tasks that have clear and simple steps to follow, as they are easier to automate. Complex tasks sometimes require a more nuanced approach or partial automation.
7. Create a List
Make a list of repetitive tasks identified, specifying their frequency, duration, and complexity. This list will help you prioritize the tasks to automate and plan the resources needed to implement the automation.
8. Consider the added value of automation
Assess the potential impact of automation on each repetitive task. Consider the time and resources saved, as well as the improved quality and accuracy of work. Once you identify repetitive tasks, you can start looking for tools and solutions to automate these tasks and save time and efficiency.
Use automation tools:
There are many automation tools available for different tasks and business areas. Here are some examples of popular automation tools according to their action:
1. Automation of business processes
- Zapier (https://zapier.com/)
- Integromat (https://www.integromat.com/)
- Microsoft Power Automate
2. Email automation:
- Gmail (filters and rules) (https://mail.google.com/)
- SaneBox (https://www.sanebox.com/)
- Boomerang (https://www.boomeranggmail.com/)
3. Automation of file management:
- Dropbox (https://www.dropbox.com/)
- Google Drive (https://drive.google.com/)
- Microsoft OneDrive (https://onedrive.live.com/)
4. Project management and task automation:
- Trello (https://trello.com/)
- Asana (https://asana.com/)
- Monday.com (https://monday.com/)
5. Automation of finance and accounting:
- QuickBooks (https://quickbooks.intuit.com/)
- Xero (https://www.xero.com/)
- FreshBooks (https://www.freshbooks.com/)
6. Marketing Automation:
- HubSpot (https://www.hubspot.com/)
- Marketo (https://www.marketo.com/)
- Mailchimp (https://mailchimp.com/)
7. Automation of social networks:
- Hootsuite (https://hootsuite.com/)
- Buffer (https://buffer.com/)
- Sprout Social (https://sproutsocial.com/)
8. Automation of technology watch and content curation:
- Feedly (https://feedly.com/)
- Pocket (https://getpocket.com/)
- Scoop.it (https://www.scoop.it/)
9. Automation of password management:
- LastPass (https://www.lastpass.com/)
- Dashlane (https://www.dashlane.com/)
- 1Password (https://1password.com/)
These tools are examples of automation in different fields. There are many other tools and solutions available to automate tasks specific to your industry or your needs. The key is to choose the tools that best suit your needs and situation to maximize time savings and efficiency.
Develop your own automation solutions to better save time and money
If you have programming skills, you can create custom scripts to automate certain tasks specific to your business or workflow. Alternatively, you can work with experts like us to help you develop the tools.
Get trained and stay informed:
Automation is constantly evolving, and new tools and technologies are regularly developed. Stay informed of the latest trends and solutions to continue to optimize your time and efficiency.
Why is it important to automate within an organization?
Automation is crucial for several reasons. These vary according to the specific needs and objectives of each individual or organization. Here are some of the main reasons why automation is essential:
1. Save time
Automation makes it possible to perform repetitive tasks faster than a human being. As a result, you save valuable time that you can devote to more significant tasks or higher value-added activities.
2. Reduction of errors to better save time and money
Automation tools are generally more accurate and consistent than humans. And, it helps reduce errors in automated tasks and processes.
3. Improving efficiency
By automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks, individuals, and organizations can improve their overall efficiency and focus on more strategic or creative tasks.
4. Reduced cost
Automation potentially reduces costs associated with labor. This is particularly well in companies that have repetitive and low-value-added tasks. This allows companies to reallocate their human and financial resources to more productive activities.
5. 24/7 Availability
Automation tools can run non-stop, ensuring businesses continue to operate outside of normal business hours and provide better uptime for their customers.
6. Traceability and compliance
Automation potentially improves traceability and compliance by providing detailed and accurate records of automated actions. Hence, it proves useful in meeting regulatory and legal requirements.
Automation makes it easy to handle an increase in workload or demand, without requiring additional human resources. So, it would help you grow and scale faster.
8. Improved employee satisfaction
Automating repetitive and boring tasks allows employees to focus on more interesting and challenging tasks, which will improve their job satisfaction and motivation.
9. Innovation and competitiveness
Automation can help organizations innovate and stay competitive by helping them focus on researching, developing, and implementing ideas and technologies.