Managing Priorities in Excel is one of the most common ways individuals and teams stay on top of their workload.
However, when managing tasks, projects or a group of people, it can be difficult to prioritize and stay organized; communication through email, over the phone, or even in person can get lost in translation or even forgotten about.
From task names, due dates, and details, Excel has it’s strengths and weaknesses.
If you’re intent on managing your team priorities excel, here is a step-by-step guide to improve your efficiency!
Managing Priorities in Excel in 5 Simple Steps
Find our step by step instructions on the most effective strategy for managing priorities in Excel, below.
Or, skip to the good stuff, because it’s 2016 and ain’t nobody got time for that.
Step One: Name Your Excel Spread Sheet.
Make an excel spread sheet that is available for all your team members to see.
You may go for a Google Doc which can be shared with others on the web.
Come up with a title that captures what information they will find located in the spread sheet. Usually having a simple title is helpful. In the case of prioritizing, try using a title with the project name, and if there is a specific timeline, include that as well.
An example might be “March Priorities” or “Increase Sales by 5% – March 2016″
Step Two: Make An Assignments Column
Remember back in school when you had homework organizers with specific places to write your assignments down?
Think of the excel spreadsheet as your new and improved homework organizer, only now that you’re an adult you’re tech savvy: grown up work means a grown up organizational system.
Setting up a column with specific assignments keeps everything organized and in one place. Just like the name of the spread sheet, the name of the assignment is best when kept simple. If the assignment has a specific name then you can use that like “The Green Case”, or if there isn’t a specific name just write a blurb that briefly explains what the task entails, such as “Fix The Car”.
Step Three: Make A Due Date Column
This is the most important column in your Excel spreadsheet because you and your team might make a fantastic product or finish an incredibly difficult project, but if miss the deadline for it, all of your work goes to waste.
This part is pretty simple; make sure to include the month and day (ex: “April 4”) and possibly the year if you feel it’s needed. If there is an exact time that the project is due, include that in the date.
Step Four: Make A Priority Level Column
“Is this important? Can I do this after I finish the my other projects? I’m going out of town soon, what assignment should I focus on before I leave?”
How many times have members of your team asked you this? More than you’d like?
Well your savior is here: The Priority Level Column. Here you can specify what level of importance each assignment has; whether high, medium, or low, your team will know what needs to be done sooner rather than later.
Step Five: Make A Person Column
Have you ever assigned a task and then the deadline rolls around no one has completed it, because the person who was supposed to do it didn’t know it was their responsibility? Do you see duplicated work because multiple team members felt responsible for the same task?
All of this can be avoided by making a clear “person” column; insert your employee’s name next to their specific assignment and there will no longer be any confusion on who has to do what.
Step Six: Make A Notes Column
Comments? Questions? Concerns? Special instructions or directions? Here’s the place for them.
You can formalize this section or leave it more as a miscellaneous area without much rhyme or reason.
Step Seven: Re-evaluate. There are better tools than Excel!
Every 12 to 18 months, computers DOUBLE their capabilities. So, since 1987 when Excel was released, we’ve definitely made something better, and more powerful.
What if I told you there was a tool that would allow you to:
- Assign tasks to coworkers, without having to ping them to ask them to check a spreadsheet
- Sync due dates to your calendar with automatic updates, no matter what calendar you use
- Add new tasks without creating a new row or shifting things around
- Check things off as done instead of deleting them or doing the classic “color fill to grey”
You’re excited, right?! Get started with Priority Matrix now by entering your email in the box below:
Replace Excel with Priority Matrix
If you’re ready to step up your organization game then Priority Matrix is for you. Priority Matrix is a prioritization and delegation tool designed to help teams work more efficiently.
Priority Matrix allows you to communicate priorities across your team, and provides visibility into shared projects so that you can keep track of the moving parts of your projects and initiatives.
See below, how items are categorized by priority level. Also, the image alongside the task shows who is responsible for it.
Finally, each item has a section in which details can be captured – such as file attachments, due dates, notes, and more!
Photo from Priority Matrix (you can customize the colors 🙂 )
When you’re using Priority Matrix, you can be sure your team members have seen what you’ve assigned them. There are also automatic deadline reminders, and team members can post their progress for you to see.
Along with that, you can prioritize to your heart’s content! With numerous options, including the Eisenhower Matrix, SWOT Analysis, and the GTD Method, you can mix and match your perfect prioritization methods and see whats best for your individual employees and what works best for your team as a whole.
Through Priority Matrix it’s also easier to move around projects; instead of having to copy, cut, and paste in Excel, you can simply drag and drop.
What’s more, you can add extensive instructions in the “Notes” section of each task, integrate with both email and calendar, and even have a conversation with your team members in the comments section.
Get started free today:
Still into Managing Priorities in Excel?
If you really want to hold onto it, go ahead and uploading the file under a task, so you’ll always have access to your original Prioritizing Spread Sheet.
Finally when it comes to finishing your project, there is nothing better than being able to check something off your To-Do List.
When managing priorities in Excel, all you can do to signify the end of your assignment is just delete it, but on Priority Matrix you can literally check off what you’ve finished and go get a cup of coffee.
All of your information is stored in the system in case you need to go back and verify it later.
Start your free trial by entering your email in the box below. Goodbye, managing priorities in Excel, hello Priority Matrix.