Setting up an automated workflow for your business is a personalized process.  There is no right or wrong way when it comes to getting something in place. It’s more like trial and error. But have no doubt, digital and automated workflows are quickly becoming the new normal.

Workflow automation is the simplification of an operating process that can be applied to tasks or projects. 2019 saw a dramatic increase in the number of businesses that are turning to automated workflows for increased efficiency and productivity.

Automated workflows are all about designing and implementing rules within a digital asset management system related to tasks, data, and files that reduce the drain on people resources for monotonous, repetitive tasks. Consequently, automation improvements are achieved in accuracy, efficiency, timeliness and even teamwork. That’s a good look for any business model.

With workflow automation, a digital asset management system can prevent teams from doing the same job multiple times – or even from missing a task completely. A tight workflow takes time to develop, but there are tools that can help.

Before I jump-in to a few of the most popular apps and digital workflow options available today, there are a couple of things that are important to keep in mind regardless of which one you end up choosing.

Be Consistent. Transitioning to a digital or automated workflow will come quickly to some and slowly to others, but they will increase your productivity if you work hard and stay consistent.

Integrations are key. Digital workflows work best when they are accessible from multiple devices, and their utility increases when if you choose ones that have the capability to integrate with your management, and other software.

Be detailed. The more detailed you are when setting up your workflow automations, the better your experience will be. Workflows work FOR you, but only as well as they are set-up to.

Include your team. An automated team experience is a beautiful thing. Include your team in making your plans. Find out what works for them and your tribe as a whole.

Asana
Asana organizes everything from company objectives to routine tasks in one place so teams are clear about priorities and responsibilities, and you can monitor progress in real time to keep projects on track. Asana pricing starts at $9.99 per month, per user. There is a free version of Asana.Asana does offer a free trial.

Monday.com
If you like visuals, pops of color and fun interactions, Monday.com might be the choice for you. Monday.com, an award-winning workflow management tool, streamlines everyday business processes for optimal productivity and efficiency. Monday.com does offer a free trial. There are plans starting at $8/month. There is no free version available for use.

Smartsheet
If you’re comfortable working in spreadsheets, Smartsheet might appeal to you. While it brags multiple user content views, it’s organization as a platform is rooted in spread-“sheets” as it’s name alludes to. Those just getting started will find it less user friendly than some of its competitors. Users who like generating detailed progress reports and tracking start and stop times for work being done will appreciate its functions. Sheets does offer a free trial. There are plans starting at $15/month. There is a free version available for use.

Trello
Trello is great for beginner workflow masters. It’s set up is so simple it’s hard to imagine that it offers over 100 integration options with other business applications, software and web based programs. Tello has a free version. Paid plans start at $9.99/month. There is a free trial available for use.

Rindle Workflow Automation
With digital workflow options, the visuals matter and Rindle does not skimp in that department. It’s boards are similar to the ones used in Trello, but it allows for changes in how you view your automations that is more like Smartsheet.  Rindle Workflow Automation pricing starts at $39.00 per month.There is not a free version of Rindle Workflow Automation.Rindle Workflow Automation does offer a free trial.

Microsoft Teams
File sharing, collaborating and team communication are what Microsoft Teams does best. Some of the interactive components available with Asana, Monday and other options are lost here, but there is an increased synchronicity for users across all of the Microsoft platforms, and file sharing is a breeze. (For pricing options visit www.Office.com)

There are literally hundreds of digital workflow options to choose from. Do your research and take advantage of free trials before committing to anything. The best workflow option will consider the following features:

  • Calendar Management
  • Access controls/permissions
  • Forms management
  • Mobile access
  • Third-party Integrations
  • Task Management
  • Documents Management and sharing

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