Get things done on time using these clever tricks with selections

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Have you ever set out to do a task, and at the end of the day you've done just about everything but what you set out to do? Selections can help you single out tasks and documents that need attention, and help you focus on those alone.

We primarily think of selections in SuperOffice as a great way to dig into your database, helping you to get to know your customer base well and perform accurate segmenting actions. Also, you probably resort to Selections when you need to do analysis and reporting.

By all means, these are powerful uses that can help you achieve your marketing and sales goals. What you may not have discovered yet is that this feature can help you work faster and make wonders for your daily performance.

How selections work

To extract useful information from your CRM database, you pick criteria that apply to your wanted groups of information, typically contacts and companies, and make them into lists. Then you can use these lists of information for further follow-up actions or analysis.

A special type of selection is great when there are groups of data that you use often. Dynamic selections can be compared to a saved search that is updated each time you view it. So when you add records to SuperOffice containing data that match the selection criteria, the selection will be updated with new records.

Here are some ways you can use selections to focus better on your tasks, and to easily find the content you need.

1. Focus on a specific set of tasks

When you juggle multiple sets of tasks at one time, perhaps related to different projects, you may have tasks that compete with each other in terms of urgency. Some are urgent, but not important, and some are important, but not urgent. In such situations, it can be hard to find and focus on the most pressing ones.

To help you focus on the right tasks, you can create lists of diary activities that meet certain criteria.

The criteria can include:

  • completed / not completed
  • owner
  • project
  • date range
  • priority

That way, you restrict your list to show only the activities you need to see. Then you can just start at the top and work your way through, and tick off each task until you have done them all. You won’t get distracted by unrelated tasks or things you have already completed.

Here's how to do it:

 Single out project related tasks

If one project is approaching a milestone, you know that the tasks related to that project may become more important than other tasks you have committed to.

Then being able to single out project specific tasks from the bunch you have planned and focusing just on them would be helpful, and this is where selections can really help you out.

If one project is decided more urgent than another, you can create a selection of follow-ups, and apply the criteria:

  • Project – Project name
  • Follow-up – Registered by: Current user
  • Follow-up – Type: <the type of follow up you want>
  • Follow-up – completed – no

Tip: Add current week as a criterion, and you can view only the ones that are due this week. When you get a list of all related tasks, you can sort the list by the deadline date and start at the top at the most urgent tasks. All of this helps you focus on what matters the most.

 What you’ve done so far this week

Have you ever set out to do a task, and at the end of the day you’ve done just about everything but what you set out to do?

In this case, it’s easy to start feeling guilty about the tasks you haven’t completed, and ignore the rest you’ve accomplished successfully. To avoid that, it would be nice to see the list of tasks you’ve already completed and be reassured that you are indeed moving forward.

As a daily routine, register your activities in SuperOffice and mark them as completed once you finish them.

  1. Create a dynamic selection of follow-ups, and call it something like "completed tasks this week".
  2. Use the criteria:
  • Follow up – Registered by: Current user
  • Follow up – Completed: Equals: Yes
  • Follow up – Completed date: This week

Then you will get a list of your accomplished tasks during the chosen period.

 

All of this requires you to use create activities in your diary for your tasks, and to relate each of them to a project. To get started, just create a project in SuperOffice, and start registering all your tasks as appointments in your diary. Each task should be linked to the project. Once you’ve done that, you can create a dynamic selection based on your required criteria.


2. Find specific documents

Storing all your documents in SuperOffice is a great way to organize. You store the documents in projects, which makes them easy for everyone to access. However, after some time you may lose count of the documents you have created. What if you want to pull out some documents you created some time ago, and you forgot which project you stored it in, or what you called it?

A great solution would be to create a dynamic selection that involves the range of documents you are looking for. Then it’s easy to browse that restricted range to find your document. Maybe you remember that it was a PowerPoint, or you have a vague idea that it was made in the first half of the current year. Or you know you used the word ‘timeline’ in the title. Or you don’t remember anything, but you think you’ll recognize it when you see it.

 1. Find all of your documents

Sometimes it’s great to be able to see all your documents. To do so, you can create a dynamic selection on documents called "<you name>'s documents", using the criteria:

  • Documents – Registered by: Current user
  • Optional: Documents – Registered – This year

 2. Find documents of a specific type

If you want to view only your Word documents, presentations, or spreadsheets, you can create a dynamic selection on documents, and apply the criteria:

  • Document – Registered by: Current user
  • Document – Type: <Excel document/Word document/PoiwerPoint>

 3. Find documents with a specific word

If your work spans different projects, you may need to get an overview of documents that have the same type of information, like all your documents containing the word ‘timeline’, or ‘spec’ or ‘quotation’. Then you can create a dynamic selection on documents, and apply the criteria:

  • Document – Registered by: Current user
  • Document – Title contains: <keyword>

 4. Find documents made in a certain time range

You know you have written about something, and the only thing you know is that it happened during the first half of the previous year. Then here’s the criteria you can use in your selection:

  • Document - Registered by: Current user
  • Document – Registered – Between: <date> and <date>


Conclusion

Now you have learned to set up selections that will make your day easier. Hopefully, this will help you focus and easily find important information when you need it. You can use them to either single out tasks that need focus, or to find documents that you have lost track of.

The examples here are just a few of the purposes you can do with selections – so get creative! As long as you constantly update your SuperOffice system with your tasks, documents and customer information, all there’s left for you to do is to define the right criteria and get things done.

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If you want to learn more about using SuperOffice, we have an extensive guide system where you can learn all the essential areas at your own pace, called Learn the essentials.

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