It’s a New Year. New projects are in full swing. Association Board meeting energy is picking up momentum as Board members are settling into their roles. Inspiration flows, and you’re focused on your new tasks as an association leader.
Scheduling, attending meetings, event planning, research, and committee work are only a few of the many tasks you may be currently involved in as an association leader. For many, the list can add up quickly!
Below are some tips, tools, and easy-to-adapt concepts utilized by association leaders such as myself to help increase productivity and stay on top of your to-do lists and schedules:
Mail Merge Tool Kit Pro
Creating customized information packages and notices in PDF form is a common task within an association. These PDF-style documents need to be professional looking and accurate. Customizing individual PDF documents for a client can be a lengthy process. To cut your workload in half (yes, half!), I recommend purchasing and installing Mail Merge Tool Kit Pro by Mapi Labs.
Mail Merge Tool Kit Pro is a Microsoft extension that enables you to customize Word documents with mail merge settings and email them to an association member list as a PDF – all in one go. This task automation will allow for time to be spent on other Board tasks and will greatly reduce the risk of error. To learn more about Mail Merge, visit their website: www.mapilab.com
Have you been tasked to organize a social function for your association members? Big or small, events can be very time-consuming when considering registration, ticket sales, and cash flow, to name a few. Consider using the online platform Eventbrite to run your next event. With Eventbrite, you get all your tasks organized in one easy place. For example, you can organize your association’s payout to go directly to their savings account by linking the required information online. You can customize the registration fields, including identifying any dietary restrictions pre-event. Eventbrite also auto-populates printable name tags based on your list of registrants – a great feature for the last-minute name tag printers out there!
Eventbrite is a free program but does charge a processing fee per ticket sold. If your event is free, there are no processing fees. To set up your own account, click here: www.eventbrite.ca
As you become more efficient by using these types of productivity tools, be sure to look at how you can use your newfound time-savings for other areas in your role at the association.
Each week take a look at your calendar in advance. Plan out your week realistically. Try to commit to your designated times and adjust as needed. It has been my experience that working outside a predetermined framework can create unrealistic expectations relating to timelines. Setting boundaries will look different for everyone. Learn what works best for you.
Communication is key! Remember to keep in contact with your association team to see what others are working on and where you can assist or as a check-in to see how members or even Board members are doing. I remember a time when an association Board member was looking at ways to stay organized with a new file-sharing format, and tasks were increased as they were ramping up on the new format. After a brief conversation, a training session was organized. The Board member got the support they needed to move forward positively and productively. Sharing your experiences is a great way to help others get ramped up on new platforms or to get additional help with new tasks.
The start of a new year is exciting! Many new opportunities to grow your association through fresh ideas, formats, tools, and new technologies. Be sure to embrace them!
To learn more about embracing new technologies for productivity as an association leader, read my colleague’s blog found here: https://strauss.ca/embrace-the-cloud-using-sharepoint-with-association-boards/