person discussing about planning tools

Planning Tools: How To Use Them To Achieve Your Goals

Great planning tools are the force behind every truly successful business. From project management tools to scheduling apps and beyond, if you want to make your business work better, then you need to be using the right planning tools.

There are many types of planning tools, and each one has its unique benefits. The trick is to find the right tools for your specific business and then use them to their fullest potential.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the most popular planning tools and how you can use them to achieve your business goals.

Ready to get started? Let’s go!

Planning tools: what are they?

In the business world, a planning tool is any application or software that helps you track, manage, or achieve specific business goals. Planning tools will often come with the following features:

  • A user-friendly interface that is easy to learn and use
  • Customizable templates that allow you to create your workflows
  • Automated alerts and notifications that keep you up-to-date on your progress
  • Collaborative features that allow you to share information with colleagues or team members

By using planning tools, you can improve your productivity, streamline your workflows, and achieve your business goals more efficiently.

Types of planning tools

There are a variety of different types of planning tools available, but the most common ones include:

Every type of tool has its own unique set of features and benefits, but they all share one common goal: to help you manage your business more effectively. Let’s go through each tool and see how it can help you achieve your goals!

Project management software

If your business deals with making and completing projects, you may require some type of project management software. This software can help you to complete projects on time and within budget by allowing you to track the progress of each task that makes up the project.

employees collaborating on planning tools

There are many different types of project management software available, so it’s important to choose the one that will work best for your specific business.

The most popular type of project management software is called “Gantt chart software”, which allows you to see a graphical representation of each task as it relates to the overall project.

Other types include:

  • Issue tracking software helps you to keep track of any potential problems or issues that may arise during a project.
  • Time tracking software allows you to track how much time is being spent on each task so that you can better estimate the overall project time frame.
  • Resource management software helps you to keep track of who is working on what task and how many resources each task is using.

Project management software can be a great help to any business that wants to stay on track and achieve its goals. It can be especially helpful for businesses that are new to project management, as it can take some time to learn how to effectively use all the features of project management software.

How project management software helps you achieve your goals

It’s no surprise that better project management leads to higher quality output, especially when it comes to big business goals. Project planning tools help you achieve your goals by:

1. Keeping track of budget and resources

When you can stick to the budgets you set, you’re less likely to go over budget and have to deal with the consequences. This fast tracks you toward your profit goals.

keeping track of budget and resources planning tools

2. Allocating resources where they are needed most

By analyzing your goals and then allocating the necessary resources to each project, you can be sure that everything is moving along as it should be. This prevents bottlenecks and wasted time and money.

3. Meeting deadlines

Deadlines are crucial when it comes to business goals, and project management software can help you meet them. With the ability to track tasks and deadlines, you’ll be able to stay on top of everything that needs to be done.

CRM software

CRM software, or customer relationship management software, is a type of software that helps businesses manage their customer interactions and data. CRM software can track customer contact information, past sales transactions, and other important data.

This information can help businesses better understand their customers’ needs and preferences and improve their marketing and sales efforts.

Most CRM tools offer a variety of features, including the ability to:

  • Track customer interactions, including phone calls, emails, and social media interactions
  • Manage customer data, including contact information, past sales transactions, and other important data
  • Create reports on customer activity and trends
  • Generate invoices and other sales documents
  • Send out automated marketing emails and other communications
  • Create customer profiles to help track customer interactions and preferences over time

With a quality CRM tool, businesses can track all their customer interactions in one place, allowing them to better understand customer needs and preferences and improve their marketing and sales efforts.

How CRM software helps you achieve your goals

Because CRM software takes care of all your customer data in one place, it can help you reach your customer satisfaction goals more easily. It does so in the following ways:

1. Helps sales reps stay organized

With immediate access to a customer’s purchase history, account status, and contact information, reps can spend more time selling and less time looking for information. This means businesses can spend less time training new employees and more time hitting KPIs.

sales representative planning tools

2. Helps sales reps prioritize their time

By automatically sorting leads according to their likelihood to close, CRM software ensures that your most promising opportunities are always given attention first. As a result, businesses can see an increase in their close rates and overall revenue.

3. Provides insights into customer behavior

By tracking customer interactions and analyzing the data collected, businesses can gain a better understanding of what customers want and need. This information can then be used to improve products and services, increase customer loyalty, and boost sales.

Accounting software

Accounting and administrative duties can be incredibly time-consuming, which is why many businesses turn to accounting software to automate these processes. Accounting software is designed to help businesses keep track of their finances, as well as their expenses and income.

There are a variety of different accounting software programs on the market, but some of the best include QuickBooks, FreshBooks, and Xero. All of these programs offer a variety of features to help businesses keep track of their finances, as well as automate certain tasks.

For example:

  • QuickBooks allows businesses to create invoices, track payments, and manage bills.
  • FreshBooks offers similar features, as well as the ability to create reports and track time spent on specific tasks.
  • Xero is also a great option for businesses that need to keep track of multiple currencies, as it offers support for over 180 currencies.

Each of these programs can be a great asset to businesses that are looking to streamline their accounting and administrative duties. By using accounting software, businesses can save time and money, as well as ensure that their finances are always in order.

putting money in piggybank planning tools

How accounting software helps you achieve your goals

Accounting software can help business owners track their progress and performance towards specific goals through the following features:

1. Tracking progress against goals

To track progress, businesses need to first set measurable goals and then track actual results against these goals. Accounting software can help business owners do this by providing automated reports that measure performance against set targets.

2. Allocating resources efficiently

Resource allocation is one of the most important aspects of goal achievement. Accounting software can help business owners determine how best to allocate their resources by providing insights into areas such as budgeting, cash flow, and profitability.

3. Facilitating better decision-making

By understanding their financial position and performance, businesses can make better decisions about where to allocate their resources to achieve their goals.

Business intelligence software

Business intelligence software is another planning tool that businesses can use to achieve their goals. This software is used to help companies understand their data and make better business decisions.

It does this by providing analytics, reporting, and data mining tools. With this information, businesses can then create actionable plans to improve their operations.

The following features are some of the key benefits that business intelligence software can provide:

  • Data visualization. With this planning tool, businesses can create graphs, charts, and other visuals to help them understand their data. This is an important feature because it makes the data easier to comprehend, which can then lead to better decision-making.
  • Drill down and slice. This tool allows businesses to drill down into their data to get a more detailed understanding of it. They can also slice the data in different ways to see how it changes. With this feature, businesses can get a more comprehensive view of their data and make better decisions.
  • Predictive analysis. This tool uses past data to predict future outcomes. This information can then be used to make better business decisions.
paper showing graphs

How business intelligence software helps you achieve your goals

There are a few key ways that business intelligence software can help you achieve your goals:

1. It can help you track performance

By monitoring how your company is performing against its goals, you can identify areas where you need to make changes. Business intelligence software makes it easy to track performance data, so you can quickly see where improvements need to be made.

2. It can help you monitor trends

By tracking the data that is most important to your business, you can identify trends that could impact your goals. For example, if you are a retailer, you might track sales data to identify any seasonal trends. Business intelligence software makes it easy to monitor data over time, so you can quickly see any changes that occur.

3. It can help you make better decisions

With business intelligence software, you can see not only how your company is performing today, but also how it has performed in the past. This information can help you make decisions about where to allocate your resources and what changes to make to reach your goals.

Scheduling apps

Scheduling apps are a great way to keep track of your appointments, meetings, events, and tasks. They can also be used to manage projects.

They usually come with a variety of features, including:

  • Create and manage events
  • Invite others
  • Track your progress on tasks and projects
  • Set reminders for upcoming events
  • Share information with colleagues or team members

There are a variety of scheduling apps available, but some of the most popular ones include Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, and iCalendar.

To get the most out of scheduling apps, it’s important to:

  • Use them to track both personal and work-related appointments and events
  • Set reminders for upcoming deadlines and meetings
  • Share information with colleagues or team members so that everyone is on the same page
  • Stay organized by creating separate calendars for different types of events
calendar journal

How scheduling apps can help you achieve your goals

Scheduling apps are a great way to stay organized and on track. They can help you keep track of your deadlines, meetings, and events. They can also be used to manage projects.

Using a scheduling app can help you achieve your goals in a few different ways:

1. Keeping you organized

The most obvious way that scheduling apps can help you achieve your goals is by keeping you organized. If you’re the type of person who often forgets about appointments or forgets to follow up on tasks, then a scheduling app can be a lifesaver.

When everything is written down in one place, it’s harder to forget about it. And when you have reminders set for upcoming deadlines, you’re less likely to procrastinate and while some people may claim they can keep track of things already, studies have shown that 80 – 90% of people react positively to a simple reminder.

2. Helping you plan and budget your time

Another way that scheduling apps can help you achieve your goals is by helping you plan and budget your time. If you’re the type of person who often feels like there are not enough hours in the day, then a scheduling app can help you make the most out of those precious seconds.

By planning out your tasks and deadlines ahead of time, you can avoid last-minute scrambles and better manage your time. Additionally, many scheduling apps allow you to set timers for tasks so that you can stay on track and avoid going over your allotted time.

3. Allowing you to delegate and collaborate

If you’re working on a team project, scheduling apps can be a great way to delegate and collaborate. By sharing your deadlines and tasks with others, they can help hold you accountable and keep the project moving forward.

Many scheduling apps also have features that allow you to leave comments or notes on tasks. This can be helpful if you need to give someone specific instructions or want to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

goals type written on a paper

Goal-setting programs

Another great planning tool is a goal-setting program. This type of software helps you to set, track, and achieve your goals by providing you with a step-by-step plan to follow.

Goal-setting programs are great for helping you to stay on track and achieve your goals promptly. They can also help you to monitor your progress and see how close you are to reaching your goals.

How goal-setting programs can help you improve productivity

Goal-setting programs are designed to help you improve your productivity by providing you with a clear plan of action. They offer clear benefits including:

1. Keeping you accountable

When you set goals and commit to them publicly, you’re more likely to follow through. Goal-setting programs force you to be accountable for your actions and help you stay on track.

As more and more services have become gamified, the sense of competition and achievement that comes with completing goals has become more addictive. Just imagine how satisfying it will be to finally check that goal off your list!

2. Providing motivation and encouragement

Everyone needs a little help now and then to stay motivated. Goal-setting programs can provide you with the encouragement you need to keep going when things get tough. They can also help to increase your sense of accomplishment when you finally reach your goal.

As a team-based solution, goal-setting programs can help to increase communication and collaboration within your organization. They can also help to build trust between team members and improve morale.

3. Prioritize your time

It can be difficult to know where to start when you have a lot of goals. Goal-setting programs can help you to prioritize your time and focus on the most important tasks. This is especially helpful if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all that you need to do.

A good goal-setting program will also help you to track your progress and see how close you are to reaching your goals. This is a great way to stay motivated and keep on track.

to do list planning tools

To-do lists

Years ago, this might have meant a sheet of paper with a few scribbled tasks on it. With today’s advances in technology, it looks more like a sophisticated software program that can be synced with your calendar and other productivity tools.

While these often fall into the category of project management software, to-do lists don’t have to be all-encompassing. Instead, they can be used for anything from grocery shopping to writing a novel.

How to-do lists help you achieve your goals

You would be surprised at how significant the act of listing out tasks can be. That is the basis behind Gantt charts and other project management software, but for individuals, it can help with:

1. Reducing stress

Remember the feeling of finishing your homework early, and having the rest of the night free? There is nothing more satisfying than crossing an item off your to-do list. That feeling of accomplishment can help to reduce stress and increase productivity.

Employees can also prevent themselves from taking on too much work, which could lead to burnout or a serious decrease in their well-being.

2. Prioritizing tasks

To-do lists help you to see all of the tasks that you need to complete, which can then be prioritized based on importance or deadlines. This is especially helpful for those who tend to procrastinate, as it can make it easier to get started on time-sensitive tasks.

When that next big report is sitting at the bottom of a long list of tasks, you might realize that there won’t be enough time to complete it if you slack off for the rest of the day.

3. Tracking progress

Say you have 13 modules to finish on an online course. It would be daunting (and a little discouraging) to see “Module 13” on your to-do list for weeks or months on end.

However, if you break it down into smaller tasks, such as “watch Module 1 video,” “complete Module 1 quiz,” and so on, it becomes much more manageable  – and seeing those items being crossed off will give you a sense of progress.

This is also helpful for long-term projects, such as writing a book. Dividing the project into smaller tasks, such as “write Chapter 1,” can help you to see your progress and keep motivated. Otherwise, you might look at the project as a whole and feel overwhelmed, leading to procrastination  – or worse, abandonment.

Planning tools: Final thoughts

As can be seen in the overviews above, planning tools help businesses achieve their goals in a multitude of ways. The important part is to find the right tool for the job, and then use it effectively.

By taking the time to plan each step of their business journey, companies can ensure they are moving in the right direction and reaching their targets.