Depending upon your industry you may or may not use CRM software or software that will help you manage both your sales pipeline and your project pipeline. And of course, depending upon the different number of projects you have ongoing at any one time and the amount of steps and people involved can all be deciding factors as to whether or not you should or are using pipeline management software. Some projects are just too big to keep track of by yourself.
But, let’s concentrate on the 1 to 2 person shop. Even if you work in a large corporation but you are responsible for your own sales and projects then you might want to consider using some to keep track of what you are doing and to stay ahead of deadlines. The main thing from my experience as a small business owner is that anytime you introduce a new piece of software or new system or set of procedures, there is going to be a period of slowdown until you get used to using it.
This is both good and bad. With so many choices of productivity software out there one can get lost in all the bells and whistles and end up spending not only more time trying to use the software but getting lost in non-essential features. If you are the type of person who ends up getting distracted by new information and the next latest and greatest thing my advice would be to stay away from the more complicated stuff out there and find something that is simple, easy, and no frills. By definition, any productivity software should help you save time and not add more work or steps to your procedures. One should constantly look to simplify what one is doing so that not only does one maximize his/her output but that he/she makes life just plain easier.
The one commodity that none of us should take advantage of is time. Whatever you can do to make your job simpler (while keeping or improving your service/product) should be a major focus each day or week. Sometimes you have to try things for a while to really investigate whether they will work for you or not. If this is the case set a few weeks or enlist a few people to help assess whether or not the software is going to be worth it. Remember…if in the end it doesn’t make things easier and better then it shouldn’t be used.
Finally, using this type of productivity software is going to be up to each individual (given you have a choice and it’s not mandated by your company). Some people are just more organized and really strive using such things. The ironic thing is that the people who need it (those unorganized right brain folks out there), are the ones who struggle the most using it and it ultimately ends up hurting their productivity and adding even more stress to their jobs. Some people just aren’t wired the same way and having to use an artificial system to keep track of everything is just not their cup of tea.
In the end…keep it simple or look for another solution.