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Get organized. Save. Spend more time meeting people or perhaps learning a new skill.
These are just a few of the top annual New Year’s Resolutions, according to Neilsen ratings, all of which speak to the daily lives of the typical private practice physical therapist. More than “simply a physical therapist” (yeah, that felt just as funny to type as it probably was to read), the private practice owner spends each day juggling multiple hats — from PT to business owner to human resources director to marketing professional, and so on.
It’s not always a fun job, especially when you feel the daily tug-of-war prevents you from spending the time you’d like with clients, meeting new referral sources, educating your community about physical therapy … basically all the things we’d love to do more often, and better.
Being organized means being more productive. Who doesn’t want that?
In this spirit, our team here at BuildPT thought we’d share a few things that have worked for us recently — tools that have boosted our ability to organize tasks, manage projects, communicate with the team, and overall, be more productive. We’ve tested a number of productivity tools, and the following are a few of our favorites:

Basecamp

Basecamp provides a web-based project, task and time management solution for team collaboration and reporting.
Suggested by Tannus Quatre

If you’re after super defined processes and accountability, look no further than Basecamp.


“Basecamp is geared toward getting complex stuff done across a number of team resources. Using Basecamp has allowed our team to move swiftly and get organized across projects, and it even allows the ability to weave non-Basecamp users in a project where necessary. Saving a project as a template for re-use is also a valuable tool which allows us to avoid reinventing projects from scratch when the same formula needs to be used again for other projects. Finally, the integration with email notifications and link-backs to the app itself is top-notch. I get notifications that there’s something I have to do, click the link, and get ‘er done. Simple as that.”

Trello

Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process.
Suggested by Ben Montgomery

While Trello remains a popular tool with tech & marketing teams, there’s no limit to what kinds of projects you can manage (like this one for marathon training.)


“Like Basecamp, Trello is a cloud-based tool that can bring a team together around ideas and projects, though in a more visual, interactive way. Through the hierarchical use of “boards,” “lists” and “cards,” Trello is an outstanding platform for collecting ideas to save, share and organize. Think of it as a virtual bulletin board on which you can tack and arrange cards — though from within each Trello card, you can communicate with team members, assign tasks, create checklists, set deadlines and alerts, and track progress. You can also attach files and images within Trello, but be aware that storage is limited with a free account.”

Sleep

Sleep is a condition of the body and mind that typically recurs for several hours every night. During sleep, the nervous system is relatively inactive, the eyes are closed, the postural muscles are relaxed, and consciousness is practically suspended.
Suggested by Sarah Leigh

Sleep is one of our favorite productivity tools of 2016.

For Sarah, sleep = a friendlier, happier, more productive day.


“I’m a chronic over-thinker and over-committer. Just ask my coworkers! I also have two young boys, 3 and 5. Something I realized about myself during 2015 was that I just don’t function without sleep — at least not effectively. In my first few years of being a working mom, I would stay up late and try to get everything done — mainly housework that is neglected when you work (or even if you don’t! I’m highly suspect of anyone with children and a clean home). After a night of tossing and turning, I’d come to work and try to focus, but it was really tough when I got less than 6 hours of solid sleep. And truthfully, I need 8. Everything took me twice as long — emails, projects … everything. So I finally committed to setting aside work after 9:30 pm. I’ve felt a whole new sense of focus during my workday, and so much less anxiety. I feel like the quality of my work has improved, as well. As much as I love digital productivity tools like Basecamp, it’s all for naught without some old-fashioned shuteye.
Oh, the physical therapists in my life will appreciate this: I have trouble sleeping without exercise. So I guess my real productivity trick is a combo of sleep and exercise. Gentle reminder to PTs: practice what you preach!”

TweetDeck

TweetDeck is a social media dashboard application for management of Twitter accounts. Like other Twitter applications, it interfaces with the Twitter API to allow users to send and receive tweets and view profiles.
Suggested by Miles Wilhelm

A preview of TweetDeck's interface.

With all of the daily chatter around @PTPubNight, we can see how TweetDeck comes in handy for a social media guru like Miles!


“I like the ability to add multiple Twitter columns horizontally. It allows you to view home and scheduled tweets, mentions, and direct messages from multiple accounts. PTs should keep personal and clinic Twitter accounts separate, and TweetDeck helps. It gives you the option to tweet the same 140-character message out from multiple accounts at once, as well as quoting/reposting a tweet from any of your accounts with a simple click. TweetDeck has all the features of the main Twitter app or website, but the ability to have all of your Twitter accounts visible on one screen means greater productivity. And you can add this to your Google home screen when using a browser for easy access.”