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5 essential organizational skills (and how to learn them) 8 min read
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Up to 47% of employers say organizational skills are important for their team members.

So, whether you’re a brand-new college graduate looking for your first job, or a seasoned worker who’s just tired of too many sticky notes, it’s worth looking at how you can improve your organizational skills.

To help you get started, we’ve listed the top 5 essential organizational skills you need to develop.

We’ll talk about what they are, how to practice them, and even give you some ideas for tools and software that can take your organizational skills to the next level.

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1. Setting and meeting deadlines

Deadlines let you know what tasks you need to do and when you need to do them. They’re the foundation of all strong organizational skills.

If you’re assigned deadlines by your manager or team leader, you’ve got a head start. List them in your task management tool if they’re not already there, and set reminders or notifications so that you don’t miss them.

If you need to create your own deadlines, you’ll have to do a little more planning. Think about how long each task should take and create estimated deadlines for yourself.

Be sure to consider whether anyone else is waiting for you to complete some or all of a task before they can finish their work. (More on this later.) task deadline template

If you’ve never had deadlines in the workplace before, it might take a while to feel totally comfortable with the concept.

That’s okay!

Very few people are blessed with excellent organizational skills from birth. The rest of us have to practice.

Most of the time, it’s a good idea to set a personal deadline a few days ahead of the deadline set by your manager. This gives you some wiggle room in case your work takes longer than you expected or you realize you’re missing a critical piece of information.

2. Prioritizing tasks

One of the easiest ways to prioritize tasks is by deadline.

Start with the task that is due first, and work through your list from there.

But sometimes — maybe a lot of the time — it’s more complicated than that. Maybe there are multiple deadlines on the same day, or maybe you just know that the task due later is way more important than the task due sooner.

This is where the real organizational skill of prioritizing tasks comes in.

Prioritizing tasks requires you to know how urgent and important a task is, what will be impacted if that task is or isn’t completed, and who is waiting for you to finish an earlier task.

At its core, this is a form of mental organization that demonstrates an understanding of your team’s work.

That’s true of other organizational skills too. Organization isn’t just about getting your own work done — it’s about ensuring you fulfill your role so that others can fulfill theirs.

That’s why 86% of employers say the ability to work on a team is a critical skill for employees. Working as a team is directly connected to better prioritization and organizational skills. team task template with priority status

3. Delegating work

A huge part of organization is knowing when someone else can or should perform a certain task. If you try to do everything yourself, you’ll often end up overworked, overwhelmed, and completely disorganized.

When you’re in a position to delegate work, you can assign tasks based on priority, skill, or your own workload.

For example, if 2 major tasks are pressing and due on the same day, delegate one to someone who has the skill and bandwidth to take it on.

Alternatively, you can delegate some of your smaller tasks and free up your own time and attention to handle the bigger ones.

Once again, this goes back to knowing what’s important and what each member of your team is good at.

To be a truly organized person in the workplace, you also need to keep track of who is responsible for each task you’ve delegated.

This is where task management software comes in handy. You can assign work to someone else, and get notifications when the task is complete. You won’t have to go around asking who is working on a task that you’re waiting on.

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4. Managing your time

You can meet all your deadlines and perfectly prioritize and delegate tasks, but if you’re taking 3 times as long as you should to complete your work… well, you’re probably not a very organized person.

Time management is the cornerstone of efficiency, productivity, and — you guessed it — organization. It helps you stay on track and on budget.

The work-life balance benefits aren’t bad either. daily task and time tracker template

Here are a few tips to hone your time management skills:

  • Track your time. Use a time tracking tool to see how long it takes to complete each task. Look for tasks or areas that are taking up too much of your day and think about how to remedy them.
  • Set time estimates. Before you start working, think about how long a task should take. and try to stick to it.
  • Remove distractions. Put your phone in a locked drawer or another room so you don’t spend your work time doomscrolling Twitter. Close any tabs and applications on your desktop that aren’t directly related to the task at hand.
  • Gather all your information before you start. A whopping 85% of employees lose 1–2 hours per week searching for lost information, which kills time management and productivity. Plus, there’s nothing worse than realizing you missed something critical when a task is nearly done.

5. Communicating effectively

Wait a second — isn’t effective communication part of communication skills, not organizational skills?

Surprise: it’s both.

Up to 44% of workers say poor communication caused a delay or failure in completing a project, so we’d say it’s pretty important for workplace organization.

Whether you’re a manager or a team member, you’ll need to communicate priorities, task assignments, and deadlines.

You also need to make sure everyone has all the information they need to do their jobs.

You see, if all your organization is in your head, it’s probably not very effective. And unless you work in a vacuum — and we know you don’t — your work will depend on others to some extent. You’ll need to communicate clearly for everyone on your team to work efficiently and effectively.

Collaboration software for task or project management can go a long way toward getting everyone on the same page. Platforms like have built-in communication features and integrate with popular communication tools like Slack and Zoom.

How helps you get organized is an all-in-one Work OS that covers every aspect of your business for every team. It can help anyone in your company get organized.

Let’s take a closer look at them:

  • Setting deadlines: you can set deadlines for any and every task you enter into Set automatic reminders or notifications to make sure you don’t miss anything.
  • Prioritization: as a Work OS, is so much more than simple project management software. As such, it can support task dependencies, Gantt charts, and more to keep tabs on how different items are connected. You can also note a priority level for each task that is visually represented in your task view.
  • Delegation: easily assign tasks to other teams or employees, and get notifications upon task completion. You can even set rules to automatically assign certain types of tasks to certain employees.
  • Time management: track time within the platform and generate reports to see where your productivity is best and worst.
  • Communication: has built-in commenting for each task. It also integrates with Slack, Zoom, and other tools. You can create tasks directly from those other applications.

These features alone can do wonders for employee organization, but can do even more.

Any member of any team can easily learn to build custom apps to support and streamline their workflows. Everyone from HR to sales to IT can find customizable templates that make their work easier.

You can use for simple task management as an independent freelancer, or to manage enterprise-level software development using the Agile methodology. There are even templates and features that help students get organized.

Get organized, work better

Organizational skills are the key to working efficiently and improving productivity for you and your team. Setting deadlines, prioritizing and delegating work, and communicating effectively are all crucial to staying organized.

A platform like can help you develop and implement these organizational skills.

It has features for every essential organizational skill, and it’s easy to learn and use. We’d even say it’s easier than trying to teach yourself to be an organized person on your own.

Try and get organized today.

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