001: Workflows, Systems, Apps. What’s The Difference?


You’ve heard about systems and workflows, but is the exact terminology confusing you?

I want you to get in the habit of creating systems and workflows to make your life easier. It sounds simple enough, but if it’s so easy, why doesn’t everyone do this? Because just like most things, you have to put in the work first. You have to start. You have to be consistent. You have to take the time in the beginning to find the process that works for you.

Most people don’t know where to start OR they already commit to not having the time to set it up before they even begin. I’m going to give you one strategy and one action task to help you get started on creating your systems and processes today.

Discussed In This Episode:

  • Why this is the perfect time to get your workflows in order [02:20]
  • The actual definitions of systems and workflows and how they relate to each other [03:08]
  • Why it’s so easy to quit before you begin [07:10]
  • How having an accountability partner helps with follow through [08:54]
  • The action I want you to take this week to get started [09:43]

Links from this episode:

Related blog posts:

Other Helpful links:

Listener Q + A – Have a question you’d like me to answer on a future episode? Send me a message!

Q+A time! If you have a question about productivity, workflows or just want a recommendation, click the button below to leave a voice recorded message for me. You don’t have to download anything or put in any info, just hit record and send. I’ll answer your question in an upcoming episode!


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(these are automated, and may not perfect)

Welcome to coffee powered systems, equipping women with actionable steps to overcome overwhelm and streamlined business and life. So grab your favorite drink and come hang out with me. I'm your host Miranda Merton. Welcome to episode one of coffee powered systems. I'm your host, Miranda Merton, and I want to say thank you for tuning in and listening today.

There are so many podcasts out there, and I'm glad you are joining me today. I am drinking coffee right now. How fitting, right? I've got my coffee for coffee powered systems and I want you to grab a drink and join me while you listen to this episode. If you are listening sometime in the future, we are in the middle of a global pandemic right now.

We have got the. Corona virus spreading through the world. covid 19, and we are all sheltering in place. I feel like the end is near though, because I went to the grocery store this morning for like the first time in a few weeks because I've been getting my groceries delivered, by Amazon fresh.

Which is awesome, by the way. Maybe I'll talk about that a little later on in a different episode, but I had to go out and grab a few things and I went out today, I went to Aldi and they actually had toilet paper and paper towel on the shelves, y'all, and if you know what's going on right now, that is. A freaking miracle.

So I feel like the end is near, or at least insight. We're over the hump. things are coming back. Things are getting back to normal. Although, you know, everybody's still got their masks and gloves and being super, super hyper aware of their surroundings, which to be honest, I hope that lasts. You know, after this is all over, give me my personal space.

You stay over there, you know, don't call on me. It's fine. And people have been nicer, and I hope that lasts too. So some of this stuff actually I hope. Continues after this is all over and we get back to normal life because we will get back to normal life. We always tend to bounce back. And speaking of our normal life, this is actually the perfect time for us to, you know, ramp up this podcast and get into creating systems and workflows for when our normal life does get back to where we want it to be.

We start getting back to school, we start getting back to work. Some people are out of work, some people are still trucking along in doing what they were doing before. Like myself, I work from home, so they work aspect of it hasn't been dramatically shifted or erupted as much as some other people. And you know, when we do get back into it, we want to get back into it.

Without yet another disruption. So this is the perfect time to get your systems in place, get your workflows go in. And I get a lot of questions. W, you know, Miranda, what is a system? What are you talking about when you say systems, workflows, things like that? So I'm sure you've heard the terms, systems, workflows, processes, are you using them correctly?

So first, let's get some actual dictionary definitions out of the way. A system is a set of principles or procedures according to which something is done or an organized scheme or method. A workflow is the sequence of processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion. And I'm also going to be talking about things like software tools or apps, and those are actually what you're going to use to help you perform the workflows for your systems.

So if we're using cleaning as an example, let's break those down. Basically the system is the method. So I would say I'm going to clean three times a week, room by room. The workflow is going to be the sequence of steps you complete each time. So I mean, to do the bathrooms top to bottom mirror sinks.

Windows, et cetera. Then the tool or the app is going to be what you use to help you keep track of it. That can be a notebook, a dry erase board, an app like toady, for example. So the tool or the app is what you're going to use. To help you complete all of those actions and keep track of it. So we want to clear those up, make you understand that.

as I go through these shows and these episodes, I'll give you systems, but you know, the system is what you want to focus on. Don't get hung up too much on the app or tool. You know, you want to use to complete those. You can use a sauna if you use click up, if you use a pen and paper. What you use is not as important as your system and your workflow that you need to get done.

So I think that's where a lot of people get hung up on is, Oh, I can't use this. I can't do this. It's too confusing. If it's confusing or if you're just not a tech person, Google app, Google calendar. Google drive is always the simplest thing at the end of the day, or even a pen and paper. So if you find yourself getting overwhelmed with the technology aspect of it, don't let that stop you.

Just dial it back and just go back to whatever you used to do before you know whether that is your whiteboard on the wall or. Your pen and paper, your trusty notebook. Just go back to keeping it simple. Okay. A lot of people stop before they start because they open up the app and there's too many bells and whistles.

We don't want you to do that. Okay. So you can do this with just about anything. We can talk about systems for cleaning, cooking, or meal planning, your morning or bedtime routine, podcasting, blogging or content production, writing your book or social media planning. So I want you to get into the habit. Of creating systems and workflows to make your life easier.

That's the key. We want to make it easier, not more complicated, and if you're married or have kids, the beauty of this is that once you start doing these things and implementing them, it'll rub off on them. And your kids and your spouse are gonna follow suit and you know, you could even delegate some things to them and they might.

Like it. So it sounds simple enough, but if it was so easy, then why don't we all do this? Why is everyone not doing this? We still find people that are overwhelmed or scattered or they feel like they have too many things on their plate. It's not easy because just like most things, you have to put in the work to do it first, you have to start.

You have to be consistent. You have to take the time in the beginning to find the process that works for you. And most people don't know where to start, or they've already committed that they don't have the time to set it up before they even begin. I know a lot of times. Even when I start a new process or use a new app, I sit down and I look at it and I'm like, Oh, I have to like now go and put all my crap into this app and then configure it how I want to, and that right there.

Can take an hour, two, maybe even three hours. If you're not used to the app, you've got to learn how to use it. You've got to learn how to use the system, and that puts people off and you know it's another, okay, I'll get to it next week, and you're back to where you started and you fall back into old habits.

There's a fantastic book called the one thing. By Gary Keller, and if you've read it, you know where I'm going with this. I want you to commit to doing just one thing. So if you want to make this work, then just do one thing each week. You want to pick something that either I talk about on the show or pick your own tasks that you've been wanting to tackle and.

Get started, you can brain dump, just brain dump and make a list of things that you have to work on. It helps if you put the time on your calendar, but you actually have to stick to it. So I can't come to your house with the calendar invite in my hand and say, let's get to work. I wish I could. But you have to do that.

And if you know that you are someone who has tried and failed many times, you might have to. Have someone be accountable with you. You might be the type of person that needs someone to hold you accountable. And if that's the case, I want you to choose a friend or a family member and add them to the calendar on your placeholder.

Just invite them by email if they live with you, ask them to check in at the time to make sure that you've started working on your one thing. If they don't live with you, just let them know that you want them to either check in with you with before it starts. To give you the push to start or check in with you after and make sure you did it or both if you really need the extra accountability.

So it's a simple concept. It's very simple thing, but it works. And your action this week is going to be to think about all of the things you do in your business or your home life, and ask yourself if you have a strategic, purposeful plan. Or steps in place that help you to work efficiently. If you do, that's good.

We'll talk about adding to or expanding on those things. If not, I want you to make a list of all the areas you think that systemizing could help. So you're going to take out your pen and paper brain dump or open up your text app, or you could even talk into your voice recorder app and just think about all the examples.

Maybe. Some of the lists that I gave earlier, like meal planning or cooking or, getting the kids to be more productive. Now, a lot of people are homeschooling. Maybe you need a system for that. So just jot down everything you can think of, make a big giant list, and you can start adding those to your one thing.

So just pull out one thing you want to focus on, each week or a couple of times a month and just. Pick something and get to work. All right. It's Q and a time. If you have a question about systems workflows or you just want a recommendation, visit the link in the show notes to leave a voice recorded message for me.

There's nothing to download and your name is optional. Just hit recording. Send. Then listen for your question in an upcoming episode. Okay. Being that this is the first episode, clearly I don't have any listener questions yet, but I hope you go and visit. My website, click the button, record your question, and I will answer it on a future episode.

I am super excited about this. I love answering questions and sometimes I get questions that. I either haven't done before or haven't used, so then I nerd out. I get to go and look them up and explore them. For myself, I try not to get into a rabbit hole because that can happen as well. When you are looking into something new, I have a tendency to try to find other things like it and compare, which is.

Not a good thing, and I am working on that as well, but I do want you to ask questions. It will make this so much fun and exciting and I'm so on. Our next episode actually is a tech Tuesday, and on Tuesdays I pop in for shorter episodes. They're just going to be like five minutes, maybe 10 minutes long, and I am going to choose an app or tool or system that I have either used or.

Dabbled in a little bit, I will tell you about it, where to get it, what it does and they're just my little recommendations that might help you. I don't recommend using all the things you know, cause. We want to keep this simple. You're going to pick, you know, a few different things that might help you for your situation.

I'm not saying that everything I recommend you need to be using because number one, we don't have to have a tool for every aspect of your life, but sometimes using a tool or. For your systems is better, and that's where the tech Tuesdays comes in. If you find that something that you're doing is just not working, one of these apps might help.

So that's what I want to focus on in tech Tuesday and my first one for the upcoming Tuesday, I'm giving you the deets on one of my favorite go to websites for finding. Amazing things, so I don't want you to miss that one. It's going to be a great one to start with and I'll look forward to seeing you next time on coffee powered systems.

Thanks for listening to coffee powered systems. You can find links to everything mentioned in the episode down in the show notes or on the website @mirandamerten.com if you enjoyed this episode and would love to continue mastering your workflows and processes, subscribe on your favorite podcast player and join me here next time.


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