3 Automations Every Manager Needs

Managers often feel very overwhelmed in their day-to-day trying to juggle the endless amount of things on their plates. Throughout the years, ProcessDriven has found that managers tend to put things on their plate that they shouldn’t even be doing in the first place!

To help reduce some of that overwhelm (and that overall heavy weight-on-your-shoulders feeling), we’re teaching you 3 automations EVERY manager needs!

Not a video person? No worries! We’ll cover all the main points in this article.

Being a manager can require a ton of willpower, attention, and bandwidth!

Whether we’re managing ourselves or others, management is very tiring. It’s a duty that many of us have, but it’s hard to ignore how much willpower, attention, and bandwidth management actually requires.

That’s why we hate to see managers spend time on things that a human shouldn’t be doing.

In this article, we’ll be going through 3 automations every manager needs and could benefit from. The automations we’ll be walking through are universal.

We can apply them to one workflow, wash, rinse, repeat, and use them in other areas of our life, business, or organizational structure.

Members of our free Facebook Group have probably seen multiple discussions and comments around the theme of automations in management, so these automations will sound somewhat familiar!

Let’s dive in!

To watch this explanation in video format, watch the video at the top of this article at timestamp 00:00.

Automation #1: One-Spot Delegation

We’re calling this first automation One-Spot Delegation.

We go to one spot in our system and can delegate any miscellaneous task. The term miscellaneous is important here because this is typically when we see business owners, managers, and leaders take things on that aren’t the best use of their skills.

For example, imagine something off the wall happens, and no one’s job per se is to fix that weird issue, so the manager ends up taking it on.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had an automatic way for managers to acknowledge an issue and say,

“I should give this task to Susan since she can take care of this. Even though it’s not her core job, she’s the best suited. I’m going to delegate this issue to her.”

For this type of delegation to happen in a high-paced and high-stress moment in the business, we need to automate it.

To watch this explanation in video format, watch the video at the top of this article at timestamp 01:05.

Example: How We Use ClickUp Form Views + Automations

At ProcessDriven, we use the tool ClickUp for our task management needs. We’ve set up this type of automatic delegation in our ClickUp structure by creating a Form View.

In this Form View, we can quickly fill things in at our desk or on the go. Wherever there’s wifi available, we can fill out this form, and voilà, the task is out of our hands.

The form, in this case (plus some accompanying automations), will automatically assign this task to the person we select, select the due date, and keep us updated on the progress of this issue (since we created it).

We mentioned that our tool of choice is ClickUp, but we want to be clear that we can achieve this Form View with any task management tool.

The magic here is to make sure that whatever tool we use allows us to create a Form (or something similar) that we can access from anywhere.

Automating this process makes it easier to respect our time as managers and ensure tasks reach the right person, even in one-off emergencies.

To watch this explanation in video format, watch the video at the top of this article at timestamp 02:18.

Automation #2: Templated Writing

This second automation is focused on communication. (We apologize in advance for the excessive use of the word “communication” in this section. 😅)

We’ve learned through trial and error that communication is way more important than we think it is. Often, when something goes wrong, it comes down to communication.

It might be surprising to realize there are different ways we could automate communication. The following two automations focus on two types of communication.

For the first tip, we’ll focus on the communication we are personally writing to someone else.

In this case, we should consider automating things that we frequently say. Our goal is to take common phrases, sentences, and messages we may write and template them.

The best part is we can lock things in with quick keyboard commands.

Rather than writing a long paragraph explaining why we’re giving feedback, we can use a keyboard command that automatically pulls in the same response every time.

The beauty of thinking about automations in this micro-communication-based form is that we can create keyboard commands that, when we type a few letters, expands our text out to explain paragraphs, emojis, or concepts in a much longer way than we want to write.

Whenever we have a communication malfunction, it’s usually because we’re in a rush.

We may jot some stuff down that makes sense to us, but we never took the time actually to spell it out for others, and now there’s confusion. This is especially true for remote-first work environments.

With text expansion, we can write something brief, but make sure that our automation is working in the background to make sure what we’re writing sounds nice.

To watch this explanation in video format, watch the video at the top of this article at timestamp 03:28.

Example 1: Email Templates

One easy way to implement this automation is by using email templates. This one’s a bit obvious, so let’s move on to the next tip!

To watch this explanation in video format, watch the video at the top of this article at timestamp 05:28.

Example 2: Text Expander

One tool we could use to help us implement this is Text Expander. This is a tool we use every day, and it saves us a bunch of time.

We can use Text Expander to write email addresses, offer names, URLs, disclaimers, and explanations.

Even though we’re not spending as much time writing these all out, we can intentionally think about how we want to communicate and be thoughtful while also saving time.

This automation allows us to template our communication.

Whether it’s email communication or tools like Text Expander, this automation allows us to shorthand any form of communication we want to use.

To watch this explanation in video format, watch the video at the top of this article at timestamp 05:38.

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Automation #3: Automated Reminders about Deadlines

For this automation, let’s think about one of the most time-consuming parts of management (especially project management): reminding people to do things.

Saying things to our team like:

  • Did you do this yet?
  • Are you going to do this?
  • This is going to be late.
  • Make sure you do this.

…is a huge time waster. Not only is it a time-waster, but it’s also going to make us feel like we’re constantly nagging our team.

Despite it feeling unpleasant for both parties, this kind of nagging around due dates is important, particularly for deadlines that come up quickly and have high stakes if missed.

So, how do we automate this without taking up too much of our time?

We recommend finding a reminder system that can be automated. Just like our first example, almost any tool allows us to replicate this type of system into it.

To watch this explanation in video format, watch the video at the top of this article at timestamp 06:34.

Example 1: Automation in ClickUp when Due Date Arrives

At ProcessDriven, we have a reminder-based automation system in two pieces of software we use.

In our project management system, ClickUp, we have an automation that says, “Whenever a due date arrives, send a comment automatically alerting the manager and the person assigned to the task.”

Without anyone having to do anything, these automatic reminders make sure due dates are brought to the team’s attention.

To watch this explanation in video format, watch the video at the top of this article at timestamp 07:42.

Example 2: Missive Rules set reminders when an email is sitting too long.

In our email communication tool, Missive, it’s important for Team ProcessDriven to respond to emails within one business day. If an entire business day has passed and an email is still set to Open status, we use Missive Rules to prompt team members to resolve the email.

Setting up a Missive Rule
Setting up a Missive Rule
Example of an automated alert in Missive.
Example of an automated alert in Missive.

Both of these systems work similarly in that it reduces managers’ mental load. Managers don’t need to go into the inbox and check every email to see how long they’ve been sitting unanswered.

Automation is now doing that for us!

To watch this explanation in video format, watch the video at the top of this article at timestamp 08:06.

Do you need fancy software for automation?

Now some of you who don’t want a complicated technology stack might be thinking, “Do I need all these fancy tools to practice any of these automations?”

We’ve got a bonus automation just for you!

To watch this explanation in video format, watch the video at the top of this article at timestamp 08:58.

Bonus Automation #4: Recurrence

This bonus automation is one people don’t tend to think of as an automation: Recurrence.

Recurrence is a feature in almost every digital calendar (like Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook) and task management system (like ClickUp or Monday).

A recurrence allows us to have a task or event repeat automatically.

This isn’t traditionally what people think of when it comes to automation. Still, we’ve included this as a bonus tip because most people don’t take advantage of the power recurrences have.

The power of recurrences is:

  • To help remind us of something.
  • To help us remind others of something.
  • To prevent us from having to remember things.

Recurrences help us reduce our mental load as managers, which can significantly help lift some weight off our shoulders.

To watch this explanation in video format, watch the video at the top of this article at timestamp 09:19.

Example: Recurring Task in ClickUp to Learn

One example of a recurring task is one we’ve recently implemented at ProcessDriven: Learn for 1 hour.

Example of a Recurring Task in ClickUp
Example of a Recurring Task in ClickUp

This task prompts everyone on the team to spend one hour every week learning something.

What exactly does a learning routine have to do with management?

Let’s think about it.

In management, a lot of time is dedicated to problem-solving or navigating people to resources. If we can invest in our team and ourselves to help us better navigate things independently, our management burden is suddenly reduced because our team’s independence has increased.

As basic as it sounds, we can implement this structure immediately if we have any task or calendar system in our life or business (especially if multiple people use the same system).

These automation tips help get things off our plates and onto other people’s plates and, ultimately, decentralize that power and memory weight among the entire organization.

To watch this explanation in video format, watch the video at the top of this article at timestamp 10:18.

Conclusion

As mentioned before, every manager can benefit from any one of these automation tips, regardless of industry, team size, or technology stack.

We know this was a lot of information to process, but we hope these 3 automations every manager needs have been beneficial.

If you’re like most leaders, management tends to be a bit of a lonely place. You don’t know what you don’t know, and you don’t have anyone to bounce ideas off of.

If this sounds familiar to you, we invite you to join our Facebook Group to start having discussions with other leaders in your space!

Until next time, enjoy the process.

Join our FREE Facebook Group for all things ClickUp and process-related!

Melisa is the Conversion Coordinator on Team ProcessDriven. Melisa's focus is helping small teams learn about our ClickUp training programs by connecting with leaders like you.

Layla is a Vetted ClickUp Consultant who helps growing teams define their business workflows and translate them into a business instruction manual inside ClickUp. She spends most of her days teaching ClickUp, creating content, and providing unlimited feedback within the ProcessDriven Membership. The rest of the time? She's focused on creating value over on her YouTube Channel and free Facebook Group.