013: 3 Key Tools to Help Clinicians Stay Organized
Organization and efficiency are important not just in our processes as caregivers, but in our business as well. When we’re not organized, we can’t keep track of where valuable information is when we need it. When we’re not efficient, we spin our wheels and spend our weekends fixing notes and balancing bank statements.
Fortunately, there are many tools we can use to improve our practices, both literally and figuratively. Though I’m not naturally an organized person, I’ve found three incredible and affordable tools that have helped me tremendously.
Today, I’m sharing how my team and I use some of my favorite solutions to simplify our workflows and ensure that we have access to important information when we need it.
- How you can use Evernote to create a searchable database of reference material that you can recall whenever you need it.
- How you can use OneNote to organize your thoughts and learnings.
- How you and your team can use Google Drive and Docs to easily collaborate on projects together.
If we're not efficient, we end up spinning our wheels and spending time on the weekends fixing notes or going back and balancing bank statements. – @DrRondaNelson Click To Tweet
I used to be the queen of sticky notes, but all it takes is for one sticky note to get stuck to the bottom of some piece of paper to be lost. – @DrRondaNelson Click To Tweet
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Welcome to The Clinical Entrepreneur, a business podcast that’s dedicated to health care practitioners just like you who are hustling every day to build a business and a life you’re proud of. Join me, Ronda Nelson, as I share my own experiences and extract actionable advice from industry experts about what it takes to build and scale a profitable wellness practice.
Hello, my friends. Welcome to The Clinical Entrepreneur Podcast. I am your host, Ronda Nelson. This is one of the most fun parts of my week. I love sitting down and thinking about what I want to share with you about my own clinical experience, life as an entrepreneur, a business owner, and all the things that go into that. This month I’m going to be spending some time talking about items that can trip us up a little bit in the way of our efficiency. And not only efficiency in business, but also just general efficiency as we move through our clinical process and how we handle our clinical requirements. If we’re not efficient, we end up spinning our wheels, spending time on the weekends fixing notes or going back and doing notes, or maybe balancing bank statements. There are some efficient ways to do a lot of that. I’m going to talk about that this month. But today, I want to talk about the down and dirty of how to stay organized. Because if you can’t be organized with your clinical information and organized with the things that you find online, such as resources from another vendor, another supplement company, or a PubMed article that’s especially interesting to you. Or maybe it’s a podcast that you listen to and you think, “Oh, that was so good on brain health and mercury and dementia or Alzheimer’s.” How do you keep all of that information organized so that you can go back and find the information when you need it?
Full disclosure right here, full disclosure. I’m a little nervous about sharing all of this with you because if you ask my team, they will all tell you that I am the most unorganized person. For many years, I tried everything to stay organized because I knew that it was a limiting factor for me. I knew that I needed to get XYZ done during a day, week, or whatever my time period was. Everything just got all scrambly in my brain. Now, I happen to be one of those people that just missed out on the organizational gene. I don’t have it. It’s just not my thing. Always staying organized is a bit of a struggle for me. What I had to do instead was find ways to put systems in place that keep me or forced me to stay organized. If you’re listening and you are one of those people that has a love affair with sticky notes…hello, can I get an amen on that? Because that would be me. I am the queen of sticky notes. I should rephrase that. I used to be the queen of sticky notes. The reason that I decided that I did not want to do sticky notes anymore was that it wasn’t productive for me. All it takes is one sticky note that gets stuck to the bottom of some piece of paper and now I’m lost because I don’t have that thing. Or even worse, I would write passwords on sticky notes which is so bad.
Now, what I’ve done is I have two favorite tools. There’s three that I’m going to give you today but two of them are my absolute all-time favorites for keeping me organized despite my own weakness and limitation in the gene pool department. The first one that I will talk to you about is my absolute favorite. It is an app that everyone can get and it’s fairly inexpensive. It is called Evernote. Evernote is a way that you can organize your information into what are called notebooks. You can clip items from the internet that you find using something called a Web Clipper. This Web Clipper is an extension that you would put on your browser. I’m going to do a short video to show you what my Evernote looks like. I’ll post it in the show notes. But to explain, I’m online, and let’s just say that I find an article about how high cholesterol does not cause heart disease. Well, that is music to my ears because how many times do I have a patient that says, “Hey, I don’t believe this whole cholesterol thing. I think it’s all bogus.” What I do is I use this Evernote Web Clipper. When you click on that, it opens up and asks you, “Do you want to save the whole page? Do you want to save just the article? Do you want to just copy the URL? What do you want to do with this?” I always want to save the whole page. I want to see everything. I tell it to save the whole page and it will save it automatically as a note inside Evernote. If there’s anything important that I find, I clip it and it saves into Evernote.
Now, you’re probably thinking, “Well, oh my gosh, if I clipped everything I ever came across, I would just have this big messy library of information,” and you are right, my friend. You would. But what you can do in Evernote is put what’s called a “tag” on it. For example, this one about cholesterol and heart disease, I will put a little tag and I’ll type in heart disease. Cholesterol, that’s a tag. High cholesterol, that’s a tag.
Any of the key terms that I know in my brain that I would think of such as, “Oh, what was that article again about high cholesterol and heart disease? Ah, high cholesterol,” and I’ll search for it inside Evernote. Then boom, anything that I put that tag of high cholesterol is going to show up. Now I can find anything that I need, anytime I want for the topics that I have saved in Evernote. There are other ways that you can do it on the app as well, but I’m not going to go into all that. You can organize them into notebooks and put things together. You can put pictures in. If you have the right type of computer, like a Microsoft Surface or something where you have a stylus, you can write notes in it. It’s got so much capability to help streamline and organize your life. But I can tell you that this is the one thing, the one place that I absolutely will go to for something that I know I saw, but I don’t remember where I saw it. It has saved me so much heartache. I have a whole folder inside Evernote that’s just for clinical studies. That’s all that goes there.
I used to bookmark the resources I would find, and then I’d have to fish through all my bookmarks to try and remember, “What was that?” and then sometimes the title of the bookmark isn’t right. It’ll just say PubMed. Then I don’t know what it is and I would get so frustrated. For this brain that doesn’t already think in a linear organizational way, I do in some other areas, but not this. So, for my brain that was just like fingernails on a chalkboard in my brain, make me so crazy. With Evernote, I feel much more in control of the information that I’m getting and I’ve got it all in one place where I can go search for it. So, hands down, Evernote is my favorite.
Now, the second one is another tool called OneNote. Some of you might know about OneNote and this is where I keep information from most of my seminars. I put the information that I’m learning from seminars, notes I take to listening to Royal Lee (one of my favorites), or even my notes as I am reading about herbal products. I’ll go through old notes, something that I went to 5, 7, 8 years ago, 10 years ago, and I think, “Oh, that was such a great little tidbit.” Think of OneNote as a book. It has chapters and pages in the book. I have a chapter about MediHerb because I love using MediHerb products. And then inside that chapter, I have different pages. I have a page about Ashwagandha, a page that has Romania, a page that has skullcap, chamomile, Bacopa, etc. I have all of these little tidbits that I learned about the herbs, I put them in these individual pages. Some of the pages might only have three or four sentences but, hey, there’s no rule about how many words there has to be on a page, right? I just use it as a place for me to organize my thoughts and the things that I’m learning about the products that I’m using.
Therefore, anything that’s clinical related, I love putting in OneNote. The same thing is sort of true for business things. With business, we’ve got the actual function of running a business and then we also have the marketing side of the business. I do have a notebook for business and I have a notebook for marketing. I keep some of the little tidbits and things that I find or come across in there, but as it has to do with any resources that I find online, Evernote and that Web Clipper is a game-changer. So, those are your two best tools, Evernote and then OneNote from Microsoft. It’s part of the Microsoft Office Suite. I’ll put links in the show notes so you will have them.
Now, the third one is one that we use as a team. We use it for convenience, but it’s not my favorite and there will be some of you that will say, “Oh my gosh, you’re crazy for not loving this.” Well, okay, everybody’s got their own thing, right? It is Google Drive or Google Docs. It’s so, so easy to use. If you have multiple people collaborating on a team, Google Docs is a great way to organize yourself as a team. But for me, it’s not the place that works well for my naturally not so linear organized brain to store information. It’s a great place for me to put my thoughts down. For example, Clinical Academy, which many of you know about and is also open for membership next week (I’ll talk about more later.) But, as I was redesigning the layout and the way that the clinical content was organized, I used a Google Doc. I would write everything out that I would think about. How we’re going to handle a certain thing, what the membership is going to look like, or what will be contained within the clinical information, the patient resources, the practitioner resources, the bonuses, and how will it all layout? The Google Doc was perfect for me because my team could get in and access it and they could put in their two cents. It was a great way to collaborate as a team.
But for my brain, I need help with that organizational side. OneNote and Evernote have saved my bacon on multiple occasions. Someone will say, “Where did you get that information about vitamin D?” I know exactly where I need to go. I’m going to go to Evernote every time. If I saved it, I’m going to find it by searching those tags.
So, those are my three tips for you on maximizing and leveraging that organizational part of your life so you can streamline what you’re learning and you can also streamline what you’re doing in your marketing or your business. I’ve really found it most efficient, as it has to do with all the little details clinically.
I want to tell you a little bit more about Clinical Academy. Clinical Academy is a membership that I open up twice every year. Up until now, we cover one topic per month. We do a live Q&A where everyone submits their cases and I get on and I answer all those cases. I will help unpack them to give the practitioners a great protocol or a step-by-step to think about as they’re working with this particular patient. What we found was that some practitioners were getting a little overwhelmed with the amount of content. So, we went back to the drawing board and said, “Okay. How can I make this literally a library of searchable resources?”
So as it has to do with this organizational side here, I changed The Clinical Academy experience into a completely searchable database of all the things clinical that I’ve ever taught with one quick search. You can go in and search for information on let’s say PCOS. You type in PCOS and it’s going to take you to the exact spot in every single video that I mentioned PCOS. No more searching for videos or reading through notes or trying to remember where any resource is. I know my brain needs organization and I need it to be simple. So I went back to the drawing board using Google Doc and I simplified the whole thing. There’s a bunch more information in there as well. We’ve added new things. We’ve got some new interviews. It’s really an amazing resource if you want to scale and grow the clinical and functional side of your business. If you’re that practitioner and you don’t quite know how to dip your toes in the water or you think, “Oh, I don’t think I know enough to really help people,” this is the tool that will help you do that. You get a patient that comes in with my example, PCOS, and voila! You’re going to be able to type that in, find what you need, and you’ll have that confidence to be able to go out and make the right recommendations.
The memberships open next week. So, if you’re listening to this podcast later, I’m sorry. We open in March and October, so mark your calendar.
So, my friends, that’s what I have for you on organizational tips. Evernote is my number one go-to especially for anything online. OneNote is my second favorite because it helps me organize my thoughts on specific topics. And then Google Docs, that’s the place where I’m kind of brain dumping, brainstorming, trying to create things that we can collectively work on together as a team.
I hope this was so helpful for you. I told you I was a little nervous about sharing it with you because I am not real organized. In my mind, I kept thinking, “No, this is going to be a bad topic. Why should I be talking about organization when I am not organized?” But these three tools have saved my hiney so many times. I hope if you are like me, that you’ll be able to use these tools, get a tremendous amount of value, and start to feel like your brain is so chattery with all that disorganization. You can slide into your lane and get really organized, streamline your processes, become more efficient, and get more done. This way you can make more money and serve your patients better than you ever have before. Thank you, my friend, for hanging out with me today. I’ll be back next week on The Clinical Entrepreneur Podcast. This is Dr. Ronda Nelson. See you then.
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