The business of running a veterinary practice can be busy and hectic, with clients, faxes, patients, vendors, and more all demanding your attention. Take advantage of these tech tools — most of which are free or inexpensive and have mobile options — to save time, reduce errors, and create smoother workflows for your team. Communicate More Efficiently with Your Team Communication apps aren’t just about chatting — they’re a great way to help your team communicate quickly and efficiently. Vet techs can give a quick update to the front desk without leaving the exam room, for example. But you can also use it for important announcements from management, quick direct messages, using “pinned” posts to easily access frequently used documents, and more. Set up channels or “rooms” to focus on topics like sharing success stories, resources for continuing education, or Home Delivery questions and ideas. You can make some channels invite-only, such as a doctors-only channel, or restrict posting access to the management updates channel to just the practice manager and leads. Slack is probably the best-known app, but there are others, including Microsoft Teams, Twist, and Chanty, to name a few. Manage Your Tasks and Projects These types of tech-enabled to-do lists and project management apps help your practice save time by making sure tasks don’t fall through the cracks, avoiding endless email back-and-forths, or eliminating duplication of work. Apps like Evernote and Todoist are simpler and typically used just by one person or a small team. Jot down notes, create quick lists, and set reminders and due dates. For tools that can handle the heavier lifting of project management, check out apps like Trello, Asana, or Airtable. With their more robust offerings, you can assign tasks to various team members, create dependencies (where one task must be marked complete before the next task can start), set up reminders and alerts, and run reports to track progress. Here are a few ideas for using project management tools: Recurring tasks — For regularly occurring tasks like inventory checks or your monthly e-newsletter to clients, you can often set up tasks to repeat as needed. Once the task is marked complete, the system automatically generates the next one for you. Checklists — Reduce errors by setting up checklists, assigning them to a team member, and making them recurring. For example, if you’ve set up a recurring task to write and create that monthly e-newsletter, you can make a subtask that’s a final-check checklist, confirming the correct mailing address, proofreading, making sure links work, sending yourself a test, etc. Manage big projects — Manage bigger projects like implementing a new PIMS or onboarding new staff. You can set up tasks and subtasks, view the project as a Gantt chart to track progress, share files, and more. Schedule Your Social Media Posts Having a regularly updated social media presence helps businesses thrive, allowing you to communicate with existing clients and attract new ones. Take advantage of scheduling apps like Buffer, SocialOomph, and Zoho to make managing your practice’s social media a breeze. When you see a fun meme or interesting article, you can just add it to the queue. Plan ahead for holiday closures or seasonal safety tips by creating those posts now and scheduling them for specific dates (some apps will let you schedule posts months in advance). Create posts for ongoing promotions or reminders and schedule them to repeat monthly. Take advantage of a brief lull in appointments to fill up your queue and your future self will thank you. Get a Client App Free up your phone lines and reduce front desk workload by using a client app! Our favorite is Vet2Pet, which lets practices have a fully branded app — meaning your name and status as a trusted partner to your clients is reinforced. Client apps typically offer features like appointment scheduling, reminders, a loyalty program to drive revenue, and push notifications. When you take advantage of these kinds of client-facing apps, you give clients the convenience they want and you give your staff the extra time and resources they need. Rosco’s owner wants an update every 2 hours after surgery? No need to look up the phone number, call, wait for them to pick up, leave a voicemail, etc. Simply type in your update and send! Take Advantage of Integrations Ready to take your productivity to the next level? Many of the apps and tools listed above already integrate with each other, helping you improve your efficiency by sharing information between systems. And your practice information management system may have some helpful integrations (also called APIs) as well, like integrating with accounting, email, or home delivery systems. Not all tasks can or should be automated or integrated, of course. But if you can reduce phone call time or eliminate duplicate data entry, you and your staff will have more time to focus on what really matters: your patients and your clients.