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3 Ways to Manage Client Projects in SmartSuite (Agency, Virtual Assistant, and Contractor Examples)

3 Ways to Manage Client Projects in SmartSuite (Agency, Virtual Assistant, and Contractor Examples)

10 minutes

January 18, 2023

Managing client projects is akin to juggling a set of flaming clubs—challenging but exhilarating. It's a familiar battleground for anyone who's had to keep track of a million and one tasks in the realm of client services. For those of you on the hunt for a stalwart ally in this fight, may I suggest an illustrative tour of SmartSuite? This software may just be the sherpa you need to guide you through the project management wilderness.

The Trio of Project Management Styles with SmartSuite

In my screen-sharing safari today, we march through three distinct project management habitats in SmartSuite: the elaborate, the straightforward, and the “Goldilocks”—neither too simple nor too complex, but just right. I’ll be your guide, spotlighting key features and demonstrating how they can streamline your project processes. If you're keen on tinkering with SmartSuite as we venture, nab our affiliate link below and tag along on this digital expedition. Kudos to SmartSuite for fueling this journey.

The Complicated: Project Per Solution

Imagine a scenario—one that may not be too far off from your reality—where you're entrusted with renovating John's house. For the contractors and remodelers out there, this is your wheelhouse. However, any project manager, regardless of domain, will find a common thread here. Within the "John's House" solution in SmartSuite, lies a trove of information and tasks organized into a singular, focused database. This is the nucleus of operations where the magic happens.

The interconnection within this intricate web of tasks is key. With separate apps for contractor contacts, budgeting, and those all-important inspirations—each conveying a slice of the whole—your SmartSuite project turns into a centralized, easily navigable workspace. It provides the sort of robust detail needed for those "whale projects," the ones colossal in scope and rich in moving parts.

The Simple: Project Per Record

Now, for a stark contrast, let's shift gears to what I'd call the project per record layout. Picture a dashboard—a single app labeled "Current Projects." Here, each record is one of your many endeavors, neatly bundled and trackable with just a glance.

Imagine the serene simplicity of a checklist field, where your tasks lay out before you, uncluttered, unfettered. This calm and collected approach is tailor-made for virtual assistants, musicians, freelancers, and ad-hoc consultants—professionals who flourish amidst rapid, less intricate projects.

The Goldilocks: Linked Records

Our Goldilocks solution stitches together the robustness of the first and the minimalism of the second into a delicate tapestry of linked records. This hybrid layout is a mosaic, mirroring the ensemble of individual client engagements or deliverables found in, say, a marketing agency's ecosystem. Custom fields and a rich tapestry of linked records validate each project's quirks, melding scalability with a personalized touch.

Deliverables are birthed in their own habitat, traced, and linked back to projects, making them accessible yet distinct. This method equips you with the versatility to devise bespoke workflows and automations without having to create a different toolset for each grand endeavor.

"SmartSuite's linked records are like a symphony of productivity, converging to compose the very essence of efficient project management.”

Embracing SmartSuite for Client Interactions

Now, to address a query from Nigel about involving clients directly in your SmartSuite environment. There are multiple approaches here, each with its own merits, depending on how closely you wish to entwine your clients in the management maze.

You might opt for shareable views, embedding links in emails or messages for your clients to access. Alternatively, you could welcome them as guests—observers in your domain, able to comment but not alter the landscape.

Or perhaps keep clients external, utilizing form views to funnel their inputs into your SmartSuite, leaving them out of the login loop. And for true email aficionados, SmartSuite lets you send periodic project snapshots or leverage automations for seamless reporting.

Stay tuned for SmartSuite's upcoming feature reveal: a robust client portal tool, just over the horizon. It aims to elevate your client collaborations to a new zenith of convenience and professionalism.

The Harmony of Project Management with SmartSuite

Whether charting the complex oceans with "whale" projects, cruising through simpler streams, or captaining a vessel that’s "just right," SmartSuite offers a beacon. Its dynamic interface is on the cusp of revolutionizing how we engage with our clients and manage their projects.

Don’t forget to activate our affiliate link if you wish to harness the power of SmartSuite, and may you find solace in the order it brings to the chaos of client work. For any lingering curiosities or stories from the trenches, the comments below beckon your input.

With SmartSuite, project management is no longer a labyrinth but a playground. Until next time, savor the process and may your client ventures prosper.

To experience SmartSuite's key benefits for yourself, start a free trial today and explore its intuitive work management platform.