Has your mind ever spun out of control with all the tasks that need to be completed in your dental practice? You know, the ever-present list of things that need to be done? License and business renewals, changing air filters, regulatory compliance requirements, and remembering team member anniversaries and birthdays—the responsibilities of an office manager are vast.
Recurring and scheduled tasks
Fortunately, there is a tool within the Google Gmail suite that can help you manage one-time and recurring tasks. Simply enter a task into your Google Calendar Task app and forget about it until it needs to be completed! Your mind will be freed up for more important matters. A task reminder populates on your Google Calendar when it is due, prompting you until you check it off as complete or edit the due date.
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Another valuable feature is task lists. Create separate lists in your administrative Gmail account for different teams, such as Administrative, Clinical, and Hygiene. Each department that has access to the Gmail account can view the task list to ensure their department tasks are being completed. You can also create multiple lists for yourself. For example, you can create a practice-specific task list and a separate American Association of Dental Office Management (AADOM) task list if you are pursuing your AADOM Dental Distinction. By having a separate AADOM Distinction list, you can add all the items you need to complete for your distinction with deadlines, ensuring you are on track to receive your highly coveted recognition.
The following examples of recurring task lists may help you create your own:
- Pay specific bills due on or before their due dates
- Order and change air filters
- Order front office supplies
- Send monthly documents to the accountant
- Team birthdays and anniversaries
- License renewals (practice, business, providers, etc.)
- File reports (i.e., workers’ compensation audits to malpractice carrier, use-tax, etc.)
- Schedule annual practice training (OSHA, HIPAA, Dental Practice Act, Infection Control, CPR, Medical Emergencies in the Dental Office, etc.)
- Change operatory and lab traps
- Safety checklist
- Sterilizer cleaning
- Check and order Cavitron tips
- Service fire extinguishers
NOTE: Confidential patient and employee information must be kept secure. Do not store any of their information in Google apps.
Using Google Gmail Tasks
How to use Google Tasks
- Go to your Google Gmail account
- Click on the 9-button Google Apps icon
- Select Calendar
- From the toolbar on the right hand of the screen, open the Task icon
- Select Add a task
- Create a Title (e.g., Pay “ABC” lab bill)
- Add Details (e.g., Pay bill; spread lab fees for each dentist; save statement to the server for the office manager to calculate associate pay)
- Enter the Date and Time (if applicable). Select Repeat if the task is recurring. Options include daily, monthly, and yearly, with or without end dates.
The tasks you create in Google Tasks will now populate your Google Calendar. Whenever the task list is open, you can edit the task or mark it as complete. Simply check the small circle as you complete the task to remove it from the list. If the task is recurring, it will drop to the next date the task needs to be completed. It is very helpful to keep track of completed items when multiple people are working from the same task list.
Google Tasks can be a life-changing tool that will help you to stay organized and track daily, monthly, and annual tasks, so you never miss an important deadline again. Sometimes a statement or bill can get lost in the mail or in cyberspace, and the practice may be subject to late fees. Creating a task list of all the items you are responsible for allows you more time and energy to focus on caring for your team and completing important projects. In addition, you can look ahead to see what needs to be completed while you are out of the office for a much-deserved vacation or conference! Truly a win-win system.