From the grocery store to sports fields: How an idea can move

Do you waste time every day meeting with your crew on what needs to be accomplished each day? Do you text message instructions on who needs to do what and when it needs to be done by? Does your staff always wait on you for things to do? If only there were a way to reduce the times you answer, “Yes!” to these questions? Well, not surprisingly, there’s app for that.

It is funny sometimes where you get ideas, or how a small idea can grow into a completely different application than it was originally intended for. I was at the grocery store one Sunday afternoon to pick up a few things, and like all good husbands, I texted my wife to see if she needed anything else. While pacing several aisles waiting her reply, I ran into my sister-in-law doing her weekly shopping for her family of six. When I told her I was waiting on her sister to text me back, she laughed and said, “You don’t have an app for that?”

She began to tell me about an app that allows multiple users to access, edit, and check off items a shared list. She said it is the perfect “fix” because her kids can all use the shared list and add the items they need. So I immediately headed home and downloaded an app to my and my wife’s phones so we could begin sharing a list. I soon began to wonder if I could use this digital grocery list as a to-do list at work.

There are several shared to-do list style applications in both the Apple App Store and the Android Google Play market places. These applications allow users to create or upload lists, edit tasks, check off completed items, and even assign task to specific persons. Several of these apps are free to download and have the ability to purchase upgrades, such as Our To-Do List, SimplyUS, Wunderlist, and GTask. If it works for making sure your spouse helps get the grocery list done, why can’t we use it in the turfgrass industry?

Creating a group and sharing your facilities work list is a simple way to reduce downtime and increase efficiency. Sports turf managers can create the week’s job list and monitor progress from a mobile device, or with some versions, your PC with ease. My staff no longer sits and waits on my direction for their next task because they can access the list and move on to the next job. This has allowed my staff to be productive and take ownership of their area and jobs with the use of technology. Download one today and see which one works best for you.

Brant Williams, CSFM, CPTM, is Manager of Athletic Facilities for Dallas Baptist University.