Primary Investigators at all levels of their career face a range of challenges related to optimizing their activity within the constraints of deadlines and productive research. These range from enhancing creative thought and keeping track of ideas to organizing and prioritizing the activity of the members of the group. Numerous tools now exist that facilitate the storage and retrieval of information necessary for running a laboratory to advance specific project goals within associated timelines. Here we discuss strategies and tools/software that, together or individually, can be used as is or adapted to any size scientific laboratory. Specific software products, suggested use cases, and examples are shown across the life cycle from idea to publication. Strategies for managing the organization of, and access to, digital information and planning structures can greatly facilitate the efficiency and impact of an active scientific enterprise. The principles and workflow described here are applicable to many different fields.