Being a business owner demands a diversity of different responsibilities. You'll wear an HR hat when hiring and managing employees. Then, you’ll don a financial hat when projecting revenue. After that, you’ll put on other hats for working with clients, generating new ideas, and navigating legal issues. But, there's one important quality that underlies all these important roles: your productivity and the productivity tools you choose to use.
Most of us start the day with a cup of coffee or spend time 'œgetting in the zone' to be more productive. With today's technology, there are countless digital productivity tools you can use to enhance your productivity as well. And, if you want to stay competitive and give your business the best chance for success, it's in your best interest to adopt them:
Here's the high-level view: EmailAnalytics is like Google Analytics, but for Gmail. In seconds, EmailAnalytics pulls all the data from your Gmail account and breaks down how you've been using it. Hence, you realize who sends you the most emails, when you send and receive the most emails, and even how you're writing and reading them. This is all to help you improve your email habits for the better. Since you probably spend 20 hours a week or more just on emailing, the benefits here can't be understated.
IFTTT, short for 'œif this, then that,' is a free platform designed to help business owners (and everyday consumers) connect their apps and devices together with more integrated, automatic functionality. Even if you're not tech-savvy, the platform allows you to write short scripts that automatically trigger specific actions under certain circumstances. It has the potential to automate virtually any repetitive or predictable task you engage in. This could save you hours of work overall.
Team communication can make or break your productivity. This is why Slack endeavors to make it simpler and more straightforward for everyone. Slack helps you organize your employees into groups all within one simple platform. Therefore, you can chat at any time and still keep your conversation threads in order.
G Suite is one of the most ubiquitous sets of tools for business owners everywhere'”and for good reason. Its cloud-based software includes collaboration tools for things like document editing and sharing. There are also tools for emailing, calendar coordination, and even file storage. If you're running a startup with a limited budget, you can get access to most of these tools for free. Even the upgraded package is only $5 per user per month.
If you take notes frequently, Evernote is a must-have app. Available for every device and operating system, Evernote allows you to take notes on the fly, whether you type, speak, or handwrite them. It keeps everything organized for you. The productivity tool can even turn some of your notes into task lists that improve efficiency.
Trello is one of the top names in project management thanks to its innovative system of boards, cards, and notes. These tools keep you and your team more organized than ever before. With it, you can ensure that no task ever gets lost in the shuffle. Plus, your team remains active and focused on the most important projects.
If you use social media for your business, you need an app like Buffer. It automates some of your social media tasks and makes the rest of them easier to manage. With its app, you can schedule posts in advance and track how your content performs. Additionally, you can manage all your social media accounts in one central location.
At its core, Asana is a task management app. It allows you to create high-level projects and ground-level task lists within those projects. Then, you can assign those tasks to individuals and track how they're completed. It's ideal for both collaboration and long-term analytics. Therefore, you can spot productivity hiccups and take action before they become a problem.
If you're stuck dealing with HR responsibilities frequently, there's no better productivity tool to have in your arsenal than GoCo. It is designed to make HR management easier. You get cloud access to your employee documents, time-off balances, salary data, benefits data, and performance reviews. You can even integrate it with your payroll system to make life even easier.
Even the most productive and hardworking entrepreneurs can't do everything on their own. Eventually, you'll need to hire someone part-time or for a short-term contract to help you fill the gap. That's where Upwork comes in. It’s a simple, easy-to-use and easy-to-navigate platform that will help you connect with the perfect freelancer for practically any job. Accordingly, it can save you time, money, or both.
These productivity tools are designed to help you get more done throughout the day. You can work more efficiently and ultimately help your business become more profitable. Since they range from free to inexpensive, they're well worth your time and money.
Originally published here, by Max Palmer.
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