Time. It never seems to be enough.
As owners of small businesses, we are always looking for ways to work better and save time. That’s because, often the more you do, the more you earn.
Used properly, applications for business productivity can help you be more productive. With the time you save, you can take more paid projects or take a deserved free time.
Since most small business owners work from multiple devices, we will focus on some of the best productivity applications in this article, which can be used on a desktop or on a mobile device. We offer you a summary of how each of these applications can help you be more productive. Also, there are tutorials about the selected productivity applications so you can master them quickly.
How Applications for Productivity in Business Can Save You Time
If you have not changed the way you handle the routine tasks of the business recently, you are probably wasting time and leaving money on the table. The latest business productivity applications can help you improve your workflow and save time in a wide variety of tasks. Since you are likely to rely heavily on your mobile device to manage your business, the latest business applications also give the option to work from multiple devices, from desktop to mobile.
Here are the summary of the best applications to help you with seven specific types of tasks:
- Communications. In the current business environment you cannot always expect someone to respond to an email immediately. With these applications you transmit your message immediately.
- Project Management. If you manage your own work or that of a small team, you will want a good project management application to keep your project on time.
- Time Management. One way to more efficiently manage your workday is through better time management. Fortunately, there are applications that can help you measure and control how you use your time.
- Task Lists. If you are still relying on paper sticky notes to create your list, there is a better way. A Task List application will help you track what needs to be done and what is already complete.
- Work Flow. A workflow is the process used to complete tasks and projects. With applications for better productivity at work you can automate tasks in your workflow and reduce the time you need to achieve your goals.
- Social networks. You do not have to spend hours on social networks to be an effective part in the marketing plan of your small business. Use one of these applications to program your social networks and improve the automation of your marketing.
- Administrative. Each business has routine administrative tasks that must be performed to keep the business running. This article addresses two administrative applications: password management and backup copies of files.
Let’s take a look at this curated selection of productivity applications for business.
Good communication is vital for your business. Lack of communication can cause havoc. A delayed message can cause serious problems.
Remote work teams have become the work environment we need to thrive today. As a small business owner, your co-workers are more likely to be on the other side of the country than on the other side of the room. That is why it is vital to have a good application to communicate.
While email and traditional mail are effective for some messages, sometimes you need to connect with a contact immediately. You need a quick way to communicate with team members, clients and other colleagues.
Here are two of the best applications for productivity that will help you communicate in real time.
Skype, now owned by Microsoft, allows the user to make individual or group calls, connect via video or send messages. Skype includes sending files and sharing the screen.
Since Skype works on a variety of platforms, use it to communicate with almost anyone. You can even call phone numbers that are not Skype.
If you communicate regularly with groups or individuals during your workday, Slack could be the right tool for you. Slack can send messages to groups or individuals using private or public channels. It also allows you to share files and includes features like calls as well. Slack integrates with dozens of other applications.
Project Management Applications
Project management applications help your projects run smoothly. They support the project management process and help you achieve your goals.
Not only do they record deadlines and task assignments, but like many other project management applications, they also provide a forum to ask questions and share information.
Let’s take a look at some applications for project management.
Trello helps track a project or task assignments using a card-based system. The visual interface is a great way to get a quick overview of the progress of the project. For more detailed information, the user can open the card. Trello notifies team members by email when their card is updated or changed.
Asana provides another way for project teams to assign and perform tasks. Asana focuses on the ability to create workspaces, which allows keeping track of tasks and projects together. Communicate directly with team members within Asana or choose to have the application send you alerts via email.
Applications for Time Management
Are you using your time wisely? If we are honest, most of us have to admit that we could use our time better. In today’s hectic business environment, time management is more important than ever.
Lost time can mean lost sales or delayed projects. Poor time management could even make you lose a client if you do not meet a deadline.
Fortunately, it is now easier than ever with these three applications for labor productivity to help you manage your time well. They will help you track your time or your meeting schedule effectively. Let’s take a look.
Toggl helps you understand how you really spend your time with a single click. Track projects or whatever you do, on your computer or mobile device. Set a special color for your project or client time record sheet, so you can find the information you need quickly.
If you are a small entrepreneur who bills your time for hours, Toggl helps you measure your billable time. View your tracking information at the time on the dashboard or export a time sheet to an Excel, CSV or PDF file.
Harvest is an application for business productivity that tracks time. It allows you to establish projects and tasks and keep you updated where you spend your time. Use your time sheets to send invoices or make payments to your team. Also, use Harvest to track expenses. It connects with many popular applications.
Bringing together a group is a challenge. We are all busy people with many things happening at the same time. If you have ever tried to make an appointment for when everyone can be there, you know how difficult it can be.
Doodle takes the challenge of scheduling a meeting and makes it simple. A list of possible dates and times is sent to the meeting participants (a Doodle survey) and they are allowed to choose the hours that work for them. When you are ready to invite the participants, Doodle sends the invitation to the meeting.
Doodle is synchronized to popular calendar programs such as Google Calendar, 365 Office Calendar, iCal and many more.
List of Tasks and Applications for Taking Notes
Everyone loves a to-do list. Making lists is a great way to keep track of tasks, especially those that do not seem to fit with any specific project.
While many of us love making lists, most of us do not make the best use of them. You know what I mean if you have to do tasks listed on pieces of paper scattered all over the desk or in the notes attached to the computer monitor. Not only is it a poor way to track what you have to do, it is also messy.
There is a better way. Use the latest list of applications to improve productivity. Let’s take a look at two examples.
Wunderlist takes the lists to a whole new level. Create multiple lists and group related lists in a single folder. Share the lists with teammates. You can even redirect an email to your list to turn it into an action item.
Wunderlist allows you to schedule reminders and notifications so that you never get late finishing a task. So, if you need a list of paper, print your Wunderlist.
Evernote allows you to take notes, create lists and save images. Stores information from the web using the Evernote Web Clipper. Once you’ve saved something in Evernote, access it from any device with an internet connection. Share your notes with team members or co-workers.
One of Evernote’s strengths is the powerful search tool that helps you find everything you’ve saved. Never miss another important note.
The process you use to work is known as the workflow. A good workflow saves time and helps your projects run smoothly. A poor workflow can result in hours of wasted time and a lot of frustration.
Developing a good work flow is easier than it used to be. With the right applications for productivity at work, you can design an effective workflow and stick to it. Some tools allow you to automate common processes.
Let’s take a look at two popular web tools for the workflow.
IFTTT is a productivity application that uses “If, then” statements to automate common processes and optimize your workflow. To begin, define the “if”, also called the trigger. Next, you define the – “then” – which is the action you want to happen when the condition “Yes” is met. The action and trigger combinations are called “Recipes”.
Because IFTTT integrates with hundreds of popular applications and application-controlled devices, you can configure recipes to automatically perform many of the routine tasks.
Zapier is another application for business productivity that will help you automate your workflow. Defines triggers and determines which actions automate each trigger. The combination of a trigger and an action is called a “Zap”. Zapier allows you to define complex Zaps with multiple steps. Because Zapier integrates with hundreds of applications, you can automate many repetitive tasks.
Social Networks Applications
As a small business owner, marketing on social networks is an important part of your business strategy. Connect with customers and fans through the social networks of your business, build loyalty to the brand and improve the reputation of the company.
But do you spend too much time on social media?
If you still go to each social media platform to post, the answer is probably “yes.” Consider using an application for social networks to improve your productivity.
Applications for social networks will help you publish in more than one platform using a single tool. Schedule messages, shorten URL’s, track statistics of your social networks and more. Without an application for specialized productivity in social networks, these tasks can take hours.
Let’s examine two of the best applications for productivity in social networks.
Buffer allows you to schedule messages for any time of the day or night. Send messages to popular social networking platforms. Manage multiple profiles of social networks. Use the analysis part of the program to determine the best time to publish.
Buffer also integrates with many popular workflow applications (for example, Zapier) so you can automate your marketing on social networks and save even more time.
Use Hootsuite to efficiently manage the tasks of your social networks. Agenda publications on a wide variety of platforms using many profiles. Also, study and learn from the included analytics. Hootsuite tracks different streams from social networks at the same time, which is great if you want to see your participation in them at a glance.
Routine administrative tasks such as managing passwords and copying files can take a large part of your day if you are not careful. If you lose a password or a file and do not have a backup, it could take several hours to recover access to your account or recreate the lost file.
Applications for productivity help you organize these routine tasks and save a lot of reprocessing time. Here is our list of administrative applications to save time.
Managing passwords is a difficult task. You need to create and save your passwords so you can find them quickly when you need them. However, passwords also need to be secure. Therefore, creating obvious passwords is out of place.
Login to LastPass, which stores your passwords safely and helps generate strong passwords with your password generator. Best of all, LastPass allows you to synchronize your passwords across multiple platforms and devices. Therefore, you always have access to your information.
Dropbox can help store your files safely outside the site. Since your mailbox resides in the cloud, you can access your files from any device with internet access.
Dropbox can also be used to share files between members of a remote computer. In addition, it now allows comment on shared documents.
Work Faster with the Right Applications for Business Productivity
With the right applications for productivity you save hours of time. There are applications for productivity in almost all aspects of your business. Some of the best applications for productivity work on multiple devices so you can easily take your work from the desktop to your mobile device.
The key to saving time is to use applications for productivity within your regular work flow on a regular basis. Take your time to evaluate what these tools can do for your small business and learn to use them effectively.