Productivity Software for Business

What is productivity software? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “productivity is the capability of producing or making.” A computer can be incredibly productive when it comes to producing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, videos, music recordings…even plays games. So productivity is more than just getting things done. It’s also about getting them done more efficiently using an effective digital tool.

Here are the best productivity tools that are meant for business.

 VEA

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VEA is the most qualified virtual assistant you’ll ever hire.

It’s business management software on steroids… You’ll get more than tax reports and profitability statements but genuine insights on business growth opportunities.

Check out some of VEA’s most interesting productivity features:

  • Strategic Insights – VEA’s algorithms use real-time data to tell you things like who your most profitable employees are, or which customers are worth keeping, and which you should run from.
  • Customer Data – Keep track of your customers all in one place with linked assets, work orders, quotes, invoices, geo-location for marketing, and reports to show the quality of your customers.
  • Smart Ticketing – Stay on top of every customer request with a robust ticketing system that allows you to prioritize tickets based on rules you create and collaborate with employees on customer tickets.
  • Task Management – Assign and track tasks for employees. Similar to tickets but used internally and not linked to customers. This will help you get the most out of your team.

Find out more about VEA here.

RingCentral

Best all-in-one team messaging, video conferencing, and cloud phone tool for teams who need to streamline their communications.

RingCentral is a cloud-based all-in-one communication platform that gives you messaging, video conferencing, and a phone system—in one app:

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It lets you connect securely with your team, prospects, and customers over the internet using your smartphone, tablet, or computer with enterprise-level voice quality.

Not only does this eliminate the need for a whole bunch of expensive office equipment, but it gives your customers the impression that you’re in a big office while in fact, you have the freedom to work from anywhere.

At RingCentral, we get that sometimes less is more when it comes to apps. Studies show that 69% of employees switch back and forth between up to 10 apps in a single hour, with some switching between up to 15 apps. If this sounds familiar, then you know all that context switching can overwhelm employees and kill productivity as a result. 

RingCentral’s app was designed to unify your team’s messaging, video conferencing, and cloud phone into a single platform, so employees don’t need to constantly toggle between different communications apps and instead focus their energy on the tasks that will ultimately grow your business (like closing deals). 

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Oh, and not only do you have all your communication channels in one place, you can also create and assign tasks in the app. Set a due date, attach any files for context, even color-code the task if you need to:

task management in ringcentral's productivity app

Integration ideas:
  • Integrate with Salesforce to make and receive phone calls, log calls, schedule video meetings, and take notes directly from your Salesforce account.
  • Integrate with Google Chrome to schedule a RingCentral meeting within the RingCentral for Google Chrome extension and invite with Google Calendar.
  • Integrate with Slack to post RingCentral meeting details right into a chat.

🤯 On top of all this, RingCentral could save you up to $400 an hour in IT costs. 

Explore the RingCentral Advantage for small businesses:

Take the tour

💰 You can also use this calculator to see roughly how much your business could save by using RingCentral to support your team’s communication with each other—and clients.

Slack

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Slack is positioned as an alternative to email for communicating with your team.

Basically, it’s an instant messaging application that you and your team can access from anywhere and at any time. It’s fast to deliver messages, well organized, and extremely user-friendly.

There is also a range of add-ons for Slack that allow you to share documents, make video calls, and integrate with the other apps you and your team use to get things done.

Find out more about Slack here.

ClickUp

This project management tool is designed to help you manage everything in one place, from to-do lists to entire projects. In ClickUp, you can set goals and break them into individual tasks, which is ideal for a professional interested in moving to the next level. You can customize the interface to meet your personal preferences, which works well for some people. For others, though, that flexibility can feel a bit overwhelming.

To reduce some of that impact, experts have some hacks that can help you make the most of the tool. One of those hacks is to batch your to-do list so that you’re completing similar items in the same go. If you need to dive into your email to accomplish one task, for instance, you can gather other tasks you’ll do while in your inbox and do everything at once to maximize your productivity.

ClickUp Shift screenshot

Google Keep

Gmail users should also look into Google Keep, which integrates with the popular email tool. When you add reminders to Google Keep, you’ll see them in your inbox, ensuring you won’t forget about them. Once you’ve created a reminder, you’ll see the Keep icon to the right of your inbox, where Google stores all the apps you use frequently for easy access. Just click on the Keep icon to see all the notes you’ve left for yourself.

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But the best thing about Keep is that you can put a due date on your reminders that will ensure you never forget anything. Set the date and time you want to be reminded and it will show up in your inbox, along with your email messages. You can also color code your tasks to help you see immediately whether a reminder is related to work, personal, or a particular project or person.

Google Drive

Best collaborative file sharing and storage tool for teams that find themselves misaligned or lacking a source of truth.

google drive interface

Google Drive is the best free file sharing, document collaboration, and file storage tool out there. You get 15 GB of storage on the free plan, which is pretty awesome (beats Dropbox, another popular option that only gives you 2 GB on its free plan). 

If you’re going to use Google Drive, you may as well take full advantage of the suite of Google Workspace productivity tools that come with it, including Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Switch out your old-school Microsoft Office programs for these and enjoy real-time collaboration like never before, like commenting and team chat right on any document. All changes are recorded in the document history, including who made them and when, providing your team with a single source of truth rather than siloed documents on individual team member’s devices.

No more having to email documents back and forth and call it “collaboration.” No more confusion about which document is the most up to date. And a whole lot more productivity.

Google Drive also has a handy Backup and Sync feature that can automatically back up any files you save on your computer to Google Drive and let you access them without having to open the web app. Just another way Google Drive lets you find everything in one place.  

Integration ideas:
  • Integrate with RingCentral to reduce the need to switch between multiple apps while working in the RingCentral app.
  • Integrate with Evernote to consolidate different types of content from Google Drive into a single, living note.
  • Integrate with Trello to add a file in Google Drive to a new card in Trello.

Google Hangouts

Another great tool for Gmail users is Google Hangouts, which makes it easy for you to chat with your teams, whether through text or video. Hangouts is transitioning to Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet for G Suite users, but the basic premise remains the same. The tool lets you and your team gather in one place to save you the time and expense involved in bringing all your workers together in one place.

ALSO READ:   Productivity Apps for Business

But there are also ways to get even more out of Google’s collaboration tool. You can go to Settings and Chat in Gmail, then select Chat On. When you select Save Changes, you’ll see a list of your chat group options on the right while in your Gmail inbox. You can invite team members to a Hangout by clicking on the plus sign above that list. This will help you stay in touch with your team members, clients, and colleagues directly within your inbox.

Trello

Best project management tool for teams with a lot of items in their backlog or a lot of pieces moving at one time to track where each task is at a glance.

trello's productivity tool

Perfect for visual organizers, a Trello board is made up of multiple swimlanes to represent the different steps in your workflow (e.g., “To do,” “In progress,” and “Done”). You can simply drag and drop tasks or “cards” to the appropriate swim lane as they move from one stage to the next, giving you a birds-eye view of where all your tasks are at. 

Cards can be assigned to people and be given due dates. They can be filled in with more details and even contain subtasks to break large tasks down into smaller ones.

Trello can help your team be more productive by serving as a centralized place to drop tasks into. Because everyone’s tasks are in one place, it provides great visibility to your team so they all know what everyone else is working on and stay on the same page. 

Your small business has big goals, and while those goals are easy to remember, the minuscule steps that go into making them a reality aren’t so much. Trello can help with that.

Integration ideas:
  • Integrate with RingCentral to get your Trello notifications and tag coworkers directly from within the RingCentral app. 
  • Integrate with Google Drive to drag and drop files and folders to Trello cards.
  • Integrate with Slack to create Trello cards right from Slack messages.

Conclusion

If your business is running on a shoestring budget, finding free or cheap productivity software can be a struggle. In this article I show you how to get the most from your money on productivity software so you can produce more without breaking the bank

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