Business productivity software is everywhere these days. But you still might not be clear on what it is and how it can be used to improve your work. Most of us get our work done by putting in the hours at the computer, so why not get serious about getting things done? There are numerous productivity tools out there, but I’ve tested hundreds of them and made my favorite picks so you don’t have to waste time searching for the best tools.
Some of these software packages automate various aspects of your job making working more productive. Most of these apps also display alerts or notifications whenever tasks are completed or new tasks are created, which can provide useful reminders that help maximize efficiency.
Gaining control over the time we spent on various activities is essential for productivity improvement, especially if working in a team, TimeCamp is a robust team time tracking software with a wide range of features that streamline the tedious time management processes.
With TimeCamp you can track time two ways: automatically or add the entries manually in the timesheets. Its unique project tree structure allows users to add as many tasks and subtasks as they wish for better project visibility. For productivity analysis, users can choose from the many types of reports that show them the important information about the team’s productivity, time and money budget consumption per each project, and many more. If they combine billing rates with time entries, they can generate the invoices and send them straight to their clients.
TimeCamp is also packed with an attendance module that automates employees’ absence management. It’s also perfect for payroll issues. TimeCamp integrates with most of the popular project management, accounting, sales, task management and collaboration, CRM, and marketing tools.
Speaking of email productivity, a chat app can save you hours of time each week. Instead of firing emails back and forth between your team, you can set everyone up in Slack to communicate in real time. The chat app lets you set up channels to segregate your conversation to make it even more productive. If your team wants to keep discussions divided by clients, projects, tasks, or company announcements, channels is the outlet for that. You can also set up a channel just to let employees take a little break from work to chat about the weekend or their favorite sports teams.
There are also various productivity hacks that can make Slack an even more powerful tool. You can use Actions to convert a message to a new task in a productivity app like Asana and Trello, upload and share files with your team, live chat with customers by integrating with tools like Intercom and Drift, and more.
If the Notes app on your phone is jam-packed with nonsensical text, Evernote could make your life easier. Just snap a photo or tap out a quick reminder as you’re going throughout your day, and you’ll have a point of reference whenever you’re ready for it. But even within Evernote, there are a few things you can do to better organize your life.
- Quick Notes – With Evernote open, you can just push the + button to create a new note. You can choose from snapping a photo, creating a text reminder, or recording a snippet of audio to play back later.
- Projects – You can divide your notes into “notebooks,” which will help you organize your notes by various projects. If you use Trello, you can alternatively link your Trello board to your master list to keep notes with each corresponding board.
- Widgets – Once you’ve organized your notes into various projects, you can save incoming emails directly to those notebooks so you’ll have everything in one place. You can even set up auto-forward to always move certain types of emails to a notebook.
- Share – Evernote can be a powerful productivity tool for professionals who work in teams. Share your notebooks and notes with others to cut down on the number of text messages and emails flying back and forth.
Best time-planning and scheduling tool for teams that struggle with finding time or that are trying to figure out where all their time goes.
Google Calendar is a beautiful, minimally designed calendar app that works on almost any device (it’s actually the default calendar on Android phones, but works great on iPhone as well). It integrates with a whole host of other apps, making it the perfect time planning app for small businesses.
It only takes a matter of seconds to create new events no matter what device you’re on, and you can invite others to these events as well with an option to RSVP so you can see who’ll make it. Your calendar will automatically sync across all your devices.
If you also happen to use Gmail (more on this app later), Google Calendar will even automatically create events based on the emails you receive, like travel itineraries or appointments. More time saved, less work for you.
- Integrate with Gmail to send event invites to other Gmail users right from your calendar.
- Integrate with Slack to schedule meetings and project discussions for better collaboration.
- Integrate with Salesforce to add sales proposals and leads to Google Calendar to plan and track all your sales meetings.
There’s no shortage of productivity tools for businesses, but Monday stands out for its brainstorming features. The app emphasizes the visual nature of planning and collaboration, which gives you the leeway necessary to set things up and move them around, working with your team to come up with ideas and make notes. Everything you input into Monday is saved so that your team can look back at it later.
One of the best things about Monday, though, is that you can see at a glance what tasks are coming due next, allowing you to focus on the most urgent to-do items first. Your team’s activity on each task will be tracked so that you can see just how productive you all are. This serves as a nice bonus feature for teams who need to track their time for billing purposes.
In 2020, it’s time to take a closer look at your shipping processes. Do you head to the UPS Store or post office every time you need to get a product in the mail to a customer? If you specialize in services, that could work, but as your product-based business scales, you’ll need a more powerful shipping solution.
ShipStation helps you with your order fulfillment needs, whether you’re selling through your own website or you’re using a marketplace like Shopify or Amazon. Having the marketplaces handle shipping and order fulfillment for you may be more economically feasible for startups, but as you grow, it’s worth a look at whether ShipStation can help you save money or better meet customer demand.
Project management tools are great, but a task management tool like Todoist will help you with your day-to-day activities. Simply press the + button within the app any time you want to add a new task, whether you’re on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Remember to check your task list every day or, better yet, set a deadline for various tasks and enable alerts so that you get an email or push notification when a due date is approaching. You’ll be notified 30 minutes before the date you set, but you can adjust that to your own personal timeframe in settings.
If you’re working with others, even one employee or virtual assistant, you can extend Todoist to delegate and share tasks with others. Functionality varies from one version to another, so you may have to upgrade to the premium or business plans. One of the best features of Todoist is its inbox, which allows you to save tasks for multiple people to view. You can use labels and filters to separate your tasks by project or team and color-code your team inbox to separate it from the tasks in which you’re flying solo.
If you have a team, you already know the value of Trello for collaboration. But did you know you can use the project management tool for personal productivity? There are various approaches to this you can use to inspire you, but all of them have one thing in common: they involve adding cards to your board, with each card representing a task. From there, it’s simply organizing those tasks in a way that works best for you.
But if you have a team and you aren’t already using Trello, 2020 is a great year to get started. You can add tasks to your board and assign team members to each of them. As your employees finish their assignments, they can move each card back to you or another team member to handle the next phase necessary to complete it. This productivity tool is one of the most popular ways to organize the work you do each day.
Using technology to manage your teams, tasks, and projects is great, but having to use too many different tools for all this can be quite cumbersome. ProofHub is an all-in-one project, task, and team management software with amazing collaboration capabilities that simplifies everything. With this online project management and team collaboration software, you can plan your projects like a pro, manage your tasks and teams effortlessly, collaborate with teams and clients without any hassle, and stay in ultimate control of everything.
You can create tasks with deadlines and assign them to team members in a jiffy. Create custom workflows using kanban boards and keep things moving. There are Gantt charts to give you a visual timeline for projects and how they are progressing. Start collaborating with your teams by creating discussion topics and brainstorm together. It even has a built-in chat app to keep all your communications centralized. If you work in a team you already know how valuable an online team collaboration software can be. Plus, the real-time notifications for project updates keep everyone always informed of what’s happening in the projects. In all, ProofHub has got everything that a modern-day team requires to accomplish tasks and meet project deadlines while staying connected with each other and collaborating like a breeze.
Tiny business owners and entrepreneurs do not have the budget to purchase software that will help them run their business. Free productivity software is widely available, but with so many options to choose from, finding the best free productivity tool can be hard. Before you start spitballing ideas for your tiny business or web agency, try out some of these free productivity tools.