2020 is a great year to start improving your productivity. It’s the start of a new decade and a whole new world of opportunities. Add to that the fact that we all demand so much more from our time now, productivity hacks and apps are a great way to squeeze more out of the time we have.
So, we thought we’d take the opportunity to share our thoughts on some of the top productivity apps and software for your small business. We’ll cover everything from tools tracking to better communication.
As we were writing this blog, one main thought struck us. We believe the two key aspects of increasing productivity are sharing and communication. The more you can share with your team, including access to systems, information and, crucially, responsibility, the more efficient your processes become. And when you increase efficiency, you increase productivity too. When it comes to communication, we all know it’s key, but sometimes, life and the day to day struggles of work get in the way and communication within teams and across an organisation can break down. If you start using these productivity and communication tools, we reckon your lives will instantly get about 40% easier.
1. Slack: Communication at its finest
If you’re not familiar with Slack, where have you been!?
We first came across Slack about five years ago. It was still very much in its infancy. At the time, we were a teeny tiny start-up and decided that Slack was a bit more than what we needed.
Oh, how times have changed! As we grew the team, we realised that emails were just not cutting it and we got up and running using Slack. We can honestly say we’ve NEVER looked back.
Slack is a communication tool that lets you organise and control your communication in one place. If you have remote workers, it’s absolutely game-changing. Organising your communication is done by utilising different channels to group discussions on similar topics. It’s a great tool for tracking conversations and keeping up to date, without getting distracted when you need to focus on something important or urgent. You can add certain members of your team to certain channels so that nobody is bombarded with information that’s irrelevant to them, and you can even use it to arrange team events!
We love the integrations available too. You can easily and quickly integrate into your CRM system or other key systems you use day to day.
2. itemit: Tools Tracking like you’ve never seen it before
itemit is a modern-day alternative to tracking your tools, equipment and IT assets using a spreadsheet. Now, your tools and equipment will come to life, with their own profile pages, containing all relevant user manuals, information and maintenance/inspection schedules.
If you’re spending more time than you have trying to find tools and equipment and attempting to figure out which equipment is due for PAT testing, then you need itemit in your life.
Start tracking your tools and equipment, and you’ll be able to see at a glance where assets are. Not only that but share itemit with the whole team and each team member can access the system too (although you can control their permissions). This means each member of staff can book the assets they need in advance and check them out when they need to take them. That way, everyone can see which assets are available, where tools and equipment are, and when they’re due back.
Not only does itemit save you time, but it will also save your small business a lot of money. Imagine if you no longer had to battle with lost and missing assets. Now you don’t!
Then, link your asset tracking software to Slack using Zapier. This way, you can get notifications every time a booking is made!
3. Todoist: Organise your Life
A to-do list can help anyone achieve their goals and enjoy doing it. Todoist provides a colourful and customisable UI that can make checking off tasks feel great.
When you’re presented with a list of tasks, you don’t want to feel weighed down by everything. Seeing a colourful range of tickboxes that you can share with your colleagues allows you to increase your personal productivity, as well as show your team what you’re working on.
We love the flexibility and the gamification of todoist. How many karma points do you have??
4. Trello: Task management without the admin
Managing tasks, development sprints or projects usually come with a whole lot of admin. When you use Trello, the amount of admin is cut down drastically.
Of course, with Trello, you can share your tasks with your colleagues and assign them to users. All super handy for reducing the communication needed for smaller tasks.
Trello offers great flexibility too so you can create columns or swimlanes of tasks that are completed, in progress, or pending, or create columns and split them up by areas, such as sales or marketing. Or perhaps you’re managing different areas of stages of a product. No matter what, Trello makes it super easy to move cards from one column to the next
When a task is complete, there’s no better feeling than dragging it into the completed column!
Trello is great for managers as it makes assigning tasks simple. See what everyone is working on and when, and create a bigger picture that will improve your processes.
5. Dropbox: Sharing is caring
It’s never been easier to share files, documents and photos with your colleagues – even if the files are HUGE!
Dropbox is great for sharing documents with remote workers in particular. Now you don’t need to worry about having access to certain network drives to get what you need – you can even access files from the beach on your trip to the Maldives (hey, we said you can, not that you should!).
It’s a simple process of sharing a folder and then adding to it, and then in no time at all, your colleagues can pick up your files and use them towards their own projects or get cracking on their tasks.
From Tools Tracking To To-Do Lists
As a small business, it’s crucial that you take advantage of software for small businesses. Otherwise, you’ll never be ahead of the game. These five pieces of business software will no doubt increase your productivity and save your small business a lot of time and money.
Heck, why not use them all together? Track your tools, manage your tasks, and share your information with colleagues to ensure a greater level of accountability and transparency in your workplace.
We can’t help you get up and running with Slack, but we can help you with your tools tracking. Fill in the form below to get a free taste of itemit and see how it will change the way you track tools and equipment forever!
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