For small business owners, time is a precious commodity. Fortunately, the digital age allows us a kind of flexibility never before experienced. We can virtually connect with clients, customers and our employees, in a way that makes sense to everyone’s busy schedule. One of the most important ways you can do this is through online productivity and project management apps. Some of them are even free!
There’s no reason why you can’t use these digital tools to make your life and workflow simple for everyone involved- your clients, your employees, and yourself.
Asana is a project management tool which eases the flow of communication between teams and their managers. With Asana, multiple people are assigned to work on multiple tasks or projects- and everyone involved is able to track the project’s progress without the hassle of back-and-forth emails, multiple meetings, or trips to another person’s office. Through Asana, you can virtually connect with everyone on your team, and assign specific tasks, projects, and deadlines with ease.
Todoist is the to-do list par excellence. You can create any list you want, whether it’s a grocery list, a list of brainstormed ideas, or a task list attached to an important work project. You can even share your lists with others, and assign any project or task for them to complete. While it is far less sophisticated than Asana, Todoist is perfect for those who desire a more minimal, personal approach.
Google Drive / Dropbox
GoogleDrive and Dropbox are cloud storage systems that remove the headache of emailing and storing files in multiple places- including documents, videos, photos, and slideshows. Both programs allow you and your team to access and edit files on a single cloud drive. Bonus: They’re both incredibly intuitive!
Any.do lies somewhere between the simplicity of Todoist and the sophistication of Asana. It’s got the clean, simple look of Todoist with the more involved, task-assigning capabilities of Asana. Any.do, in short, works well for people who want a robust productive management software without the visual excess.
Tired of trying to schedule a meeting with someone, only to play email tag? Time Trade can integrate with your Google or Outlook calendar so that clients or employees can schedule appointments directly- based on the times you both are available. Open slots are the only things they can see on your calendar, and you can also send prompts for them to schedule for a specific length of time.
Time Trade cuts back on the excessive emails, and goes straight to what’s important: scheduling that meeting, so you can move forward in your business relationship. It’s that simple!
StayFocusd / StrictWorkflow
StayFocusd and StrictWorkflow are apps that blocks certain websites from certain times of day, so that you can be more productive. For example, if you have a habit of checking Facebook during your mid-day slump, you can program StayFocusd or StrictWorkflow to block Facebook between, say, the hours of 2pm and 5pm. Websites like StayFocusd and StrictWorkflow ensure that you and your employees will be getting the most of the workday.
Having clients or customers fill out print documents can be a hassle, especially in the digital age when virtually everything else can be done online. SignNow is an affordable online tool that allows you to upload and send documents to your clients, so they can fill them out at a time and place convenient for them. It gets rid of the hassle of printing, scanning, emailing and re-saving printed forms.
Making Work Manageable
New productivity and project management tools are being developed every day. It’s an exciting time to be a small business owner, because of the way these programs make managing a business so much easier and more efficient. Take advantage of the way digital apps are changing the way people work- for the better!