Tools To Make You (Work) Smarter
June 6, 2015
We truly are spoiled for choice and if there’s a task or a process you’re getting caught up with, there’s a chance there’s a tool to help you work smarter on that task. Here’s some tools either I use or have clients raving about how they’ve made life easier (and more FUN) for them. Enjoy!!!
The bigger it gets, the better it gets. Trello is no longer a simple task management app; it has grown into a tool that can be used to prepare, schedule and edit a wide variety of content, for teams that span unlimited in their size. They’re passionate about what they do, and people are starting to find all kinds of uses for this platform.
Involve your team members in using Trello, and you will quickly see how effective it can be for storing ideas, working on issues, even doing customer care tasks.
BoostSuite is a tool that helps to optimise web marketing for small businesses. It’s the ultimate tool for beginners and biz owners with little prior marketing experience. By analysing your marketing data, BoostSuite identifies key opportunities for improvement. It then generates simple tasks for you to complete. It’s basically like having a Marketing Director telling you exactly what you should do to best leverage your marketing.
BoostSuite offers two plans – Free Forever and Professional. Their Pro plan starts as affordable as $19 per month.
There is no shortage of tasks that a business of any size needs to deal with, and oftentimes you’re forced to opt for three different tools just to achieve the workflow result you would like. Drinkle is thinking a step ahead, and provides a great list of features in one place; project management, customer relationship management, spreadsheets, global notes, and even stock management.
It’s a great tool for any small business that’s either starting out, or is mature enough to be looking for an all in one management solution.
Keywords are what help potential customers to find your business through organic search; the better you can understand your keywords, the better you can optimise your content for them. AccuRanker is a beginner-friendly keyword tracking tool that will work just as fine on your competition, as it will on your own sites that you manage.
If you work as a business online, social media is going to be one of your top priorities/tasks and, not just because your customers are there, but because potential customers are there as well! Buffer is one of the leaders in managing a transparent company where everyone can get involved. Their social sharing application is an awesome piece of technology, but so are the high-quality blog posts that these guys publish on frequent basis.
Evernote is well established as the go-to app for organising just about everything in your life and business. Whether its notes for a meeting or bookmarks from the Web, Evernote can take pretty much anything you want to throw at it. But are you using the platform to its full potential? Here are 10 quick tips for turning yourself into an Evernote power user.
The great thing about Wufoo is that it doesn’t stop at helping you to create forms; it actually goes the extra mile to help you integrate 3rd party services like payments within your forms, helping you to save a ton of time along the way. Whether it is a simple contact form, or a full-scale application form for a new order to be placed, Wufoo can deal and tackle with those requirements quite easily.
Mind mapping can help to unravel loopholes that need fixing. It can also reveal big ideas that are hiding behind small steps. MindMeister is all about collaborative mind mapping interaction, where you can bring in your team and work on aspects of your business together. Get everyone involved for quicker evolution of your ideas.
Achieved a new goal? Learned a new way of doing business? Create a presentation and share it with the world! Presentations are such a great way to learn, especially because it involves visual learning. Prezi helps you to create state of the art presentations within a couple of clicks. Help yourself learn by teaching others!
This service is a lot like If This, Then That (IFTTT), but for businesses. You can connect the well-known apps you are already using to automate your work process. For instance, every time you are assigned a new task in your company’s project-management platform, it will automatically create a calendar alert to remind you to finish it. The pricing plans for Zapier run from free to $150 per month, based on the number of “zaps” (such as automated tasks) that are needed to run.
This neat tool actually gamifies your day. Upload your priorities and goals for daily workflow, RescueTime runs in the background and then, on a weekly basis, sends you an email outlining where you spent your time, and how you did compared to your goals. Spend 10 minutes looking over the report during your weekly review, and be prepared for how valuable you find this. There’s a premium (paid) version, but you should get everything you need from the free one.
You know when you open a new tab with the intention of doing something, but end up checking Facebook instead because you saw it on your “recently viewed” list? Not any more. Momentum is a Chrome plugin that keeps you distraction free. In addition to a beautiful picture (which changes daily), this app displays your Top Priority for the day, and a small ToDo list. Focus, focus, focus. In an aesthetically pleasing way.
Email. Doesn’t it drive you crazy! I don’t know how it does it, but SaneBox is the smartest email filtering tool I’ve ever come across. Your “Important/Urgent” emails make their way to your inbox, while everything else gets sorted into folders like “Sane Later” and “Sane Bulk”, which you get a daily reminder about. Definitely give this app a go.
Charlieapp and Refresh
While similar, Charlieapp.com & Refresh.io have separate features and return slightly different search results, try them in tandem. Basically, the gist is this: an hour before a meeting (or whenever ~ you set the specs), you get a neat and tidy email update with all social media, recent news and profile information on the person(s) you’re meeting with, and the company they represent. It’s like an assistant handing you a dossier before the big sales meeting. As an added plus, Charlie is hilarious – and we ALL need more humour in our day.
Need some help? Talk to Justine about how having your very own VA … the ultimate ‘work smarter’ tool!