How productive your business is, is down to the amount of money, resources and staff you have, right? Wrong. Even the largest organisations, in fact especially large organisations, can lose out on significant amounts of productivity simply due to having inefficient processes and systems. Getting organised for maximum productivity therefore should be a priority for all businesses.
In a moment we’ll take a look at five apps that you can use to help your business be more productive, but first we should look at some of the key reasons for poor productivity:
- Disorganisation – Maximum productivity can only be achieved by well organised businesses in which every individual understands what they are doing and when.
- Accessibility – Increasingly, staff are working remotely or on the road. Being unable to access key documents, systems or software from their location can be an obstacle that undermines productivity.
- Distractions – Little distractions, such as those that occur when constantly changing between software and documents, can mount up in terms of lost productivity. When employees have to constantly shift gear, they lose time and focus.
- Duplication – Any task or process which is needlessly duplicated is a potential drain on productivity.
So, now that we know what some of the key problems are, let’s look at some of the apps that can be used to address them.
Microsoft OneNote – As unlikely as it may seem for a Microsoft product, OneNote is entirely free. But the value it can provide in organising information is particularly high. Think of it as a supercharged notebook in which you can store key information, ideas and drafts, as well as screen and web clippings. You can use it in tandem on all of your devices, as well as sharing and collaborating on notebooks with colleagues.
Trello – If OneNote is great for organising information, then Trello is perfect for sorting and communicating tasks. Within your Trello ‘board’ you can essentially build any number of lists, on which you can post cards and to-do lists. All of these cards can be moved, searched and commented upon, and can be used by individuals or by teams and even large departments as needed to manage and coordinate tasks.
Google Drive – One of the most popular forms of ‘cloud’ storage, Google Drive makes it possible for all team members to access and edit files as required from wherever they are, on desktop or mobile. It’s particularly useful if you need to share large files or many different files with a colleague who is collaborating with you on a project.
Power PDF – If everyone in the organisation is sharing documents in different formats, the time taken to open and convert files as needed can be a major drain. Power PDF makes it possible to easily convert most files types to PDF, as well as scanning to PDF and integrating with existing document management systems.
Slack – If you’ve ever been on the end of a long email chain with all members of the thread hitting ‘reply all’, you’ll know how time consuming it can be, particularly when you want to look back and check what a specific person said. Slack enables you to bring all your communications together in one place, search through them and separate different topics of discussion into ‘channels’ as needed. Most importantly perhaps, it will prevent your email inbox from clogging up.