As a business owner or manager, you want your team to be productive. There are literally thousands of tools out there that claim to boost productivity. Here are seven that actually deliver on the promise.
As a business owner or manager, you want your team to be productive. There are literally thousands of tools out there that claim to boost the productivity of individuals and teams, but very few deliver on the promise.
Below are seven tools that I use every day that have helped me and my team stay productive.
1. Slack: Slack is perfect for any team but more so for teams with remote workers or contractors. It centralizes all of your team's critical communication into one app and integrates with tools you already use. Setting up Slack is easy and using it is even easier. It's your virtual office, and using Slack is almost like being the same room with your co-workers.
2. Skype:Skype is a communication and collaboration tool that combines video, voice and text chat. Skype keeps you connected with your entire team for free. If your team size is small, Skype can be a great tool for communicating with team members. You can include up to nine people in a call. You can also buy Skype credits or a subscription to call others on their phone or forward calls to your phone. In any business, there are times when you need to call someone directly. A Skype credit can be handy for those situations. It can reduce your long distance and international calling costs significantly.
3. Asana: With Asana, you can organize to-do lists, projects and meeting information, conversations, and emails in an easy-to-read dashboard. Team members can stay on top of all information, allowing you to quickly identify issues that need attention. Asana is especially useful for distributed teams as team members are able to stay in touch with the rest of the team. Asana is free for teams up to 15 members. You can get access to all features like data export and additional dashboards by upgrading to a paid plan.
4. HiveDesk: Time is money, and every business needs to track employee time and productivity. HiveDesk is an automatic time-tracking software application. You can set up projects and assign employees (or yourself) to these projects. Employees or contract workers first download the app. Once the employee logs in, the software will start tracking their time. It can also record screenshots in case you need it to back up the time sheets. The best part is the productivity reports that help you understand how productive you and your team have been. HiveDesk can be especially useful in tracking the time of consultants (or those who work remotely) and cross-checking their invoices. If your business bills clients hours, HiveDesk can be very handy for both tracking the time spent on a project and backing up the invoice with screenshots.
5. Dropbox: Whether you want to keep your personal files in one place or share files with your global team, Dropbox is your solution. Files on Dropbox are backed up and synced, and can be accessed from a desktop computer, mobile device or laptop. Your important data and documents are always with you.
6. DocuSign: DocuSign is transaction management software. It provides a simple and secure way to electronically sign documents and collect signatures from others. It eliminates the cost and hassles of printing, signing, scanning and sending documents electronically. It saves a lot of time and is super easy to use. If you hire contractors or consultants, you can use DocuSign to streamline the process of signing the paperwork. No more hassles and costs of physically shipping documents for signature. You can also link DocuSign with your Gmail account to open documents in DocuSign.
7. Groove: Groove is a customer support collaboration application. With Groove, you can collaborate on all your customer emails, social media posts, chats and calls together in one place.