In the fast paced, ultra competitive context of the global marketplace, it’s incumbent upon business owners to reduce waste wherever they find it. Unfortunately, while many entrepreneurs are adept at trimming the fat off when it comes to expense, scything down their overheads with calculated proficiency, fewer are as adept at saving time. We all know that time is money and our resources are as finite when it comes to time as they are when it comes to money. Thus, savvy businesses need to squeeze every second’s worth of productivity out of every day. This can be achieved by revising your processes, but also by taking a closer look at the tools you employ.
When it comes to the tools of the digital workplace, there’s a lot more going on than Office. The following are some recommended apps that can either replace or supplement your business’ IT infrastructure to boost productivity and maximize profits. Best of all, they are all free or have a free version.
There are many task list apps out there, but Asana has to rank amongst the most intuitive and effective. It has a simple and accessible interface and allows for excellent real time communications between collaborators by way of push notifications. Tasks can be set up, allocated or re-allocated and communications between collaborators is easy. No more endless email to and fro or miscommunications over the phone.
Many businesses have basic imaging needs but very few need to fork out the hefty pricetag required for Photoshop, thereby paying for a plethora of sophisticated features that they’ll never have the need for. Pixlr is a browser based imaging program with a very similar (albeit much simpler) interface to Photoshop that will meet the needs of most businesses with basic imaging requirements quickly and easily.
Sometimes you need to jot something down quickly and be able to recall it just as quickly. If you’re still sifting through half remembered Word docs in your documents folder you can save yourself a great deal of time and money using Evernote. You can store notes on Evernote and search for them using a keyword search. You can even store images you’ve snapped (such as a business card or a scribbled down phone number) and search for these just as easily.
Many businesses are conversant with the use of social media to reach out to a host of potential leads, but it can be used in unorthodox but effective ways. Twitter is a great tool for sharing links instead of using email. In an age where email inboxes are choc-a-bloc with spam, not only is one more likely to get a timely response to a link shared over Twitter but by judicious use of hashtags you can bring attention to your business and organically grow your business’ reach.
There you have it, you don’t need to spend a fortune on expensive IT upgrades to boost your productivity. Give these free apps a try and see how you can enfold them into your business’ existing IT infrastructure.