The speed of business is fast. Customers expect businesses to continually improve their efficiency. There is pressure on employees to deliver work quickly and without error. Fortunately, there are numerous automation tools available, aimed at improving productivity metrics. These productivity tools can be installed on PCs and mobile devices. Some minimize distractions, automate tasks, or provide a central interface for other apps.
There are more distractions today than at any other point in history. To get around this, here are 7 productivity tools your employees need right now.
1. Business Management Productivity Tools
Your employees need to streamline their workflow. They need a dashboard from where they can view pending tasks and upcoming deadlines. They should be able to quickly generate invoices or other important communication from templates. This saves time and allows them more time to focus on high-level tasks.
Scoro is a business management software that provides such a dashboard. With it, employees can track a project’s budget spend, profit, steps, and more. All people involved in the project have a standardized view of the project. Podio is similarly powerful and has an inbuilt chat feature that supports multiple users. Podio connects easily to third party tools such Microsoft Office 365, Dropbox, and Microsoft Evernote. Other alternatives include Trello and Asana.
2. Writing Improvement Tools
If your organization needs to constantly write and send over documents to clients, you want to make sure they are error free. This is important when the work you are bidding for or presenting needs to demonstrate a high level of professionalism and care.
Editing long documents can be tiring and tiny mistakes are easy to miss. An editing tool that integrates with your document editing software is always a great addition to workflow. Hemingway app is the leading solution in this class, and you can opt for the free version or premium version. It can be can run as an app on PC or as an extension to browsers. Alternatives to Hemingway app include Grammarly and ProWriting Aid. Both come as SaaS products.
3. Premium Cloud Storage Options
Premium cloud storage allows users to backup, access, and share important documents and data. Organizations that generate and use highly sensitive and expensive data need to have it stored securely away from the physical premises. Premium cloud storage has the advantage of being able to share files easily through various communication channels. It also eases collaboration on projects.
Idrive is perhaps the most sophisticated solution in this category. Users can access up to 30 previous versions of a document. Google Drive is the most popular storage tool among professionals while Microsoft One Drive is great for people who prefer a native Windows environment. The biggest advantage of premium cloud storage is the peace of mind it offers that official information is safe and that loss of hardware devices will not jeopardize workflow.
4. Zapier (Task Automation)
Zapier is an online task automation tool that saves time that you would otherwise be spending on menial and repetitive tasks. For instance, if your business uses social media channels and posts identical content on all, you can use Zapier to automate sharing. Therefore, if your main channel is Instagram for instance, anything shared there can easily be shared on Twitter or Facebook. Zapier can also be used to automate replies on email, send task reminders, categorize emails, sync files on multiple devices, and much more. A less advanced but free alternative is IFTTT.
Training your staff to use task automation tools will improve their productivity both in the office and in other areas of their lives. In the long run, such tools minimize fatigue.
5. Filestage (Creatives Collaboration Productivity Tools)
In an organization where creatives’ work needs to be approved by several leaders, it’s easy to get frustrated by delays in the chain. Filestage offers a platform where people working on a project can make comments, suggest edits, and edit those requests. It gives visibility to the whole process so that there no more bottlenecks. Videos, images, documents, and audio files can all be worked on within the software’s environment.
Creatives easily get bored when their ideas take too long to be approved. A faster process will inspire them to bring more ideas to life.
6. Freedom from Distractions
The Freedom app does just what it says. It frees employees from distractions when working. With the app, you can block websites and alerts that easily distract from important things. Whatever gets blocks on one device is blocked on all other synced devices. According to a study by the Department of Informatics at the University of California, it takes on average 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to a task after each distraction at the workplace. The most common distractors are social media, media streaming sites, shopping sites, and news. If employees can avoid these sites during office hours, they will see a huge spike in average productivity.
7. Canva (Quick Designs for Productivity)
Canva is great for teams that need to produce media content for websites and social media. It provides templates and an editing environment for social media images, infographics, flyers, business cards, and almost every other visual content you can imagine. The biggest attraction for Canva is the speed with which your team can create professional content. Their prices start from as low as $12.95 a month. It’s great for creating and sharing brand assets to team members. Canva also offers Print and delivery services, including handling bulk orders.
Improving Workflow with the Right Productivity Tools
Picking the right tools for productivity can be overwhelming due to the numerous options available in each category. In addition, some tools do a bit of everything, meaning that they might overlap with others. The choice of tool is a function of price and personal preference. However, you can seek advice from tech-consulting firms.
At Transcendent Software, we help companies make the best use of and choices regarding IT infrastructure. We offer software development services, integrations, and customizations, as well as technology training for employees. Get in touch for advice regarding the best productivity tools for your employees for 2022!