Everybody knows the saying “time is money”, but you may understand it in a number of ways. I understand time as a currency nobody will return to you once spent, at least not in the same form. Nevermind the tricky nature of this currency, saving time is one of the most important assets a business person can have and share with his/her team as a good practice.
This post gives you 9 tool ideas to help out any small team with everyday communication, task management, presenting content, and fighting procrastination.
Keep your tasks in order with Trello
When choosing the right project management platform, you should pick the one that is the most intuitive for your team. This way, you can be sure they are actually going to use it for its purpose – to make everyone’s life easier by transparency in task delegation and progress.
We highly recommend Trello, a visual-based project management tool. It uses a very simple system of boards and cards to manage projects and and exchange information or attachments from different sources (e.g. Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox). Trello is available for web, iPhone, Android and Windows.
Share news, thoughts, and content with Slack
When you associate online communication with tools like Skype or Google Hangouts, think twice. These apps aren’t particularly versatile and flexible. Luckily, there’s Slack – the app designed to facilitate information flow and speed up communication, which is thanks to dozens of integrations you can implement (e.g. with Dropbox, Trello, Google tools, and many more). Slack allows your team to post messages instantly in one place, search them any time you want and access the chat from both desktop and mobile devices. When it comes to content you can send, just go as you please: documents, images and videos with previews. Definitely worth giving a shot!
Make quick fixes with Screenhero
I think we’ve all been there: your teammate is trying to do a certain thing on their computer, but somehow can’t get to the right place. It’s too complex to explain in speaking, so you just sit next to him/her and navigate the cursor by yourself. OK, that’s fine when you work in the same room, but what if you’re far away from each other? That’s where Screenhero comes to aid. This app lets you access another user’s screen and cursor as if it was your own desktop. Very useful not only if you can’t see the right button on your screen :).
Measure your working time with Toggl
Time tracking comes in handy especially when you charge your customers with an hourly rate or when your team is working remotely and you can’t actually see when they enter or leave the office 🙂 A simple and effective app should boost your team’s performance by showing how much can be done in one day (that feeling when you see a number of accomplished tasks is irreplaceable). This is what Toggl does – it measures the real time spent at work, with a possibility to assign different tasks or project to each period. Toggl also generates neat reports you can send to clients or supervisors.
Streamline your thoughts and ideas with Evernote
Running a business starts with thinking, but that’s just the beginning. Later, you must know how to put your thoughts into words and share them with your team. That’s why a convenient note-taking and presenting tool is a must. One of the best options on the market is Evernote. It can serve you as a perfect blank space for writing, document storage and sharing place, presentation zone, and many more. You can access all your Evernote secrets from both mobile and desktop apps, fully synced.
Store your business files with Dropbox
The times of emailing single documents and sharing files from your hard drive are definitely over. Cloud storage changes your working life completely – everybody has the access to proper documents and media, sharing and adding new ones takes just seconds, the exchange of information is easy as pie. Apart from this basic function, you can use cloud storage for security backup. One of the most reliable apps for file storage is Dropbox. You can set up and account in a snap and enjoy a free plan!
Use your time wisely with pomodoro technique apps
If it’s one of those times when you can’t focus on anything and simply procrastinate, a simple time management hack will save your day. Have you heard of the pomodoro technique? It’s very simple and fun! For every 25 minutes of work, you take a 5-minute break to refresh your brains and get new energy for the next iteration. Yes, there are free apps that measure your time and help increase productivity, e.g. Pomodoro One. Check it out!
Fight distractions with social media blocker plugins
Do you have trouble keeping your hands off the smartphone at work? Are you addicted to scrolling down Facebook and Twitter timelines, finding out there’s nothing interesting going on, putting your phone down and… repeating the procedure every 10 minutes? Or maybe you’re one of those who keep their Facebook tab open on a desktop browser all the time and checking every notification that arrives? Well, let’s put an end to all of this by installing a few simple tools. Social media blockers prevent you from accessing distracting websites for an assigned amount of time. You can find many of them around the net, feel free to try Block site or StayFocusd (for Chrome), Leech Block (for Firefox), Selfcontrol (for Apple).
The first step to a productive day is… resisting the urge of oversleeping. But you can get so immune to your alarm clock signal that you barely notice it. Luckily, there’s a trick for that, too! These are alarm clocks that make you do something more engaging to turn them off. If getting up too late is your problem, try Mathe (if numbers are your thing) or Puzzle (if you’re more into visual content). Better mornings guaranteed!
This is the set of applications that make our working lives easier. How about you? Do you have any other ideas for managing your – and your team’s – time better? If you found this post useful, feel free to retweet it or share on Facebook.
When you finish work, of course ;)!