Time would have to be the most valuable resource in any modern business. So how do we maximise it and what tools are out there to help? Read on.
Life is insane. We are a very busy society and by all accounts, it feels like the pressure on our available time is just ramping up across the board.
So having the tools at your disposal that will allow you to claw back some of your precious time has to be invaluable, right?
We've done the research and here's a few of our favourite tools to help you out.
Evernote is essentially a very clever digital alternative to your traditional notebook.
In fact, the platform uses exactly that terminolgy. You can create notebooks for specific purposes, projects or topics and then within that notebook you can keep notes.
I like that I can also clip, save, copy webpages and emails into my notebooks.
Evernote is an app that you can have across your desktop and mobile devices so that the notes you've made have synced and are constantly available to you on the go. If you want to, you can even share your notes with other people.
I actually use Evernote quite a bit in planning the content for each blog post I write and for the newsletters we put out fortnightly. I clip the ideas sent to me and make notes about my own thoughts, and it becomes a very good 'on-the-go' resource for me to come back to later where all my random thoughts will be presented in a cohesive manner.
I've put Freedcamp on my list of tools to start using ASAP. I've just signed up and am in the process of setting up my projects.
I came across Freedcamp very recently and although I don't yet have a lot of experience with it, I still thought it rated a mention here for it's value in life management.
Yes folks, I said life management.
The creaters of Freedcamp are promoting it as the one-stop-shop of organising everything that is important to you from things going on at home through to the big projects you're dealing with at the office.
It's free so I figure that with all the features they're promoting there is only positivity to come from giving it a go.
If your organisation is leveraging the Google Apps for Work system, you'll love that Freedcamp also syncs with your Google Calendar to line up your milestones, events and to-do lists.
When you're setting up projects, you will find that you can add project members to your boards which makes Freedcamp an awesome collaboration tool.
There are also a range of paid ad-ons (as you'd expect) that look interesting to me. Particularly the issue tracker. In their own words, Freedcamp say that the Issue Tracker provides a clear and centralised overview for requests and their current state. I'll certainly be looking at this for the management of larger complex projects.
I personally live and die by Dropbox.
My business thrives on me being able to access my files wherever I am, being able to share them and to invite others to collaborate with me on files directly through Dropbox.
For those of you who've never heard of Dropbox, this is a lifechanging tool.
It started out purely as a secure cloud-based system to store your files for access from anywhere you've got a computer and an internet connection.
Dropbox has since grown to enable collaboration, including tracked changes, integrations with Microsoft office and fantastic sharing capabilities.
It's not expensive at all, especially given that it provides you with unlimited storage in the Business Package as well as unlimited file recovery.
As a business, you can see exactly who has access to what files and easily assign/change the accesses as required.
This is a great tool for enabling your workforce to be productive and collaborative no matter where they are working from.
Hootsuite is a no-brainer, must-have tool for any organisation managing multiple social media accounts.
Rather than wasting time logging in and out of various social media accounts, set them all up in Hootsuite. From there, you'll be able to post, schedule, monitor, engage and measure all your social media activity.
Here's a great screenshot that summarises the fabulous features of Hootsuite.
You will love everything about Toggl, from the simplicity of tracking the exact time it takes to complete a specific task through to being able to accurately estimate the amount of time it WILL take to deliver a project.
The reporting functionality is a terrific way of monitoring the viability of certain activities as well as the productivity of certain employees.
Toggl also has integrations with a range of bookkeeping and project management applications which are worth checking out.
I always use Toggl when managing projects for clients because it really is an invaluable tool for proving your value, or for proving the cost associated with a project rollout.
Trello is the ultimate tool for keeping you on track.
The boards, lists and cards that you can create in Trello are really flexible and easy to use.
Within a board you create lists, and within lists you create cards.
So a board is the highest level. It might be a program area within your organisation.
Then the list might represent a project that the program area has to deliver.
The card then represents each of the tasks for that project.
Of course, this is only one example of how Trello might be used and there are a multitude of examples shared across the internet.
Trello allows you to incorporate checklists, upload documents, set due dates, assign tasks, label items, move items between boards and/or lists. You can subscribe to notifications so that you never miss an update from anyone you're collaborating with on a card. Then you can print your cards, export them or email them.
The possibilities are endless.
I really have left the best till last with SaneBox.
This baby helps you to organise your endless stream of emails. Well, actually, it kinda does it for you.
Here's a quick little video on how it works.