7 Tech Tools to Make Your Life Easier
Keeping a small business running in an orderly fashion can get tricky. Managing project information, interns, employees working in-office and remotely, sharing documents, tracking billable hours– the list goes on. Here at Change Media Group we’ve turned to some really great tech tools to ease the stress of day-to-day organizational tasks and free up more time to work on what really matters: projects for our clients
Here are 7 tools we regularly use to make our working lives simpler, more pleasant and more productive. Just call it your Small Business Productivity Toolkit.
- Google Drive: The time has come– ditch Microsoft Office! Google Drive allows users to collaborate on files in real-time. From presentations, to documents, to spreadsheets, Drive is a great way to work on files with your team. Plus, Drive automatically saves each document while you work on it so you never lose information, and you can easily restore and track revisions.
- Hangouts: Hangouts is simply Google’s version of Skype. We’ve used this for everything from conducting interviews with interns to morning meetings with remote employees. You can schedule on-air chats or do private group Hangouts. There is a chat feature, and you can combine other apps to make it more versatile and personalize it for your own particular uses.
- Harvest: Harvest offers simple time tracking, online invoicing, and reporting to help you stay on budget, track your earnings, and better manage your business. This makes time capture, reporting and even invoicing a lot faster and simpler. It’s an easy and affordable way to manage time, budgets, expenses and reports for projects. This helps us spend less time tracking project hours and more time actually working on those projects. Plus, there’s a super simple mobile app so hours can be captured from anywhere.
- Asana: This shared task list and project management tool keeps all of your team’s projects and tasks in one place so that everyone stays in sync. Emails can often get lost and unorganized, and one-on-one conversations leave team members out of the loop, so using Asana adds transparency, accountability and structure to projects. With Asana, you can assign owners to different tasks, such as reviewing and approving a contract, as well as set priorities and due dates on items. Besides being able to shoot through project tasks, you can see and apply changes to project updates in real time. Asana has called itself “the end to email,” and we’ve noticed that it really has made big improvements in our inboxes.
- Dropbox: This is a cloud-storage service is the multitasker’s savior, creating a virtual link between all of your Internet connected devices. Utilizing the cloud saving capability, users can save all of their images, documents, native files, and video clips onto their Dropbox account, which can then be accessed from anywhere. This is great for keeping documents organized in one place and sharing them with other users. We also love this one for sharing files too large to send as email attachments!
- Boomerang: This Gmail add-on lets you draft an email and schedule it to be sent automatically at the perfect time. This is great for when we’re working long hours and want to avoid sending emails in the middle of the night!
- IFTTT: This tool allows you to create seamless connections between products and apps to make them work in more personalized ways. For example, create a ‘recipe’ that saves Instagram photos to Dropbox each time you post for easy retrieval later on. Create shortcuts for Google Calendar events, capture post-it notes to Dropbox, set up automatic reminders when the forecast calls for rain– the possibilities are endless with this one!
These tech tools help ensure our team has easy access to everything they need in order to do their jobs more productively, but we’re always looking for new and better ways to improve! What tools are your team using?