When you are running a business, it is important to stay lean in terms of resources. But how do we get more things done with limited resources & time? There are a bunch of productivity tools that can help your business become extremely productive. They automate a lot of the daily grind and help you accomplish more. Here are the 10 productivity tools no business can live without. They are not ranked in any order.
Evernote is a note-taking tool that makes it easy to remember virtually everything from your life. You can then store it on the cloud and access it anywhere, from any device. You can also capture notes in a variety of formats like photos, audio recordings and web clippings. Evernote is very useful for taking meeting notes & sharing it with your team. You can also list out ideas while brainstorming and collaborate with your team. It is one of the best productivity tools I have used so far. It is amazing how well it helps you organize, find and edit your notes.
It is a must have productivity tool for every website because it lets you see the traffic coming to your sites and blogs daily. You can see where the traffic is coming from. This allows you to cut expenses on unnecessary advertising that’s costing your business money and time. It also shows you the location of visitors, kind of device they use, pages they have visited. This helps you understand where they are located, which website is driving more traffic to your site. Now you can target them effectively & update your site to suit these devices. You can also see the pages they are more interested in viewing and provide more similar content on your site.
Workflowy is an extremely easy-to-use online tool to create to-do lists. It allows you to better organize myself, by mimicking the way you naturally think: by making a list of high level ideas and tasks and then breaking them into smaller pieces. You can also tag & search for your tasks. This productivity tool makes it easy to keep track of them.
When I started to approach prospects for my product, I was facing a couple of problems. I had to send similar emails to many people. This was taking a lot of my time. Also, I couldn’t figure out if people are opening my emails and clicking the links on it. So, I didn’t know whether my pitch was working or not. Yesware is a productivity tool that solved both my problems effortlessly. YesWare allows you to create email templates. It also allows you to group templates for prospecting, common questions, support, anything. YesWare also tracks all of the templates for you, so you can analyze how well they are working. It gives you the open rate & click rates for each type of template. This allows you to refine your emails based on how people respond. They have a free plan to start with.
Mailchimp helps you efficiently send bulk emails to your mailing lists. You can create different bulk mailing campaigns, create mailing templates, send emails & track how they have responded. It is different from Yesware because it helps you manage bulk mailing campaigns like newsletter campaigns for mailing lists of your website or blog.
Google drive is free productivity tool by Google for creating, editing, sharing documents. It started as Google Docs which was a free alternative to Microsoft Office but has grown into a full fledged productivity & collaboration tool. You can easily create documents, presentations, spreadsheets & survey forms. Share them with your teammates, sync them across multiple devices or download it to your laptop and edit it. It also works on mobiles which makes it truly seamless.
It also allows you to add more apps to it from the Chrome store. So you can add something like Lucid Chart if you want to create workflow diagrams.
As I started mailing prospects about my product, I started facing the problem of managing them. Streak is a productivity tool that allows you to manage your outbound sales funnel from within your inbox. It gives you a view of who is where in the sales process. Assign prospects to other teammates, share your funnel with your team and keep any information about a prospect in one place. You can also use it manage customer support tickets, bug tracking, etc. All from within your Gmail. It is currently in Beta and free.
Rapportive is an amazing productivity tool that helps you put a face to an email id. If we are mailing a person, we try to understand more details about that person so that we can connect with him/her better. We do this by searching about him/her in all social platforms, checking up their activities at various portals, looking up their job history and location as well. Rapportive does this for you. It gathers all information about a person from these locations and neatly shows it to you in your Gmail along with his/ her picture. Now you can customize your email accordingly.
I had personally faced a couple of problems and came across this app while searching for a solution online. The first one was to post my updates/articles across multiple social sites like twitter, facebook, google plus, linkedin. The second one was to post these updates at specific times when there were many readers online. Doing both these manually is cumbersome & leaves not much room to do other things. Buffer is a productivity tool that helps you automate your posts & updates across multiple social platforms. It also helps you schedule them so that your posts get shared even when you are asleep. That’s why I simply love this app. Hootsuite is another similar productivity tool I have heard good things about.
Zopim is a powerful chat tool for your website to engage with your customers. It save a lot of time compared to using emails/phone. You can use it for customer support or answering questions of site visitors. Zopim’s live chat service has a very nice chat design, strong analytical tools and wide variety of integrated programs. What’s more, they have a free plan to get you started.