Hundreds of emails a day, long meetings, an ever-growing to-do list and no way of keeping track of where you’re at – it’s no wonder the modern workplace is full of highly stressed and underperforming employees.
The recent exponential growth in technology has led to an ever-increasing onslaught of information that comes our way each day. This means workers are less efficient, despite the fact technology was supposed to make everything easier.
The major problems I see around productivity when working with businesses are:
- * Unnecessary and distracting email traffic
- * Poor record-keeping, leading to important jobs falling through the cracks
- * Bad time management, meaning we aren’t getting the most out of our day
- * Long meetings in which nothing is achieved
These are the sort of things that can kill a business – but there are some good solutions out there amongst the clutter.
After many hours spent with small businesses and working out their issues, here are the five best apps I’ve found that will actually improve your productivity.
- Slack: This very popular messaging app removes the email clutter that is the scourge of so many workplaces. Work-based messaging apps like Slack help clear away that clutter and save huge amounts of time.
- Trello: Trello is a project management or ‘task manager’ software that helps removes the confusion that permeates workplaces in terms of who is doing what. Invaluable, especially for a small business.
- Zoom: Zoom is a video-conferencing app that records your meetings. It means that people in meetings don’t have to take notes or minutes and can focus on contributing to the discussion, as well as providing a resource for employees to go back and look at when necessary.
- Evernote: Evernote allows me to not have to worry about where my information is stored. When I suddenly need something like warranty receipt from two years ago or a note someone passed me yesterday, I can relax because I know that everything’s in Evernote. It allows me to concentrate on the big things rather than obsess over the details.
- Meetme: Have you ever spent hours trying to work out a time where you could get ten different people to a meeting? MeetMe is a simple program that makes setting a time for a meeting so much easier. It might seem like a small thing, but for some businesses it’s a lifesaver.
You have to work out what’s right for you, but one or all of these programs could change your productivity in short order, whether you’re a solo practitioner, an artist, or a business owner.
The important thing is to work out what’s going to allow you to do what you do best, rather than sweating the small stuff.
About Jamie Cunningham
Jamie Cunningham is an international speaker and business coach who has dedicated his career to making businesses better. Mr Cunningham built his business acumen working in the family printing business in Australia, where as Chief Operating Officer, he managed a multi-million dollar business and led a team of 35 people. Knowing the time was right to move onto a new venture, he put a succession plan in place to extract himself from the family business and move with his Canadian wife to Canada where he still maintains a division of SalesUp, as well as several successful real estate ventures.
Now back down under, Jamie works with select clients who are ready to play at a higher level. He is currently writing a book that will be a blueprint for success in small business, covering human resources, finance, time and management.
Disclaimer: Mr Cunningham has no professional or financial affiliation with any of the companies listed above. His recommendations are completely independent and come from years of trialling which technologies work for him and the businesses he works with.