Entrepreneurship, Start up Life

7 tools to help you stay productive at work!

1 Sep , 2015  

Being incredibly organised is something we all wish we could do well. Thankfully there are some really useful and free tools to help you daily at work.

Tools can make life so simple and if you do go all in and use them, I recommend the following tips:

  • Use each tool for one/ maximum two specific things. This makes it much easier to manage and you can quickly know what is where.
  • You don’t have to use each tool all the time. Figure out what works for you and aim to make things seamless. For example if you know you use a particular tool to track the progress of a project, it’s best to use a tool that is compatible on your laptop, phone, ipad/tablet.
  • Not every tool has to be a collaborative tool. This means you don’t have to share everything with your team. Some tools are best kept a secret 😉

Here is a list of my favourite tools:

  1. Rapportive – I love connecting with people. If your job is especially client facing and involves researching, then this is the perfect tool. Rapportive integrates with your gmail account and everytime you go to write a new email, rapportive will pop on the side and show you all social media links for that person, including an instant one click connect on Linkedin.
  1. Basecamp – I’ve used basecamp in almost all my roles. Basecamp is particularly good for coders/developers to keep track of their progress. Collaborators can join in and make suggestions, add files, mark as completed or re-open a closed discussion.
  1. Trello – if you like colours and highlighting things, then this is for you. The idea of trello is based on cards. Each card can be an item/to do or whatever you want to name it. I think trello has such a nice interface and is so intuitive. I’ve used trello to track and manage a full recruiting process.
  1. Rescue time – this is a plugin that tracks each activity you do and gives you a productivity score for each day. There is some time required in setting up and associating each activity as a productive/non productive task. However, the more information you give the more results and analysis you receive. It’s wonderful to see that you’ve clocked 90 hours in a week and that the productivity score is 65%….oops
  1. Slack – a messaging tool to talk to your team without disturbing them (too much!) Think of a whatsapp group on your laptop with more functionality. There are also other groups you can join by requesting an invite.
  1. Boomerang – I love boomerang. For me one of my biggest problems at work is that I send LOTS of emails. Sometimes I will stay up until 1am writing emails, but actually I don’t want to send the email at 1am. With boomerang, you can write an email and schedule it to send at a specific time and day or even only send it once you’ve received a reply first.
  1. Excel – Yes, this might seem a bit strange as you have probably used excel since the age of 8. But for financials/lists/basic notes, excel is a godsend. And it’s most likely that you won’t have to teach yourself to use it as you’re already used to it. Win – Win!!

Other useful tools include Insightly, Dropbox, Copy, Buffer, Sqwiggle. When looking for a tool, make sure your chosen tool does exactly what you want it to do. Realising after installation that your tool can only do 50% of what you anticipated makes work a lot harder as you have to then go out and find another tool that does the other half of what you need.

What are your favourite tools? Are there are that I desperately need to try out? A virtual PA would be amazing… if only it were free.

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