Best Apps in Productivity, Time & Project Management, Team Communication,
Apps: EverNote, WunderList, Pocket, RescueTime, Toggl, BaseCamp, Trello, Asana, Slack, HipChat,
When you run a new Startup or on-going small business, you’re pulled in several different ways every day. If the demands on your time feel overwhelming, take heart: There are thousands of productivity apps out there that can help you do everything from keep a neat To-Do list to delegate tasks to employees and stay on top of your business. Which apps are best? That will largely depend on your business and your own preferences. If you don’t have the time to wade through an endless list of apps, we’ve plucked several tried-&-true Apps to get you started.
Before we jump to more task-specific apps, we wanted to touch on a few popular productivity apps that are useful for any founder ir owner, regardless of their business type or size. Here are a few apps that can be as helpful personally as they are professionally:
EverNote. With this App, you can clip bits & pieces of information from the web, tag them for easy searching, then alter any of them by adding to, condensing it, or embedding pictures, tables, audio, video, etc. You can also use EverNote for organic notes & journaling, To-do lists, recipes, contacts, & even storage for tweets or Emails that you want to keep handy. All of that is “free” in the basic version. EverNote also has a Business version that costs $12 per user, per month with several added features including administrator controls and unlimited space for uploads.
WunderList, is primarily a To-Do list, but a highly effective one. As Leader, you can create an endless number of Task lists and send them to individual members of your Team. Lists sync automatically so that others can see which items have been completed. WunderList has enhanced this app, enable you to fully delegate tasks to Team members, break them down into sub-tasks, add notes, set deadlines, & program reminders. Basic is “free”, and Wunderlist for Business is $4.99 per user per month.
Pocket. How many times have you run across something interesting, but you didn’t have the time to read it right that instant? If EverNote feels overwhelming to you, Pocket makes it easy to save videos, articles, & whatever else you find online so that you can check it out later. When you’re tired of Social Networking – but still want to wind down at night with something interesting – Pocket might be your best friend. Even better, you don’t need an Internet connection to view what you’ve saved. Pocket is simple to use, and best of all, it’s totally “free”.
Whether you’re a Startup Founder or a small business Owner who wants to keep yourself (or your team) more accountable, these productivity apps can help you see where your time is going:
RescueTime. If you know you waste too much time on digital distractions like Facebook, Google, Twitter, or online shopping, RescueTime can hold you accountable. It breaks down where you spend your time by application & website & lets you set productivity goals. A premium version ($9/mo) even lets you block certain sites, track offline activity, or set notifications (ie, if you’ve spent too much time on one activity – that exceeds your goals). The basic version is “free”. Though RescueTime is available for Mac, PC, & Linux, its app is only available for Android phones.
Toggl. With one click, the timer tracks where every second of your time is going. You can track as many projects or customer as you want, view colorful graphs, export timesheets, & sync your numbers with several project management apps. Best of all, all of your employees can use Toggl, and you can divide them into different groups to stay organized. Toggl is “free” for up to 5 users, while a Pro version allows unlimited users, adds billable rates, sub-projects, and other features for $5 per user, per month.
apps let you & your team stay on the same page with your day-to-day tasks. These apps aim to streamline work-flow & centralize communication, so that you can spend > time actually working & < time figuring out what everyone needs to do. Here are three productivity apps to consider:
BaseCamp is the most well-known PM app of this trio, and it might be the easiest to use of the bunch. The interface is streamlined & intuitive, + it’s easy to invite collaborators, chat within projects, attach files, create checklists, & track your progress. This ease comes at the cost of some flexibility: For instance, you can’t do advanced reporting or budgeting, and it’s hard to see everything in one glance. If your projects are straight-forward & you don’t want to devote much time to learning a new system, it could be a good pick for you. With BaseCamp, you pay per Project instead of per user (users are unlimited). Plans start at $20/mo for 10 projects and go up to $150/mo for unlimited projects.
Trello We recently switched to this app, to manage our content. It’s main strength is that it’s highly visual: On any given board, you can create several lists, & move cards between them as the status of a particular project changes. You can attach files, create checklists, & assign members to each card, so they’re updated – as the status of the article changes. Trello is “free” for personal use, but starts at $3.75 a month per user for businesses.
Asana is more text-heavy than Trello, and if you love Checklists, this app is for you. Projects, or “tasks,” can be easily re-prioritized within its flexible interface, + a dashboard charts your progress visually. You can chat with team members within those tasks, assign due dates, attach documents or other files, & choose what kind of notifications to receive. The app integrates with an impressive number of other services, including EverNote, Google Drive, Box, Slack, MailChimp, WordPress, & ZenDesk. The basic version of Asana is “free” for up to 15 users, while a premium version starts around $21/mo for 5 users.
Though project management apps let you stay up to date on who’s doing what, you may still need a more immediate way to get in touch with employees — especially if your Email inbox is a nightmare. Here are a few options:
Slack. is good for quick Q&A. Though it’s not the most intuitive app to learn, it allows for easy filtering & searching – that make finding what you need a snap. You can create channels for just about any conversation theme: (ie, projects or customers) Notifications are highly customizable, so you can stay in the loop when you need to & filter out unnecessary chatter when you don’t. The best part is that basic Slack is “free” for an unlimited number of users. More advanced features, including unlimited searches & app integration, start at $6.97 per user per month.
HipChat has a shorter learning curve than Slack, and it’s certainly cheaper. Yyou can use the basic service for “free”, or pay just $2 per user per month – if you want features such as video sharing & screen sharing. HipChat organizes conversations by rooms, allows drag-&-drop file sharing, + archives conversations for easy searching. Emoticons & GIFs help keep the mood light, too.
Skype for Business. Skype is a familiar name to just about everyone who has wanted to make a “free” video call online, but S4B offers meetings with up to 250 people, integration with Microsoft Office, chat, file transfer, & more. Pricing starts at $2 per month per user. For $5.50 a month, you can add features including group HD video calls, meeting recording, & remote control of others’ computer desktops. And yes, if you don’t need all that, Skype-to-Skype video or voice calls are still “free” for up to 25 people.
Comments: What has been your experience using these Apps?
(see Part 2 for the conclusion of this Post)
from the Simple $ Solution 02 May 16 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz