We all want to be able to grow our businesses rapidly and efficiently, and to have our teams as productive as possible. Often, these things go hand in hand, as the more you can get done, the faster you can attract new business and be ready to support it. Here, we take a look at six great tools that can help you out:
ClickMeeting is a fantastic way to run stable, effective video and web conferences, and is packed with useful features like private Q&A chat facilities and brainstorming tools. There is also Click Webinar within the suite, which can allow you to do smooth online presentations and manage your delegates and their questions really easily. This is certainly among the most feature rich and easy to use conferencing packages out there, and can help you run more flexible, efficient meetings.
Wrike is a project manager’s dream come true. Going beyond the basic Gantt chart management features of older toolsets like MS Project, Wrike gives you powerful collaborative workflow management, allowing everybody to customise the workflows that affect their teams but also to see the bigger picture of the entire project or program. A web based system, it is easy to get to grips with and all your data is secure. With excellent reporting features and the ability to give real time views of where things stand on even the most complex projects, Wrike is highly recommended.
Slack is an excellent team communication platform that was even used by the team who put the rover on Mars! It takes ideas from social media, such as hashtags and direct messaging, to allow you to create your own team environments where you can communicate quickly and intuitively in real time. Far superior to using IM groups due to its simple flexibility, Slack can help you collaborate better and communicate faster.
Nobody likes filling out timesheets and invoicing can be a massive time overhead when your teams are all billing time to different clients and projects. With Due, everybody can easily track and assign time they spend on different work, and this can be very easily converted into quick online invoices – massively reducing the time you spend managing your billing.
There is a lot to be said for a paperless office, so try ditching your notebooks and using Evernote instead. It is a great tool for taking and organizing notes, and because it’s online, you can access them from any device you like. Keep some notes private and put others on collaborative boards perfect for brainstorming. From simple things like to do lists through to initial concepts for your next big product, Evernote makes keeping track of all your teams’ notes easy.
If the biggest barrier to your productivity is procrastination, try Strict Workflow – an extension for Chrome that works according to the highly researched Pomodoro technique, which states that the most effective way to work is to focus hard for 25 minutes, then take a 5 minutes break – and repeat as necessary with longer breaks every few sessions. This extension blocks access to distracting sites until it is time for a break!
With these six tools, you can improve your personal and team productivity, and really optimise your business!