It seems like there’s an app for everything these days but sometimes it’s the most basic tools that you hold a soft spot for. Most of the apps taking up space on my iPhone are time wasters. I love them, but they significantly detract from my productivity throughout the day. Between Reddit’s Blue Alien app and Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, it’s a wonder I get anything done.
To figure out some work shortcuts and learn ways to make my hours more productive, I spoke with some leading entrepreneurs and small business owners to learn from their achievements.
Here are 5 online resources they can’t live without:
Boomerang is a great resource for staying on top of emails and getting stuff done. It’s nice to be able to bug people and, of course, follow up when something is urgent. One entrepreneur tells me that “everyone I work with is tired of hearing me sing Boomerang’s praises, but whatever, it is THAT great!”
It’s practically expected of you to be on social media these days, but unless you have a personal assistant tweeting and FB’ing on your behalf, most people just don’t have the time to be social in the digital space throughout the work day. Hootsuite let’s you set up messages ahead of time that go out at peak periods and let you contribute to the conversation without having to interrupt your own schedule.
Evernote is a great program for keeping all your notes organized and in one place. It conveniently syncs with your browser so you can grab links or text and come back to it at any point without losing the information.
Cirrus Insight is a Salesforce/Gmail plugin that helps you organize your CRM and save time. Business owner and entrepreneur Raymond Rahbar of UberOffices swears by it. He claims that it makes it easy to put all his leads in one place and stay on top of calls, meetings, and new contacts. Great tool for an entrepreneur who’s always on the go.
IFTTT stands for “If This, Then That” and is a tool that does just that. You set up “recipes” that allow for a chain of reactions to save you time. For example, you can set it up so that IF you tweet something, THEN it posts to your LinkedIn page. Or, IF you upload a photo to Facebook, THEN it automatically saves a copy in your dropbox. And it’s not just about social media. For example, one entrepreneur said he set up a recipe that adds all recently released movies to his Google calendar.
It’s worth exploring these five tools if you don’t currently use them. You’ve probably heard of at least one of them before, but save yourself time and money by putting them to work for you. Whether you’re a freelancer, a remote worker, or small business owner, taking advantage of productivity-focused tech can help you increase your ROI and grow your business.