Tips for Small Businesses: 5 Apps to Boost Productivity
Productivity lies at the heart of any business. This, of course, comes down to the staff, but a little technology to help things along never hurt anybody. Quite the opposite, in fact. Regardless of the nature of your business, there’s a host of apps out there to help structure and optimise your business activities and methods – from keeping track of ideas, to streamlining your workload.
Here are our top five productivity apps for small businesses:
Why we rate it: Because you can’t schedule inspiration.
Overview: This cross-platform app is excellent for storing ideas as soon as they land, as well as general organisation. It’s multi-functional, meaning it can adapt to any type of business. Use it as a journal, project management tool, or digital filing cabinet.
Notes can take several forms, from formatted text and webpages to voice memos and handwritten notes. Your notes can later be edited and annotated, and sorted into handy notebooks. Bish, bash and bosh.
Use it if: You’re a creative who needs a place to store all those ideas. Or, you need a fast and easy way to organise a lot of business activity.
Why we rate it: Because time is the most precious resource we have.
Overview: At work, being run off your feet is kind of a great feeling when it’s your own business. However, trying to figure out where all your time was spent at the end of the day can be tricky. This is where efficient time tracking should come into play.
Toggl allows you to track time in real time. It’s particularly useful for teams, and is particularly helpful if you need to record billable time. You can add as many clients and projects as you like, and it’ll still be free. It’s very user-friendly and customisable – you’ll find little training is needed.
Use it if: You never know where your time goes.
3. Bright Pay
Why we rate it: Because payroll never looked so simple.
Overview: Having staff is a wonderful thing – but logistically, it can be challenging. You need to make sure you’re treating your team right when it comes to getting paid, but the truth is, you’re kind of busy…
Step forward BrightPay. This HMRC-recognised payroll software boasts a simple interface and myriad features. From employee management and payslips to pension schemes and HMRC payments, it’s all there. This will save you heaps of admin time, so you and your team can crack on with more interesting work. You can even test it out with a free trial.
Use it if: You have staff.
Why we rate it: Because we love simplification.
Overview: The main aim of this leading sales management tool is to help salespeople close deals. It does this by breaking down complex or lengthy sales processes, keeping things wonderfully pain-free. The very clear pipeline prompts you to take action and helps you find stats easily. There are no restrictions, and everything is customisable. Add deals, contacts and activities to your pipeline with ease.
Pipedrive is built for sales, but can also be used to manage workflow, rewards programmes and more. It’s perfect for small businesses, as it streamlines activity. If you have a team of people working for you, they can tweak the interface to suit their own way of working, so everyone’s a winner.
Use it if: You need to be able to customise your organisation.
Why we rate it: Because for small business owners, multitasking is inevitable.
Overview: When it comes to work, there’s always something that gets in the way of completing a task on schedule. Most people call it procrastination. Small business owners, however, call it having a lot to do. These heroes find it hard to buckle down to one task and one task alone, because they’re simply too busy. To them, frantic multitasking is a way of life. If this all sounds familiar, the 30/30 app could change the way you work for the better.
The idea is, you spend 30 minutes working solely on one task – no distractions allowed. When the half hour is up, you work for 30 minutes on something totally unrelated. And so it goes on. What you do in each half-hour chunk is up to you. You can keep going back to the same task after half-hour breaks, or switch between several. Either way, you’ll be surprised at how much more productive this way of working makes you. The time constraint means you’re forced to focus, and reaching the end of each half hour makes for a very satisfying sense of achievement. You can still multitask, but in a more organised way. 30/30. Win win.