Be productive. Ditch the pen and paper and move online.
When forming your own company, you want to be productive. As a small business, the days move quickly and your to-do list can feel overwhelming. Pens and diaries are easily lost and the memory space in your brain is only so big. Thankfully though, technology has given us software that can make our lives easier. Here, we share our favourite productivity apps so you can get the most out of each business day.
If you want to…
Prioritise work: Use Trello
With its swish, colourful interface, task management app Trello is a treat to use. While more advanced, paid-for versions are available, the free model is great, too. You’ll be able to create endless productivity boards and checklists and add attachments to your lists. You can share your lists and brainstorms with an unlimited amount of people, essentially making Trello an upgrade to the dirty school whiteboard of yesteryear.
Manage social media accounts: Use Buffer
Have a million apps on your phone? Or is your browser lagging from too many open tabs? Buffer is a great way to solve this headache. Its dashboard compiles all your social accounts into the one place, so you no longer have to log into or switch between multiple accounts. You can also schedule posts, meaning your downtime doesn’t have to be spent hurriedly gramming or tweeting. Productive? Check.
Have time-out from your smart-phone: Use Forest
Is your phone like a magnet? You put it down, and suddenly, without even registering, you’re deep in your Facebook newsfeed again? Step away from this sorcery with Forest, an app that encourages phone-free time. Set the timer to however long you want to be away from the digital realm for, and Forest will plant a virtual tree for you. If you meet your desired goal, your tree will grow and eventually, you’ll be able to plant a forest. Cave too soon? The tree dies.
N.b. The coolest part about this app is you can donate the virtual coins you earn to Trees for the Future, a (real) tree planting organisation Forest partners with.
Block out pesky building noise or chatty colleagues: Use Noisly
Office commotion has been found to cause distraction and decreased productivity. While music has also been touted as a barrier to learning and processing complex tasks, ambient noise is a great alternative. From the sound of crickets at night to running water and café noise, Noisly allows you to customise sounds to match your current activity. Whether you use it in a web browser or download it as an app on your phone, pop your headphones on, mix the sounds however you like, and boost your productivity.
Schedule meetings: Use Assistant.to
Trying to find a meeting time that works for two or more people can be a stressful affair. Quit the back-and-forth email chains with Assistant.to, which stores your availability and uses it to find a meeting time that works with your client or colleague. Available as a Gmail plug-in, Assistant.to will send emails about any schedule changes, automatically convert time-zones to avoid confusion and store your favourite meeting locations.
Take notes: Use Dictation
The name of this app is fairly self-explanatory. It dictates what you say. Using Google Speech Recognition software, Dictation has the ability to transcribe more than 100 languages. Simply speak into a microphone and Dictation will type your words for you. If you suffer with muscle aches caused from typing-related injuries such as Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), or simply want to save time, Dictation is your friend.
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