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8 business enhancing tools to increase productivity

So I’m an early adopter, I enjoy trying out new applications. When it comes to the productivity “litmus test”, I use the same criteria:

  • Are they easy to use (because I hate user manuals) and

  • Do they make my business more efficient?

I see people living the thousand-app lifestyle and I think that’s just crazy. There are only so many apps you need to remind you what to cook for dinner each night. I think a lot of people approach apps like frequent flyer points, they are so busy collecting them, yet they don’t ever get used. I just don’t get it.

For me, the goal is to only adopt the tools that add the most value and genuinely help the business become more productive. Less is more!

This attitude means I often get asked about which technologies I regard as must-haves – the tools that have the biggest impact on productivity.

While I recommend specific technologies to people with particular niche challenges, there are some that have passed the endurance test and perform so consistently that I never find myself looking around for something to replace them.

These eight technologies are at the top of my list and in no particular order. The common denominator for each is that I can access them all from any device in any location:

ActionNotes: Everyone talks about Evernote but I fell in love with ActionNotes when I got my first iPad (it’s an iPad2 and still going strong, although a little slow). Almost unchanged from when I first downloaded this app, its simplicity and functionality is brilliant. With a keyboard on my iPad and ActionNotes, I can take notes during a meeting, create tasks and action points in real time and then at the end of the meeting, email the notes to all the relevant parties. I live in the real time world and this app lets me listen, write and email so I am reminded of what I need to do when back in the office – this is productivity at its best.

SharpSpring: This is a company-wide marketing automation tool that combines email marketing, landing pages, blogs, campaigns, CRM and more into a single application. This application drove significant change in our organization. It empowered us to take control of our digital marketing and helped us combine four different applications into one. Is the CRM as good as a Salesforce or Zoho? No, but it’s a great all round piece of technology that delivers on its promise and represents value for money. We love it.

Grammarly: I can hear you say, it’s just a spell checker, I already have one of those. Grammarly is more than just a spell checker, and what’s really cool is how it appears “in context” across everything you do – even when you are working with cloud-based applications such as sourceit. It picks up on grammar and spelling and each week you receive a report letting you know just how well you spelled against everyone else out there. For the record, I do okay, with some help from Grammarly!

Flipboard: Without a doubt, this is one of my most well-used apps and is great on both iPad and iPhone. Flipboard is an aggregator of news information which can be easily sorted into your favorite categories of interest. It provides a headline and intro to each article for quick reference and click through.

sourceit: I just have to drop in sourceit – I can’t help myself! We use it in our own business and it delivers a simplified process to all our sourcing activity. Every time we scope the development of a new feature I ask the same question: ‘will it be easy to adopt and does it improve productivity?’  It’s important for us to ensure that sourceit users can manage as many RFQs as possible, after all, that’s what drives productivity, profitability, and cost savings.

Smartsheet: While our application sourceit is easy to implement, we still require a tool that helps keep us, and our clients, focused on the onboarding process. We use Smartsheet as it allows us to collaborate in real-time with clients and ensures the onboarding process is fully transparent at every step of the way. Tasks are allocated, tracked and updated It even allows us to attach files to tasks and send reminder messages to stakeholders.

TripIt: I travel a lot and while it sounds like fun, it can get pretty lonely when I’m on long trips, so it’s disappointing when I find out that a friend, work colleague or even family member was in the same city at the same time. TripIt is a really handy application that allows you to connect with the people that you want to see. It will let you know whenever your travel brings you to the same place.

Google Docs: While we are a small company staff wise, our team members are spread across various cities and countries, from the USA to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. For our sales team, re-sellers and on-boarders, the ability to share documents are just so easy with Google Docs. We can share documents, make changes and we keep working on the one document. If I need to push something out to the team, I just drop it into the shared folder and the team has instant access – simple and easy.

In a world in which so much of our working lives and online experiences are interdependent, it’s the effective use of technology that helps make us more productive. When you get it right, it doesn’t just benefit you or your company, it benefits everyone else around you.

About Sourceithq Pty Ltd

sourceit is a fast-growing provider of affordable RFQ software delivered via cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform. Sourceit empowers buyers by simplifying the sourcing and procurement process by providing a simple yet powerful solution to help buyers identify the best quote from their preferred suppliers.

Sourceit offers three different products for buyers:

  • RFQ – request for quote software for general products and services, 
  • Market– a specialized procurement and job management application for Marketing Services, and 
  • Catalog – an inventory management and on-demand product/service ordering application.  

Learn more at www.sourceithq.com