Productivity is the cornerstone of any successful business. It’s an irrefutable fact, and one that anyone who has ever been in a managerial position will vouch for. Those same people will also tell you that the tricky part lies within ensuring that said productivity is maintained to a high standard at all times, and that failing to do so can see results deteriorate at an alarmingly rapid rate.
So how exactly do you set about boosting productivity levels and keeping them consistently high across your business? Bosses across the globe have been desperately trying to unlock the secret to this very question for many decades, but in this day and age there are mercifully a few ways to make life easier for yourself. The vast majority of businesses large and small have cottoned on to the various tools widely available to help in this respect, and if you haven’t done so already now really is the time to jump on board.
In this blog post, I’m going to share 5 top tools that will boost productivity across your business.
- Zoho Cliq.
If you head up a staff force of any size, Zoho Cliq is a good starting point. Communication amongst your team is one of the most vital aspects of improving productivity, and this nifty piece of software focuses primarily on boosting just that.
It’s very easy to navigate, for the most part deploying a fool proof drag and drop system that allows you to easily share reports, analytics and anything else you deem appropriate with your colleagues.
Everyone can chat at leisure across multiple windows in an informal social media style, even utilising a range of gifs and emojis to brighten up the working day just a touch. And not that I’m advocating slaving away outside of your normal working hours, but just in case your business is of a nature that requires 24/7 coverage you and your team can also install the app onto their mobile phones to ensure that nothing gets lost in the mire. Plus, it offers a great productivity hack: you can even set up bots to help you automate your tasks and save more time this way.
Plus, their video chat service, PrimeTime, lets you communicate via video and text in groups and channels; what CEOs will likely love about this though, is that they can address the other call attendees without getting interrupted – when someone wants to say something, they can request to talk and get approved by the call’s host.
If you want to suck it and see with Zoho Cliq their free version is surprisingly all encompassing, albeit with restrictions on storage, data et al. As for the premium – or “Unlimited”- version, it offers no holds barred access from about £1 per person per month, depending on how many users you’re aiming to get on board.
One incredibly effective way to increase productivity for your business is to have everything under one umbrella, and this is precisely what Cyfe does. A self-described “all-in-one business dashboard”, this tool allows you to pull together statistics and analytics from multiple different sources and ultimately keep tabs on everything at a glance. You can use the in-depth social media analytics function to monitor the performance of your brand across all platforms, allowing you to easily track hashtags, compile information on demographics and keep tabs on your followers amongst other various bits and pieces. Similarly, the sales dashboard gives you access to figures regarding goals and top performers, and the project management function is handy for efficiently managing your schedule. The finance dashboard, meanwhile, offers a useful helping hand where balancing the books is concerned. If you have a big screen monitor, the ability to display each and every dashboard simultaneously is also a joy to behold for any statistically minded manager.
The premium version of Cyfe gives you unrestricted access to all of the above and then some, including use of a plethora of in-built widgets, data exports and the function to customize your account with your company logo where relevant. For the sum of $29 per month, with unlimited users, it’s worth serious consideration.
Hands up if you’ve ever sat down in front of your laptop or tablet of a morning and stared blankly at the sea of apps confronting you from your desktop. Everyone? Good. This is where Zapier comes in, an automation tool that connects all of your apps and workflows to remove this particular headache from your working day. You can easily set up a slick trail, or “Zap”, between said apps as you see fit using specific triggers, such as anytime you receive a new email automatically transferring any attachments to Dropbox or the like, in turn giving you a notification on Facebook. The combinations are virtually limitless, and the straightforward interface gives you the freedom to create them as you see fit with just a few clicks.
The free version offering five Zaps is well worth a bash to see how you get on, and if it’s something that you feel you would benefit from the premium versions range from $20 to $125 and 20 to 125 Zaps respectively.
For those of you who recoil in horror at the sight of an email calendar, Trello may just be worth a look. The planning and time management tool comes complete with a quirky style that removes the dryness of that weekly meeting with Finance, presenting your appointments and tasks in a fun and organised manner. You can create multiple boards for any different projects that you have on, involving any relevant team members and ensuring that everyone has access to key information. If you already use any in house apps you can incorporate these to avoid the dreaded manual data transfer process, and the uncomplicated interface makes editing and updating a doddle.
Time is precious when you’re busy at work, so anything that buys you more is nothing short of a Godsend. Enter Calendly, a scheduling tool that gives you that joyous freedom by allowing you to diarise your calendar for the weeks or months ahead. The tool automatically feeds into your availability and contacts to arrange meetings, prioritise tasks and set up webinars and training events. Your invitees are also afforded the opportunity to pick and choose their own slots based on your availability, ensuring there are no last minute clashes or surprises.
The basic version is completely free, but if you want unlimited access to all of Calendly’s features you can have it for either $8 or $12 per user per month.
Whether you work alone, manage a global team or anywhere in between, productivity is key. Motivation, time management, planning and countless other aspects all play a big part in maximising this, and if you’re playing it smart you’ll know that any help you can get with these should be pounced upon and cherished. In 2019 you’re never anymore than a click away from a tool or website that could completely transform the fortunes of your business and brand, and with every passing day it is becoming increasingly important that you take full advantage of them. All of the above offer their own unique benefits, so take the time to figure out your goals, decide what works for you and reap the rewards.
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