If you are like me, you are always on the lookout for new apps to help drive the productivity of your business.
However, whenever you read the latest stories on must have apps, they always talk about the same usual suspects.
Well, there is no Evernote or Dropbox on this list.
Read on, for 5 business apps that your business isn’t using today, but should be.
5 Apps to Drive the Productivity of Your Business
Technology for technology’s sake isn’t productive.
(I recently wrote a warning about those shiny new gadgets.)
However, apps that drive productivity and reduce effort can deliver true value to your business.
From conference calls to project management to team feedback, each of these apps solves a specific need for my business.
Here are 5 Apps Your Business Should be Using to Be More Productive:
1. Speek – Imagine conference calls without PINs. And where you can tell who is “on the call” and who is speaking at any time. Sound like a better experience? Speek turns the clumsy conference call paradigm on its head. People join your call from their desktop or mobile by simply going to your personal URL. (There is also a great iPhone app.) You can get added features like call recording and your own company branding with a Pro or Team account. (Basic Speek is free. TMN Readers can get 20% off a Speek Teams account by clicking here and mentioning that TMN sent you.)
2. Workflowy – Workflowy is an endless outline for your notes, brainstorming, and ideas. I love a good mind map, but sometimes a simple text outline just lets the ideas flow. Workflowy’s killer-feature is that you can zoom in to any part of your outline which basically makes an endless universe of linked documents. (Watch my previous video to see this in action.) With a Pro account you can back-up your notes to Dropbox. Workflowy is browser-based, and you can also get iPhone/iPad apps. (Try Workflowy here for free.)
3. Trello – Trello is my favorite project management app. We use it here at TMN to manage all of our projects. Trello’s visual card-based interface is second-to-none, and their mobile experience is simply awesome. I love their iPhone and especially their iPad app. They both present some of the best use of touch interaction and screen real estate that I have seen in a mobile project management app. (Try Trello for free here.)
4. 15Five – Keeping up with your team in a fast-paced work environment can be tough. Giving and receiving feedback from your team is often the first thing to fall off your list. 15Five takes its name from the concept of a weekly status report that takes no longer than 15 minutes to write and less than 5 minutes to read. (I had a boss that taught me this way back when I was a Naval Officer.) This is a simple yet powerful concept that makes weekly updates effortless. 15Five makes it simple to ensure that you and your team stay connected and communicate progress each week. (Check out 15Five here.)
5. Pages – When I need a word processor, I turn to Pages. Yes, Pages. That oft overlooked word processor from Apple. It now comes free with all new Macs and iOS devices. Pages is my goto app when I need to create a professional looking document. For me, it just works. It has some of the best document styling out there. It doesn’t have the feature bloat of Word or other apps. Clients usually comment on how impressive my docs look. (I don’t tell them that I created them in Pages before exporting them to Word or PDF for distribution.) Pages also works with iCloud. This means that your docs are synced across all of your Apple devices. With the new iCloud Beta of iWork, you can access Pages from any browser. This blurs the line between app and web app. (The other day I was running the iCloud version of Pages on a Chromebook. Sweet!)
What Are Your Go-to Business Productivity Apps?
Everyone knows the big app names: Evernote, Dropbox, Skype, etc.
This list represents some lesser known, but extremely valuable app gems that are out there. I use each regularly to make my business more efficient.
The details above only scratch the surface of their capabilities. I recommend you try them out and see what they can do for your team.
Question: What apps do you use to improve the productivity of your small business?