Imagine if there was a magic spell you could cast that would make your work life (and in turn your personal life) easier?
All entrepreneurs and business owners know the struggles that can come with running a business and jugging all-the-things.
Thankfully, we can help ourselves out a bit by using apps and shortcuts that have automation. And I am going to share my favourite mobile apps to make your life easier.
My top 10 apps for productivity – and happiness!
I love to use these mobile apps as productivity hacks to help with efficiency.
The main apps I use for work are :
Not just a vessel for email, oh no, no, no!
Outlook can do so much more than just hold your messages.
Through Outlook, I manage my calendar as it syncs up with Google Calendar. I love that I can use it just as easily on my phone as on my desktop.
With Outlook I can also:
- colour-code emails
- move certain emails to sub-folders
- flag emails for follow up
- set tasks and assign categories
- create meetings and appointments and invite participants
- schedule emails to send at a certain time (handy if you like work at stupid-o’clock but don’t want to actually send the emails at ungodly hours!)
This is a fab app for time tracking – especially handy if you work on multiple projects. It’s also convenient for teamwork as it easily replaces paper timesheets.
It can either be used as a simple timer that adds up time spent on a project, but it is most effective when used to track specific tasks.
By tracking each individual task, both yourself and any employees or project team members can get a clear breakdown of time is being spent – or not. This can help with billing, as well productivity.
Its beauty lies in the simplicity. Because it is relying on a simple timer, you don’t need any software or add-ons. And because it works seamlessly across your phone and computer, you can start a timer in your browser and then stop it on your phone.
I love Slack as it helps to cut down on the amount of email I send and receive.
It can be a much more efficient way of asking a question, getting an answer, updating team members, and checking in casually with your team, especially on the road by using the mobile app.
It really helps to enable remote work, which we all know is here to stay in some format or other!
4. Google Calendar
One of the best things about Google Calendar is that you can use it on nearly any device, including iPhones and Android phones/tablets.
Organise your life simply by setting up filters, colour-coding events and appointments, creating lists, and notifications.
It’s up to you how you set up the interface: you can set the time zone, the viewing panes, and the notifications.
Another big plus is that you can also see other people’s calendars by subscribing to their calendar (if they give permission of course!)
Recently, I had to find better ways of managing new clients along with my existing commitments, because my workload had beefed up quite significantly.
I needed to work smarter while growing my business, so I tried 17hats which provides a single hub for client communications, proposals, contracts, online payments, project management, bookkeeping, client management, and more. Basically, it is designed to eliminate busywork – work where we feel busy, but we are not really achieving much!
I was able to integrate my bookkeeping, task management, client portal, scheduling tool, and automations for emails/workflows.
Great for giving me and my team a snap shot of where we are with various projects, and a great way to manage tasks.
Ah, Canva. The love for you is real.
Never before have business owners, entrepreneurs, and amateur graphic designers been able to play, create, and publish such quality graphic design.
There are almost no limits to what you can create with Canva.
Do you want to create digital content such as social media content, blog headers, and eBooks?
Or are you looking to create printed materials such as flyers, brochures, or business cards?
With Canva, you can easily set up templates, and use your own branding in a way that lets you easily create marketing collateral.
You can edit your own images, use their readymade templates, and adjust dimensions and sizes for different uses.
While it is much easier to use on a desktop, the mobile version is perfect for last-minute touch-ups or for quickly adding your logo to an image you find.
7. Adobe Fill & Sign
Are you still printing forms and signing things? Oh, let me tell you of a better way.
I use Adobe Fill & Sign to manage the mountains of paperwork that comes from running a business – or from our everyday lives!
So instead of needing to scan back in your sign forms, or make a trip to the post office (oh, how old school) with the Fill & Sign tool, you can easily fill PDFs, sign them, and send your forms electronically right from your desktop, browser, or mobile app.
And, because I do like to find the most eco-friendly option whenever possible, I like that this helps save trees. So, you can save time and stress, as well as help do your bit for the environment.
I love this CRM system because I can connect to all my socials (LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, and Twitter) and I can set up email sequences, meeting tools, contact management – and more.
It is perfect for managing all inbound marketing, pipelines, and lead nurturing.
It streamlines communication for my team because we always know where things are.
Plus, HubSpot spits out a lot of data that is really useful for tracking and measuring our marketing campaigns.
If 2020 or 2021 had an identity, it would be Zoom. I mean seriously who hasn’t used Zoom in the past 18-months or so?
But if you’re only using it during lockdowns to chat to Gran or catch up with your mates, then you’re missing out.
Zoom can allow us to manage remote work, check in with our teams or clients, as well as reduce the amount of time spent in meetings.
The mobile app is PERFECT for logging into Zoom calls while on the go, such as while walking your dog or sitting on the train.
You can store files in the cloud with this internet-based storage platform which gives you a significant chunk of space offered for free by Microsoft to anyone with a Microsoft account.
And yes, you can share files or folders that are stored in OneDrive with others simply by sending them a link to specific files or folders. So, you can share certain folders with different team members, and you can set it to read only or allow them to edit. You can also specify that a file or folder is Public, so anyone can see it.
What are your favourite productivity hacks and apps?
These are the top apps I use personally, and for my own work, then I use a shedload of other ones for clients. Which of these apps do you use? Do you have a favourite that you just cannot live without?
Ready to gain back control?
All of these apps are great in their own right, as they help keep us organised, on task, and always knowing what’s going on.
At INKBLOTVA, we help clients just like you to maximise time and productivity.
We can help you streamline business operations, eliminate the “noise”, simplify your tasks, and prepare for Virtual Assistance. So get in touch with us HERE.