13 Jun Our Top 3 Productivity Apps For Busy Businesses
If you’re reading this you’re probably a business owner, or someone with aspirations to be one. So I don’t need to tell you just how hectic things can get. You don’t need reminding how challenging it can be to juggle everything within your business at once while still delivering your service. So we won’t. Instead, we wanted to share with you some of the apps our members use to keep on top of things. But there are a lot of those, so we’ve picked our favourite 3 to share with you today.
When we asked around, Grammarly was one of the most mentioned productivity apps, so we just had to include it. Once you install this little package it simply sits in the background of your computer, checking through everything that you write for errors. It’s unobtrusive and simply underlines mistakes in red or green, a lot like Microsoft Word. Red indicates a spelling problem, while green indicates a grammar issue. If you hover over the underlined word, the software will then suggest corrections, which you can accept or reject in a simple dropdown menu. This part is particularly important, because the software is natively American, so it can get a bit funny around some finer points of British grammar. However, this can actually be a good thing – the suggestions keep you on your toes and make you really think about what you are writing and if there is a better way to say it. It also catches things Word would often miss – mainly because it takes content into account and can tell if you have said ad instead of and. Because ad is in fact a real word (we checked), Word won’t flag it up as a mistake, but a quick run through Grammarly (it isn’t supported in Word natively yet) will sort it out. It’s free for the basic version, but there is also a premium option available.
In the early days of most businesses, when budgets are tight, and you’re were still finding your feet, you might keep track of our customers using a spreadsheet. That worked fine, but as you grow your needs will too, and you might find you need something a little more specific. Many start-ups might think that CRM for small businesses and start-ups is mad, but it’s really an essential tool to help your business grow. Our members love Insightly, which combines a CRM (customer relationship management) system with project management and business reporting in one free platform. Each customer has a profile containing all information about them and their chosen service, with a to-do list attached for each member of the team. It even integrates with our accounting software and Evernote, so you can upload notes from customer meetings right away and get notified if someone has missed their payment. It’s so simple and easy to use, most businesses wonder why they didn’t use it sooner.
If you find it hard to keep track of how much time you spend on a project, Rescue Time is perfect for you. Like Grammarly, once you install Rescue Time it will sit in the background on your machine and not really require any interaction. It simply monitors the time you spend using applications or on web pages, and collects the data into an easy to understand dashboard. You can assign a category to every activity in the setting bar, and this will help Rescue Time understand your usage patterns. You can also see the times when you are doing certain activities, and in the breakdown you can see what each application or website visited was. You can program it to stop tracking your use at certain times or for whole days – so if you use your computer for personal things it won’t track that. Our members say that it’s not only helped them understand exactly what they do with their time, but helped them measure time spent on client projects, improve their productivity and understand when they are most likely to become distracted.
And that’s that! Of course, many of our members use alternatives, or other apps entirely for different reasons. It all depends on the type of business you run and what your priorities are. But if you’d like to know what other apps our members use, you can ask them by visiting one of our meetings. We love sharing information and knowledge with our visitors, and we’d love to have you along to see the benefits of BNI referral marketing. To book your place at our next meeting, just click here.