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Are you constantly on the lookout for ways to boost your business productivity without feeling chained to your desk? Would you like to get more done without working more hours?
If you’re like me, the ability to work flexibly and be more productive on my own schedule was a big part of the appeal of becoming an entrepreneur.
Well, I have good news. You can get more done without working more hours. All it takes is a little self-discipline (you didn’t want to hear that, did you?)—and the right apps.
I can help you with both, but we’ll save the blog post on self-discipline for another day. Today I want to talk about 8 apps that will boost your business productivity without breaking the bank. Each of these apps have been worth their weight in gold, for both saved time and saved money.
I’ve listed them here in alphabetical order
Apps to Boost Your Business Productivity
ACDSee is a one-stop program for managing images on your computer. From cataloging and sorting, to editing and sharing, I’ve been using ACDSee for well over a decade. Rather than hunting through endless folders for just the right image for a project or post, I use ACDSee to find just what I need. Over the years, I’ve used it for everything from quick resizing and editing tasks to batch renaming and processing of images.
Email is still one of the most effective marketing tools and one of the easiest ways to communicate with your customers and your followers. I have tried many email marketing programs over the years and found Birdsend easy to use. Anyone from a beginner to an experienced marketer can quickly create and schedule effective, engaging emails.
As much as I love my little paper notebooks, they aren’t always practical. Evernote is my electronic version. And it holds an endless variety of notes and bookmarks and articles and whatever else I run across on the internet and need to save. I can sort my saves by tag (keyword) or into notebooks. It’s searchable, and with the paid version, I can access it anywhere at any time from any of my devices.
Cloud-Based Storage: Google Drive & DropBox
Sometimes I work at home and sometimes I work from lots of places. Having ready access to my files without having to keep track of flash drives or confine myself to one device is a definite plus. Not only that but with cloud storage, I can easily share files with clients and collaborators. I use both Google Drive & DropBox. So far, the free versions have served me well, though it’s just about time to upgrade my Google Drive
This app might be my favorite. It’s my business phone service and it’s free (in the US). I can make and receive calls from my computer or cell phone, using my Google Voice number, so my personal number remains personal. I can also set Google Voice to “do not disturb” when business hours are over or I need some quiet time. But one of the coolest features is that it transcribes and texts/emails my voice mails to me. Sometimes it’s just handier to be able to read them—even when they transcribe a little weird, I can still figure out who called and what they needed without having to call in.
As much as I love the online life, I do not live there. I don’t have time to be online all the time—and I really don’t want to. So I use Hootsuite. With Hootsuite, I can schedule my social media postings and I can easily keep up with them as well, especially Twitter. Hootsuite allows me to look at each of my Twitter lists individually, a feature I love. I can also interact, comment and reply via Hootsuite. Hootsuite has a free version and the paid plans start at only $29/month, a bargain in my book for the hours I save.
As an entrepreneur, I work on multiple projects and for multiple clients. TogglTrack (formerly called Toggl) is a time-tracking program that allows me to easily keep track of how much time I spend on each project and client. In addition to making my client billing simpler, it also helps me to stay accountable and not get sucked into some time wasting activities. I use the free version for now, but I can upgrade to a raft of features for just $10/month.
Is there anyone left on the planet who doesn’t know Zoom? It has really surged in popularity and use over the past year. Audio and video conferencing from desktop and mobile. Zoom has allowed me to meet face-to-face with my clients, no matter where they are or I am. Screen sharing is easy with Zoom, allowing me to provide instruction, feedback, and technical support. Zoom allows for group and individual calls, and it has free and paid versions. The free version is more ideally suited for social and family uses. This program is well worth the $15/month to get started.
These are my go-to, use-every-day apps. I have other apps for more specialized uses, but in a pinch, I could just about run my business with these. What are your essential apps for being as productive as possible? Share in the comments & let me know what I’m missing.