I’m always on the lookout for ways to use technology to introduce efficiencies to the way my business works. I’m happy to share the productivity tools my business uses and would hope that you will also share what you use by commenting below.
Many of the services offer great mobile support through the use of apps.
Online Accounting Software for small businesses. This has revolutionised my business over the past year, making it easier to quote and invoice clients, generate snapshot reports, and share with my accountant. The cost of £20 per month has been easily recouped by the additional invoices I am sending as a result of having Xero.
A highly popular cloud-based file-sharing, storage, and collaboration service. Store your stuff in one place and access it from any of your devices. Although there is a free service, I have a Dropbox Pro account (£79 per year), which offers a huge 1Tb storage space. We use it to store all sorts of files, images, and backups, and to share ideas with our clients. We’ve also recently started sharing links to Dropbox files from our Gmail accounts, which prevents having to physically send large attached files.
Evernote is great for taking notes during meetings and creating lists. Integration with popular calendar services means that you can turn up for a meeting with a client, open up Evernote and create a new note which will automatically be given the name of the meeting you’re in. You can also clip web pages that you come across when browsing the web and store them in your Evernote with just a few clicks. There is a free version of Evernote, but we use the ‘Plus’ Version (£19.99 per year) which gives us more upload space and an easy way of storing email content directly in an Evernote folder.
Buffer is a cool way to share content to multiple social media profiles in one go. You can also schedule posts to drip feed over a period of time, meaning you can spend a short time every day filling your Buffer queue up. The app is really useful as it allows you to share content you find on the web with a couple of clicks. We use the free version of Buffer, which is enough for our Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ accounts.
Feedly is my favourite newsfeed. I use it to subscribe to content from many different sites – blogs of people whose opinions I value, news sites, technology sites, client blogs, etc. If you find a site that you like you can easily add it to your Feedly feed. Whenever you’re ready to catch up on some content, just start Feedly up and browse through the content from all your favourite sites.
We use Freshdesk to improve our customer service experience. Customers can raise tickets, which are then trackable and can be assigned to different team members. Gives a great audit trail for issues – better than trying to keep track of email conversations.
Simple payroll system for managing PAYE for small businesses, which runs on the desktop. Generates payslips, RTI transfers, and all the other forms necessary for running a small payroll. It’s simple to use (for Payroll dummies like myself), and it’s free to use if you have up to 3 employees.
At $19.99 (with a free trial) this is a great desktop tool for reducing the file size of jpeg images without losing quality. It’s great for processing images prior to uploading to the web, and you can also process entire folders at a time.
What do you use to make your business life easier?
Share your experiences with us by commenting below, and please share this post if you have found it useful.