24 hours or 1,440 minutes or 86,400 seconds. It doesn’t matter who you are, we all have the same amount of time in a day. It’s how you use it that counts. When running or leading a business, it often feels like there are never enough precious, magical time to get everything done while also managing to have a personal life but there are ways to take back from time thieves. We all know the changes in our lives that “apps” have brought but how do you even find time to work out which ones are applicable to you? Well fear not fine reader, we’ve taken a look at a few and have 7 time saving apps that might help you streamline your work and give a bit of your day back to you….
First things first, if you feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to deliver on the productivity levels you expect of yourself, you should take a look at how you are using your time. Set up Rescuetime and you can track time you are spending on applications and websites. You can get detailed reports and set notifications to alert you when you’ve spent a predetermined time on a given activity online. We all know how easy it is to fall into the social media blackhole, well this will help pull you out and refocus you on the important stuff. There is a free version that will help you learn more about what is distracting you but you can pay $US6 a month for a more advanced version with more options if you want more data.
Asana is a brilliant work management tool for teams. You can set up projects, assign tasks, set priorities and deadlines, manage individual workloads, establish milestones, attach documents – the list goes on. It provides a visual representation of how a project is tracking and can also be set up to email reminders as deadlines loom. There is a free version that is stacked with features and paid options that allow more integration. Well worth a look if you have teams working on projects and you need to centralise the communication so nothing is overlooked.
We’ve talked about Expensify before but it is a great app so well worth highlighting again. For those of us who have had to review or submit expense reports, we know it’s a job that’s time consuming and annoying. David Barrett created Expensify as he wanted “expense reports that don’t suck!” Amen to that! The app allows smart scanning (it will read the Merchant, Date and Amount of the transaction, create an expense, and add it to your Expensify account automatically), integration with services such as Uber, and Lyft and will also integrate with accounting programs such as Xero and Quickbooks. There are several tiers with a free version and going up to $AU15 per user per month (you can check it out with a free trial of the Premium service before committing) but that is a small price to pay if expense reports are chewing up valuable productivity time.
If you need to whip up some artwork for your website or your social media platforms or maybe send out an invite to clients and you don’t have time to learn photoshop but the budget doesn’t extend to graphic designers, Canva is your go to platform. For the non-artistic amongst us, this app is amazing in terms of making you look incredibly polished and professional. It’s easy to use so you won’t waste precious time trying to understand designer speak and there are a huge range of free or paid templates that you can change to suit your business requirements. Again, there is a free version which is amazing but you can pay an annual fee to gain greater access to more images and templates. Canva has also recently purchased Pexels and Pixabay meaning they have an enormous bank of stock images and with a very reasonable fee structure as they have slashed the price of accessing some brilliant artwork that you can use on all your marketing assets!
Do you really have the time to travel to the other side of the city for a half hour meeting? Or the budget to nip interstate for a follow up? Thought not. Video conferencing isn’t new but use it will and it will be a brilliant tool in your belt saving you loads of time and money. We really like Zoom for a number of reasons -it’s easy to use, you can screen share, show your faces or simply use it to chat without all the visuals. You can also use it to video how to videos for your team so that you don’t have to repeat the same training over and over again – record in Zoom, house it online and let your team know it is available so they can review it when and how they need. A free version is available that provides significant features but there are premium options for larger teams with more demanding phone conference needs.
WHEN I WORK
When I Work is a very simple employee scheduling and time clock program that allows you to oversee and manage every scheduling concern you have in your business via desktop or mobile. You can set up employee shifts, find replacements easily by sending out notifications to available team members, manage time off requests, integrate with accounting packages such as Quickbooks. Employees can have the app on their mobiles and can see their upcoming shifts at a glance. Even better, it’s free for up to 75 employees! Check with When I Work for pricing above 75 staff.
This may seem an odd one when we are talking about time saving apps but having your systems hacked and either being held to ransom, having proprietary knowledge or client data stolen is going to cost you both time and money. A simple way to improve your cyber security is to initiate a program such as LastPass to ensure passwords are sufficient and you and your team reduce hacker infiltration. There is a free version but for a business, we would recommend looking at one of the subscription models to ensure you have the security your business requires. It can be as low as $US36 annually per user which is a low price to pay for upping the protections in your business.
** All pricing is accurate as at October 16, 2019
The HR Staff n' Stuff team all contribute to our blogs. Enjoy the read!