What Is Your Favorite Productivity App And Why?

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What is your favorite productivity app and why?

1. Asana Asana plays a central role in the management of our own team, and many of our clients’ teams. This project management app is not only packed with features, it allows everyone to clearly see what needs to be done. Tracking, transparency, and knowing who is responsible for what is an important part of productivity. If something has rolled past due, who was responsible for it and why hasn’t it been completed? We love the “kanban style” boards that move cards across lists as tasks or stages are completed. Asana allows us to clearly prioritize, set deadlines, share details, and assign tasks. Importantly, it’s a central point for all of those things! If you’ve ever tried to coordinate multiple tasks by email, you’ll understand what a mess that can turn into. The new timeline feature is showing some great promise for planning project pieces and structuring them in order. This is a great app for teams, but also for businesses that consist of an owner and a virtual assistant. It’s just a nice, easy way to stay organized. There are also other great project management tools that you can use as an alternative to Asana. 2. Loom Remember how communication can be one of the biggest roadblocks to productivity? Loom is an awesome tool for helping to ensure clear communication. This is a video tool that has three settings to allow you to communicate what you need. screen with camera, just screen, or just camera. You can share what’s happening on your screen (i.e, providing instructions for how to complete a task) or simply record a video of yourself sending a message. 3. Hootsuite How many hours do you or your virtual assistant spend on social media management? It’s a job that can really eat into your time, especially if you are logging in and out of accounts, or having to come up with posts daily. Hootsuite is a social media management tool that streamlines all of those associated tasks. You can manage all of your social media accounts from one dashboard, which means no more logging in and out. One of the best time-saving features is that you can schedule hundreds of social media posts in one go via the dashboard. You can do this for all of your accounts, even planning out a few weeks at a time. There are a couple of great things about this feature; a) you can get a lot done while you’re “in the groove” of creating posts and b) it saves you from going down the social media “rabbit hole” that’s easy to fall down if you log into the account directly! Another important feature for business owners and virtual assistants is the content curation section. This allows you to store pre-approved content your virtual assistant is allowed to use for posts in a cloud-based file. So, if you happen to be browsing and come across something, you can add it as you go. Importantly, your virtual assistant can monitor and respond to engagement via the Hootsuite dashboard, and it comes with a reasonable analytics package for tracking. 4. Google Suite (G Suite) G Suite encompasses a set of tools that are useful for businesses, including G Docs, Drive, Calendar, Sheets, Forms, Slides, Sites (for website building), Hangouts and Gmail. Most of these features can be used for free outside of G Suite, but this package has a few advantages specifically designed for business use (and at $5 per user per month, it’s not outrageously priced!). Specific business benefits from G Suite include; 30GB storage per user, a company email address (email@yourcompany.com), 24/7 support and mobile device management. Even looking outside of G Suite to the individual apps you can use, there’s a lot of value you can get for free. For example, G Docs can be used for content creation and sharing. The cloud-based program allows others to make comments and for document history to be retrieved if needed. 5. Canva Content creators rejoice! Visual images are a powerful way to get attention online, and you need them across many of your media properties. For example, your blog, your website, and your social media accounts. Canva makes creating professional-looking images easy. Sure, it’s not the same as employing a professional graphic designer, but it’s the next best thing if you need a lot of images and don’t have a huge budget. The team at Canva has created tutorials for how to put various elements together to create a great image. You might create an image laid over with a quote, an advertisement for your business, or an engaging blog feature image. The designs are shareable so that anyone else in your team can edit them too. 6. Zapier Do you know what else can be a barrier to productivity? Too many productivity tools that don’t “talk” with one another! Basically, the more you can automate in your processes, the more efficiently you can operate. If you’re logging in and out of different apps or manually entering data from this app to that app, you’ve automatically got an inefficiency. Zapier is one of our best productivity apps for creating more effective processes. It takes those apps which don’t have in-built integrations with one another and acts as the “middle man” to make automations happen. For example, you might use Zapier to create a link between Asana and Gmail, allowing for tasks to be created in Asana from emails in Gmail. There are hundreds of apps and thousands of potential workflow ideas for productivity, which you can explore here. 7. Time tracker apps Do you know how you’re spending your time? What about how your virtual assistant is spending theirs? We’ve got “time tracker apps” under one heading because there are at least three which we have tried and love. TimeDoctor – This is a great time tracking app for teams, including features like screenshots, reporting, client tracking (who uses the most time?), and integrations with payroll. You can track time spent on individual apps and websites, which is very useful for noticing any patterns (hello, Facebook!). Toggl – Toggl is easy to use with a push-button timer. It allows you to break down your data in a number of different ways and see exactly how you’re spending your time. It works across all devices and allows you to specifically track how much time you’re taking in the tools that it integrates with. Clockify – This free app is a very simple time tracker and timesheet app, which can easily be used by everyone on the team.\ 8. Lastpass Sometimes, just getting into the apps and programs you need to use can be a big productivity killer. How many times have you yelled at your screen as it told you “incorrect username or password?” You can easily waste half an hour at a time doing resets and confirmations. Lastpass is a savior for the password-challenged. The password manager app “remembers” passwords for you and works in the background to automatically update for any changes. Get into your productivity tools the first time, every time! 9. Xero Every business needs a decent accounting tool, and of all the potential tools out there, we really like Xero. Like the best productivity tools, Xero helps you to automate key functions and easily put a process around those that aren’t automatic. It has grown to be one of the most popular accounting apps in the world and is packed with features. For example, Xero allows you or your virtual assistant to quickly reconcile accounts, send purchase orders, manage inventory, manage bills, and process invoices, among other features. It also integrates with a lot of other apps, so there’s a good chance there will be something you use that you can hook up with it. 10. CRM software Of all productivity apps, when you have clients, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software is a must. Basically, it allows you to manage your customer lists, to “remember” things about them and to keep tabs on customer preferences and activity. Here are three options we like. Ontraport – This CRM is a fully featured option that allows you to map the entire customer journey, set up your sales funnels, automated emails, track your marketing, and get a range of data. ActiveCampaign – ActiveCampaign really shines when it comes to email marketing automation. The CRM tool helps with contact management and the timing of your emails too. InfusionSoft – This tool provides a central point for all of your customer data. Information like sales stats and task updates are pulled into one place for easy management.

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