When you’re hustling to make your side gig your main job, or you’re just trying to grow your business, there’s never enough time. From filling orders to sifting through emails, if there’s a way to better organize your tasks (and your thoughts) it’s usually worth a try. The second challenge with running a startup – your budget isn’t exactly in excess. We get it, and that’s why we love these (Free!) great productivity tools to make your business more efficient.
Not only do Google business products help you stay organized, but each product syncs well with each other, saving you time from updating multiple platforms.
On average, office workers spend about 2.5 hours a day reading and responding to emails. If you use Gmail, there’s one tool you need to try, especially if many of your email responses are beginning to sound the same.
Gmail Canned Responses allows you to save a custom email response and you can use it only when you need. It’s a tool not too many people use because you must activate it first. Open your Gmail account and click the gear symbol in the right corner > click Settings > click Labs > find Canned Responses > click Enable.
When you write an email you want to save as a canned response, click on the small down arrow in the bottom right of your message screen and save a “New Canned Response.” You can now use this message for future emails with just one click. You can always change or delete the responses if needed.
Staying on the email theme, download the Boomerang tool that partners with Gmail. With Boomerang, you can schedule emails to be sent at a later time. If you want your recipient to see your message at the top of their inbox in the morning, this is a cool way to do it. The tool also allows you to put emails on “hold” – in a way – by making the selected email disappear temporarily then reappear at a scheduled time so you can address it when you can devote your full attention.
Asana is an amazing online project management system! If you’re a team of one, Asana acts as your virtual to-do list. As your business expands, you can use the Timeline in Asana to manage multiple projects simultaneously and give access to team members involved in the project so they can comment or ask questions. You’ll save so much time (and likely a few headaches) by using Asana because you can stop chasing everyone down for updates or organizing a meeting to review information – it’s all doable within the Asana platform.
When you’re acting as the CEO, accountant, and social media manager, you’ll want to enlist the help of a tool like Buffer. With Buffer, you can plan your social media posts in advance and schedule them to appear on your different platforms. This way, you’re spending about an hour managing social media rather than waking up at 2 a.m. in a panic because you haven’t posted to Facebook in four days.
If you’ve ever lost a piece of paper on which you jotted down a phone number, appointment time or idea – you’ll appreciate the ease and convenience of Evernote. This tool is your digital notebook. Reduce the need for paper by using Evernote to make lists, take notes, or jot down ideas. Evernote allows you to attach files via Google Drive (which reiterates our love for tool #1) and saves all your files to an information cloud. So, even if your tablet crashes, you have a backup copy.
These online business tools save us time every day and we’re hoping they’ll do the same for you. What productivity tools do you love? Let us know which ones we should add to our list!