It seems as if everyone is looking for ways to increase efficiency and save time in today’s world.
One way people do this is by using organizational tools. These can come in various forms, such as project management software, cloud storage providers, note-taking apps, or social media management tools.
Whether you're a small business owner, freelancer, solopreneur, or a large corporation, using the proper tools becomes critical when your goal is to improve organization and productivity.
In this article, you'll learn about the importance of these tools and how they can help your business run more smoothly.
The Benefits of Tools for Productivity and Organization
Let's start by defining what an organizational or productivity tool is. It’s anything that helps you turn tasks into processes that speed your ability to perform what needs to get done daily.
Organizational tools can help you manage your projects better and get things completed more efficiently. Here are some specific benefits that come from using organizational or productivity tools.
- Manage projects better: The right project management software will keep all of your tasks organized, on track, and up to date.
- Save time: Using organizational tools like cloud storage will allow you to keep all of your necessary documents together. It’s a way to help you save time when it comes to finding information. It also helps with sharing files between employees or clients.
- Know your workload: If your organizational tools provide a way of tracking how much time you spend on certain types of projects or tasks, they can help determine where inefficiency exists in any of your systems. A process like this is great for freelancers who rely on multiple clients. It also works for larger companies that need to understand where employees waste time.
- Improve efficiency: If you have a team that needs to work together, certain organizational tools exist to help with the process. Collaboration software, for example, allows teams and businesses to communicate, share files, and see where everyone is in the project at any given time. The result is that no one falls behind or misses important information.
- Know when to hire: Tracking time through organizational tools can help know if there's a need to bring in new employees. It helps with determining hiring and onboarding processes, as well as firing practices (if necessary).
- Improve security and accessibility: You can also use tools like cloud storage and sharing software to help improve security in the workplace. These tools allow you to share information with employees and clients while keeping it safe from anyone who shouldn't gain access.
Are you ready to discover specific types of organizational and productivity tools to help you run your business more effectively? Let's get started!
1. The Right Project Management Software For You
Image Source: ActiveCollab
Project management software is beneficial because it keeps track of all tasks, deadlines, and schedules. It also helps with an organization by allowing you to break down large projects into smaller components or milestones.
Different types of project management software exist depending on your unique business needs.
Web-based software: Work from anywhere using web-based project management tools such as Basecamp. With Basecamp, you can create and manage multiple projects and share files and messages with clients or employees.
Desktop software: If you need more advanced project management tools for your business, desktop software like Microsoft Project can help. Microsoft Project will allow you to manage your projects and even track tasks with Gantt charts.
Mobile software: If your business deals with on-the-go project management needs, mobile software like ActiveCollab can help. ActiveCollab is available for both Android and iOS devices and lets you create and update tasks, assign roles to different members of your team, and track time.
Of course, the above tools represent only three of many different types of project management software. The key is to do your research and then start using the software that works best for your particular business.
2. Cloud Storage
Image Source: Dropbox
Cloud storage tools keep you productive by allowing you to store, access, and share all of your essential documents from anywhere.
Your company's size and capability will determine which type of cloud storage tool fits best. For example, if you need more advanced capabilities, such as document annotation or editing software, Google Drive can help.
With Google Drive, you can create and edit documents from anywhere, as well as share them with clients or employees. You can also use Google Drive to save all of your work in a single cloud location.
On the other hand, if you need more basic file-sharing capabilities, such as sending files via email, Dropbox may turn into a better match for your business needs. With Dropbox, you can store all of your files in a single location and access them from any device.
3. Note-Taking Software
Image Source: Avoma
Your business likely requires note-taking software. Whether you're gathering research or writing blog posts, having an organized system that lets you take notes is vital. When you can access them later in an organized fashion, it will help improve organization in your workplace.
Three popular types of note-taking software include Evernote, Avoma, and NoteLedge.
Using Evernote, you can take notes, create checklists, record audio messages to yourself or clients, and even save webpages for quick access later. Evernote allows you to sync your files across all devices so that they’re always available when needed most.
Avoma is another great tool if you’re looking to store business information in a single location. With Avoma, you can store website URLs, emails and contacts, files (including Microsoft Office documents), text notes with images, and links to the web.
NoteLedge is a powerful note-taking tool that allows you to save all of your work while also accessing it from any device. You will never lose an important file again.
4. Email Software
Image Source: Outlook
Email management software is important in any organization because it helps you to stay organized while prioritizing your tasks.
To improve workflow, choose an email management tool that will allow you to create folders for different clients, projects, or departments. You can also use this type of software to set up rules so that emails automatically get sorted into the correct folder.
Two of the most popular email management software tools are Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird.
With Microsoft Outlook, you can create specific folders for different clients, projects, and departments. You can also use email templates when sending emails to save time. Outlook allows users to schedule a task or reminder directly from an email message, which helps in busy work environments.
Mozilla Thunderbird is another email management tool that lets you create custom folders. The software comes with many of the same features as Microsoft Outlook, including templates, event reminders, message filters, and signatures.
5. Integration Software
Image Source: Outfunnel
Integration software is the glue that holds your business together by allowing you to combine several different platforms. It provides a single platform where all of your data lives. Integration makes it easier for employees to access information no matter what they're working on at any given moment.
An excellent integration tool is Zapier. With just one click, you can connect a variety of apps, including Gmail or Microsoft Outlook.
For example, you can have all the information from your email marketing campaigns added directly to Salesforce. It eliminates the need to copy and paste data manually after every campaign goes out.
With Zapier, you only have to set up integrations once because it runs in real-time. The most beneficial feature of Zapier is how seamlessly it works with almost any device or platform.
A second integration software solution to consider is Outfunnel. It's another tool that helps you connect apps. Unlike generic 3rd party integration services, Outfunnel is designed for connecting sales and marketing tools. As a result, the integrations are both deeper and easier to set up as compared to generic integration tools.
For example, if a lead fills out an inquiry form on your website, Outfunnel can add them directly into your CRM, along with custom fields, and also copy the customer data to your marketing automation tool. Then, whenever you send marketing campaigns to these leads, their engagements (e.g. email opens and clicks, website visits) are recorded in the sales CRM.
As a result, your customer data is kept in sync across tools and your salespeople have the full context of the leads’ journey. This saves time for marketers and helps sales be more productive.
Even though airtable structure does not include a built-in feature you can use Airtable Alternatives to add attachments for any presentations or information that you need to distribute and use the checkbox field to “check” off when an item has been completed.
Outfunnel currently works with Pipedrive, Copper, Airtable, and HubSpot CRM and a number of marketing tools like Mailchimp and ActiveCampaign. Salesforce support is coming soon as well.
6. A PDF Reader Tool
Image Source: Kdan PDF Editor
PDF readers help you to open, edit, and annotate PDF files, in some cases, images (e.g., background removal). They make it possible for users of all skill levels to view scanned documents more easily. The benefits of using a PDF reader include reading, editing, and annotating PDFs without Adobe Acrobat. If your company uses Google Drive, you can integrate both by learning how to open a PDF in Google Docs.
Foxit PDF Reader and Kdan Mobile PDF Editor are two solid PDF reader tools to choose from.
Foxit offers a free version that you can download and install on your computer. The software is sleek and easy to use, making it appropriate for workers at all skill levels.
Kdan Mobile PDF Editor provides more advanced features than Foxit but isn't as user-friendly. It's designed for high-end users who need to create or edit multiple PDF files at once.
7. Social Media Management Tool
Image Source: Hootsuite Pro
Social media management software will help you with scheduling posts for all types of social media platforms. You'll only need these if your company focuses on social media marketing or if it manages social accounts for clients.
Two effective choices include Buffer and Hootsuite Pro. Both of these tools allow you to use scheduling features when posting to multiple social media platforms. You can use them to track engagement and measure the impact of your marketing efforts on different platforms. Additionally, you can use specialist analytics tools like Social Status.
Buffer works best for companies that want to manage social media for clients. It’s easy to use and comes with a simple user interface.
Hootsuite Pro provides detailed reports on engagement data, allowing you to measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts over time. Hootsuite also offers advanced reporting tools.
8. Recruitment Tools/HR Tools
Image Source: Flair.hr
If you need help with recruiting, consider using an applicant tracking system (ATS). It's a type of software that allows companies to post jobs online, receive applications from candidates via email or a website, and then manage the entire recruitment process.
Recruiting software improves productivity and makes hiring and onboarding new employees easier. It allows you to better manage the entire process, from posting jobs online to accepting resumes and scheduling interviews.
Two recruitment software solutions to consider include Flair.hr and SmartRecruiters.
Flair is a cloud-based solution that's easy to use and offers both prebuilt job boards and the ability to create custom boards for your company.
Flair is built on top of Salesforce design and aids in professionalizing and automating HR departments, through creating processes that are both efficient and effortless, all at once. Keep track of employee data in one place and where it's easily accessible for automation processes.
Flair allows you to view your employees’ daily routines according to their roles. Manage deadlines, onboarding, time entries, collaboration, and more, all in one easy-to-access place.
SmartRecruiters helps to manage your recruiting process. It includes an applicant tracking system and a video interviewing suite that integrates into the platform.
Time-tracking software allows you to track the amount of time spent on projects. Managers can use this data to determine how well employees work together or whether or not they're spending too much time on one project at the expense of others.
Image Source: Toggl
If your company includes different departments, it's a good idea to choose a time-tracking software solution that will allow you to create separate projects for each department. Managers can then easily track the amount of time individual employees spend on different tasks and departments.
Toggl is flexible and easy to use, making it an excellent option for small businesses with limited IT resources. However, Toggl also works well for large corporations with many employees.
Another solid time-tracking software option is Hours. The software allows you to track the number of hours employees spend on projects. It then generates reports that provide information about worker performance over different periods of time, such as a day or month.
10. Task Management
Image Source: Trello
Task management software helps employees stay on top of their to-do lists. It allows them to prioritize tasks, create deadlines, and share the workload with coworkers.
The best task management tools include a calendar feature that automatically schedules due dates for different projects based on when you need them completed.
Encourage your employees to use task management tools like Todoist to keep them organized and productive. The Todoist software is simple to use. It also provides more advanced features that managers will appreciate, such as connecting with other apps like Slack.
Using Slack, you can then collaborate with teammates on projects via chat rooms.
Trello is another popular task management solution for teams of all sizes. It allows users to create boards separated by project. Trello also helps teams stay organized by creating separate boards for each department, making it easy to identify who's responsible for each project.
11. A Collaborative Presentation Platform
Image Source: Google Docs
Interactive presentation tools help with collaboration and productivity. They allow your employees to brainstorm ideas, create presentations in real-time, and share their work with teammates.
PowerPoint is the most well-known presentation tool on the market today. It's designed for businesses of all sizes and skill levels. However, consider using Google Drive if you're looking for a more robust solution that allows teams to upload documents into one central location.
Google Docs is an easy-to-use alternative that allows you to view documents simultaneously via cloud storage. The software also enables users to search for specific files or terms within a document and then share their work with colleagues in real-time.
Another interactive presentation platform to consider is Prezi. Prezi allows users to create detailed presentations using a timeline rather than slides. It's an excellent option for presenting multiple points of data in an easy-to-digest manner that will keep the audience engaged throughout the entire presentation.
12. Team Chat Tools
Image Source: Slack
Team chat tools like Slack and Chanty allow employees to communicate with one another quickly. Workers can use them for everything from asking questions about a certain task or project to coordinating meetings, brainstorming ideas, and sharing files.
Chanty is great for businesses that are just getting started with team chat tools. It's easy to use and doesn't require a phone number or email address to sign up.
Slack is another excellent team chat tool that lets multiple people collaborate on a single project via private channels. It also provides users with the ability to share files within each channel so they can work together more efficiently.
Another advantage to Slack is its ability to integrate with third-party apps. For example, you can connect Slack to Trello, so each team member automatically receives updates on the status of project changes.
Trello and Slack integration also make it easier for managers to oversee the progress of each project. They can view status updates, communicate with team members directly through chat rooms and channels, and make changes as needed within Trello cards.
13. Accounting Software
Image Source: Xero
The right accounting software improves collaboration and productivity by helping your business run more smoothly. You can use accounting software to plan, monitor, and adjust budgets. Many accounting software packages include modules for:
- Invoicing clients
- Managing accounts receivable and payable
- Inventory management
- Project cost planning
One of the best accounting software programs on the market is Xero. Xero offers tools for invoicing clients, managing accounts payable and receivable, and time tracking. The reporting and financial analytics feature help you understand how your business is performing at any given time.
Another quality option to consider is FreshBooks. It's designed specifically with small businesses in mind. It allows users to quickly and easily track time and create professional invoices.
You can set up recurring invoices for clients that pay regularly. The software also lets you send estimates electronically, so your client has the option of approving them before work begins.
One final benefit to using accounting software is how it helps at tax time. For example, Xero gives you the ability to easily pull out your financial data, so it's ready when tax season rolls around.
13. Customer Relationship Management Software
Image Source: HubSpot
Customer relationship management (CRM) software helps you create a more personalized experience for your customers. It also improves productivity by reducing the number of manual tasks your employees have to complete each day.
It makes it easier to track sales opportunities from start to finish, which can help improve revenue growth over time.
One excellent customer relationship management tool is Salesforce. It's a platform that allows your team to manage the entire customer process, from the initial sales contact all the way through product delivery and service interactions. Salesforce can help you prioritize leads and identify which ones are ready to purchase now.
It can also help you better understand your customers. Its data insight ensures that the marketing activities remain tailored to customer needs at every sales cycle stage. The more personalized your interactions, the higher probability you have of converting people into loyal brand advocates and repeat buyers.
Another quality CRM solution is HubSpot. It's a complete marketing suite that allows customer service reps and salespeople to work together on the same page.
The CRM component helps you stay in touch with customers by sending automated emails, setting up meetings, and reaching out via social media when it makes sense for your business.
It also has powerful reporting capabilities, so there’s no guesswork involved when trying to figure out which marketing strategies work well. You can generate reports on everything from blog traffic to social media engagement, helping you focus your efforts more effectively over time.
Can you see how using various above tools can help your business become more organized and productive? Your next action step is to identify which category you need the most help in. Then, select one of the leading organizational tools to fix that issue inside your company.
If you’d like to learn more about which tools can help you become more organized, you might want to check out these two roundups from Forbes and Entrepreneur.