I’m always amazed at some of the free tools that are available online and how much they increase your business productivity either as an organization or as an individual and with that in mind I wanted to share 10 of the best tools that I use pretty much every single day. Most of these tools are free although some will have premium upgrades that might suck you in as you start to become more dependent on them and want to unlock more features. One thing that is certain though is that using any single one of these tools will vastly improve the productivity of your business going forward. Here are my top 10 online productivity tools.
The problem with the web is that we consume so much content now on a daily basis that it can be hard to remember all the best stuff but luckily Evernote solves that problem in some style. I’ll let the video do the talking and as soon as you download and install this tool you’ll wonder how you lived without it up until now… Another very useful alternative is SimpleNote.
We reported on Rapportive before anyone else and we’re proud of it because it’s a superb tool. Basically this little browser plugin lets you see more contact details and social network profiles for the people you talk to via email every day. The aim of the plugin is for you to make deeper connections with some of the people you email every single day. Where it can grab the information it will automatically pull in Twitter, Linkedin and other social profiles so as you are only 1 click away from connecting.
Remember The Milk
There are 100s of task managers and list apps on the web and on mobile devices but this is the one that works best for me. It allows me to items to my “to-do” lists in the easiest manner possible and I can access those lists from pretty much anywhere. Super simple to use and the fact that it has so few features and bells and whistles is actually a positive for me because it does exactly what I want it to do. I have passed 1000s of tasks through Remember The Milk over the last couple of years.
We have been using this for a while and it can best be described as a private Twitter for business. It allows you to communicate in a closed environment and share files. It won’t replace email for your business but it is useful for cutting down large amounts of group emails and sharing links and files in an effective manner. Another reputable app SocialCast.
We all make goals and have dreams for the future with our business that we often forget or just push to one side. This tool is not fancy or well designed but it does the job of reminding you of the dreams you had in the past. Basically you write yourself a message, pick a date when you want that message to happen by and then dreaminder sends you that dream in the future and you can see if you have made it or not. I suppose this doesn’t just have to be used for business but you should try it because you’ll be surprised just how quick you forget your dreams and let them slip!
Skype Screen Sharing
This is a tool that I use on a daily basis and has been essential in eliminating the usual phone calls where clients try to describe things on their screen and you have no idea what they are talking about. Once logged in to Skype you simply click the share screen button and you are able to see either the whole screen of the person you are talking to or the portion of the screen that they select. An incredibly simple yet highly effective tool that cuts down on messy feedback and makes you far more efficient especially if your business is online.
There are lots of things that you can buy more of but the one most important commodity that none of us have enough of is…time. Harvest is a neat little app which helps you manage your time and improve how your entire business uses it’s time. There are a bunch of other features in there as well like accounting and invoices but this really is best for keeping track of time, an important asset!
This simple little app essentially lets you place little stickies all over the web to remind you of stuff when you get back there at a later date. You can write messages for yourself and they’ll appear next time you navigate back to that page. Simple and impressive tool.
I tried to leave this one off the list because it is so obvious and so many people know it already but if you are not using Google docs yet then your company is simple worse off than people who are using it and that is a fact. Collaboration, fantastic email, shared calendars and tons of other online features make this the most essential tool that we use in our business today. If you have not checked it out before now you really should immediately.
You might be wondering why there is a music app on here but I am of the opinion that every office should have music and that it improves productivity. I use Spotify mostly myself but I know thats not available to you all so my other music app of choice would be Grooveshark. Pretty much has every song under the sun and allows you to make great play lists etc and the best part about it is that it is free to use.