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7 Great productivity tools you need in 2021

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Big or small the key to a profitable business is efficiency and with so many great tools out there to help it can be difficult to know where to start.

From Kanban boards to VoIP phones here are 7 of the best efficiency tools that you absolutely need to look at in 2021.

Kaban Boards

What is a Kanban board you ask?

It’s a simple way of showing the status of task, projects or jobs in a simple, visual form.

Think yellow sticky notes on a whiteboard but in electronic form. 

Because they are hosted in the cloud it’s a bit like having that whiteboard in your pocket so you can check what’s going on at any time, anywhere.

They are great for planning, collaboration and just getting your life in order.
Two of the best are Trello and Asana. Both have free options that have a huge number of features and are really easy to use, learn and share.

Codebook

OK so we all know that we shouldn’t use the same passwords for all our apps but it’s so hard keeping up with all the codes, pins and passwords you have.

Meet Codebook from Zetetic.

Codebook saves all your passwords securely with one log on and then synchs across all your devices so that you always have the right password at the right time.

Another free app, Codebook can even generate strong passwords so you can ditch the dreaded ‘password123’!

VoIP phones

If you have a mobile and a landline then you already know that whilst connectivity is great in theory, in practice it can have its downsides including dropped calls, difficulty conferencing and multiple numbers for your customers to call.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a single number that a customer could call that would find you wherever you were?

How much time would you save searching around for contact numbers or dealing with calls when you simply don’t have the time?

VoIP phones have been around for a while now and although back in the day the call quality could be somewhat ‘inconsistent’ the availability of high-speed internet and 5G means that it’s often better than a copper landline.

VoIP phones have tons of features like virtual receptionists, menu filtering and voicebox to email and for many of them, you don’t even need any special equipment.

If you’re looking for the best VoIP phone services then check out this list by Neil Patel with some great suggestions.

Zapier

So you have all of these great apps and they are all working away in their own areas but what happens when you want to integrate and automate your tasks?

Check out Zapier

Now Zapier doesn’t do anything itself. Instead, it uses actions (called triggers) to start other actions in different apps. So for example when you receive an email, it can automatically save any attachment into your Google docs and then send you a slack message telling you there is new content.

It’s a superb automation app that links all your software up and allows you to automate features and set up workflows.

Zapier claims that they work seamlessly with over 2000 apps and rising, so your favourite software should have no problem integrating.

Productivity checkers

Do you know where you waste most of your time?

Do you know which websites you really ought to be avoiding?

Know when your most productive hours are?

Let’s face it we’ve all disappeared down a Twitter rabbit hole or spent and hour (or two) checking out what old school friends are doing on Facebook.

The first step to improving your productivity is to understand where you are losing your time and productivity checkers like Rescue Time or Toggl will show you exactly when you are most productive and thus maximise your efficient hours.

Spelling and Grammar helpers

If you are someone who has difficulty with spelling or grammar then you know that it can take forever to write a simple letter or email and get it just right.

But help is at hand in the form of Grammarly or Hemmingway.

Both of these apps will check what you re writing and highlight any problems with suggested spelling changes applied at the click of a button.

Yes, they save you money but in addition, they also give you confidence that your business communications are where they need to be.

Sanebox

Most people have trouble managing their inboxes, so they rely on email organization apps.

It’s not just spam. There are newsletters that you don’t really need just now, things you’ve been CC’d into for no reason and reports that you thought might be useful sometime.

Sanebox is a method of making sure your inbox focuses on the things that are important and reduces the amount of time you spend dealing with nonsense.

You can teach it what to do with specific emails based on rules you set and it will also learn what to do based on y our behaviour.

The free version is great and for a small subscription, you can add on a few more productivity tools from the Sanebox stable.

Let your apps take the strain

With so many great productivity apps available on the market it seems crazy not to give them a go.

Most of them are free in the basic versions and will save you huge amounts of time and give you control back over your working day.

Why not check out our suggestions now and start saving yourself some time right away?

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Latest Issue

BDC 317 : Jun 2024