Happy New Year! Before Christmas we published this blog where we identified 8 digital tools to help your productivity in 2017. As everyone is getting back into the groove of work, we thought it useful to publish it again this week. Next week, we will be starting a new series, exploring Digital Marketing.
One benefit of the Digital Revolution is that technological changes have brought along smart ways to collaborate as a team, manage tasks and ensure effective organisation. In a fast-paced world, productivity is even more of a necessity! So why not start 2017 with some extra help.
1. Slack : Everyone recognises how much time is wasted by searching for specific emails and waiting for people to check their inboxes. Well, Slack reduces the need for teams to communicate over email, as it provides one place, with many channels for you to send instant messages to colleagues. It allows you to upload relevant files, search and archive them. Additionally, Slack enables you to integrate the most important apps that your team uses e.g. Google Drive and Skype. At PlanLab, we've been using Slack as an internal platform since we set-up and it definitely saves time! (iOS and Android).
2. IFTTT : This tool (usable for iOS and Android) is all about integration, allowing the tools and services that you use to be kept together. IFTTT defines apps as services i.e. Facebook, Dropbox, Google Calendar and Pocket. It helps you link these apps together, reducing the time spent logging in separately to individual apps in order to do the same actions e.g. your Twitter profile picture is updated, at the same time you changed your Facebook profile picture. It also helps you to get information such as the weather forecast at a specific time in your day, by linking the weather app to your devices' alarm.
3. Sanebox : There is a way to focus on the important emails, without being distracted by unimportant ones. How? Sanebox filters them out, according to your preferences and pops them in an independent folder, so that you can look at them later. It's as simple as that.
4. Amy io : Fancy being slightly ahead of the curve and trying out some Artificial Intelligence? Amy is available to serve as your personal assistant robot! She interacts with you, as if she was a real human being and schedules meetings for you. Amy is marketed to take off your hands the "continuos ping pong of emails" when scheduling meetings. She makes it easy, as all you have to do is type Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Yesware : If you use Watsapp and Messenger, then you will be aware of the technology that is built into these apps, which allows you to see when your message has been delivered, when someone is typing a response and online. Yesware, sets out to do the equivalent for your emails. It allows you to see who in real time is opening your links and messages, enabling you to be ready to respond. Other useful functions include; calling a contact from within your inbox, sales functions and email templates.
6. Tripit : An itinerary app (iOS and Android), helping you hold all your travel plans in one place. Use it for yourself or for your teams. Once you've done the booking, Tripit collates your booking references, so that you don't need to trawl through emails to find the details. If you extend to purchasing Tripit Pro, then you can set up notifications to your device about your travel plans.
7. Harvest : A time tracking tool for you and your team that allows you to stop the clock when a task is completed and keep on track, knowing when a project has reached its budget limits. All the budget forecasting and analytics can be kept within Harvest, as it provides a well-reviewed user interface that visualises the data. This means that you can budget and bill efficiently and plan future projects with data-led understanding. For further thought on this tool, here is a Comprehensive Review of Harvest by Rob Rawson.
8. Wunderlist : At PlanLab, we love lists, as there are so many components that crop up when running a business. That's why we use Wunderlist, a list-builder app, synced across all devices (iOS and Android) that allows you to share lists and assign tasks to your colleagues. Another reason we endorse Wunderlist, is that notifications can be set up and integrated within Slack (the first tool mentioned).