No Cost, Low Cost Productivity Tools to Help You Get More Done With Less!

pen, magnifying glass and the working paper with a diagram

pen, magnifying glass and the working paper with a diagram

Small business owners know that the seemingly little things involved in running their operations can take up a great deal of their time. So any time we’re able to find ways to be more efficient and shave time off of our routines, we jump at the opportunity.

Today we’re lucky that there are a number of apps that help to do just that—many available at no, or low cost. Here are some of the tools that we’ve found most useful in helping us to manage our days and our client accounts: 

Hootsuite: We do a lot of work on social media for ourselves and our clients. We’ve found Hootsuite to be a very powerful, and cost effective, tool to help us manage our social media efforts. We use it not only to schedule posts, but also to do research. It’s very easy to simply set up a stream using various keywords to help track online activity and chatter. It can also be a great way to keep up with what competitors are up to!

TimeTrade: We set up meetings and interviews frequently with sources and clients. This handy tool lets people you’re trying to connect with select a time that works for them based on your calendar openings; the meeting is then placed on your schedule. TimeTrade automatically converts available openings to the time zone of the person you’re sending it to so helps to avoid time zone confusion as well.

ToDoist: We have just begun experimenting with this one. We’ve gone entirely paperless over the past couple of years and now do all of our calendaring online. This tool has been a helpful one. You can access it from any computer/device, allowing you to stay on top of projects no matter where you are. And, you can also schedule reminder alerts so nothing falls through the cracks.

GoogleDocs: We work with a variety of clients around the country, and this tool is really helpful for sharing and collaborating on documents—and it’s free! One really useful feature is that everything you enter into GoogleDocs is automatically saved. So, if you’re drawn away from a document and your computer shuts down, no worries! Your work is still there.

Livescribe: This tool has saved us tons of time and provided a great deal of peace of mind as well. It’s a pen that you use with special paper which allows you to record conversations, meetings, interviews, etc., and easily go back to specific parts of the conversation or meeting either via the tablet or online. We’ve purchased these pens for some of our team members and have recommended them to many clients.

TheGreatSuspender. One of our favorite tools, this is an extension that you can add to Chrome to automatically “suspend” browser tabs that you haven’t accessed for a while. If you tend to work with a number of tabs open, as we do, it can significantly slow down your computer. This tool will automatically shut down tabs you’re not using and when you go back to them you simply click a button and you’re back in business!

So there you have it. Just a few of the virtual tools we’ve used to help boost our productivity and facilitate effective coordination both within and without or organization. There are more, but these are among our favorites. What are your favorite productivity tools? Share here!

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