March 11, 2016
Living in an increasingly fast-paced society, most of us feel there are never enough hours in the day. Learning to balance the never ending to-do list, client meetings, redundant tasks, and some form of home or social life sometimes feels impossible.
Yet we all know the superheroes who seem to balance it all with grace and skill. Their talent lies in stellar time management. And chances are, they each employ a few genius apps and products that help them stay on top of it all without resorting to stress and that trademark feeling of overwhelm..
To help you reach productivity rock star status, check out these four new apps that are aces at creating more results in less time.
Zapier is a life-saver of a tool for anyone who owns a small business. This app is something in the vein of IFTTT because it helps less technically-inclined individuals connect apps and services and establish automated functions. One of the main differences is that Zapier is aimed more toward business and productivity apps like Evernote, Google Calendar and a few others (as in 500 or more different apps.)
Through Zapier, automations (or “Zaps”) of daily tasks can be created through two or more apps or services to help lighten your load. An example of this might be “if a new article is published on my WordPress website, save a copy to Evernote.” This tool can help save you from having to manually manage a variety of tasks throughout the day and free you up to move on to more pressing matters.
Zapier provides both free and paid versions, however, certain apps like GoToWebinar, PayPal, Salesforce, and other are locked behind their paywall. The free service is still substantial enough to show users the capabilities, so start there and see what you can do.
Ever have so much on your plate that you accidentally double-book yourself for meetings? Assistant.to to the rescue.
Assistant.to is an extremely intuitive scheduling tool that integrates with Gmail, Outlook, and Google calendars and also works with several different meeting software services, such as Google Hangouts and ClickMeeting.
With the Assistant.to browser plugin, the need to toggle back and forth between calendars and inboxes is eliminated because the tool provides a button inside the e-mail compose window that brings up your calendar screen. From there you can click on the times available for meetings and Assistant.to will list the times and dates within the e-mail. Each of these time slots is clickable so the recipient can select a time that works for them, and it will automatically be scheduled. Notifications are also sent to both parties anytime an event is scheduled or changed. Additionally, the plugin detects and converts any time zone discrepancies between you and the recipient. The best part about Assistant.to, however, is that it is completely free.
If you are busy trying to grow your business, you’re probably producing content; at least you should be considering its power. And if you are generating content there is a good chance you spend plenty of time trying to establish connections and build relationships with other bloggers, PR professionals, and influencers within your niche. The problem with this outreach, however, is that it can be time consuming and headache-inducing. Building relationships with influencers grows more difficult by the day, in part due to the popularity of these marketing strategies.
PitchBox helps to streamline and revolutionize that process. This outreach and prospecting CRM automation platform will help take your contact management and outreach efforts to the next level by providing personalized e-mail templates that automates key data like names, blog titles, job titles and more. PitchBox will also send out follow-up e-mails automatically if no response is received. If you do hear back, however, the tool adjusts accordingly and cancels the subsequent e-mails.
These e-mails are made personal through PitchBox’s SEO research tool integration that provides each influencer’s social metrics and website information, allowing the e-mail templates to be customized for each contact. With features ranging from e-mail management and notification tools, contact information, social profiles and the aforementioned benefits, PitchBox will save hours of outreach efforts and oversight.
As a small business owner, you are likely intimately familiar with the invoicing process. Poorly managed invoices can bring down a small business in its early stages so it is vital that these are kept organized and detailed. Enter: Due
Due offers a clean and streamlined way to organize and track the time you and your team are spending on projects through a highly intuitive interface, invoice templates, and a boat-load of features. The dashboard is broken down by invoices, clients, projects, and staff so that everything is highly organized and easy-to-read. Due also offers various features that make it easy for businesses to collect money from their clients including integration with PayPal and QuickBooks, embeddable invoices, multiple country and tax systems, and much more. If invoicing is the bane of your existence, Due can help you refocus on what really matters: Product, process, and marketing.
While all of these tools each offer their own useful time-saving benefits, this is just a small sampling of what’s available to turbo-charge your productivity. If you don’t already take time each month to explore new tech for your business, you are likely doing far too many things manually. This is an investment that gives back almost instantly.
What are your favorite productivity tools? Do you plan to employ any of the ones listed above?
Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach. Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.