At the moment we are assessing all our processes and making the move to an all inclusive CRM system to help us get the most out of our time. It has taken us quite a few years to get to this stage and we know how much you loved our blog post on free stock images so we thought we would put together a list of our top five productivity tools.
We couldn’t agree on which one was our absolute favourite so these are in no particular order!
Evernote has long been a tool at the top of everyone’s productivity lists and we have to say we agree. Who doesn’t love a service that allows you to collect all your thoughts, meeting notes, articles you want to refer back to later, lecture notes, ideas, recipes, shopping lists and much more in one handy synchronised location.
Evernote is not only for the solo user, it has many different plugins that allow you to share your work with colleagues, edit pdf’s and capture articles.
I recently attended a workshop where the presenter provided us all with a copy of the slides prior to attending. The person I was sitting next to had loaded them into Evernote and was making notes alongside each of the slides. It was at this moment that my love for Evernote grew even bigger. This is one tool I think everyone can use.
Access is available via desktop and mobile devices.
Basecamp has been our go to project management tool for as long as we have had team members. It allows for individual jobs to be setup for each client and different team members to be allocated to each job.
Not only can we set up milestones, add to do lists and attach important files, Basecamp also has a strong search feature that allows for us to find relevant communications or easily find a piece of correspondence we needed to refer to.
If one of us is talking to a client it allows for us to update them easily on a part of the project we may not personally be working on.
If Basecamp had the ability to track emails and correspondence to clients without us having to go in and make notes we may have continued down this path into the foreseeable future.
Trello is a visual person’s dream project management tool and the best thing is you can share some “boards” and keep others private, meaning you can project manage multiple areas of your life or projects for multiple clients.
Taking the role of sticky notes, you can access Trello via the web as well as an app on your phone or iPad meaning you and your team are connected at anytime.
Create boards for each job as well as team members and add checklists, labels, assign tasks and even sign up to be notified about key project milestones.
Trello is definitely a must have for the creative entrepreneur and anyone who manages teams/detailed projects but hates boring lists.
For those working on multiple projects and needing to track their time (or the people who can lose hours on social media – don’t worry, we’re all guilty here!) these are two great tools that allow for easy time tracking.
Every business needs a good accounting system and we find Xero is the easiest one to use. We started using it just for invoicing and expenses and then as team members started coming along as employees it was really easy to upgrade to the next subscription level and get the payroll function.
We love that it intergrates with Receipt Bank and is so easy to take a photo of a receipt from our phone and have it go straight into Xero and so does our bookkeeper who no longer has to chase us for receipts come BAS time.
Xero also integrates with many CRM’s and project management tools which saves double handling.
So there you have it, our top five free or cheap productivity tools that we all use on a regular basis. We have recently started the long process of finding a CRM that will do everything we need as well as easily grow with us and can happily say we may have finally found that system.
Once we have started using it and ironed out any teething problems you will be the first to know why we chose it and how it has changed the way we do business.