In the series of information that I am going to post on this blog, I am going to start with this post that will cover some important tools / services to keep your productivity high.
Who on earth would not be interested in saving time and increase productivity ? Well everyone wants to do so. This post is not only useful to startup founders but for everyone who is looking to attain the above objective. Keeping this post to the point and listing all the productivity tools objective wise.
1. Task Scheduling & tracking
there are many tools for this purpose, but what I personally like is Zoho Projects. It is the best one. What you can do with this tool is :
– Listing and Assigning tasks within your team.
– Provide deadline to each task and track their progress on daily basis.
– You can create milestone, dependency and much more.
– Everything is synchronised with your calendar.
– It provides statistical representations of your team progress.
– Shoots email notification itself for any update, creation, closing of tasks, milestone, etc.
You can even download mobile app for Zoho projects and maintain your workflow with your phone. It is available on android and iOS both. Best part is, Zoho Projects provides basic plan for free for a team of 10 members. If your startup size is less than 10 members, you must use it. To signup, visit here : Zoho Projects
2. Documentation :
Keeping things documented always helps. Suppose you went for a meeting and discussed many points there. So first thing you should do is, jot down all the points and frame a Minutes of Meeting (MOM) document and share it with all the attendees. This will always be handy for future references. I personally use Evernote for this purpose.
Have a look at screenshot below. (image is blurred purposely)
Evernote allows you to :
– Create Notebooks and inside each notebook you can create several notes / documents.
– Create your own To Do list.
– Set reminder for any specified task.
– Save Voice / Video / image notes.
– All the documents are well organised.
– Can be shared with others easily over email.
– Take screenshots and save them as notes.
Evernote is available as app for mobile phones and for PC (Mac and Windows). This helps you to get your documents synchronised and maintain the work flow as updated.
If you want hassle free documentation, you can download Evernote here : www.evernote.com
3. Social Media Updation :
To maintain your online presence, you need to update your social media channels and other properties properly. Posting stuff timely on your web properties is essential to prove yourself better than your competitors. I personally use Zoho Social to maintain my social web properties. You can schedule your posts for entire month for Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Linkedin, etc. If you upgrade your free plan to paid version, you can add multiple brands social properties at one place and manage them from one single account. I am truly in love with Zoho Social. You can signup for this here :
Zoho Social is available as mobile app as well. You can maintain your brand visibility with the use of your phone as well. Have a look at screenshot below. http://social.zoho.com
4. Emails, documents sharing, etc :
I have always praised about the simplicity of gmail with the ease to use it and it’s effective servers that are never down. It makes me sure enough that when I send any email through my google apps account there are very least chances that it will go in spam folder. Through this you can create as many users as you want. This will not only provide official email id’s to your team mates (email@example.com) but will allow them to collaborate and work on any number of documents that you share with them.
You can also have a Google apps account to enjoy much previledges. Organising and keeping flow of your work in entire team is easy with Google apps. You can send emails with the same ease as of gmail, share documents,create users, etc. It gives too much of personalisation in any organisation. And above all you get reliability and trust from Google. There are many other benefits if you use free add-ons in Google drive. Best part is you get all this for free for the first month.
You can sign up for Google apps account here. : Google for work
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5. Email Marketing :
This is the problem which even big organisations are not been able to solve. I also struggled a lot while searching for the reliable method for email marketing. But after lot of research I got to know about Amazon AWS. This is a complete package of Web services. And best part is that it is very cost efficient. Amazon AWS has SES Module. SES is smart email service. It allows you to send emails to any number of users at one go. You just need to use a good email client with Amazon AWS SES and Boom, you are done. For the starting you can use Outlook as your email client.
Most amazing part of Amazon AWS is that it is free for the first year till a limited usage. Example : You get 50,000 mails for free for the first year and then you will be billed $ 0.10 per 1000 mails.
You can signup for Amazon AWS here : http://aws.amazon.com
Not only for email marketing, but I have been using Amazon AWS for a long time for various other purposes. And trust me it is the best and cost effective solutions for most of the web services, like Hosting your website, sending push notifications, host your apps, Amazon store for mobile apps, CDN, etc.
This is my personal list of tools and services that I use to increase my efficiency. I will keep updating this list as per my learnings and findings. I believe every startup founder or an internet marketer must use these productivity hacks to maximise their benefits.
I hope this piece of information will help you to improve your work performance and keep you productive for ever. Also, I would request my readers to give me feedback on how this article was useful to you. Moreover if you think I am missing some of the best tools / service to increase performance and productivity, let me know. I would definitely think to add it to my current list and to this article.