Time-saving tools for small businesses
The Internet: the world’s greatest timesaver? Or time waster?
If you’re like most business users, it’s probably a bit of both.
Fortunately you can tip the scales in favor of saving time with online tools for your business and personal use. Some are free, while others charge a monthly fee; many have a free basic version with upgraded features for a modest charge.
Project management/file sharing
- Basecamp, a project management and collaboration program that lets you share files, messages and calendars.
- Google Docs allows you to create, share and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
- Box.com is a cloud-based file-sharing solution that lets you access, manage and share content from any location on any device.
- DropBox, another cloud-based solution, stores documents, photos and videos and allows individuals or teams to access or share them.
- Bill.com automates business bill payment and invoices, keeps track of cash flow and is compatible with many popular business accounting software suites.
- Catch the Best helps you find the best candidates for open positions by creating a database of job applicants and tracking which job boards and ads are most effective.
- Skype, widely used for video calls, can also be used for video conferencing, instant messaging and file sharing.
- PhoneTag converts voicemail messages to text and sends them to you by email or text message. The voice file remains available if you need it.
- Groupon Scheduler (formerly OpenCal) cuts down on phone calls by allowing customers to make appointments and letting you manage your schedule online.
- Evernote captures any audio, video or text and lets you search from your computer or mobile device when you want to retrieve information.
- MozyPro provides online backup for small business computers and servers with 24/7 phone support.
- LastPass keeps all your passwords in one secure location and generates secure passwords automatically. You can access it on any computer or your smartphone.
- RoboForm also keeps all your login information secure in one location and allows you to fill in forms automatically.
- RescueTime is an analytics tool that allows businesses and individuals to examine how time is spent and to become more productive.
- Freedom is a program of a different stripe altogether. It locks you out of the Internet for a designated period. The idea is to remove temptation and let you work without interruption.
- ShortKeys lets you save blocks of text that you use repeatedly and places them in any Windows document quickly and without errors.
- The Pomodoro Technique is a simple time-management system that helps you break large projects into small, manageable chunks to stay on task.
For personalized help managing your business, contact your local SBTDC office.- Contributed by Kelly Burkart through a partnership with US Bank.