Friday, June 16, 2017

Apps for Small Business: Being productive

SBDC Staff Training seems like a long time ago already, and we left with the plan that I would share my presentation on Best Apps for Small Business. In the time between then and now, I've dabbled in even more apps that I'd like to share in case you might find them useful for yourself or your clients. I'll be making posts on the different categories of apps with a great deal of crossover.

Calendars, Lists and To-Dos

 For Chrome users, this is my actual favorite for a to-do product and it's actually for the desktop. I had been reading an anecdote about the Ivy Lee Method for achieving peak productivity which you may be familiar with. The gist is that at the end of each day, you write down the most important things to achieve the following day. Write down 6 items, but only 6. Prioritize those 6. Tomorrow, concentrate on completing the 1st item. Don't move to the next until that item is done. Carry on in this fashion for the rest of the list. Repeat daily.

I am the Queen of extensions and so I downloaded the Momentum extension to Chrome which creates a dashboard with a beautiful photograph with an integrated to-do list with a primary to-do list to keep your focused. At the bottom of the screen is a quote., at the top is the weather as well a discreet link for your most used-pages. There is a "plus" version that gives you more options to expand your to-do list, integrate with other tools like Wunderlist, Google Tasks, Trello, Todoist, etc.
You can add more backgrounds but the ones they have are stunning. Momentum offer hotkeys to shortcut as well as focus, countdown, and notes settings in the plus version.

Wunderlist is very popular (winning app of the year) as it allows you to create lists and subtasks within lists, send reminders to yourself with deadlines and share lists with others. Wunderlist is good because it is simple while still being attractive, integrates with other apps. It allows you to sort tasks by project and list them consecutively to lay out your responsibilities so you can get some clarity.
It offers a Pro version for $4,99 a month with unlimited backgrounds, unlimited assigning of tasks, and unlimited files. It works on every kind of device including desktop. The business version offers a 30 day trial that promotes sharing lists, file sharing, reminders, and a comments section so teams can share insights. The business version also allows to administer a team from a central location.

This app has the key elements a great system has:

  • Prioritize
  • Multiple lists
  • Notes
  • Mobile
  • Clean interface
  • Syncs on all devices
  • Share and assign
  • Set reminders
  • Easy to Use

After a system meets the requirements you need to function smoothly and USE it, what's left is how beautiful it is which affects whether you want to use it. This is not a small issue for me or for many others (or else we would all wear Crocs or flipflops). Playing with a new tool is important to see if it is close enough to your pen and ink method to be adoptable.

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