‘So what?’ You’ve looked at the tech specs, read the white papers, sat through the demos but you still find yourself asking the same question. You just want to know what’s in it for you. You want the goodness without the geekery. We’ve rounded up 10 tools to boost your company’s productivity, without all the jargon, hype and hoopla.
Billed as ‘the tablet that can replace your laptop’, the Surface Pro 3, with Windows 10, serves as both a tablet and a laptop. It’s cheaper than the most affordable iPad Air and the 13-inch MacBook Air combined, and that’s including the Type Cover, which comes separately.
The business case for VoIP is clear – virtual phone systems are cheaper and more flexible than legacy on-premise PDX systems. And SMBs using more than the average number of cloud tools grow 26 percent faster than those not using cloud technology, according to Deloitte. Voice over IP phone systems can come in on-premise or cloud-hosted form, but either way they promise dramatic improvements in teamwork and productivity.
Unfussy collaboration software like Basecamp makes project management and teamwork a doddle. Drag and drop files, review recent activity and team performance, quickly assign and reassign tasks, bring in new people on a project – it’s all there.
Integrated marketing tools
HubSpot automates, integrates and tracks your sales and marketing efforts. This not only oils the gears of your sales and marketing machine, but also provides you with a wealth of data to measure the impact and ROI of your marketing output more accurately.
Social media tools
Buffer helps you manage your social media accounts, letting you schedule posts for your various networks. The business version gives you more toys, including better analytics.
IFTTT (If This Then That) connects up your apps with ‘recipes’ that automate tasks between internet-connected services. You might make a recipe that says, for example, if I make a new contact on my iPhone, then it will save it to a Google spreadsheet. The website has a list of popular if recipes for the office and the small business.
The average number of accounts registered to one email address in the UK is 118. That’s a lot of passwords to remember. But there is a better way. LastPass stores all your passwords for websites and apps securely in one place, it generates strong, unique passwords, and it autofills login forms, so you only need remember one master password to login in anywhere. Its mobile apps make it even more convenient.
Email taming tools
Tired of trying to hit inbox zero? Unroll.me lets you mass unsubscribe from all your subscription emails and roll up all of those you do want to receive into one digest email.
Cloud-based productivity software
Like Office, but better, Office 365 is a cloud-based subscription service that allows you to access and work on your files anytime, anywhere and on anything, with the advent of free Office and Outlook apps for iOS and Android.
(Photo credit: Sutha Kamal – https://www.flickr.com/photos/suthakamal/)