The right tools make all the difference when it comes to streamlining your business process and improving your productivity. From online project management tools to time tracking software, there are a variety of applications on the market designed to help you work smarter, not harder. If you’re looking to enhance your team’s productivity and eliminate burnout, you must start building your tech stack to streamline your work.
While there are plenty of alternatives for the tech listed in this post, the ones mentioned below are ones we’ve tried, loved, recommended to our clients and utilize daily.
Investing in a work management tool is always a good place to start. Whether you’re an SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) or a large corporation, you need to establish a hub for all your projects, documentation and goals. If you’re in the market for software that can do all this, look no further than Asana.
Asana is a web-based work management tool that helps businesses streamline their processes and get work done more efficiently. You can easily assign and follow up on tasks, track the progress and identify bottlenecks on certain projects, and build a knowledge base for all your processes and templates in one centralized location. Many teams use Asana across different functions, from sales, and HR to marketing.
Some of the great features that will help streamline your processes and increase your organizational efficiency are:
- Portfolios for project organization.
- Goals for team alignment.
- My tasks to prioritize and assign work.
- Universal reporting to monitor your productivity.
- Rules to automate workflows.
What makes Asana stand out among other project management tools is the ability to create custom workflows and integrations with many other business tools.
Regardless of your industry or the audience you are targeting, a customer relationship management (CRM) tool is pertinent to managing your interactions with your leads and customers. You might think that a small business with limited operations can handle sales processes manually, but what happens when the business eventually grows? That’s where tools like HubSpot come in to save the day.
HubSpot is a powerful tool that helps businesses save time and money by automating a variety of workflows, such as marketing, customer service, and sales. There are a million and one things you can do with HubSpot, but the one significant and game-changing feature is the ability to categorize your leads and customers based on their activity. HubSpot collects and analyzes important data that allows you to determine which of your contacts and website visitors are engaged with your service so you can prioritize your time and sales efforts with them. You can streamline your sales process with automation such as rotating leads, scheduling appointments and sending out follow-up emails to free up your sales team and close more deals.
HubSpot is also a godsend to marketing teams everywhere. You can nurture your leads down the marketing funnel with tools that optimize your content planning, creation and scheduling. From scheduling bulk social media posts to creating intricate marketing email workflows, HubSpot is always adding new features to aid with your marketing processes no matter how complex or simple they are.
Many believe time-tracking is only important when it comes to billing clients for their hours of work. In reality, using a time tracker can help in the operational side of your business too, such as designing effective workflows, tracking your team’s productivity and prioritizing profitable projects.
Harvest is the time tracking tool of choice for many agencies, mainly because it’s easy to use and offers clarity through its many features and integrations. Starting with its reporting feature, Harvest allows you to monitor the time spent on particular clients and projects. It also provides visibility to the tasks through integrations with many work management software, which helps identify tasks that take more time or might cause bottlenecks to easily identify and resolve. You can also use reporting to categorize data based on billable hours, an asset that allows you to focus on the activities that bring in more revenue and adjust your pricing as needed.
Moreover, you can quickly generate invoices from your timesheet and expense tracking reports as well as set automatic invoices for recurring expenses. Harvest lends transparency, accuracy and convenience to mundane and time-consuming financial activities that would otherwise take up much effort and focus.
There are many reasons why you should invest in password management software that we wrote an entire blog post about it. Nowadays, it's more important than ever to have a good password management system in place. With so many different online accounts to keep track of, it can be easy to not only lose track of all your passwords but also become complacent with password security. With a password manager like 1Password, you can have all your passwords stored in one secure place, and help you be more organized and efficient with your business processes.
With 1Password, you can manage your passwords securely, share passwords with team members, and generate new passwords easily. The tool encourages the company-wide practice of good password hygiene that reduces the risk of security breaches and keeps your data safe and sound. 1Password also offers a variety of features that allows two-factor authentication, a monitoring system that alerts you when your passwords are weak, vulnerable, or breached as well as a Travel Mode that hides your passwords when you’re out of the country.
Creating, sharing, signing and tracking business documents takes a lot of time and brain space. It always comes with the nagging need to follow up with people, essentially hounding them down for approval or a signature. What if you can speed-track this process 40% faster?
PandaDoc helps businesses automate document creation, approvals, and signatures. It is a web-based application that can be used by businesses of all sizes, from freelancers to big corporations. PandaDoc provides a central repository for all of your documents, so you can easily find and track them. It also allows you to share documents with others and collaborate on them in real time.
What makes PandaDoc so convenient is its built-in eSignature which significantly helps speed up processes and removes the hassle of printing documents, signing them and then mailing them. Moreover, the software allows you to collaborate with other team members and parties. You can even use it to discuss or negotiate pricing and agreements with your customers, cutting back on lost time going back on forth on amendments and applying changes. The cherry on top is PandaDoc’s real-time analytics, which notifies you of documents’ statuses, who viewed them and the amount spent on each document created.
This next tool is one you didn’t think you wanted, but you absolutely need it.
Everyone is too familiar with the frustrating and time-consuming effort of sending out the same email multiple times. If you’re in sales, you must be familiar (and probably frustrated) with the time-consuming task of responding to a great volume of leads with the same old response. TextExpander takes this frustration away and brings in an innovative solution that facilitates your communication.
TextExpander is a tool that allows you to streamline your processes by automating the creation and distribution of text messages through snippets. Think of them as writing shortcuts. All you do is type in a short text, and the app auto-fills the rest with preprepared content. For instance, you can create shortcuts for follow-up emails with leads, and assign a shortcode like “.lead” for it. The next time you need to send a follow-up email, all you have to do is type “.lead” and the app fills in the rest. Other than text, you can also create snippets for links and email addresses.
TextExpander comes in handy with big teams. By building a library of snippets, you can standardize your team’s communication across different levels. Over time, you’ll notice a boost in productivity as you and your team gain your time back from repetitive typing and thinking of the right response.
Finally, let’s talk video.
There’s no doubt that visual and verbal communication is the best way to share ideas and information. With more teams going remote, the need for a communication solution that is both visual and asynchronous is essential more than ever.
Loom is a video messaging tool that helps you create and share messages in short video form. There are times when you need to send information through but prefer not to waste everyone’s time with another long email or an unnecessary meeting. With Loom, you can record your thoughts freely, share your screen for clarity and send them to your team to view on their own time.
You can use Loom more creatively, other than simple messages. You can use it in your onboarding process or as asynchronous training videos for new employees. Another innovative way is to use it to document your processes. Information in video form is much easier to retain and process, which makes Loom the perfect tool to record and share your processes with your team.
The best tools to streamline your business process and improve productivity are not the same for every company. Every business has different needs. In this blog post, we gave a few examples of tried and true software that we believe will help improve your productivity. To find the best tools for your business, book a call with us and we will help you get started with your own tech stack.