7 Time-Saving & Productivity-Enhancing Tools for Your Team

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Managing teams and projects throws up a number of interesting challenges.

There are a zillion emails to keep a track of and a number of decisions to make. There are new people to train and old ones to keep an eye on. You have members who do not respond to emails promptly, thus causing unnecessary delays in projects, and others who love to waste time on Facebook when they should be working on assigned tasks.

You can’t be everywhere and know of everything that is going on to steer your team in the right direction. And yet, that is exactly what’s needed.

Thankfully there are a ton of tools out there to help you with this. Whether you run a small business or are responsible for your own team in a big organisation, we are bringing to you an eclectic mix of programs to help you get on top of your challenges. Mentioned below are five different types of software to help you manage your tasks better, save time, and improve your team’s overall performance.

Highrise

hirise

If your Inbox overwhelms you and you are always scrambling around to find up-to-date information when a client calls, you might want to consider investing in a tool like Highrise.

This CRM software wonderfully cuts through the maze of emails, appointments, to-do lists, and tasks that typify our Inboxes, and puts us in charge of communication with clients and colleagues.

The most helpful feature is its ability to share communication histories within a team to bring everybody up to speed on project status. This is much better than receiving forwarded emails that require you to scroll down endlessly and put together bits and pieces from a number of conversations to find the information relevant to you. A big time saver!

Time Doctor

time doctr

Getting rid of physical constraints and hiring the best talent regardless of their location is a great plus, not to mention a practice all set to become more common in coming years. Managing teams from remote locations, however, is a big challenge.

Though email, Skype, and Google Docs help, they are still three different applications, and that requires you to jump from one platform to another all the time. They also don’t help you with managing teams. Integrated team tracking tools, of which Time Doctor is a good example, make managing virtual teams a walk in the park.

Time Doctor lets you keep a track of your team’s activities. You know what everybody is working on and how long they are spending on it. This addresses problems such as wasting company hours in personal Internet use and missing deadlines due to distractions, thus saving you precious time and preventing a slip-up in your productivity. Individuals can combat distractions and get more done with Time Doctor.

Confluence

confluence

This application goes beyond tracking teams and allows team collaboration on a big scale. You can co-create files (of any kind) and store them in one place, making it easy for everybody in your team to access the latest information. It lets you categorise, organise, and create page hierarchies for easy access of information. You can also record your decisions made in this program, accessible to your team members.

Most helpful feature, however, is that you can get discussions going in one centralised place. All your team members can chip in, thus enriching the conversation, and also cutting down on endless email threads, interminable Skype conversations, and even physical meetings. That you don’t have to separately inform people of what happened in a meeting also saves a lot of time!

Confluence makes team collaboration across companies (and even remote locations) a breeze by pre-empting all our needs and bringing to us a very well thought-out, feature-rich, and a clean interface for managing teams and getting projects done in lesser time and in an organised fashion.

Administrate

administrate

This training management software is perfect for businesses that train their own employees and need help tracking learning and development across the organisation. It’s also ideal for training companies that want to manage their operations, students, and internal teams effectively.

Administrate is impressively comprehensive. It gives you a number of options to manage your tasks, making admin work a breeze and saving you plenty of time in the process. The aim is to help you effectively set up your training schedules, track progress, and keep on top of multiple courses without getting lost or overwhelmed by the enormity of work at hand.

Despite being so comprehensive, Administrate is easy to learn and operate. The thoughtful folks at Administrate have also ensured you get plenty of support every step of the way. There are in-built short videos to demonstrate how to use each and every aspect of the software so that there’s no scope for confusion.

Administrate is web-based, which means you can also access it on your mobile device to get work done on the go.

Basecamp

basecamp

Basecamp is fast becoming everybody’s favourite project management tool. Why?

Because it helps you get a lot done in less time!

They have taken care of all aspects of project management and have set up the platform to aid team collaboration and communication.

Much like Confluence, Basecamp also eliminates the need for email to keep team members informed of project status, and can be accessed remotely. This is a very user-friendly platform for people to come together on to communicate, discuss, and share files. You have the choice to set reminders and receive project summaries if you wish.

Finding all these helpful features in one place considerably reduces time and effort. Basecamp’s mobile device compatibility means you can keep yourself abreast of your projects on the go.

Customer Thermometer

thermometr

If managing customer feedback efficiently or gathering enough customer satisfaction data is proving to be a herculean task for your team, introduce them to Customer Thermometer.

This is a one-click email survey tool which makes giving feedback a painless experience for your customers, thus significantly improving your team’s chances of achieving positive results.

Setting up surveys is super easy. The software comes preloaded with three templates to get you started. No one in your team needs to bother with coding or designing since the templates are remarkably self-sufficient and compatible with a number of applications and email clients.

The whole idea is to keep it simple and relevant, making the process of compiling and sending surveys easy, time saving, and efficient.

You Can Book Me

ycb

A beautiful and easy-to-use booking app, You Can Book Me takes the stress out of making and managing customer appointments. This software works by accessing your Google Calendar, spotting the free and busy time, and “displaying it in an online bookable grid.” Your customers can view your availability too and book appointments with you. Once they have booked, you’ll be sent an email to that effect while the customers will be sent text message reminders building up to the time of the appointment to reduce the likelihood of no-shows.

You can set your customer management team up to use this tool to manage their time and tasks more efficiently. Signing up is free though you do have to pay to use advanced features.

Conclusion

If your goal is to improve your and your team’s productivity, there are many options available in the market. The best one for you will depend on your specific needs and those of your team. Don’t shy away from giving a couple of them a shot. Almost all good programs have a free trial version. Try out a few and see how it goes.

Lori Wagoner
Lori Wagoner is a marketing researcher and strategist who works with small businesses and organizations to help them gain online visibility. Feel free to strike up a conversation on Twitter @loridwagoner.