Productivity is everything to a small business owner, and the trick to being your most productive self is being organized. Luckily, these days getting better organized can be as simple as a trip to the app store.
We now have access to online tools that give small business owners an edge that can put them on the playing field with larger companies. The trick is weeding through all of the “latest and greatest” and choosing ones that will help you meet your business’ unique goals.
So, where do you start? Here are a few tried and true online tools that will help improve small business workflows and get your business organized:
1. Google Drive
Google’s cloud storage service is a top choice for small business owners who want to easily manage their documents online. With Google Drive, you can start off with 15 GB of free space to save, sha,re and edit documents, images, videos, and audio.
Concerned about security? Google drive offers two-factor authentication, a security method that requires two steps to identify users, as well as a report for recent logins to let you know who has accessed your drive.
It’s easy to see why Evernote is a favorite among small business owners. The app allows you to post and track every idea, project, and to-do seamlessly across all your devices.
It even turns your notes into a beautifully designed, screen-friendly layout for impromptu presentations and pitches. Evernote Business lets you create a secure, collaborative hub for your team to brainstorm, develop, and launch projects with enhanced administrative features and customer support.
A virtual office can save a small business money, but makes collaboration and brainstorming sessions difficult. But online tools are evolving to address the needs of remote workers and scattered teams. Asana provides conversation and collaboration wherever your team is located. Providing “teamwork without email, ” Asana lets your team create and assign tasks and make comments that stay with each task, so you can easily see all related conversations and status updates.
This app lets you keep all of your travel information in one spot. Tripit lets you create a master itinerary, and all reservation information, flight details, directions, and travel notes are available in one place from your laptop or smartphone. Keep your team in the loop with Tripit Pro by adding them to your “Inner Circle,” and they’ll get automatic updates of your travel plans, including if your flight is delayed.
5. Neat Smart Organization System
The Neat family of scanners and its Smart Organization System offers several options for getting your data into the cloud. From desktop to portable models, Neat scanners have ID2 technology that recognizes every item as a receipt, contact, or document, and then extracts key pieces of data, such as the vendor, location of purchase, date, and price and puts the data into a more useful format that can be imported into reports and third party applications.
The Neat Cloud Service backs up your data and allows you to add to it — or access it — from anywhere. For on-the-go scanning, the Neat mobile app turns your iOS or Android device into a handy Neat scanner, and another way to access your files.
Online tools give an advantage to small businesses, and allow them to be more productive than ever before. And with improvements in online security and technology, the future looks bright for small businesses that are ready to implement these tools.