Best Productivity Tools to Help Businesses Grow in 2021Vanessa Venugopal
Using the best productivity tools help teams work efficiently and seamlessly no matter where they are. It promotes teamwork, creates better and faster results, benefits customers, and provides an overall growth and success of a business.
This article aims to provide a list of the best productivity tools to help businesses, either small or big, succeed.
Features of Productivity Software
Before you choose a software or application for your team, there are criteria or features you need to check before knowing what you need. Not all productivity tools have the same functions and features. Some can perform a variety of tasks, while others have a specific purpose only.
- Customizable: It helps teams create a virtual workspace that is simple and easy to navigate.
- Project Management and Collaboration content: A view that gives the overall tasks and projects for the team to see and check on.
- Team Communication: A tool that allows chat, call, and conferencing for better communication with the team. Furthermore, channels can be created for each department or task.
- Time and Task Management: It lets set reminders or deadlines of tasks and projects.
- Marketing content: Tool used to manage all marketing strategies from social media to email marketing. It also includes working on building better customer relationships.
Best Productivity Tools in 2021
Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) is an Office suite that includes all the basic but outstanding tools commonly used by teams. It has almost all the productivity tools you need. Furthermore, it is a cloud-based application that allows users to access its content anytime and anywhere on any device.
There are various plans for MS 365, but here we will feature the one build for businesses. You can choose from the basic plan to business premium, all permits access to Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Teams, Exchange, OneDrive, and SharePoint. The first three are the core programs that help to create documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. Meanwhile, Teams and Exchange are used for communication between teams (call, video conferencing, email, chat, and more). OneDrive and SharePoint are built for file saving, sharing, and storing online.
There is also the alternative one-time payment license for Microsoft Office applications, the Microsoft Office 2019. It includes tools like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
Microsoft 365 helps teams work on projects, share in real-time, and communicate effortlessly to accomplish the task faster and better.
You can try Microsoft 365 business plans as they offer a one-month free trial.
Trello is a project management tool that helps teams coordinate and make tasks or workflow faster and better.
It’s one of the most known project management tools due to its manageable interface. It streamlines projects by sharing, managing, tracking, and organizing them all in one place where all team members can see and access them.
Trello adopted the kanban style of work management. You can create cards and include tasks. You can move the cards from one column to another once you are done with a specific part of a project. Think of it as a sticky note on a board where you move one stick note to another task once you are done with it. It helps managers track the progress of each team member and set priorities to reach the deadline.
Aside from managing projects, it promotes collaboration by allowing businesses to integrate tools like Slack, Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote, and more.
View timelines, get productivity progress, calendars, provide feedback, leave a comment, check on attachments, and more.
The simplicity of Trello’s interface is one of the reasons why most businesses, small to mid-sized, are interested in the application.
Trello offers a free version of their productivity tool with limited features. Meanwhile, the business plan starts at $12.50 per user per month. However, if you purchase an annual subscription, you’ll be charged $10 per user per month.
Time is a valuable commodity in a business. Every minute counts to finish a project and meet deadlines. However, there are times when we get distracted by some things like surfing the internet or watching a video online. Without having any idea where we spend most of our time online, we waste most of it. However, thanks to time management applications like RescueTime, it tracks your working hours and limits distracting websites.
RescueTime tracks how long you spend your time on an application, website, and document. It traces your habits and productivity so you can monitor them and set goals to improve your time for better results. Furthermore, it can also track offline activities.
The FocusTime feature can block websites you have included on the list. You can also set a time limit on the website or app and even schedule the day you can use it. Also, integrate it with popular apps that can improve your teams’ productivity.
It also offers a line made for enhancing a team’s productivity and collaboration. The RescueTime for Teams helps focus on their work to produce better results or finish a task at the end of the day.
Get detailed reports on each team members’ performance, one-click offline time tracking, and more.
You can try RescueTime for free for 14 days.
Collaborate with everyone in your team with no interruptions or misunderstandings with Slack. It is a communication tool for sending messages via chat or voice and making a video call or conference with your team.
It promotes group discussion, one-on-one conversation, collaboration on projects with team members or clients, video conferencing, and voice messaging. You can create channels and add people you need to communicate on a task or project. Conversations can be private or public, get real-time updates, share files, and get notifications.
You can integrate other apps you use for your work with Slack’s wide selection of apps, search messages and files faster with a quick search, and get your conversations secured with enterprise-grade data.
Slack offers three paid plans. You can try Slack as they have a free version with limited versions. Scale your business with the Business+ for $15 per user/month. But you can get it as low as $12.50 per user/month if paid annually.
Adobe Acrobat Pro
Documentation is a necessary part of most businesses. With technological advancement, document management becomes effortless than it used to. There are tools made for managing files and even allows collaboration for teamwork and enhancing productivity.
Adobe Acrobat is designed to manage the PDF format of documents for hassle-free document signing, collaboration, and so on.
Adobe Acrobat offers various plans, including Adobe Acrobat Standard, Adobe Acrobat Pro, Acrobat DC Standard and Pro, and Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Acrobat Pro and Standard are both one-time purchase products, while the DC version is a cloud-based tool. The Pro version (standalone or cloud-based) are best for businesses.
Here’s a short overview of the Pro version that can help improve productivity in your business.
- Cloud storage for file sharing.
- Collect e-signature from clients.
- Integration with other Adobe products and Microsoft.
- Convert files to PDF or Word.
- Secure files from unauthorized individuals.
- Comment on PDFs.
Adobe has rolled out new updates on all its Acrobat products.
Social media is a valuable part of most businesses nowadays. It helps market the brand and get more customers or potential leads as possible. However, not everyone can post every day or manage comments, answer questions, and do more all the time.
Buffer is a social media manager application that helps online marketing managers create, schedule, and track the performance of their campaigns online. This productivity tool not only helps in scheduling for posting but it collects reports and gives marketing managers an overview of their post to determine the next step.
You can create a social media calendar to plan, integrate with other productivity apps, and get real-time updates on comments to reply to your followers.
Try Buffer’s free plan or opt for their 14-day free trial on paid plans.
There are two packages: Publishing and Analytics. The publishing has a free version, while the analytics are for professionals or businesses that focus on social media engagement and statistics.
Email management requires applications to schedule and set reminders on email marketing campaigns.
With Boomerang, your sales team that manages the customers’ emails can write an email and schedule when to send it out. Another feature of Boomerang is its ability to create a reminder. You can take out messages from your Inbox to avoid distractions and remind you when you need them.
When the message is returned, it will be marked as unread and on top of the list.
In addition, you can set reminders to people or clients you need to follow up with.
Boomerang’s latest update includes a one-click calendar scheduling without leaving your email. You can immediately save meetings, bookings, and more on your email directly to your calendar. You can also share your schedule or availability and set events onto your calendar while still in your Inbox.
Productivity tools mentioned above are not the only applications or software available in the market. There are other software or alternative version you can find online. But those we mentioned on our list are the top productivity tools used by most businesses. If you are planning to improve your productivity or that of your team, try investing in a tool that will help you and your team increase sales to grow the business.