A number of people have asked me for recommendations about what apps they can use to work most efficiently, so I developed this list to help all business leaders and entrepreneurs out there.
Surprisingly, actual task and project management aren’t the top of my list – I recommend focusing and optimizing your work environment and space, since that’s a prerequisite to being productive.
1. G-SuiteWhat It Is: Lots of your favorite apps integrated into a single package, including professional email hosting, calendar, and document sharing.
How It Helps You: Gmail’s email interface is practically perfect. Take advantage of all your favorite Gmail features and use those for your business. Not only will you look more professional, you’ll have all the apps you need in one place (Drive, Calendar, Email, Voice, Hangouts)
Similar Apps: Microsoft Office 365, Zoho
What It Is: An app that automatically backs up your files to the cloud, syncs files on multiple computers, and lets you share and collaborate on files easily.
How It Helps You: Amazing file sharing and collaboration between you and your team members. And files are always securely backed up with 30-day version histories, so no more worries about losing data.
Similar Apps: Box, OneDrive, Google Drive, pCloud
What It Is: HootSuite helps you manage and control your social media presence with minimal effort. In one place, you can schedule all your posts, monitor activity, and measure results.
How It Helps You: HootSuite adds a lot of automation to your social media presence, giving you the same value, while spending less time on it.
Similar Apps: Sprinklr, eClincher, Buffer, Sendible
What It Is: Video and audio conferencing, screen sharing
How It Helps You: It’s incredibly easy to talk to your virtual team, collaborate on files, and have meetings. Zoom is by far the easiest (and cheapest!) to set up, and I love the reliability and quality.
Similar Apps: Join.Me, TeamViewer, Skype, Google Hangouts, RingCentral
5. Freedom (or SelfControl if you have a Mac)
What It Is: Avoid distractions, focus
How It Helps You: How much more work would you get done if you weren’t distracted by some form of social media? Once distracted, your flow and thought patters are really difficult to regain. This app blocks the sites that distract you so you can have your computer help you stay focused.
Similar Apps: Cold Turkey
6. Zoho CRM
What It Is: A customer relationship management (CRM) is a technology for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers.
How It Helps You: Manage your clients and leads. Remember them. Keep in touch. All the information you need to stay in front of your clients, and for you to provide the best service to them, is right at your fingertips.
Similar Apps: Insightly, HubSpot, Agile, Pipedrive, InfusionSoft
What It Is: A project management app to help you and your team organize, track and manage your work.
How It Helps You: Lets you maximize your team’s project management, productivity, and overall customer experience. The right project management app will be about how you work and your individual needs, so try to find the right app that works for you, rather than adapting your workflow to whichever app people recommend to you.
Similar Apps: GQueues, BaseCamp, Teamwork, Trello, Microsoft Project
What It Is: Time tracking software
How It Helps You: If you bill per hour, then time tracking software that’s flexible and available on multiple platforms is key to making sure you get the most out of the time you work. If you charge a flat fee, keeping track of your time is essential to making sure you’re pricing properly. In both cases, keep track of non-billable time as well, so you can discover where you’re spending your time and eliminate non-essential activities.
Similar Apps: TSheets, Clockify, Time Doctor, Time Tracker, Freckle
What It Is: Note taker, notebook, and to do list all rolled into one
How It Helps You: Everything you need to remember is in one place. Evernote syncs across devices and is searchable so you can find anything you need whenever you want it. No more time lost to searching for information!
Similar Apps: OneNote, Wunderlist, ToDoIst, Trello