9 Inspired Productivity Tools For Entrepreneurs
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Time is an entrepreneur’s most valuable and elusive resource. Seizing the day seems like an impossible task, and staying organized is a constant battle. Many software solutions have tried to solve the eternal entrepreneurial bottleneck, and some of them have succeeded in creating effective solutions. Eisenhower once said, “Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” In that spirit, here are 9 productivity tools for entrepreneurs that demand little attention post set-up and help accomplish more in less time.
IFTTT is the puppeteer of tools. It stands for “If This, Then That”, and allows you to command a domino-like effect incorporating tools of your selection.
For instance, say Facebook is a primary prospect-finding platform for your business. You can set up a chain on IFTTT that notifies you via email each time someone likes a photo shared by your business on Facebook.
Another great recipe allows users to save tweets mentioning a certain hashtag/keyword to their inbox.
The recipes on IFTTT are customizable, and you can work with a bunch of tools to create the ones best suited to your requirements. Some of the tools supported are Alexa, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Fitbit, Slack, Skype and about a 100 more. If there’s a tool that you use on a regular basis, there’s a good chance that it integrates with IFTTT.
If you need your social media on high adrenaline, DrumUp is for you. The tool has an innovative way of looking at social media marketing. The dashboard is organized in what is called “content streams”, which can be linked to multiple social accounts to post content.
There are three types of content streams: content suggestion streams, RSS feed streams, and content libraries. As per a new announcement, they will be merging their employee advocacy offering into their main tool as a fourth content stream.
DrumUp works like magic when you have to curate content from the web, which you can do using content suggestions. This feature also provides hashtag and @mention suggestions, saving you a lot of time.
GetResponse helps simplify inbound marketing, with email automation, A/B testing, and conversion optimization. Using the tool, you can create emails easily, set auto-responders, and create and test landing pages. The added webinar hosting feature makes it a complete inbound marketing solution.
Creating emails to send information, invites and promotions can be challenging because each use-case and campaign needs a different email layout and design. Using templates on GetResponse, you can save time on designing those emails.
If you don’t have a business development resource person dedicated to email management, responding to prospects can be an added, time-consuming task. You can use autoresponders to manage replies until someone on your team gets to them personally.
Slack is the messaging app built for businesses. Some companies prefer using Skype or HipChat, but Slack provides the best user experience, when used properly.
The best part about Slack is its ability to integrate with other productivity tools, like Google Drive, two other tools on this list – DrumUp and GetResponse, and several other tools for productivity across disciplines.
Another great feature is the easy file-sharing, and the search bar to find previously shared files. You can also add tags/text to saved files to make them easier to find.
Slack is also organized better, with “channels” that can have specific teams on them and private chats that you can have with anybody in the company.
The tool also has a good number of bot integrations that can return important marketing insights (GrowthBot) and remind you about important events (Slackbot).
Sorting through a cluttered inbox can be nerve wracking, especially when you’d rather be investing that time on important business decisions. How much time do you spend deleting newsletters, social media notifications, and other unwanted mail on a daily basis?
SaneBox has a great name, given that it saves you from insanity. You can set up inbox filters on your SaneBox to transfer unessential emails to a separate folder that you can access when you have the time.
The tool even works within your inbox and picks up on your preferences over time.
Upwork is a freelancer marketplace, where you can hire and work with freelancers to complete projects. The platform helps you easily identify and locate the manpower you need for each, unique task. Given the global presence of the platform, you’re likely to find whoever you’re looking for, and without expending much effort.
The rating system makes the search and decision-making easier, almost always resulting in good, productive relationships.
If you need web or content developers, don’t hire employees. Work with freelancers who can get the job done for you, without the extensive paperwork or long-term commitments.
The content industry is growing increasingly visual, as a result of the decreasing attention-spans of today’s audience and the increasing density of content produced. Creating impressive graphics, however, isn’t an easy or quick task. Canva is an instant graphics-maker that supports a wide range of use-cases.
The best things about Canva are its ease of use and functionality. The tool has canvases and templates that fit blog covers, social media posts, presentations, posters, ads and more.
The templates are ready-to-go, but you can quickly add elements and customize them to reflect more of your brand.
8. & 9. DropBox and Google Docs
As an entrepreneur, you probably work with heaps of files daily. Sometimes, time can be lost to tasks as frustrating and frivolous as locating files. The combination of DropBox and Google Docs, however, can be a great cure.
While you could work with offline documents, locating, uploading and downloading them can be time-consuming. With Google Docs, all your files are stored online, associated with your Gmail account. They can be accessed and edited on the go via any device and shared securely.
All the files that can’t be stored on Google Docs can be accommodated in your DropBox, for easy retrieval and quick sharing.
To make the most of the resources at your disposal, you have to be efficient and avoid roadblocks that unnecessarily eat up a lot of your time. These productivity tools are a great start. Even with these tools, it’s important to spend time on the initial setup process creating resources, so they can function without demanding too much of your attention.
After all, the ultimate goal of an entrepreneur is to build a business that runs without his/her involvement, and that begins with the smallest of decisions and steps.
Feature image via UnSplash.com
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