Productivity

5 apps your small business needs this holiday season

Jeff Haden
Business Journalist

Jeff Haden is a bestselling ghostwriter, speaker, Inc. Magazine contributing editor, and LinkedIn Influencer

Jeff Haden
Business Journalist

Jeff Haden is a bestselling ghostwriter, speaker, Inc. Magazine contributing editor, and LinkedIn Influencer

Looking to make the most of the busy season? Jeff Haden looks at five apps to make your life a little easier.

Sure, Santa Claus is holly and jolly and merry, but in one way he can also be irritating. During the Christmas season he’s the only person who seems to have no trouble delivering on what he has promised.

For the rest of us, the holiday period can be a planning and productivity nightmare. A dramatic increase in business is a great problem to have, but it’s still a problem.

Fortunately, there are a few great apps that can make organising your business and streamlining your operations a little easier this holiday season.

Deputy™

Increased volume means increased pressure on scheduling and communicating with your staff, especially if your workforce is at least partially distributed. Deputy is a scheduling, management, and communication app that lets you create staffing plans, communicate with individual employees, track hours worked, and integrates with many leading payroll providers.

And possibly best of all, a tool like Deputy lets you keep up with what’s going on.

The less time you spend…

... on scheduling and staffing your employees… the more time you’ll have to actually lead them.

Evernote

Entrepreneurs constantly come up with great ideas, that’s what makes them entrepreneurs. Evernote is a great way to take notes and organise documents, photos, videos, web pages, etc.

As David Allen, says in Getting Things Done, “Your head is for having ideas, not holding ideas, and it's certainly not for filing things away.”

The less time you spend…

… trying to remember important things… the more time you can spend making important decisions.

iDoneThis

Sharing a to-do list is great, but what about all the great things you and your team complete? iDoneThis is an app that lets you and your team list your individual accomplishments for the day and share them with everyone else.

Add a tool like this to your workflow and you may be able to reduce the number of “update” meetings you hold, make project tracking easier, and create a more open and transparent company culture. Plus it’s fun – who doesn’t love to share their accomplishments?

The less time you spend...

… asking for updates and checking task status… the more time you can spend working on your business instead of in it.

Blue Jeans

During busy periods time is your most precious commodity, and that’s especially where communication is concerned. And nothing is more powerful than communicating face-to-face. That’s why online meeting software like Blue Jeans can strike the perfect balance between ease and effectiveness.

The less time you spend…

… trying to connect with customers, vendors, suppliers, and employees… the more time you can spend having the conversations that solve problems, build relationships, and drive your business forward.

Toodledo

Many to-do lists are actually wish lists since they always include more items than you can accomplish; if you have five hours of meetings and nine hours of tasks planned for today, you probably won’t get it all done.

A tool like Toodledo helps you assign realistic times to your to-do list. That helps you prioritise and helps you stay focused. When you know a task should only take twenty minutes you'll more aggressively ignore distractions and stay on-point so that it really does take just twenty minutes.

The less time you spend…

… worrying about your to-do list… the more time you can spend getting important things done.

And who can’t use a little more of that in their business life?

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