Tech Solutions

My favourite apps: Michelle Power, queen of productivity

Tiffany Loh
Smarter Writer

Tiffany Loh is the Smarter Business™ & News and Digital Editor, with varied writing experience always looking for a unique story

Tiffany Loh
Smarter Writer

Tiffany Loh is the Smarter Business™ & News and Digital Editor, with varied writing experience always looking for a unique story

At Smarter we know that when you work in a small business, time is of the essence. Here we explore the desktops and smartphones of sole traders, freelancers and small business owners all around the country.

As director of Ziilch, an online collaborative community that promotes the recycling of pre-loved goods, and graphic design studio Visual Unity, Michelle Power can often be spread thin. In efforts to gain back more hours in the day, she has put the hard yards into finding the best productivity tools. Here, the digital native shares her app toolkit.

michelle power smiling

1. TeuxDeux

I originally bought calendar based to-do list app TeuxDeux when it was free. It now costs three dollars per month but it’s well worth the small investment. The app lets you manage tasks in column view for each day of the week. The biggest time saving feature for me is that it automatically rolls unfinished tasks into the next day.

Free to trial, iOS, Web

2. Rescue time

RescueTime is an automated time tracking program that connects with my desktop to tell me what software and websites I’m most glued to. I use it to identify areas of productivity and distraction and see what areas of the business are taking up the most time. The premium version is nine dollars per month and lets me log time away from the computer, such as meetings and phone calls, and accurately measure the hours it takes for me to accomplish each task.

Free, Android, Web.

3. Sign now

Signing paperwork used to be at the bottom of my to-list. It always required a visit to the post office or finding time to fire up the scanner so I could email a document back. Now when I receive paperwork or even my BAS statement from my accountant I can quickly open SignNow, import the document, add my electronic signature and email it back, all in a matter of minutes.

Free for up to five documents per month, iOS, Android, Web

4. Waze

A colleague recently told me that by using Waze, a GPS navigation app that lets you share and view real-time traffic updates, he saved 10 minutes in travel time than if he traveled according to his usual route. I’ve just discovered the option to share my trip so colleagues and clients can follow my footsteps and see my estimated time of arrival. I think it’s a great feature for productivity – if I can see my 2pm meeting is running 10 minutes late, I can then use the time to wrap up tasks that I’d otherwise be rushing to complete.

Free, iOS, Android.

5. Quotient 

For a long time I used Microsoft Word for my quotes and proposals but this approach soon became rather cumbersome and hard to manage. After trialling a number of cloud-based quoting systems I chose Quotient because of its handy integrated discussion area where clients can ask questions about the proposal and its one-click acceptance button which it makes it super easy for my clients to accept quotes. The biggest time saver for me is its integration with accounting software Xero, so when a client accepts a quote, Quotient sends the line items of the proposal to my Xero account and creates a draft invoice – easy peasy.

From RRP US$20, Web.

Prices correct at time of publishing.

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