~ 4 MIN READ
11 Of Our Favorite (Highly Recommended) Productivity Tools
“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” David Allen
I know how it is. “If my team could only be a little more productive, we could actually focus on what we’re trying to accomplish!” At ClearPoint, we’ve heard variations of that phrase a million times over—and I’m sure you have as well.
One thing we stress to our potential customers is that if they use the right tool for the job, they’ll free up more time to execute on their strategy. Because we strongly believe this to be true, we’ve compiled a list of 11 productivity apps our team couldn’t function without. (And these opinions are our own—we’re not sponsored for them!)
11 Of Our Favorite Productivity Tools
Box is a cloud-based file storage system, which allows you to keep company documents organized. We love how Box makes it simple to drill down through several folders and find the file you’re looking for, cutting out unnecessary interoffice communication. Keeping all important documents stored in a central location is a surefire way to make you more efficient.
Snagit is a simple and quick screenshot tool. When you take a screenshot, it opens up in the Snagit editor. There you’ll find a number of simple markup tools that allow you to draw boxes and arrows or insert a quick text box on the image. If we need to help a client troubleshoot in our software, we’ll take a screenshot of the area they’re having a hard time with and annotate the image so they know specifically what to do. Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words!
Recordit is very similar to Snagit, except with it, you create videos instead of still images. The user interface is simple. You select the area of the screen you want to record, click the record button, and walk through whatever steps you’d like. Once you’re done, Recordit generates a URL that hosts your video—which you can easily email to someone in order to answer their question. Our development and support teams use this tool frequently.
LastPass is a security app that remembers your passwords for you. We use this for our own applications, like our support software, HubSpot marketing software, and many others. Not only does LastPass help secure your applications, but it also speeds that security process up—which, of course, is a productivity-booster.
We are just piloting UberConference, a conference call application, but are really enjoying it so far. It’s free for up to 10 users, you can create your own URL for it, and it’s been really quick and efficient. Setting up a screen-sharing and conferencing tool like UberConference allows you to quickly collaborate or troubleshoot with stakeholders.
You can think of TripIt as your own digital travel agent. TripIt allows you to store everything about upcoming business trips (or vacations) in one place. If you receive an email related to travel, you can forward it to TripIt, and the app will keep you notified of what you have coming up. This allows us to focus on the business at hand instead of worrying about upcoming flights.
Zapier allows you to integrate the different apps you use with each other so you only have to enter information one time. In terms of productivity, Zapier essentially does the work for you—instantly. (We like Zapier so much that we’re in the final stages of creating a ClearPoint “zap” for our clients. Stay tuned!)
HubSpot puts all of our marketing tools in one place and integrates cleanly with our website. We also use the HubSpot CRM so we track our prospects all the way through to clients. We can see what resources, social media, and blogs are most effective using HubSpot, and we find it very helpful to have everything in one place.
Intercom is our in-app messaging tool, which allows us stay in close communication with our clients and provide support right when they need it. We love that Intercom will tell us what browser a client is using so that we can replicate the issue in our own browser and suggest a solution.
Inside our office, we use Skype to quickly communicate. We have our own shortcuts and acronyms to quickly find out if someone is available to chat. When we are traveling, we use Skype to have team meetings; it allows us to virtually get together and look at the same thing.
We can’t do without GitHub for our development process. Not only is it great for managing our code, but we also track our bugs and enhancements with it. We are especially active in GitHub right before a new software release. There are many different views and add-ons which allow you to filter “issues” in a variety of ways to meet your needs.
Don’t Forget About A Performance Measurement Tool
All of these tools are excellent for increasing your productivity. But unless you’re able to measure productivity, you won’t know how using these applications is actually impacting your performance. It is extremely important (and helpful!) to have something in place that tracks, for example, what your employees’ outputs are in different tasks that are assigned to them and how these tools are impacting that metric.
Believe it or not, we use ClearPoint to track our major initiatives and report quarterly on our results. Our regular meetings include screen-sharing on Skype and progress-reviewing in ClearPoint. If you don’t yet have a performance measurement software on your list of apps, check out this article: What To Look For In Performance Measurement Software.