Time is often described as the most valuable thing we have to spend. Hard to make, and all too easy to waste, time is something just about everyone wants to save.
Saving time at work means you can be more productive. You can dedicate a larger proportion of those precious working hours to the tasks where you really add value, and that have the biggest impact on performance. We have done the research so you can skip the browsing time too! We have gathered a few of our personal recommendations for time-saving tools, that will help you increase efficiency and boost productivity.
Here are our top 8 time-saving tools:
- Nimbus Note
- Google Drive
Evernote: The info you need when you need it
Ever get that feeling you are spending hours trawling through emails trying to piece together the vital information you’ve been sent about an upcoming project? If so, Evernote is the time-saving tool to choose.
The note-taking software allows you to gather everything you need in a single place. And it’s not just text, you can also save images, audio files, scans, business cards and to-do lists. Evernote works across all operating systems and syncs to all devices, so you always have your notes to hand when you need them.
You can personalize the formatting to align with the way you think and can arrange information in your own system of notebooks. You can also choose not to organize at all and rely on the keyword tagging and search functionality which recognizes words even when they appear in photos, whiteboard scans or handwritten documents.
The software provides a way to capture and arrange ideas for effective project management. In addition, its Web Clipper functionality allows you to save and annotate web pages, images and PDFs. You can even send or forward emails straight to Evernote to be sure the information contained within them is accessible whenever you need it.
Nimbus Note: Managing knowledge in a single location
Often seen as an alternative to Evernote, Nimbus Note combines a number of tools to allow information, knowledge and tasks to be effectively managed in a single location.
Available on most platforms and devices, Nimbus Note itself enables you to create notes, documents, lists, tasks, spreadsheets and tables. It allows them to be organized and structured to suit your needs or those of your team, and used in task management. Notes and folders can be shared as public pages with privacy controls and custom branding to enable efficient knowledge distribution.
Additional tools within Nimbus Note include Nimbus Capture which encourages you to communicate via visual media. It allows you to record videos of your desktop or browser tabs or to create videos using a webcam. These videos can be edited and annotated to deliver information in a clear and informative way. There is also Nimbus Web Clipper, a tool to grab content from web pages and PDFs and clip text, images or links. These can also be annotated with your own notes.
Slack: Enabling smoother collaboration
Most people will already be aware of Slack, but a fair proportion will see it as just another messaging platform. Admittedly it is a particularly effective messaging platform, with the ability to create dedicated channels for group conversations around specific topics or projects. But it is also so much more than that.
Slack is a collaboration tool at heart. In fact, it started out as an internal tool designed to help a games development company work better together. It increases productivity by bringing all conversations, people, tools and data together in one place, enabling quicker decision making, and making it one of our top time-saving tools.
The platform has come into its own with the shift to remote or hybrid working, and allows teams to collaborate easily, no matter where they are located. It is highly adaptive and can be structured to suit the workflows and preferences of any team. It can even be used to work with external companies such as clients, partners and vendors, with guest access restrictions to maintain security. It has voice and video call functionality as well as messaging, and simple drag-and-drop file-sharing capabilities. There are also multiple apps and integrations available to streamline your workflows and increase efficiency.
Google Drive: Cloud-based content cooperation
Google Drive needs little in the way of introduction. Many organizations routinely use the cloud-based file storage and synchronization service as a time-saving tool to share information across the business and enable simple and secure access to content from any device. With Google Drive, files can be stored in individual drives or shared drives, which enable your teams to access content whenever they need it.
Cloud-native collaboration apps such as Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms, accessed through Google Drive, enable teams to be more productive:
- Google Docs allow multiple users to work together on a single document, making edits, comments or suggestions and assigning tasks;
- Google Sheets helps teams to analyze, visualize and share data;
- Google Slides allows teams to work collaboratively on professional and informative presentations.
Given Google’s advanced search technology, finding files across Google Drive is quick and simple – as you would hope!
StayFocusd: Restricting online distractions
We all know the internet is a distracting place. You settle down with your laptop with the best intentions of tackling that growing list of work-related tasks. But a couple of hours later all you’ve managed to do is watch a video of a dancing cat, wade through a lengthy blog post that was supposed to be a ‘five min read’, donate to a worthwhile cause in honor of someone’s birthday, and draw up a holiday destination shortlist for the summer after next.
StayFocusd is a productivity tool that provides the answer to your online distraction issues. By implementing self-imposed limits on the amount of time you can spend on certain websites each day, the Google Chrome extension takes away the temptation to play ‘just one more game’. It blocks sites for the rest of the day once your allocated time has been used up.
The extension can be configured to impose restrictions on entire websites, specific subdomains and pages, or even certain types of in-page content such as videos, images and games. It doesn’t collect or store data about the sites you visit and how long you use them for. StayFocusd increases productivity by reducing hours spent on Twitter, browsing Instagram feeds or getting stuck in a YouTube wormhole and allows you to focus on the task at hand.
Zapier: Triggering inter-app workflows
It’s surprising how much of the workday is eaten up by small, but essential, repetitive tasks that don’t take long individually, but quickly add up to drain productivity, especially when they involve switching between a variety of business apps. Zapier, the ultimate time-saver, is a tool that allows you to automate many of these day-to-day tasks through inter-app workflows called Zaps.
A Zap is triggered by an in-app event, leading to an action being taken automatically in another app. Let’s use an example to help explain this. An initial trigger could be a new lead being generated in one app. The subsequent action to this could be the relevant team being notified via a different messenger app, then the lead being added to the CRM system, or a personalized message being generated and sent out. Zaps could be used in social media management, allowing content to be shared across a variety of platforms. And multiple actions and apps can be combined together in a single Zap. With us so far?
Zapier works with thousands of apps and securely transfers data between them to complete actions on the user’s behalf. Zaps are pretty quick and easy to set up in just a few clicks with no coding necessary, and an auto re-play function will re-run the task if it fails initially.
Zapier increases productivity and efficiency by reducing time spent on small repetitive manual processes and allowing more time for tasks that add real value. It is available for smaller teams or larger companies, with advanced administrative controls.
Asana: Making the most of the workday
One of the best ways to save time is to learn how to manage it better. Productivity at work is often limited by misunderstanding around what needs to be done, or indecision around the next task to tackle. When tasks aren’t clearly assigned there is a risk of wasting time if multiple team members are duplicating their efforts.
Asana is a work management tool that helps you deliberately plan, track, organize and review projects and tasks to boost productivity and make the most of the workday. Various time-saving features include to-do lists within the task manager, and templates for recurring projects and tasks so you don’t have to keep reinventing the wheel.
In addition, Asana makes information quick and easy to find as it is all stored in one place, saving hours spent hunting through meeting notes or spreadsheets. It allows teams to collaborate and share work, reducing duplication, ensuring everyone is using the same data, and clearly assigning tasks so it’s clear who is supposed to be doing what.
Adverity: Automating data integration
Last, but very far from least, there’s our own Adverity platform. We may be biased but we know it deserves its place on this list of time-saving tools as it helps businesses increase productivity by automating data integration and eliminating manual reporting.
Businesses use a massive range of tools for marketing and analytics, and many still waste hours manually pulling data from different siloes to generate high-level insight and compile basic reports. Adverity streamlines this process, automating data integration from over 600 different sources. It then accelerates data visualization and reporting, at a granular level, through flexible and intuitive dashboards. It saves additional time by enabling data to be quickly activated and distributed across multiple destinations, and uses predictive analytics, powered by AI, to uncover new patterns and answer questions before they are even asked.
To find out more about how Adverity can help your business boost productivity, why not book a demo for a time that suits you.