Whether you’re a small or large business, a busy professional or a sole trader, one thing is likely: life is hectic. This is why managing your time in an efficient, yet uncomplicated way is so invaluable.
Long gone are the days of desks cluttered with files and reminder notes; now everything can be created, stored and shared on your computer.
However, with so many online tools available, it can be time-consuming just working out which ones are right for you. Allow us to help you choose.
Project management with Trello
Trello organizes your projects into different boards, which can be tracked and updated with ease. It is arguably the best project management tool out there: simple, intuitive, well designed and great for collaboration.
The benefits to workers include immediate feedback on whether the project is heading in the right direction and advice if not.
However, it should be noted that for large or more complex projects, JIRA is arguably a better option. It includes such features as built-in metrics and reporting.
Trello Business costs $9 per user per month, although there is a free version.
Time tracking With Toggl
Time is money, so it’s important to know exactly how long a task or project takes, aiding the accurate pricing of billable hours. Toggl is incredibly simple to use and allows you to track time spent from your browser or smartphone.
Simply type what you are working on, press the start button and the timer will begin ticking. Upon completion, just hit the stop button.
The free version will support up to five users, but from a starter price of around $9 per user, you may be wise to take advantage of the benefits and special features offered by the premium version.
Scheduling with Doodle
This online booking system allows you to arrange, quickly and hassle-free, times to meet up with colleagues and associates.
Simply by creating a poll, you can send messages to invitees, requesting that they enter times and dates when they are available to meet. Doodle will generate the optimum meet-up time based on these responses and send you the result.
Doodle synchs with your email addresses. You can select the free version or sign up for a feature-rich ‘Business Plan’ at $32 for the year.
File transfer with Dropbox
The market leader in cloud storage and file sharing, Dropbox is a highly intuitive platform for storing and sharing documents between colleagues. It gives you total control over who can access your files and whether to permit shared access to folders or via a specially created link.
Integrated with Office 365 and Microsoft Office applications on iOS and Android, Dropbox works fairly seamlessly in any business environment. Once stored on the platform, any file is accessible on any of your registered devices.
Dropbox has a free version, but with a 2GB storage limit. Dropbox business costs $15 per user per month and offers unlimited storage space and advanced administration controls, but you can trial the platform free for 30 days.
Password consolidation from LastPass
On a list of minor, but persistent irritations of modern life, trying – and usually failing – to remember login passwords surely has to rank near the top. From banking passcodes to email passwords and logins to myriad websites, the number and variety that we must recall is countless and proliferating.
Enter LastPass, which promises an ingenious solution to this problem. Offering to “manages your online life, so you don’t have to”, LastPass effectively consolidates your countless passwords into a single.
Sounds amazing, right? One obvious reservation is cybersecurity: should LastPass be hacked then not just one of your accounts could be compromised; all of them could be.
Mindful of this, LastPass promises that it “never has the key to your account” because your data is encrypted and decrypted at device level and never stored on LastPass servers. And AES-256 bit encryption with PBKDF2 SHA-256 and ‘salted hashes’ are backed up by two-factor authentication.
Author: Bruce Hakutizwi, USA and International Accounts Manager for BusinessesForSale.com, the world’s largest online marketplace for buying and selling small and medium size businesses. Bruce has over 7 years’ experience working within the US business transfer marketplace connecting buyers and sellers.