When you’re running a business, time is your most valuable resource. Each day, entrepreneurs are inundated with endless emails, phone calls and in-person meetings. Taking control of the day and staying organized can seem almost impossible. Without proper time-management, the daily distractions could have an effect on your entire company. Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec says, “It’s up to you to maximize your time, set goals and make them known to your colleagues and customers.”
Here are five tools entrepreneurs can use to cut the clutter and increase productivity in 2016:
Imagine all the important business decisions you could make in the time that it takes to manage an unwieldy inbox. Deleting social media notifications and newsletters you never read is not a productive way to spend your time. Enter SaneBox. It uses filters to clean up your inbox by moving the non-essential emails to a separate folder called “SaneLater.” It works within your existing email account, and learns your preferences over time. Oh, and Tony Robbins swears by it.
Thrive Day Planner
Entrepreneurs are constantly thinking about how to best optimize the 24 hours in a day. And that’s what the Thrive Day Planner aims to help them do. It’s specifically designed for busy entrepreneurs who need help mapping out a business strategy, setting growth goals and organizing business operations. The Thrive Day Planner has the design and feel of a traditional organizer, but it’s a digital tool that can be accessed from your computer, tablet or phone. And the daily inspirational quotes from fellow entrepreneurs are a nice touch for those particularly hard days.
Trello takes project management to a new level. The tool allows entrepreneurs to get a macro view of a project by looking at the Trello “board” and checking on the progress in real-time. It could get overwhelming if not managed properly, but your team has the flexibility to add checklists, labels and more. Entrepreneurs can even sign up to receive notifications about key milestones in the project – keeping you looped in through the process.
A small business accounting software company may not sound like the sexiest thing in the world, but it could save entrepreneurs a ton of time and money. FreshBooks claims it saves its clients an average of two days per month from everyday accounting tasks. This QuickBooks alternative allows small business to create sleek invoices, track time, log receipts and invoice clients. Tracking expenses is essential to managing a business, and FreshBooks makes the process much more simple.
A good portion of an entrepreneur’s time is spent outside of the office. Whether you’re networking or meeting with clients, Dash is a tool that will make these social situations much smoother. Instead of wasting time waiting for the check at a busy restaurant, simply pay the bill directly through the app. This way, you can impress your client by paying in advance and save everyone the awkward argument about who will pick up the bill.