Productivity Tools

3 Productivity Tools to Rev Up Your Business Processes

3 Productivity Tools to Rev Up Your Business Processes
Image credit: Jacob Fricke | Flickr
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As people we are always on the lookout for a car that’s more fuel efficient, roads that are more durable, services that are more user friendly. ‘More’. That’s the theme of our lives in the new millennium.

The quest to make everything ‘faster’, ‘larger’ or ‘stronger’ means that the focus is squarely on improving efficiencies and make the most of every bit of the resources available to us. A quick way to improve efficiencies and up our productivity is by employing the right tools at the right time.

Here’s my pick of three interesting productivity tools that promise to offer your business that boost it truly deserves.

Nutcache

They say “Time is money.” If time is as important as money, isn’t it time we spent some money on managing both better? Nutcache is a nifty little tool that helps you stay on top of all your invoicing and expense-related needs, simultaneously.

With Nutcache, you can design, create and send out invoices to clients for no charge, at all. It also allows you to accept payments from customers online via a plethora of payment options. You can track all your expenses --like taking a client out for dinner or cab fare to your last meeting -- in one place. Attach invoices or receipts as bills that can be claimed later from the client. But that was all about money. How about time?

Nutcache’s time tracking feature helps businesses that get paid by the hour. Employees, or even individual freelancers, can log in the exact number of hours they devote to each project via Nutcache’s mobile app. Not only is this extremely useful from a human resources point of view, it also helps in offering clients proof of work done as a support for invoices in their name. Nutcache has a very able free version, while the pro-version offers a bunch of extras over and above these. Pro benefits include completely custom invoices without Nutcache branding on them, zero payment processing fees on transactions, no advertising and the like.

Related: 10 Affordable Tools to Help Online Entrepreneurs Succeed

Wrike

Communication is the foundation of every team’s success. Project efficiencies go up exponentially when every member of the team knows exactly what is expected of them, how long they have to complete these tasks and who they are accountable to for each task. Wrike is the perfect answer for teams that need to not just work together on projects, but also store data and work towards clear goals on a regular basis.

Wrike allows you to create projects, add members to the project and assign responsibilities to each member. You can communicate to the entire group or one-on-one in real time, discuss a new idea or share data instantly. You can also set priorities for each task, so your team can spend more time and efforts on high priority tasks and save some breath on the low priority ones.

Wrike integrates beautifully with existing tools like Outlook, Gmail, Dropbox and Google Drive to name a few. You can create tasks by marking them from within your email and they are automatically added to your project on Wrike. This tool again operates on a semi-paid format with a generous free version. The paid version offers some cool extra features like building dynamic Gantt charts, tracking time per task, in-depth reporting at a nominal price.

Related: 6 Things They Don't Tell You When You Leave the Big Corporate World for Your Own Business

Acuity Scheduling

How frustrating is it, after all the work you put into creating a great service and finding a willing client who wants your services, to have all those efforts come to naught thanks to holes in your calendar and appointment schedule?

Enter Acuity Scheduling. With Acuity’s multi-platform scheduling system, you will never again miss an appointment with a client or forget to send out an invoice or collect payments for invoices already sent out. Acuity works well with your existing calendar tool – Outlook, Google, whatever your choice. Clients can directly see your live calendar, spot an opening and chalk themselves in instantly. When there is a new appointment created or a cancelation has been made, the tool automatically makes the relevant changes across all your calendars so there is no chance of a missed opportunity for your business.

What’s more, you can even send out reminders automatically to clients about upcoming appointments via SMS or email, while you will yourself receive a reminder yourself about the same. You even have the ability to process payments via this app, right at the time of booking an appointment.

The measure of a productive business is how much time it spends on activities that add direct value to the business. These are three tools that power my business and its productivity. What about yours?

Related: This New App Wants to Optimize Your Schedule by Running It Through an Algorithm