In the dynamic world of growing businesses, time is scarce. As a startup leader, you know better than most that keeping on top of all your admin can be a nightmare. Balancing your time and prioritising tasks can sometimes seem impossible. But help is at hand!
We have gathered the best productivity apps for boosting small and medium-sized business efficiency. The following collection of small business productivity tools can take your organisational and planning skills to the next level and help you focus your time on more meaningful tasks. So whether you’re a busy CEO or managing sales, marketing or customer service management, dive into this list of the best productivity apps to help you and your small business be as efficient as possible.
No matter your industry, taking notes and creating memos on your projects and meetings is likely a daily task. But it’s hard to keep track of all those scattered post-its, docs, emails and notepads – especially when handwritten. Save time by switching to a digital application and make your progress, ideas and knowledge accessible to everyone on your team.
The following two apps ensure you never have to look for a needle in the haystack again:
Quip can be used as a handy note-taking app, perfect for quick notes in meetings or your next brain-storming session. But it offers much more than that:
Quip helps you foster a culture of cooperation with collaborative docs, slides and spreadsheets. Everyone in your team can share and update docs – both in real time and remotely. You can access Quip from all your devices.
You can tag coworkers, assign tasks and give feedback all from the same space to keep you organised.
You’ll never lose discussions in e-mail threads and you’ll be able to link docs right to your projects.
You can integrate images in your notes, link to other documents, integrate excel sheets that automatically update with Salesforce reports and other data, you can set timers and countdowns, project trackers, kanban cards and much more.
Another main advantage of Quip it that it will fully integrate with some of the best productivity apps on the market, such as Salesforce CRM. This means that your sales, marketing or CSM teams can all store and share their notes without leaving their CRM ecosystem.
Evernote is another useful choice for note-taking and collaboration with different user groups. The app stores all your notes in one place and syncs them across devices. It has a powerful search function and will allow you to scan images for words, so you can upload a picture of a whiteboard, post-it or notebook with handwritten notes and find it later using text search. It also integrates into many tools, including major CRM platforms.
Keep your project on track with the powerful project management apps below. Gone are the days of the post-it note kanban board – but the spirit lives on in these apps.
Aside from Quip, which also helps with general project management, the following productivity apps are two of the best cloud apps for small business when it comes to more complex projects: they both offer similar functionality and allow project managers to set deadlines, assign tasks to teammates, add checklists, keep news and updates in one place and report on progress.
Trello’s intuitive interface has made it a firm favourite for many project managers. It features a drag and drop kanban board where you can add, assign and manage tasks.
Benefits at a glance:
The basic functions of Trello are free, so you can just see if it works for you.
Trello’s easy-to-use interface is perfect for the vast majority of projects.
Your team can create project cards, add members, deadlines, labels and checklists, comment and attach files to each project card, making collaboration a snap!
Tailor it to your needs: Trello’s power-ups allow you to customise functionality such as a calendar view or integrations with Google Drive and your CRM system.
Jira is the coders' project management software of choice. This may be a great choice if you have a large team of coders, but you also want to integrate their efforts into your CRM.
Benefits at a glance:
Jira is based on SCRUM and agile workflows that your organisation might already be familiar with.
It allows you to map out entire projects using roadmaps, so you don’t get lost in the weeds.
Jira automatically generates informative burn-down charts (a graphical representation of work left to do versus time), helping to keep your project on track.
Modern small businesses often have contributors and stakeholders in various international locations. In fact, an increasing number of companies are going fully remote. This means that communication has to be digital.
These productivity-driven communication apps help you meet online and collaborate remotely, share and discuss project files – all in real-time:
Chatter is a versatile small business productivity tool for collaboration. It’s an internal social networking app with many great features that allows you to connect every employee with the files and data they need to excel and allow them to collaborate.
Benefits at a glance:
Chatter helps you drive productivity by connecting employees in any team and any location.
Accelerate innovation by providing a forum for everyone and always keeping track of great ideas, sharing knowledge, files, and data. Create and share polls to determine the best ideas.
Collaborate in real-time by tagging colleagues and sharing docs, files and data.
Always have your important documents at your fingertips.
If you use Salesforce already or plan to implement it: Chatter will seamlessly integrate across the platform to enable communication and transparency across all workflows and functions.
Slack is a popular cloud app amongst startups and has become one of the industry-standard collaboration and communication apps. Some of its functionality is similar to Chatter and it has a lot of integrations with CRMs and many of the best cloud apps for small business leaders on the market.
Benefits at a glance:
Either use the online chat function or call someone from your team directly.
Slack lets you organise your conversations in channels. Sort them by teams, topics, projects, or anything else that matters to you and customise your notifications so you can stay focussed on the most important tasks.
Many useful integrations including Google Docs, Salesforce, Dropbox and more.
Zoom is video conferencing software with additional features like whiteboarding, the option of sketching out your ideas on the screen, and webinar capabilities. It also has advanced screen sharing abilities, so you can share only part of your screen.
You are probably already familiar with Google Hangouts as it is part of the familiar set of apps from Google. It has much the same functionality as Zoom, but if you have a lot of larger video conferences, you might especially enjoy the intelligent muting setting: it automatically tracks who is speaking and mutes the other mics.
GoToMeeting is a video conferencing software similar to Zoom. While functionality may be similar there are a few key differences, the solution that is best for you will depend on how you like to organise your meetings. If your clients prefer to dial into meetings to joining online, GoToMeeting is probably a more flexible bet.
Cloud storage and digital document management apps can improve everyday office life and productivity a lot. But which offers the best cloud service for a small business? GoogleDrive or Dropbox are two of the most widespread solutions. Both are very similar in terms of features and are excellent small business tools for file storage and management. On top, we introduce you to two solutions that are especially designed to help you with document generation and processing below.
Google Drive is a leading solution for general document storage and organising projects with many considering it best cloud solution for small business leaders. Its workflows are highly intuitive: easily create folders and documents, and share with teams and colleagues no matter where they are.
No need to save and file documents - if you use Google Docs and Sheets, then your files are automatically synced and saved to Google Drive. Google Drive is also an excellent option for backing up your device(s).
Sharing documents to your team or clients is as easy as adding them to a folder. You are also able to set permission levels: you can give access to view, edit or comment, keeping all information confidential or locked when it needs to be.
You can also view your team’s activities such as recent uploads or edits and stay up to date on the newest files.
Google Drive integrates with almost every other productivity app, meaning you don’t need to redefine your current workflows.
Dropbox is another important cloud-based files and document storage solution. It may lack the diverse array of services that Google Drive provides, but if it’s mainly document storage you’re after, Dropbox is a great option. It also integrates easily with apps like Slack and with CRM systems.
Reliable and scalable storage solution with familiar folder structure that is easy to use.
Each user has a custom document stream where content is automatically suggested. This saves your team time searching by giving them what they need when they need it.
Many useful integrations with some of the best productivity apps like Slack or CRMs like Salesforce.
Conga Composer is an app that saves you time when you need to quickly generate branded documents such as contracts. It allows you to automate this workflow by using reusable templates and even features an e-signature module to manage the contract process end-to-end.
It also integrates with most CRMs which will put a smile on your sales and legal teams’ faces.
DocuSign is one of the most well-known e-signature apps out there. But it also has a full suite of document generation tools. Like Conga, it also integrates with a lot of great CRMs, meaning your sales reps can speed up their admin work.
DocuSign is a robust and secure e-signature solution.
It’ll take anything you throw at it - Docusign’s extensive file type support won’t leave you hanging.
Give feedback - You can comment on contract edits and keep on top of your contract workflows.
The following is a list of some of the best productivity apps you may have never heard of. They might just be the ace up your sleeve in terms of productivity:
Did you ever wonder how much time you spend on each type of task? How much time do you spend writing emails, editing contact details, correcting lead data vs. how much time do you spend closing deals? Toggl is a nifty little extension that allows you to track your time spent on each activity. Just start a timer from within your CRM and voila – it pulls the time data and sorts it by event.
Save content from anywhere on the web with the click of a button. Clip articles, interesting reads websites and tag them with labels to keep them ordered – you don’t need to look through a jungle of browser bookmarks anymore. Pocket is a great tool when you are doing research and want to return to it later.
Wunderlist is an awesome to-do list app. No matter how technologically advanced we get, we always seem to come back to the to-do list. Wunderlist allows you to sync your to-dos across multiple devices, making sure you stay on top of everything.
Social Media can be one of the most time-consuming channels for a growing small business, because of all the labour intensive tasks like outreach, content promotion, and cross-posting to multiple channels. Post-scheduling apps such as Salesforce’s Social Studio can save you hours every week by curating and scheduling content and automatically posting it to your social media channels. This means you don’t have to log in to your accounts and post at a certain time and it makes it easier to find and plan for gaps in your content calendar.
Dive into some of the best productivity apps and take your efficiency to a whole new level. With the right combination of apps, you can inspire collaboration, foster communication, accelerate innovation, streamline workflows and get more done faster.
The great thing is that some of these apps are part of the Salesforce Platform already, including Quip, Chatter and Social Studio – and can be integrated with your Salesforce CRM effortlessly.
But also almost all other apps we introduced above can be integrated with your Salesforce CRM, too, through AppExchange extensions. Salesforce’s AppExchange curates out-of-the-box integrations with 1000s of today’s best productivity apps. Tailor your CRM to integrate seamlessly with your favourite productivity apps, all backed by a global community support network and free online training.
Find out more about how you can customise the world’s number 1 CRM with your favourite productivity apps.