As a self-employed entrepreneur my schedule is constantly changing.
I often find myself on the road traveling from place to place. It can be hard to stay productive when you’re traveling often for business. Since I’ve been at this for a while, I’ve learned some very good practices and have incorporated some great virtual tools that help me stay in touch and keep a pulse on my business, even when I’m thousands of miles away.
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Here are my top five Productivity Picks for the small business owner!
My first and favorite tool is everything Google. I fought the shift to Google for quite some time, but I’m so glad I finally did it a couple years ago! With my back office systems connected through Google apps, I’m really able to communicate with my entire team, check my email, update my calendar, make appointments and even download and make changes to documents even when I’m far away. The best part is that all my content, contacts and information is accessible by my phone, my tablet or ipad – no matter where I am, all I need is either Wi-Fi or a strong digital mobile connection, and I can get to almost everything I need.
A close second to the Google apps is my favorite project management app Asana! This tool is so incredibly dynamic. I use it to plan nearly everyone of my projects, track the progress of my clients, communicate with my virtual assistance, share documents, images, and drafts, all without having to use email. It’s a relatively simple set up if you have some project management knowledge or experience. And even if you don’t assign a task, it really makes the user interface visual and easy to interpret. One of the other best part is, it is free for up to 15 team members. It’s a great solution for the start up or solo/small business owner.
If it weren’t for dropbox I might have been caught in a very precarious situation last week. In my scurried to get ready for a conference, between packing my personal belongings, items for my Expo booth, and handouts and giveaways, I somehow had neglected to put my flash drive into my briefcase. The problem with that scenario is that I was Keynote presenter for the half-day workshop at the conference. When I arrived in the presentation room, I realized that I didn’t have my presentation with me. Because I had loaded everything in Dropbox as a backup, all I needed was Wi-Fi access and within minutes I was able to download the entire presentation, complete with animation. Whew!
As my business grows, I rely much more heavily on systems for my webinars and to record my one-on-one coaching calls. AnyMeeting allows me to plan both individual and recurring meetings, as well as webinars, and conference calls. The interface allows a live chat for attendees, screen sharing presentation slide sharing and two-way videoconferencing as long as everyone has a camera and microphone. You are able to mute calls, host polls for attendees, and record everything for later retrieval. The best feature of any meeting is its affordable cost. Compared to many other systems out there any meeting is the perfect solution for the solo or small business owner.
Before Google Drive, Dropbox and Asana, there was Evernote! This tool really can be an economical answer to printing out reams and reams of paper for reference and retrieval. Evernote Allows you to take screen captures and categorize any information you find in the cyber sphere through tagging, notebooks, and categories. This tool makes it very easy to do research for article writing, blogging, or any type of market research you need to benchmark your business.
In addition to my laptop, I typically carry my ipad but my favorite tool of all is my new Smart Phone! What a time-saver it is! I can do almost anything with it that I do with my other devices, as long as I have a good mobile data connection. But, the devices are only part of the puzzle – If I didn’t have these five apps locked and loaded… and working around the clock for me behind the scenes, no fancy device in the world would help.
Please Weigh In… What Would You Add To This List? Comment, Like and Share!
What are your favorite picks for on the road productivity? Please share your thoughts and ideas with our readers!