Slack, Asana, Dapulse, Jira, Trello, 15Five, Wunderlist and Hipchat. There are thousands of tools out there promising to make your life more efficient. The problem arises when we have to choose. Which tools can contribute to a more efficient work day and which cannot?
Last year we hosted 122 workshops and 20 full day courses. On average there are 15 people attending a workshop. Based on this, we were in contact with more than 2,000 customers in 2015, all of which needed input to their personal productivity and input to a more effective culture of their business. One of the questions we are asked frequently at workshops is whether we can recommend some tools that can help with their personal productivity but also some tools they can recommend to their management. We have seen most of the systems and tools, which allow us to recommend the best ones. We write this blog post to highlight these tools. Below you can find 5 of the tools that we use in Personal Workflow and we recommend others to use.
Asana is a task list app, which can make it easier for you to keep track of all your tasks. At Personal Workflow we have used Asana as task management tool the last 3 years when we went away from OmniFocus. The benefits of Asana is that it is very intuitive and easy to get started with. You can divide your tasks in the future list, week list and day list that we usually recommend our clients to do. It’s free to get started and have a long list of features that we use on a daily basis. You can get started Asana here.
Do you remember MSN in the old days? Slack and HipChat is the new MSN for companies. At Personal Workflow we use Slack to communicate internally. We can quickly clarify priorities and issues with each other without sending an email. We are also celebrating our success on Slack sending good customer stories and other news that the whole company should know more about. It’s easy to get started with and is free for small businesses. If it cannot be implemented throughout the company then make an effort to implement it in your department. You can get started Slack here and Hipchat here.
Do you have a team of employees that you need to keep track of? In this case it may be that 15Five is for you. 15Five is a tool that allows you to keep you updated on your staff. Each week an email automatically sent out to your employees that they can respond to. The idea is that it takes 15 minutes to reply to your email and 5 minutes to read the result. You can ask questions such as: “What challenges has there been?” or “Do you have suggestions for anything we need to improve or give more attention in relation to your role, team or organisation?”. With 15Five you are sure that you are updated about your employees and they have the opportunity to give vent to some of their concerns. You can get started with 15Five here.
You certainly know Evernote. If not, then you have just discovered the best note program available on the market. If you know it, we are pretty sure that you would agree. It is important to get your tasks written down somewhere. For this we would recommend that you use your task list. But where do you then collect all your notes? We recommend that you pick one place and it could be a program like Evernote. It is free to use, it works on both your computer and your phone and have some powerful features that you definitely will like. You can get started with Evernote here.
Do you like when your tasks are nicely visually presented? In this case Trello is for you. Trello is ideal for individuals but also IT companies working with agile methodologies. You can create ‘Trello Cards’ with your tasks on them and define some phases that task should go through. It could, for instance. be “Ideas”, “Future Tasks”, “This Week” and “Today.” You can then move your tasks at each stage and have a good overview all the way. Trello is fast, visual and free. You can get started Trello here.
We believe that increased productivity starts with 3 different areas: Mental models, routines and tools. Here is a list of tools the tools we would recommend using. We could have continued with a longer list, but chose the 5 most relevant to us. If you need input to a specific tool you are welcome to contact us.