With all the distractions that occur during the workday, it can be a wonder that anything gets done. Spontaneous meetings, urgent last-minute requests, and noisy office conversations can cause productivity to nosedive. Being in front of a computer screen all day brings another set of temptations and distractions.
Social media, email, instant messaging, and toggling between applications are potential time-wasters. Occasionally, looking at the work that gets handed down without a way to structure it can be overwhelming. More productivity is lost because it takes time to mentally regroup and find ways to sync data between several apps.
Fortunately, there are plenty of software integrations that can help everyone on your team stay focused and organized. Whether employees work in-person, remote, or hybrid, integrated apps will better coordinate the work they need to accomplish. Here are six of the top apps your company can start using to improve efficiency.
The Fellow has a gallery of expert-curated meeting agenda templates that can structure just about any discussion you can imagine. Think weekly team huddles, legal meetings, one-on-ones with direct reports, and new product or ad campaign brainstorming sessions. Your employees can customize the pre-built templates with a company or department-specific information.
You’ll run infinitely more efficient and streamlined meetings using the templates’ outline and topic suggestions. The app is mobile-friendly and will sync with videoconferencing software, allowing your team to see meeting notes from anywhere. And Fellow can integrate with web browsers and existing project management and collaboration tools so employees can preview agendas.
2. Google Keep
How many of your team members keep lists or reminders on Post-it notes? Although sticky notes attached to computer monitors and cubicle walls help employees remember tasks, they can get out of control. Paper notes might get lost or damaged. They’re also impractical in offices with shared workspaces — or when employees switch between in-office and remote work.
Google Keep is a virtual form of sticky notes, similar to what’s available within the tools of most operating systems. But the main difference is the notes you create within Google Keep travel with you.
The app works as a Chrome browser extension and syncs with a Google account. If you make a to-do list using your work laptop, you can still access and modify it from your smartphone or tablet. Plus, it lets your team pull notes into Google Docs to organize project ideas.
Poor password management practices cost more than wasted time and inefficiency. Approximately 81% of hacking-related data breaches are linked to compromised passwords.
Employees and organizations often lack a centralized tool that safeguards their passwords. Approximately 42% of organizations “manage” passwords via sticky notes, constantly exposing sensitive information. In addition, 48% of employees use the same passwords for their work and personal accounts, increasing the possibility of compromise.
LastPass is a password manager that stores credentials for different apps, so employees don’t have to remember them. The browser extension automatically enters login information while encrypting it. And LastPass can automatically generate unique passwords each time credentials are required.
High-level managers and employees who work hybrid schedules may use more than one work computer. They might have a desktop they use while in the office and a laptop for working remotely. Managers and executives may have a similar setup or wireless access points in their homes. These access points allow them to use the organization’s network from their personal or work devices without a VPN connection.
But what happens if they forget to transfer a necessary file to their network folder or cloud-based account? TeamViewer enables remote access to another computer, allowing employees to retrieve documents from their home or office devices. They don’t have to recreate files or wait until they’re physically in front of the device. TeamViewer also has collaboration tools such as a whiteboard, screen sharing, text and video messaging, and recording features.
Todoist is an app that brings to-do lists to a whole new level. It integrates with web browsers, major operating systems, and mobile platforms. Besides giving your employees a way to organize their tasks, Todoist tracks how well they’re getting them done.
As workers check off completed tasks, the app measures productivity with graphs and comparisons between different days or weeks. Todoist also displays an overall score to keep employees motivated.
Your team can create task lists according to different projects or categorize them by responsibility. They’ll gain the ability to tie subtasks to significant milestones and deliverables. Employees can see upcoming tasks by the day or week with sneak preview features. There’s even a simple way to add functions according to project names, dates, or tags using the @ symbol.
Employees can waste the equivalent of up to 32 days a year by switching between apps. However, it’s sometimes difficult to assess which software applications and activities within them are stealing time. For some employees, social media platforms and sites like YouTube are the culprits. But using those sites could be an integral part of some of your team members’ responsibilities.
RescueTime is an app integration that zeroes in on distracting apps and boosts productivity. It tracks which websites and software applications employees use each day, in addition to the time they spend with them.
RescueTime then produces a daily report showing the activities team members engaged in and how productive they were. Premium plans give employees the option of blocking distracting sites and enabling reminders to stay on task.
Every organization and team struggles with productivity, as work is often mentally taxing. The need to take breaks and welcome distractions can be vital, especially if tasks seem routine or unappealing. But a lack of structure and management tools can make the problem worse. Implementing a variety of productivity app integrations will give your employees the resources they need to use their time wisely.