An abundance of apps exists to help streamline workflow and productivity. Everything from Asana to Slack, Hive, Basecamp, Evernote, Trello, Todolist, Google Workspace, Expensify, Evernote, and many other apps is available for your staff. If your team, however, ends up bogged down by app overload, your objective for greater productivity won’t be achieved. Studies, in fact, have shown that using too many apps makes us less productive, more stressed, and more prone to procrastination. The key is to figure out your needs and which apps to use.
Here are several suggestions to help you and your staff get the most out of the productivity applications available today.
- Define the staff’s workflow. Have employees in their different agency roles (producers, CSRs, account executives, administrative, etc.) make a list of everything they need to do to get their work done. Have them divide large tasks into smaller steps so they can see which activities consume the most time. Set up milestones to help track progress and prioritize essential tasks over less important ones. Identify any gaps in the work process that may be hindering efficiency and try to understand how a specific productivity app will fill those gaps and assist in achieving goals in the shortest amount of time possible.
- Perform an audit of your current productivity apps to determine if they still suit your agency’s needs.
- Don’t use multiple tools for the same purpose. Using numerous calendars and note-taking apps will only lead to confusion and disruptions in the staff’s workflow. Many productivity apps are versatile enough to support multiple areas of responsibility, such as project management and time tracking. Invest in tools that can handle various work processes so your staff doesn’t waste time switching between apps.
- Evaluate whether the apps you select can be synched with other tools. One of the most inefficient things you can do while working is waste time going from one app to another to find what you’re looking for.
- Conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether a specific app is your best solution. Weigh the benefits of using the software against the cost, and use your findings to help make your decision.
- Ensure the staff becomes well versed in using the applications you select. Even if the apps look simple, your team will undoubtedly have questions about specific features or encounter unexpected problems. Check that the app provides a high level of support and that users can easily reach out for help.
With the myriad of new apps available today, many mistakenly believe that the more apps you use, the more productive the staff. But keeping it simple is the best way to improve productivity.