Our digital environment is growing by the minute, and consequently, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of all that’s happening on our screens. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for workers to have around two dozen tabs open in their browsers, half a dozen Word or Excel files minimized,various apps and programs opened, and all the while they’re chatting on Skype with ten other people. This multi-tasking is certainly taking its toll on our overall level of productivity, especially so with employees who aren’t so adept at following all of the chaos that’s running around on their screens. Yet, there are tools out there that can declutter all of that noise, and help you organize your digital environment in a meaningful and efficient way. Here’s a list of some of these tools that will keep your productivity in check.
Workflow management tools
Today, apps such as Trello, Basecamp, and Redmine do most of the organizing for us, by keeping track of each task on a plethora of different projects. With these, managers and team leaders can easily keep tabs on everyone on their team and assign appropriate workloads to each of them. Likewise, there’s nothing more satisfying than moving a task from the ‘in progress’ phase to ‘done’ with a single click, and then looking at the progress made on the entire project so far. Also, another thing that makes these tools such excellent productivity boosters is the fact that they’re all cloud-based, which means you can store files and data connected to the project all in one place. Hence, you no longer need to waste time while looking for Joe to get that Word file he wrote or Susan and the image she designed, as everything is uploaded and stored online.
With the arrival of the remote workforce, communication tools such as Skype and Slack have become essential in establishing contact with workers all around the globe. What’s more, they’ve replaced those incredibly boring and time consuming white-board conference room meetings with real-time video conferences. This way, employees don’t have to leave their work-stations during meetings anymore and as such won’t get ‘lost’ in the cafeteria on their way back. Additionally, communication happens in real-time which is great for providing quick answers when someone is in need of assistance. Hence, employees can no longer idle about with the excuse that they’re waiting for that long overdue email to arrive. Overall, this makes team communication faster and more efficient as there’s no significant downtime in-between messages and the work keeps flowing.
With so many interesting things to do over the internet, it’s easy to get distracted in today’s digital environment. For this reason, we need tools that will help us stay focused on our tasks and thus boost our productivity. One such tool is Block Site which is useful for blocking sites primarily used for employee procrastination. Without funny cat pics, memes, and social media, workers have to focus on actually completing their tasks instead filling the time between breaks. However, distractions don’t come just onscreen but off-screen as well. For this reason, acquiring headphones, silent keyboards, and glass panes for your workers will minimize distractions coming at them from all directions, and allow them to finish their assignments in peace and quiet.
Declutter your digital environment
Another major culprit in the decrease of office productivity is the overstuffed screen of your employees. Often, there’s so much stuff going on that it’s no wonder files and folders get so easily misplaced or lost. Precious time is then lost in finding these files which could be used for something more productive instead. To avoid these perils, use an app like Magnet which lets you organize your workspace into manageable tiles. This way, you don’t need two monitors when you’re reading stuff online and writing things into your notepad. Similarly, you can use ThunderBird to declutter emails arriving from multiple sources by sorting them into their respective folders. In addition, it provides you with various search tools, filters, tabbed emails, and multi-channel chat, so you can stay in touch with your colleagues while you search for that email Mark sent you yesterday.
Grocery shopping isn’t the only thing note taking is useful for. On the contrary, it can be used in the office as a valuable productivity boosting tool that’s beneficial to the whole team. Just take a look at Evernote, the most popular note making software of today. It allows you to share digital information with your co-workers in the form of images, scanned documents, audio files, texts, and so on. Saving entire webpages is also a possibility with links, images, text and everything else attached. This enables workers to store online resources all in one place, for everyone to see and interact with. In addition, you can use it on smartphones as well, meaning you can easily find files you need while on-the-go.
All in all, you can use these tools separately or in any combination you like to achieve the productivity boost you need.