Apps & Software to Make You a More Productive Business Owner
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Posted by Aaron S. on May 10, 2019 in Retail Focus

Free time is something everyone wants more of, but getting it can be a struggle—especially for business owners. To help free up some time in their busy days, many small business owners have turned to low-cost or free apps for support. The problem is that the Internet is filled with an endless list of options to choose from, so picking the right one can be difficult. Although not all challenges in your work day can be solved with an app, there are tasks like email sorting, meeting schedules, and project management that can be made simpler and easier with the right tool.

 

To narrow in on these tasks, start by taking a minute to think about what functions eat up large chunks of your day and are tied to technology in some way. For any tasks that fit this description, there is likely an app that can help. Now, what is the right app for you, and will it help accomplish the goals you are trying to achieve? Recently, I attended the University of Innovative Distribution conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, and had the opportunity to attend a session facilitated by Beth Ziesenis. Beth is an author, speaker, and self-identified nerd who specializes in free and bargain apps and technology for work and home. The session was titled “Powered Productivity: Tech Tools You Need to Get Stuff Done.”

 

During her session, Beth provided several examples of apps that can be used to improve your productivity, make you more organized, and better protect you. The list she discussed was broken into several categories, many of which would be of interest to small business owners.

 

Listed below are a few examples she shared:

Organize

Cozi  - Calendar manager

Google Calendar - Calendar manager 

Todoist - List management tool 

Evernote - Note-taking tool

Google Keep - Note-taking tool 

 

Collaborate

Trello - Project management tool

Asana - Project management tool

 

Communicate

x.ai - Virtual scheduling assistant

YouCanBook.Me - Scheduling tool

When is Good - Scheduling tool 

SaneBox - Email management tool 

Unroll.me - Email management tool

 

Security Tools

LastPass - Password management tool

KeePass- Password management tool

 

Finance

Shoeboxed - Expense management tool

Wally - Expense management tool

Mint - Budget tool

 

New tools are being developed every day that you and your business may be able to leverage to improve your productivity. All these apps have at least one thing in common—they all require you to recognize you have the potential to improve and are willing to seek out the right tool to support your initiative. A tool is only helpful if it is the right tool for the job and it is utilized properly and consistently.

 

The above list is just the tip of the iceberg and, with advancements in artificial intelligence, more and more is becoming possible and affordable. Everyone is looking for the next best way to save time or become more productive, and these tools can certainly make it easier. Keeping up with the technology—now that’s the hard part.

Aaron S. is our Retail guru
Aaron joined Acuity in 2017 as our Retail Specialist—bringing with him almost 30 years of experience in a broad range of retail. He started his career stocking shelves in the seasonal department at a local retailer. A few years later, Aaron transitioned to a gas station/convenience store, where he worked second shift while getting his degree in organizational communications from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. It was during this time he made the move to the loss prevention and safety aspect of retail. Over the next 25 years, he worked in various retail segments, including video games, cosmetics/skincare, hardware/appliances, pharmacy/grocery, and clothing. Aaron held several positions during this time, including District Loss Prevention Manager, Regional Loss Prevention Manager, Regional Compliance Auditor, and National Manager of Loss Prevention and Operations. Outside work, Aaron likes to spend time with his wife (who has also worked in retail for over 20 years) and their twin teenage boys. They enjoy being outdoors on the water, fishing, and camping. As the Retail Specialist, Aaron’s goal is to enhance the partnership between retailers and Acuity by showing retailers that an insurance company can be a supportive resource and that Acuity truly understands their industry.


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