5 Handy Technology Tools To Enhance Productivity
Technology can help cut communication costs, stay on top of customer’s needs and to-do lists: Here’s how:
Kanban to Manage Your To-Do Lists
Kanban is a method of noting to-do lists and work-in-progress. It involves creating three columns on a whiteboard or chart—one for your to-dos, another for what you’re doing at present or are about to do, and the last for what you’ve done.
Kanban helps you visualise your work flow, set a limit to how much you take on, and take inspiration from “done” items.
“I use Kanban to plan and follow up projects. Using different coloured Post-It notes for individual items adds colour to staid job lists; it makes tracking to-do’s refreshing,” says Kapil Dhawan, founder, Treedesign.
Mailstrom for Clearing Email Inboxes
Clearing a full inbox can eat into your time—unless you use an email clearance system.
“I use Mailtrom to browse, sort and delete emails, and get through 100+ emails in less than 20 minutes,” shares Divyan Gupta, founder & CEO, Artanddecors.com and Gizmofashion.com.
Mailstrom is a paid-service, but worth it for the peace of mind that accompanies a zero inbox, says Gupta.
Data Systems for Customer Intelligence
Online retail companies majorly rely on data from multiple sources like inventory, price updates, market intelligence, customer transactions, etc. Instead of collating data in excel sheets, Gupta suggests collecting data in a business management system—“Using PHP and MySQL, we have designed and created a system that shows us where we are and what needs to be done as soon as granular data spanning each and every customer transaction and visit is entered into the tool. This helps us take prompt action even in real-time.”
Integrating the system with the e-commerce platforms Artanddecors and Gizmofashion allows the team to push inventory and price updates for thousands of products at the click of a button. Everything gets updated within seconds.
“This helps me make time for more important strategic matters,” says Divyan.
Developing custom software has allowed Gupta’s team to rely on one system for customer relationship management, billing and analytics. Alternatively, you could invest in an ERP for customer relationship management and billing, and in a business analytics tool like Microsoft BI.
Whatsapp for Group Communication
Businesses can effectively use Whastapp to facilitate real-time group communication.
Foodcloud, a start-up that connects home cooked food providers with clients, uses Whatsapp to ensure speedy action on orders.
“Informing multiple service teams, like delivery, billing, etc, is more time-consuming than simply posting a message on Whatsapp,” says Vedant Kanoi, founder of Foodcloud.
Whatsapp also comes in handy to facilitate ad-hoc discussions between Foodcloud team members who are on the move.
“Whatsapp is more effective than email for real-time interactions, especially now that is has a voice option,” says Kanoj.
Evernote for Recording Ideas
An idea can change the way business is done, a product is built, etc.
“I’m big on ideas no matter where they come from, so long as no copyright infringement is involved, because great ideas can hold great potential,” says Rahul Gupta, co-founder & CEO, Seniorworld, a platform catering to the needs of the elderly.
Gupta is always on the lookout for ideas to make his business more flexible and swiftly responsive to customers’ demands.
Ideas can come from anywhere—a co-worker, seeing something, etc. But it’s funny how ideas come in a flash and sometimes go as swiftly, unless you write them down.
“Since my best thoughts come to me outside of working hours, I make a note of every idea using Evernote. It is an online journal, easy to use, free and always available,” shares Gupta.
Making notes also helps stay on top of long to-do lists, says Gupta: “Start-up founders wear many hats and sometimes, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Making notes helps prioritise and get more out of your limited time.”