As technology becomes an organic part of everyday business practices, hundreds of apps and tools pop up every day, each claiming to hold the key to organizational nirvana (and actually doing the same basic things with only slight variations). But how do you know which ones will do what you need them to without wasting valuable time trying them all?
As the CTO here at Dealstruck, I’ve done my share of trial and error. If I had to choose five things I couldn’t live without, I’d choose:
This one’s my favorite. Trello basically tells me everything I’ve done, thought, and need to do all in one virtual bulletin board. It’s like sticky notes on steroids, if those sticky notes could be categorized and updated continually without losing their stick and falling under my desk. You can use it on your own, or your team can synchronize their brains and use it collectively.
Gmail Mobile App
Google’s mobile app is a lifesaver here at Dealstruck. It’s much faster than our native mail app, and I can tag things on the go when I’m away from my computer so I never miss a step.
Lucid Chart takes the good, old-fashioned diagram and makes it mobile and intuitive. Brainstorming is messy, it’s kind of a rule. But once we’ve done our initial scribbling on the white board, we transfer everything to Lucid Chart so we can keep and update the visualization as the project develops. You can start for free, and you can even embed it into Google Docs.
Google Drive/Google Sheets
Collaboration is so much easier when you don’t have to send a document through an endless chain of emails. Word is still the top of the game when it comes to creating and editing documents, but when you’re working with a team, Google Drive’s suite of Docs and Sheets lets you interact seamlessly, make suggestions, and track changes when you can’t be face-to-face. Lucid Drive also cooperates with this tool.
Is reply-all the bane of your existence? Is your email inbox an overwhelming mess? Slack is a chat tool that allows you to communicate with your team and organize your conversations. You can talk to the team as a whole, create private groups for specific projects, or talk to individual team members one-on-one all in one place. You can put your chat history to good use to keep track of your tasks, and even integrate other services like Amazon Web Services, Google Drive, and dozens of others.
These five tools all do one important thing – they seal up the cracks so nothing falls through. They keep my work and my team connected and running at our optimum pace. We’re never not in touch, and no one is ever out of the loop.
Remember, you shouldn’t have to work hard to make your technology work for you. If you choose the right tools, you can focus your energy on doing what you do best.