At DFS, we believe in helping you increase office productivity – storing rarely-used files off-site is an obvious way to do that. To help you out even more, though, we’ve gathered 5 handy tools that can make your team function more effectively. And the best part? It won’t cost you a thing.
How often do crucial projects get delayed because nobody’s quite sure who’s responsible for what, or bogged down in long email discussions? Asana cuts out all that uncertainty, letting teams collaborate and connect on projects online without endless email chains. Large projects can be broken down into smaller tasks, progress updates can be made easily, responsibility can be set to team members and shifted to others as a task progresses. Asana can keep all dialogue or comments on work-in-progress together in one place, and is free for teams of up to 15 people.
Instant Messages (IM) are the quicker, more reliable post-it-notes of the modern workplace. Using IM lets you easily alert a co-worker to something that needs prompt attention, even when they’re otherwise engaged, and enjoy all the benefits of sharing a workspace even if you’re miles apart. Of all the free IM providers out there, Google Hangouts has an edge because of its low setup threshold (all you need is a Google account) and its excellent interface across multiple devices. Video calls, capacity for conversations with up to ten people and easy file sharing are also added benefits.
A business needs some kind of social media presence. But keeping it up to date, and consistently pushing out quality content, takes work. Buffer lets users schedule posts across multiple platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google Plus. It also offers a useful analytics platform to see how different posts perform, suggests times for posting to your different profiles, and even offers useful suggestions of content to share with your followers. The free service is very handy, and a premium option is also available.
Good graphic design used to require highly-honed skills and expensive software. Then the open-source community got at it. GIMP is a tool for manipulating images that’s completely free, and offers very similar functionality to Adobe’s Photoshop. If you’re proficient with this tool, you should find working with GIMP very straightforward. Even if you’re not, some excellent tutorials are available in the documentation section of the site.
There’s a reason why people still often write out their personal ‘to do’ list on paper: all the shiny functionality of most digital solutions actually gets in the way. Wunderlist does allow you to do some neat things – setting deadlines, sharing lists and live chatting. But at its core, it’s an easy tool to records tasks and check them off as you go so you’ll never lose track.
If you’ve found a great free tool to make your business more productive, feel free to share in the comments below. To find out more about how we help customers save your business time and money, click here or contact us and we’ll talk you through it.