What is productivity?
Entrepreneurs are possibly one of the most productive people in Singapore because when you’re an entrepreneur, time = money.
No one is going to pay you overtime hours. The faster and more effective you get routine tasks done. Moreover, the more time you can spend on your next business venture or develop a new business idea.
There are various places you can go to for productivity consultations, funding and resources, such as NTUC’s e2i (which has an Inclusive Growth Programme for up to 50% funding) and U SME (for Lean Enterprise Development Scheme consultation).
Additionally, productivity tools are freely available online (or at a low cost) to automate tasks which suck up too much of your time. Here are some of the better ones I’ve found:
1. www.yesware.com: Yesware is an all-in-one sales toolkit for data-driven sales organisations. It helps you connect with prospects, track customer engagement, and close more deals, right from Gmail, Outlook or your iPhone.
Some key functions include:
- Email tracking: It tells you who’s opening your messages, links, and attachments in real time, so you can plan your next steps. The system also allows you to create email templates in Gmail or Outlook to spend less time rewriting your most commonly used messages.
- Mail Merge: Helps automatically send a series of personalised emails to prospects over time, right from your inbox.
- Touchpoints: Allows users to run multi-channel sales campaigns using phone calls, social selling, email, drip campaigns, and other custom outreach.
- Click-to-Call: Makes it easy to quickly dial someone from your inbox, the moment you see they opened your email.
- Email analytics: You’ll start collecting useful email analytics on the message opens, replies, clicks, and template response rates the moment you send your first tracked email.
2. reply.io: Reply is a sales automation software that puts your outreach on autopilot, while still making each communication personal. Reply enables scaling sales with no extra wiring needed by automating the tedious and time-consuming process of sending personalised cold emails and follow-ups.
Overall, it is a very useful tool for a small business as it allows you to focus time and energy on speaking with real live prospects, instead of making cold calls or manually messaging your prospects.
Some key functions include:
- Campaign Wizard: A streamlined, intuitive and fast walkthrough to help you launch and run your first campaign.
- Finder: Find new contacts without leaving the platform and instantly connect with the right leads.
- Target Lists and Segments: Create, import and segment your lists of prospects quickly and easily, custom variables included.
- Personalization: Maintain full control over each and every email to experience true customization to the fullest extent.
- Contact profile and conversations: Keep track of every interaction you have with a prospect over multiple campaigns.
- Team Collaboration: See how your team is performing, share lists of contacts and email templates with your colleagues.
- Analytics and Tracking: Stay ahead of the game by tracking your emails progress with detailed in-depth campaign stat.s
- Integrations: Add flawless platform implementation to your workflow with the multiple integrations available for you.
3. meetfranz.com: Franz is a free messaging app which combines chat and messaging services into one application. Currently, Franz supports Slack, WhatsApp, WeChat, HipChat, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Google Hangouts, GroupMe, Skype and many more. You can download Franz for Mac, Windows & Linux.
Additionally, Franz allows you to add each service many times. This makes Franz the perfect tool to manage multiple business and private accounts all at the same time. You could even use five different Facebook Messenger accounts at once if some inexplicable reason urges you to do so.
4. www.tawk.to: Tawk.to is a messaging app that lets you monitor and chat with
visitors on your website or from a free customisable page.
Tawk.to is jam-packed with all the features you need to provide winning customer support – it is lightning fast, reliable and scalable. If you already use live chat on your site, there really is no reason to keep paying per agent!
5. www.insynchq.com: Insync extends Drive’s web functionality to your desktop by integrating tightly with Windows, Mac and Linux so you can get work done.
Some key functions include:
- Sync Google Drive to your network drive: Not all businesses are comfortable with going 100% cloud. Insync supports a hybrid approach where you can utilise your Windows Server and Google Drive.
- Preserve your directory hierarchy: You’ve spent weeks and months organizing your system. Naturally, you want them preserved. Insync allows you to connect to Google Drive without sacrificing directory integrity.
- Work with Microsoft Office: Sometimes a colleague wants to use Google Docs and sometimes you want to use Microsoft Office. Insync automagically converts between Google Docs and Microsoft Office so you get the best of both worlds.
- Use your external hard drive as a photo backup: Preserve photos permanently in Google Drive but access them locally in an external drive.
- Share photos and videos using a link: Share your photos and videos publicly or privately using a link. Just right-click and share.
6. www.wunderlist.com: Wunderlist is the easiest way to get stuff done. Whether you’re planning a holiday, sharing a shopping list with a partner or managing multiple work projects, Wunderlist helps you tick off all your personal and professional to-dos.
Available for free on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android, Windows, Kindle Fire and the Web, Wunderlist works seamlessly across all major devices to keep your life in sync.
Some key functions include:
Folders: Group all related lists in one easily accessible Folder.
- Comments: Host all your communication in one place, accessible for all.
- Share lists: Share your lists with colleagues, friends and family.
- Reminders & due dates: Add a reminder to make sure no to-do is forgotten. Also set due dates so that no deadline is missed.
- Notes: Add Notes to make sure all your ideas are captured.
- Notifications: Updates via push, email and in-app notifications.
- Mail to Wunderlist: Turn emails into actions by simply forwarding them.
7. www.overdrive.com: Borrow eBooks, audiobooks, and more from your local public library – anywhere, anytime. All you need is a library card. OverDrive libraries add to their collections from a catalogue of over 2 million eBooks, audiobooks, and videos.
8. www.techsmith.com/jing.html: Jing is a computer service that lets you capture basic video, animation, and still images, and share them on the web.
It works like this:
- Capture what you see: Capture an image of what you see on your computer screen with Jing. Simply select any window or region that you want to capture, mark up your screenshot with a text box, arrow, highlight or picture caption, and decide how you want to share it.
- Record what you’re doing: Select any window or region that you would like to record, and Jing will capture everything that happens in that area. From simple mouse movements to a fully narrated tutorial, Jing records everything you see and do. Jing videos are limited to five minutes for an instant, focused communication.
- Send your video or screenshot: Send your screenshots and videos all over the web. As soon as you’re done with your screen capture or screen recording, it’s ready to upload to Screencast.com and share through IM, email, social media, and more.
9. buffer.com: Buffer is the best way to drive traffic, increase fan engagement and save time on social media. Schedule, publish and analyse all your posts in one place.
Some key functions include:
- Schedule your posts for later: Buffer shares your content at the best possible times throughout the day so that your followers and fans see your updates more often.
- Post to all of your social networks: As you add content, you can easily select which of your social accounts you want to post to. Post the same message to all accounts or add context by customising each.
10. mailchimp.com: More than 14 million people and businesses around the world use MailChimp. Its features and integrations allow you to send marketing emails, automated messages, and targeted campaigns. And MailChimp’s detailed reports help you keep improving over time.
Some key features include:
- Connect your store: When you connect your store with one of MailChimp’s hundreds of e-commerce integrations, you can create targeted campaigns, automate helpful product follow-ups, and send back-in-stock messaging.
- Flexible design for brands of any size: Use MailChimp’s easy drag and drop designer to create campaigns that match your style. MailChimp’s collaboration options, like multi-user accounts and comments inside the editor, will speed up the design process and fit right into your workflow.
- Powerful automation for online sellers: MailChimp’s robust marketing automation makes sure your emails get to the right people at the right time.
11. zapier.com: Zapier helps connect your apps and automate workflows. Zapier moves info between your web apps automatically, so you can focus on your most important work.
It aims to:
- Integrate: Link your web apps with a few clicks, so they can share data
- Automate: Pass info between your apps with workflows called Zaps
- Innovate: Build processes faster and get more done—no code required
12. evernote.com/products/scannable: Scannable captures the paper in your life quickly and beautifully, transforming it into high-quality scans ready to save or share. Scannable instantly recognises business cards, receipts, and any other paper you point it at. Scans are automatically cropped and enhanced, producing crystal clear digital documents.
13. www.camcard.com: The business card app, loved by 100 million users – scan, manage, sync and exchange business cards. Use CamCard to capture all your business cards, and all the contact information can be quickly and accurately read and saved to your smartphone.
Camcard helps you be more productive. It enables you to manage all your business cards by adding notes, setting reminders, quickly searching, tagging and sharing cards. Camcard accurately reads business cards in 16 languages and even lets you add meeting notes with texts or images, and set reminders.
14. instant-eyedropper.com: Instant Eyedropper is a free colour detection tool for webmasters that will identify and automatically paste to the clipboard the HTML colour code of any pixel on the screen with just a single mouse click.
15. www.dashlane.com: Dashlane saves you loads of time by keeping track of your passwords. It enables you to automatically login to every website and every device.
16. www.hemingwayapp.com: Hemingway App makes your writing bold and clear.
The app highlights long, complex sentences and common errors; if you see a yellow sentence, shorten or split it. If you see a red highlight, your sentence is so dense and complicated that your readers will get lost trying to follow its meandering, splitting logic.
17. www.similarweb.com: Compare website traffic with SimilarWeb.com’s advanced traffic estimator tool. See any website’s traffic sources and uncover their online marketing strategies. SimilarWeb.com offers website, industry and app analysis.
- Website analysis: Benchmark your website against any competitor in the world to see how well you are really doing in terms of overall visits, time on site, bounce rate and page views per visit.
- Industry analysis: Discover the industry standard for traffic volume and engagement; see overall visits, time on site, bounce rate and page views per visit. Benchmark yourself against the industry standard and build a successful marketing strategy.
- App analysis: Compare yourself to an app in terms of current installs and engagement metrics – daily active users, sessions per user, average usage time and usage rank.
18. calendly.com: Scheduling appointments and meetings are super easy with Calendly.
It’s 100% free, super easy to use and has fantastic customer service.
Key features include:
- Calendar integration: Checks your Google or Office 365 calendar for conflicts, so you’re never double-booked. Adds new events to your calendar automatically. Phone, tablet or desktop—you and your invitees can use Calendly anywhere, from any device.
- Retain privacy and control: Set buffer times between meetings, prevent last-minute meetings, create secret event types and much more.
- Team scheduling: Display your team’s availability on one convenient page.
- Group events: Set your capacity and let multiple invitees schedule the same slot. Useful for tours, webinars, classes, workshops, etc.
- Works the way your invitees do: Invitees can add their meetings to their favourite calendar platform in one click. No registration or signup required to schedule.