What’s the Best Productivity Software for your Small Business?

Productivity software is any type of software tool that makes running a business and doing your job easier. From simple to-do list apps to complex project management solutions, small businesses will find a growing list of productivity tools to help them thrive in 2020 and beyond!
best productivity software

For small business owners, time is at a premium and knowing the best productivity software for small business can transform that. Each day, even a few more minutes could help you check some of those items off your always-growing to-do lists. Sure, we all know there are plenty of productivity apps out there to help, but the amount of choices is overwhelming.

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Your objective could be maximizing profits, winning a tender, or chasing a passion project. Some people want to be more productive to leave the office earlier and spend more time with their family. That’s a great ultimate goal. In a broader sense, productive people get to determine how they want to live, and they take steps to make it possible.

Being productive sometimes means becoming more focused and less distracted. It also means not wasting your time on routine tasks. It’s amassing useful data and understanding other people’s work when it influences yours. It’s having productive conversations that are archived and discoverable rather than unconscious meetings.

We are here to help narrow those options down a little for you. We’ve gathered some of our favorite productivity tools, along with a few suggestions on how you can get the most out of them. Here’s some software that can make 2020 your most productive year ever!

What Is Productivity Software?

Productivity software is any type of software tool that makes running a business and doing your job easier. From simple to-do list apps to complex project management solutions, small businesses will find a growing list of productivity tools to help them thrive in 2020 and beyond!

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The best productivity software for small business transforms your work and private tasks into a comfortable project and makes it more efficient. Occasionally it does so instantly and sometimes indirectly.

Whatever your career or personal purposes, these productivity applications can help you meet and exceed your deadlines and ambitions. From browser plugins to services that help you maintain meaningful relationships, productivity for small business apps can do it all.

The Best Productivity Apps for Small Business and Offices

1 – Upwork – Staffing / Outsourcing 

Upwork a market place screenshot

Price

  • Free Version Available 
  • Upwork Plus starts from $49.99 USD /month

Have you ever needed a job done, but it didn’t quite require the hassle of hiring on a new full-time employee?

According to Upwork, some 90% of companies hire freelancers. This is one of the best places to find them. There are millions of freelancers and organizations on Upwork collaborating on projects of all sizes.

For example, if you need a piece of copy edited, simply sign up, post a job, and choose the best applicant. You will have access to transparent portfolios, reviews, and an internal messaging platform.

Features 

  • Dedicated support to simplify the process of finding and hiring talent 
  • An Account Manager is ready to comprehend your business expectations and strategize to enable you to discover the right freelancer for your business
  • Talent Experts support you in publishing vacancies and find prime freelancers and agencies for your projects to chop down your hiring duration in half
  • 24/7 chat support and 24/5 business phone support, so you never have to wait for an answer
  • Tools which will assist teams to work together on hiring and tracking
  • Administer coworkers to various groups and develop different payment methods for favorable accounting.
  • Track the entire team’s growth through company summaries to bring a detailed picture of how spend is trending
  • Add as many coworkers as you need to your company account for easier collaboration.

2 – Teamgate CRM – Customer Relationship Management 

A Teamgate smart sales CRM

Price– Starting from $9 USD per month for paid plans

You’re going to need customer relationship management software if you want to keep track of your customers’ information in any way other than keeping sticky notes on a bulletin board. Teamgate CRM integrates the work of multiple staff members at one time and tracks the sales process every step of the way, from lead status to closed sales. There are various CRM solutions out there, but Teamgate has a remarkable 100% satisfaction rate, extends a free trial, and has a reasonable monthly subscription fee.

Features 

  • Enhance your inbound strategy by using lead capturing webforms.
  • Pick leads from social media, email campaigns, or even bend missed calls into leads.
  • Supervise your leads by marking, authorizing, and requalifying them.
  • Discover leads, connections, and contracts in seconds by utilizing the search and screening sections.
  • Organize your sales in numerous channels for various procedures and reporting alternatives.
  • Analyze your gathered business data to accelerate and improve your sales.
  • Automate procedures by incorporating the sales CRM with any other procedure CRM you may utilize.

3 – Freshbooks – Invoicing 

Soft fresh books for business owner

Price

  • Free Version Available 
  • Starting from $4.50 USD per month for paid plans

If you are in market for the best productivity software for small business then invoicing is going to play a big part. And in our opinion there’s no more accessible invoicing platform than FreshBooks. With Freshbooks you can seamlessly send out a bill and collect PayPal or credit card payments in one step. FreshBooks stores the contact information and payment history from each of your clients. It furnishes a forum for developing and delivering project estimates for various products and services. If you’re a modern-day small business owner, you can’t afford to miss these small business productivity tools (it’s free to start).

Features

  • Automatic expense import.
  • Customized invoices.
  • Personalized thank you emails.
  • Credit card processing.
  • Reminders & late fees.
  • Request deposits.
  • Customizable due dates.
  • Apply discounts to invoices.

Website –https://www.freshbooks.com/

4 – Zapier – Business Automation 

Zapier, Business Automation

Price

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  • Free Version Available 
  • Starting from $28 AUD per month for paid plans

Zapier is an online service that connects apps you use for your business. It is similar to IFTTT but is more focused on online business applications. You can sync all of your favorite apps, such as Gmail, Dropbox, and Slack. This integration saves you time as you switch between applications and lets you quickly create workflows across platforms. Zapier offers a free tier, with additional pricing, for small businesses or larger companies.

Zapier lets you create automation between apps and services, much the same way IFTTT does. The significant difference is that Zapier is more focused on business apps. Here’s an example of automation you can create in Zapier: “Every time a customer purchases an item from my website, create a task for the fulfillment team in Asana, add the customer’s email address to my Mailchimp mailing list, and send the customer a confirmation message.” When you can automate rote tasks such as these, you can be more productive.

Features

  • Set up triggers and actions.
  • Updates on new apps.
  • Automatic “Zap” running.
  • Ongoing maintenance of all APIs.
  • Activity Dashboard.
  • Ongoing sync among apps.
  • On/Off “Zap” control.
  • Add 250+ integrations to apps.

5 – Rev – Audio Transcribing 

Rev – Audio Transcribing

Price– $1.25 USD per minute of recorded audio

If you are looking for the best productivity software for small business and typing is not your strength, then you should consider an audio transcribing service like Rev. Transcribing audio recordings in-house (ie by your admin assistant or secrectary) isn’t a highly productive task. Rev is an inexpensive and precise transcription service that yields files rapidly. You upload an audio/video file or furnish a URL to begin. Rev brings simple changes to the ultimate transcript via its outstanding web editor, which incorporates convenient playback controls and editing choices. You can also utilize Rev’s mobile applications to list and submit orders immediately. Offloading time-consuming, rote tasks that anyone can do, such as transcribing audio, allows you to spend your time on tasks that only you can do. That’s productive.

Features

  • Embedded Media Player with Read-Along Tracking.
  • Sharing & Collaborative Editing.
  • Highlights & Strikethroughs.
  • Comments & Notes.
  • Timestamps.
  • Ratings & Feedback.
  • Exporting.
  • Additional Tools such as Find & Replace, Speaker Name, Custom Start Time, and Hotkeys

The Best Productivity Apps for Collaboration

1 – Asana

Asana

Price

  • Free Version Available 
  • Starting from $14.99 AUD per person per month for Premium 

One of the best productivity tools 2020, Asana is a project management tool and business productivity app to help teams stay focused on goals, projects, and deadlines. Asana integrates goal-setting with a deadline schedule to create projects, set goals, and then manage each step of the process. It is also an excellent solution for task management, as you can create different boards to shift tasks between as they are completed or communicate with team members in threads under each job. Furthermore Asana provides some tools to visualize where you are in your project, like project timelines or a team calendar view.

As a productivity tool, Asana is one of the small business productivity apps that provide the capability to manage all their necessary tasks and goals in one place. It integrates with other workplace apps, such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, G Suite, and others. Asana provides a free version with limited features for those who want to give it a try, with Premium, Business, and Enterprise pricing for larger organizations that want an extended feature set.

Features 

  • Activity feed.
  • Add assignees, attachments, and hearts to tasks.
  • Automatic updates to email/inbox.
  • Create custom calendars and views.
  • Email bridge.
  • My Tasks list and Focus Mode.
  • Track tasks and add followers.
  • Get notifications and reminders.

2 – Basecamp 

Basecamp

Price – $99 USD per month

Basecamp is a go-to collaboration solution for many organizations. Basecamp is a communication tool where you can manage projects, your team and company complete communication. Each designated project features different sections to help you better manage the process: a to-do list, a message board, a schedule, a place to save files, and a “campfire” chat for general team communication. Threads are a pillar of the Basecamp model. This allows you and your team members to get updated on the progress of an individual project or discussion with just a glance.

Features

  • Set up a project in Basecamp
  • Track tasks
  • Add people to the project for communication
  • Manage the message board
  • Provide for file storage
  • Manage Project Calendar 

3 – Microsoft Teams 

Microsoft Teams

Price

  • Free Version Available 
  • Paid plan starting from $6.90 AUD per user per month.

The best productivity software for small business must factor in an app that can transform remote communication and working between teams. Microsoft Teams does precisely this

Microsoft Teams is a company messaging business application. You use it to talk with other colleagues, whether that means asynchronous chat or a real-time video call. It is different from various organization messaging applications because it closely incorporates other Office apps, comprising Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft OneDrive. There is a free version of the application that you can try out, although it doesn’t come with all the best integration options. You can only get those when you get Teams as part of an Office 365 Business account.

Microsoft Teams is the key competitor to Slack. Its primary goal is rigid integration with the Microsoft Office ecosystem. Suppose your organization is already paying for Office 365 and heavy users of the critical productivity apps. In that case, Teams offers a healthy choice for organizations that want real-time chat features and deeper ties to the rest of the Office suite. Teams also have apps for Android and iOS devices.

Features

  • Fully integrated with Office 365. 
  • Conversation channels.
  • Reduced email.
  • Direct access to email, Skype, OneDrive, and SharePoint.
  • Collaborate live in real-time.
  • Access Teams across all of your devices. 
  • Collaborate internally and externally securely.

4 – Podio 

Podio

Price – Starting from $7.20 USD per user per month

Podio is a business collaboration and works management platform that only you can build. Does your team need invoicing software? Tools for managing projects? It’s entirely up to you. Podio is one of the most comprehensive productivity tools for small business communication and work management because you can customize it. If it doesn’t have an app you need, you can build it with easy-to-use tools that come with the app.

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Features

  • Automated Workflows.
  • Meeting Scheduling.
  • Data Visualization.
  • Social Collaboration.
  • Task Management.
  • Granular Access.
  • Calendar.
  • Unlimited Storage.

5 – Slack 

Slack

Price

  • Free Version Available 
  • Starting from $6.67 USD per user per month 

Speaking of email productivity, a chat app can save you hours each week. Instead of firing emails back and forth between your team, you can set everyone up in Slack to communicate in real-time. The chat app lets you set up channels to segregate your conversation to make it even more productive. If your team wants to keep discussions divided by clients, projects, tasks, or company announcements, channels are the outlet. You can also set up a medium to let employees take a little break from work to chat about the weekend or their favorite sports teams.

Various productivity hacks can make Slack an even more powerful tool. You can use Actions to convert a message to a new task in a productivity app like Asana and Trello, upload and share files with your team, live chat with customers by integrating with tools like Intercom and Drift, and more.

Slack remains a vital piece of the best productivity software for small and medium business that want a more real-time conversation with their teams. The app benefits businesses by grouping everyone (or select groups) into a chat room so that announcements, discussions, or more informal chats can occur in one interface. Slack has many social media integrations. The core service is free, with paid plans offered for additional features geared toward businesses. Android and iOS apps can keep the conversation going on mobile devices.

Features

  • Effective communication
  • Channels bring all the right people and information together.
  • DMs, Notifications, and Mentions
  • Access to tools and services
  • SAML-based SSO Security 

FAQ 

1. How do you explain productivity? 

There are studies to prove a strong relationship between improved productivity and an increase in profit. The Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed a 2.8% increase in staff productivity in the non-financial corporate sector, which led to a 3.1% increase in output. Consequently, profits increased at a 13.2% annual rate.

If you have a small business, you have a limited time to get tasks accomplished. But you have virtually endless jobs that you’d want to fulfill. So you are required to uncover ways to make the most of the little time you have to work with.

If you want to do more in less, you should learn minor hacks to enhance you and your business.

2. What are the key elements of productivity? 

The key elements of productivity are –

  • Automation 
  • Efficiency and Flow 
  • Goal Setting
  • Innovation 
  • Knowledge/Skill Acquisition 

3. What is the best productivity hack for business? 

  • Search for the best productivity tools, tailor-made for your custom needs and business goals. 
  • Have a List of Priorities – As an owner of a small business, you probably have a to-do list at hand.
  • Attack the Worst Task First.
  • Learn How to Delegate.
  • Stop Checking Your Email Compulsively.
  • Avoid Social Media. 
  • Keep Meetings Short.
  • Go Paperless Whenever Possible.
  • Move Around.

4. Does productivity software help? 

Productivity software is a group of application programs that can help you produce documents, databases, worksheets, graphs, and presentations. The definition also often extends to any software application that helps complete a task or project, such as communication and collaboration tools.

Any company or individual can purchase a tool, but not having the right system or knowledge to support it can make the difference between being productive and wasting your time with the software. To ensure you and your team fall into the former category, make sure you take measures to fully understand the tool(s) you are working with to know when and how to use them to your benefit.

5. What are the types of productivity tools? 

Here are six categories of productivity tools that your business can benefit from, and a couple of examples of each.

  1. Mobile Office

Some standard mobile offices are productivity suites such as Microsoft Office 365 and Google’s G-Suite. Others have more focused cloud-based applications designed to perform more specific functions. Any application that helps your enterprise emulate the office setting while out of the office is an excellent investment.

  1. Improving Workflow

Consider how much time can be saved by not struggling with IT maintenance and management; even if you have an internal IT department, you can significantly reduce your technicians’ workload by allowing a service provider to assist them. Outsourcing is an effective solution that organizations should advantage of.

  1. Unified Communications

Every aid that delivers a variety of email, instant messaging, and calls can be considered a unanimous communications solution.

  1. Project Management

It’s difficult to suggest specific project management solutions for your enterprise, as each organization’s needs will be different.

  1. Resource Planning

ERPs utilized for business functions, with one of the most productive ones enforcing patches and security updates. This solution is an excellent way to revamp all of your endpoints remotely from one prominent location without revising each of them locally. Other examples of how resource planning implemented include managing the payroll, keeping track of inventory, improving financial data accuracy, and so much more.

  1. Business Intelligence

Business intelligence tools enable your small business to compile data through various techniques, comprising data mining, reporting, and analytical analysis. Furthermore, business intelligence can potentially look into the future using predictive data to notice trends before they even happen potentially.

Conclusion 

You may not have known that you needed some of these tools, but once you try them, your professional life will never be the same. The elegance of such productivity tools is that most of them are free, offer free trials, or carry a reasonable price tag. As a small business owner, its a low risk strategy to try before you buy and measure impact of efficiency before needing to invest more.

Tip: If you clicked through any of the links, you probably noticed that most of these tools have great blogs to accompany the product. These are terrific for learning small business productivity hacks to help you with your success, so subscribe to them as you see fit.

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