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5 Great Books Every Leader Should Read By This Fall

5 Great Books Every Leader Should Read By This Fall

There are loads of books that a leader can read so where on earth do you start? Most of them have a bunch of reviews telling you how awesome they are, but many of them are just a general overview of repeated ideas. These 5 books stand out as key reads for leaders that want to improve 10x in everything from hiring to providing great customer service.

Entreleadership to learn that you’re the cap on your organization

The limiting factor in your business is not the people you have or the money you have it’s you. The leader is the cap on the organization.

…there is a lid on my organization and on my future, and that lid is me. I am the problem with my company and you are the problem with your company. Your education, capacity, ability, and vision are limiting the company. You want to know what is holding back your dreams from becoming a reality? Go look in the mirror. – Entreleadership, Dave Ramsey

Entreleadership is going to teach you how to take the cap off your organization by bringing in the right people and learning to give them the responsibility they need to support you as the leader.

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Work Rules! to stop being scared during hiring

Reading through this book you’ll get a great look at how Google does it’s hiring, and it’s not just on the whim of one person. It’s not done by the manager who feels the pain of the person missing. A group of interviewers and potential colleagues get to decide who’s hired.

As Eric Schmidt once told me, “The reality is, that there are some employees you should get rid of, but the goal of recruitment should be to have no such employees!” – Work Rules!, Laszlo Bock

Growing a Business to learn money doesn’t magically solve problems

Way to often in our tech-bubble world we hear about wild valuations of companies that aren’t turning a profit. In the mind of the author Paul Hawken, most of the time money is seen as some magic pill that will allow the company to one day turn a profit maybe. Growing a Business talks much about the fact that taking money continually means your business doesn’t have a crucial leg to stand on, the leg of people wanting to give you money for your product/service.

…businesses, at least entrepreneurial ones, are formed in order to address problems that money alone cannot solve – Paul Hawken, Growing a Business (emphasis his)

Switch to learn how to bring change to your business

Change in an organization is hard and Switch is going to tell you why.

Change is hard because people wear themselves out. And that’s the second surprise about change: What looks like laziness is often exhaustion – Switch, Chip and Dan Heath

This book will walk you through lots of strategies to keep changes moving through your organization. Stop just slamming change through just because you’re the leader. Stop being frustrated when it doesn’t stick, learn to make it stick by reading Switch.

Minding the Store to learn why turning down sales is good

How likely are you to sell a high priced item to someone that it’s clearly a poor choice for? I know many of you would just make the sale but not if you listen to the advice of Stanley Marcus.

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no sale is good for Neiman-Marcus, unless it’s a good buy for the customer. Minding the Store, Stanley Marcus

The most poignant story of great service is turning down the sale of a fur coat to a young girl and her father. They were both angry and left, but at home her aunt said that Stanley Marcus was absolutely right and she needed to go back say sorry and get whatever he said was the right purchase for the girl.

Then years later as this girl was getting married she bought the coat she originally wanted along with many other things and was a regular customer because she was assured that she’d get proper advice without thought to how much money the store would make.

Saying no to business is a skill a leader needs to learn and when you do you’ll really be serving your customers well and they won’t help but tell others about how awesome you are.

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Of course maybe you’re feeling a bit lost and before you can really dig back in to becoming a better leader you need some good reading to help you through life’s ups and downs.

Featured photo credit: mrhayata via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 4, 2020

10 Best Task List Apps to Boost Productivity in 2020

10 Best Task List Apps to Boost Productivity in 2020

Organizational drag is anything that eats up time and keeps people from getting things done in time. Companies that wish to boost productivity do so by creating more efficient processes.

This also applies to individuals, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. Whether you work alone or as part of a team, it is important to use the right tools to boost productivity, and having an accessible and easily manageable task list can go a long way.

Here is a list of the top ten productivity apps that you can use to achieve more.

1. ToDoist

    ToDoist is an awesome to-do task list app that is used by over 10 million people. To use the app, you just have to write down all the activities that you plan to do. The software will then interpret these activities and categorize the tasks accordingly.

    For instance, if you create a task to go for lunch at noon with a friend, the app will automatically categorize this task as a meeting and will send you a reminder at the right time.

    However, this app is more than a personal activity planner. You can use it to plan activities for the entire team. It is also good for planning entire projects, discussing details about the project, and monitoring the deadlines.

    The basic functionality is free, but you can unlock premium features for $36 or $60 a year for full access.

    Available on iOS and Android

    2. monday.com

      This productivity app lets you manage your workflows and tasks. It is a great tool for creating a task list and helping you have a clear view of your work and the status of each task.

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      The app is a bit similar to a spreadsheet. However, it looks much nicer, and it allows you to toggle between multiple views. It gives you alerts and notifications, and it allows you to attach files as well as communicate with colleagues.

      The features of Monday.com include a task board that can be customized to manage due date, hours spent, task status, and much more. Users can upload and attach files, make comments, mention members of their team, and more. It can also be integrated into Google Drive, Slack, GitHub, Jira, Dropbox, and many other platforms.

      If you have problems setting it up, you can contact the customer via email or phone.

      Available on iOS and Android

      3. CloudApp

        CloudApp is a great app for boosting productivity. It offers highly intuitive communication, which can help you save up to 56 hours a week. Your only problem will be deciding how you can utilize all the extra time.

        Whether you are talking with a customer, colleague, or client, this app has all the features you need. With GIFs, screenshots, and image annotation, you no longer have to write lengthy emails. Instead, you can show people what you want them to do.

        The app has over 3 million users. It has proven quite reliable when it comes to helping users to boost productivity. You can opt for the free version or you can opt for a $9 a month upgrade to access premium features.

        Available on iOS

        4. Quip

          If you are working closely with members of your team, Quip is a great app for team activities. The platform combines spreadsheets, documents, slides, and chat. Its main strength is that it comes with a suite of Live Apps. You can use them to increase the functionality of Quip.

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          Moreover, you will waste less time by being able to streamline the use of various tools. Quip is one of the most adaptable productivity apps in the world.

          There are options to use connected tools to track time, manage work, and much more. Some of the integrations of Quip are Dropbox, Github, Slack, Salesforce, and much more. The app costs just $30 a month for 5 users.

          Available on iOS and Android

          5. Trello

            Trello is an app that makes managing projects an easy task. This is made possible by the app’s Kanban philosophy. It is a visual and intuitive platform.

            Users can break huge tasks into small chunks, making it useful for creating a task list. This is made possible by creating cards for each task. The cards can be organized into different columns, which are representative of various stages of the project. Once a task is complete, a card is moved from one column to the next.

            The app is free but it comes with a premium plan with $9.99 a month.

            Available on iOS and Android

            6. Focus Keeper

              This app is perfect for those who wish to improve their work habits and minimize distractions while maintaining focus on current tasks. Focus Keeper is based on the Pomodoro technique. This method utilizes timeboxing to ensure each task is complete.

              This is more than a task list app. If you wish to understand how you work best, the app delivers a suite of tools that you can use to set up your workday. It tracks your hours, analyzes, checks interruptions, and much more. Some of the integrations of Focus Keeper are Trello, Asana, Todoist, Basecamp, Outlook, Google Keep, and many others.

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              The app costs $2.99 a month for those who wish to access premium features. It is accessible on Linux, iOS, Android, web, macOS, and Windows.

              Available on iOS and Android

              7. Quire

                This app is designed as a professional and personal to-do task list manager. The app has a very efficient and optimized design due to the developers’ philosophy on visual task management. It allows you to easily get updates and work with your teammates.

                The app also allows users to customize and choose templates based on their preferences. It is easy to use, but it helps you get things done. The app is currently free.

                Available on iOS and Android

                8. Asana

                  This Kanban-style app is quite popular. It helps you visually organize your tasks. With this app, you can set deadlines, tasks, assignees, and visualize your workflow. It is quite popular and used by many people.

                  The app features a sleek clutter-free design and comes with several integrations. As a result, it can be adapted to a wide range of projects. The app costs $9.99 a month.

                  Available on iOS and Android

                  9. Toggl

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                    You can use this simple time tracker to help boost your team’s productivity. It works on different devices across several platforms, and it comes with numerous friendly reminders to ensure that you remember to keep it on. It usually sends you a report once you complete a task to help you make improvements next time.

                    The app is free and those who wish to access premium features pay $9 a month.

                    Available on iOS and Android

                    10. Omni Focus

                      This app is considered the gold standard of the to-do apps. Omni Focus delivers a huge number of features that can be used to sort, prioritize, and plan tasks. It features several ways to categorize tasks such as location, energy needed, and priority.

                      It is only available on Apple devices and it costs $39.99 for the standard package.

                      Available on iOS

                      Summary

                      All the apps above are great for boosting productivity. However, you will need to pick one that best suits your needs. Try a number of them out before you decide to settle on one.

                      More Tools for Productivity

                      Featured photo credit: Bram Naus via unsplash.com

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