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10 Free Apps Every Entrepreneur Should Have

10 Free Apps Every Entrepreneur Should Have

Managing your own company shouldn’t be that hard when you can have apps that can make your life easier. From a time tracking app to a cloud data integration software, these tools will help you run your business smoothly and efficiently without spending a cent. Here’s a list of free apps every entrepreneur should have.

1. TMetric

Whether you have a small business or a big company, this simple time tracking app is your new partner in managing projects and employees. TMetric works as an activity timer, which you can view in timeline mode, to better manage and analyze your everyday activities. For a business owner or team manager, it’s the perfect tool to monitor your employees or team members’ productivity and task status. A team leader can view what websites and applications a project member visited during a task using the desktop version of TMetric. It can easily be integrated with popular project management platforms like Jira, RedMine, Asana, Trello, Basecamp, and more. The user friendliness of this time tracking software is its best feature, aside from the fact that it’s totally free. Adding new tasks or breaks is very straightforward. No fancy, complicated buttons or options, just a clean, organized dashboard of your work timeline. Currently, TMetric doesn’t have a paid premium version so you can enjoy its full features at zero cost.

tmetric app 01

    tmetric app 02

      Here’s a screenshot of Tmetric’s integration with Jira software:

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      Jira Integration

        2. Taskworld

        Are you an entrepreneur who has a thing for graphs and charts? Then you will definitely like Taskworld. Visualize your task status in a nice, sleek graph, or critical areas in a project highlighted on a neat bar chart. This is a virtual office for your business where people can create personal chat messages, create multiple workspaces, and add an unlimited number of members. Speaking of unlimited, you’ll also get an unlimited file storage to secure data sharing if you get the Enterprise version. Don’t worry, this is still free for a team of five people — perfect for startup owners working on a budget.

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          3. Boomerang

          Are you dealing with hundreds of emails everyday? There are two different kinds of emails: those that you need to drop everything and reply to hastily, and those that you can say, “Nah, maybe later.”

          Boomerang is a little plugin which basically allows you to remove non time-sensitive emails from your inbox until a specific date you set when they will be “boomeranged” back to your inbox. That explains the name. Boomerang can be synced with Gmail, Google Apps for Work, and Microsoft Outlook. It has real-time calendar, email scheduling, follow-up reminders, and inbox pause. Boomerang Basic is free and includes 10 message credits per month, reminders, response tracking, and clicks tracking.

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            4. Tasytt

            Hiring — just hearing this word is already exhausting. Aside from the tedious recruitment and interview process, you have to deal with paperworks and training. That’s where Tasytt enters the picture. It makes team member onboarding streamlined so you have more time managing your business. This app appeals to millennials and, in an age where everything is digital, Tasytt fits in nicely. It’s mobile, so you can fill out forms or access training materials on-the-go. They are launching a “freemium” version so register now.

            tasytt app

              5. ArmorText

              If you’re looking for complete control and privacy of your messages, be it on mobile or desktop, ArmorText is the perfect solution for that. It secures your data like an armor (thus the name) so you alone, or only your team if you’re using group messaging, can access it. The app features an integrated media library and encrypted file storage. It boasts zero provider access, meaning ArmorText never holds keys to decrypt, mine, or turn over your data. This app runs on various platforms so you can switch from your iOS phone to your desktop computer seamlessly.

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                6. EasilyDo

                Wouldn’t it be nice if you could manage everything with just a tap on your phone? Manage every email, shipment, meeting, even travelling with a tiny but powerful app called EasilyDo. It’s your personalized virtual assistant right from your pocket. The free version gives you access to more than 40 features and up to five new contacts every month. If you want a simple, fast, and organized email experience, then EasilyDo is for you.

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                  7. UpKeep

                  Asset management was a pain before UpKeep was introduced. It’s a tool that allows business owners to quickly and efficiently handle work order and task management for technicians who are in the field. OnKeep creates a seamless and smooth transaction between managers and technicians. They are mobile-first app so you can deal with your assets on the go. Who said enterprise software should be complicated? They offer unlimited requesters, vendor users, and work orders on their free version. They also have a built-in messaging and chat system, barcode scanners, and more!

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                    8. VARIDESK Standing Timer

                    Interested in staying active while managing your business? Burn calories while working. Yes, you read that right. The VARIDESK Standing Timer works like a charm in notifying you when it’s time to switch from a sitting to a standing position. Just set the number of minutes you would like to sit and stand and let the app handle the rest. You can monitor your progress each day using its sleek main user interface. To measure how many calories you burned, simply enter your weight and it will calculate how many calories you burned while standing.

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                    varidesk app

                      9. Stringify

                      If you know IFTTT, imagine that on steroids and you’ll have Stringify. As a business owner, you want everything in sync with you. Everything should keep up with you and not the other way around. Stringify redefines “internet of things.”

                      Here’s an example of automation from their site, “When I park my car in the city…Then Yelp me three great restaurants, tweet my location, and send me a notification of where I parked.” This easy drag and drop app can open the lights and play your jam as you walk inside your home. Imagine what else it can do.

                      stringify app

                        10. Skyvia

                        Data integration is inevitable in any company that uses computers. Skyvia Data Integration doesn’t need coding, special training, and it all happens in a cloud. Skyvia can be useful for easy data migration from one premise to cloud apps. It can keep your cloud apps (Salesforce, Quickbooks, Mailchmp, etc.) in sync for business process automation. You can easily import data to cloud applications and databases, then export it into a CSV file anytime, anywhere! If needed, you can make a copy of your cloud data and store it in relational databases for future analysis and reporting. All of these features are completely free for now.

                        skyvia app

                          Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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                          Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                          How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

                          How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

                          We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

                          So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

                          While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

                          Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

                          What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

                          How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

                          But what does being productive actually entail?

                          Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

                          Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

                          It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

                          Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

                          9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

                          1. Avoid Multitasking

                          Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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                          Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

                          If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

                          2. Turn off Notifications

                          According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

                          Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

                          The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

                          Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

                          3. Manage Interruptions

                          There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

                          Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

                          If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

                          By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

                          4. Eat the Frog

                          Mark Twain once famously said that:

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                          “if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

                          What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

                          We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

                          Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

                          5. Cut Down on Meetings

                          Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

                          You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

                          The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

                          But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

                          If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

                          6. Utilize Tools

                          Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

                          If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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                          And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

                          Some examples of tools that could be used:

                          Communication
                          • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
                          • Samepage for video conference software.
                          • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
                          Task Management
                          • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
                          • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
                          • Wekan for an open source option.
                          Database Management
                          Time Tracking
                          • Clockify for a free tracker.
                          • TMetric for workspace integrations.
                          • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

                          You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

                          7. Declutter and Organize

                          Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

                          Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

                          Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

                          Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

                          8. Take Breaks

                          Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

                          As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

                          Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

                          Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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                          9. Drink Water

                          Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

                          Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

                          Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

                          A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

                          If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

                          You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

                          The Bottom Line

                          The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

                          After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

                          In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

                          A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

                          Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

                          More About Boosting Productivity

                          Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

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