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Problems Keeping Up? 10 Apps to Make You Highly Organized

Problems Keeping Up? 10 Apps to Make You Highly Organized

It can be problematic to get organized and keep track of all the expenses and responsibilities. Sure, you can always write everything down, but there are more sophisticated and efficient methods to do all this. Today, you can use apps for various purposes, and they will help you organize, track your progress, and they even help you do your job or daily tasks more efficiently.

Of course, not every app is intended for this purpose, and even those that are can sometimes fail to live up to their words. Since this is the case, I have compiled a list of apps that I am using, or that I used at some point, in order to give you an idea of just how helpful some apps can be. Here are 10 apps that can help you get highly organized.

1. Clear

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    Clear is simple, but brilliant. It is a to-do list app, and it helps you keep up with all of your tasks. Basically, you create to-do lists and separate them into categories, in the order of which tasks you want to prioritize and which tasks can wait. The app will remind you of your duties and their urgency.

    It really simple and fun to play with, since it has a user-friendly interface and it is available for iOS, OS X, and Apple watch. So, if you plan to get a new iPhone make sure you get ‘Clear’ and put that gadget to a good use.

    2. Basecamp

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      If you work as a project manager, or if you want to get organized with people inside the same household, you can use Basecamp. Basecamp is great for creating projects, providing elaboration on what needs to be done, and for task distribution. It is also free to use for the first month or so, meaning that you can try it out and see if it works for you.

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      It also has a space called Campfires, where you can all communicate and collaborate whenever you are tackling a more complex project. It is overall a really easy and fun tool to use. Many small business owners opt for Basecamp, since it allows you to keep track of all the projects you have done in the past, so whenever you need something you can access it with ease.

      3. Toggl

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        This app is used for various types of time tracking, and there are two important things that the developers were able to pull off: they made it versatile for tracking just about anything and they made it amazingly simple. These are the two things that make Toggl such a valuable tool. It is as simple as typing in what you are doing at the moment, and when you are ready you just press the start button.

        When you are done you simply press stop and the time tracking halts. Additionally, Toggl allows users to get reports easily with its simple reporting interface. It is possible to report on basically anything you want. For example, if you tracked your work for some client, you can give them professional reports on the progress of your project without having to go through any extra steps or complicated procedures.

        4. Workflow

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          Workflow is an app designed for creating automation workflows in a visual fashion. You don’t need to know anything about URLs, as this app is all about drag and drop. It supports unlimited actions that you can include within a certain workflow. With this app, you can make your job so much easier, as it can be made simple or complicated if you prefer to use it that way.

          This app is great for iOS users who use a lot of different apps on their devices, as it bridges them and puts them all into one control line where you can perform actions without messy workarounds. If you rely on your mobile device a lot, this app will help you save time and be more efficient.

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          5. Dragon Dictation

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            Dragon Dictation is voice recognition app. This app can recognize your voice and do various different actions with it. It can transcribe it into text, you can perform actions on social networks, send messages etc. This is a great app that can help you perform multiple actions at the same time.

            In case you need your hands to be free for doing something else, while at the same time wanting to memorize your thoughts or remind someone of something important, Dragon Dictation is a perfect tool for you. You can tell the app to go through spreadsheets, reports or any other documents with a simple order. For busy people who need to save a lot of their time, this app is a godsend.

            6. Expensify

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              Tracking expenses can prove to be a difficult challenge for many of us. Especially if our job position requires creating expense reports for someone in our company. With it, you can take quick snapshots of any receipts or bills as soon as you receive them and this is how you will make sure that you don’t forget to add any expenses.

              It is possible to sort your reports any way you see fit, by names, email or something else and it doesn’t matter if that report is closed, open, processed or being approved. On top of being an excellent expense tracking app, it can also track your time spent on projects or the mileage you’ve traveled. It can be integrated with all of the best accounting programs to help you become an efficient business expert.

              7. Wunderlist

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                This is yet another to-do list app which can include notes, reminders and generally help you organize yourself properly each day so that you get everything done. There are so many similar apps like Wunderlist, but the fact that it comes so naturally and works without any glitch is the reason this app is on this list today.

                No matter if you are going for a quick visit to the grocery store, or you are planning a big birthday party, Wunderlist will help you stay on top of your to-dos. With Wunderlist you can create lists and share them with others if you are working on something together. Collaborating on tasks with Wunderlist is incredibly easy, as it has options for creating tasks, attaching files, leaving important comments and many other functions.

                8. Trello

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                  Trello is also a project management app that emphasizes visual use. This is a cloud-based software that offers a collaborative platform where you can manage various projects. It doesn’t matter if you want to use it for business or personal tasks, Trello can handle it. It works with cards which you can customize for ages. You simply drag and drop them where you like and add the information you need.

                  With Trello it is possible to take care of projects no matter what their size. This is an especially good project management tool for collaborating on projects where there are many sub-teams and sub-tasks that need to be differentiated. It has a “flag” feature that allows users to mark what is theirs, so that there are no confusions in handling tasks.

                  9. Pocket

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                    Pocket is an app that is used for quick bookmarking of things you would like to dedicate your attention to later. With its ability to sync with 500 other different apps, Pocket is truly amazing. For example, let’s say you are reading an article and someone interrupts you.

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                    Instead of searching for it again later when on your mobile phone, you can open it instantly, as Pocket will keep it synced. When you put something in your Pocket app, you can find it on all of the devices that are synced. Adding bookmarklet and saving pages is super simple, just two clicks required.

                    Pocket has some amazing features. For example, there are a lot of websites that offer good content, but it has horrifying visuals. Pocket has a feature that removes all the ads and sidebars and leaves your content naked for you to read undistracted.

                    10. Mindnode

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                      Ever heard of mind-mapping? It may sound like epic fantasy, but it’s a proven method for organizing information visually and brainstorming brand new ideas. The concept of long vertical lists has been removed and all the information is organized in a colored web. You start the whole process by inserting the general goal in the center of your screen. After that, you attach connections, add important notes and separate some smaller tasks that need to be done.

                      When you set up things this way, you will have an easier job in finding logical connections or figuring out some problematics that revolve around your idea. Furthermore, the visibility might show you something you haven’t seen before and helps you create better ideas.

                      Conclusion

                      These are some of the best apps for optimizing your organization. In my opinion, this is everything you need. However, you should make sure to learn to use them properly and avoid getting sucked into making your app usage counter-productive. A lot of people start overthinking and use some apps for tasks that they can complete without them. This creates clutter and time loss, and you should be careful that this doesn’t happen to you as well.

                      Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/NtXEet79qfI via pexels.com

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                      Aleksandar Ilic

                      Blogger, Social Media Butterfly, Guitarist

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                      Last Updated on January 6, 2021

                      14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

                      14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

                      Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

                      In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

                      For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

                      For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

                      Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

                      Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

                      Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

                      How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

                      Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

                      1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

                      Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

                      For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

                      2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

                      Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

                      Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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                      Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

                      3. Create a System

                      Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

                      This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

                      You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

                      Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

                      Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

                      4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

                      We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

                      If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

                      Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

                      Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

                      5. Use a Ratings Scale

                      Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

                      Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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                      It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

                      6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

                      This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

                      You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

                      You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

                      7. Offer Feedback Forms

                      Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

                      First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

                      Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

                      You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

                      8. Track Cost Effectiveness

                      This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

                      Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

                      Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

                      9. Use Self-Evaluations

                      Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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                      Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

                      10. Monitor Time Management

                      This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

                      Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

                        The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

                        While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

                        11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

                        We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

                        Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

                        For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

                        Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

                        Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

                        From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

                        12. Utilize Peer Feedback

                        This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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                        Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

                        Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

                        It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

                        13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

                        When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

                        Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

                        Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

                        14. Use an External Evaluator

                        Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

                        They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

                        While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

                        Final Thoughts

                        These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

                        The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

                        The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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                        Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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