The Internet is a gold field when it comes to amazing tools that increase the productivity of your business. The best part, most offer free plans that are jammed packed with great features. In this article we are going to look at some of the best available and ones that SevenDev personally uses as part of our project workflows.
If you are a looking for the best bang for your buck work management tool, look no further than Asana. Asana lets teams stay organised and keep track of projects using collaborative task management tools. The basic (free) plan offers the following features:
- Collaborate with up to 15 team members
- Task creation and allocation with due dates
- Client and project management
- Board view of tasks
- List view of tasks
- Calender view of tasks
- Integration with third-party apps
If you are wanting more features then paid plans start at $11.99 a month per user.
How we use Asana
We have been using Asana in office for a really long time and it is an important part of our daily workflow. All tasks needed to complete client work are added and assigned between the design and development teams. Asana is also integrated with our email platform so as requests come through from our wonderful clients, we can push it straight to Asana with a click of a button. This ensures important tasks don't get missed or unanswered.
You can learn more about Asana by clicking on the following link: https://asana.com/
Notion is the ultimate web application in our eyes and could be a valuable assets to any business. It is an all-in-one workspace and can pretty much do anything in terms of adding and sorting data. Want to track tasks? sure it can do that. Want to create a knowledge base of articles? Easy. What to create a database of all your clients and create your own CRM? Yep, it can do that too. It is difficult to explain everything that Notion can do as it does so much. The creators proudly proclaim their application can replace Google Docs, Evernote, GitHub Wiki, Confluence, Trello, Asana, Jira, Google Sheets and Airtable.
The free plan gives you the ability to create any type of data you like however you can only create 1000 blocks of storage. A block is a single piece content you add to a page. If you think 1000 isn't enough than you can get unlimited for a insanely low $4 per month. Notion also has a native mobile, Mac and Windows app to quickly add and update your information without worrying about a web browser.
How we use Notion
SevenDev uses Notion as a content gathering tool. For example, every blog post we write we gather material, images and other media assets. We use Notion to organise that data and in return it helps us write the blog posts you see on our website. You will even find our big boss using Notion to manage his race car build when he has free time.
You can learn more about Notion by clicking on the following link: https://www.notion.so/
If you work in a service industry that bills by the hour, than you are going to love Toggl. It is a simple, yet powerful time tracking tool for professionals and offers a great free plan. The application allows you to manage clients and projects and offers 2 modes for time tracking, manual and timer. The built-in reporting tools then allow you to easily produce beautiful exports that can provided to your client when requesting payment.
As a business owner, Toggl allows you to create teams where you can observe staff time allocation and help you identify where time is being lost in your business processes.
How we use Toggl
Every piece of work that we do is tracked through Toggl. It is how we know what to bill our clients and is a important tool for helping us quote accurately for future projects. If requested, we can then provide a time sheet to clients for their personal records.
You can learn more about Toggl by clicking on the following link: https://toggl.com/
Lets face the facts, meetings take up a lot of time and often it is un-billable time. Spending hours driving to meetings in peak hour traffic is not a good use of time. Zoom helps eliminate this by providing stable and powerful video conferencing from the comfort of your computer. Now, some meetings should always be in person but Zoom is great if you need to organise regular project update meetings that only run for 30 minutes.
The free plan has some great features but does have the limitation of 40 minutes on group meetings. If the time limitation isn't a deterrent than you will be able to make the most of the following:
- Host up to 100 participants
- Unlimited 1 to 1 meetings
- Unlimited number of meetings
- Video conferencing features
- Web conferencing features
- Group collaboration features
How we use Zoom
Zoom is a critical tool for our daily work practices. Our clients are located all over the country and Zoom allow us to hold regular meetings whilst still keeping it personal and professional. It also saves us and our clients a lot of time by eliminating travel time as well as the associated costs.
You can learn more about Zoom by clicking on the following link: https://zoom.us/
The last application on our list is Dropbox and you have probably heard of it before. Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage services available on the Internet. Among its competitors include Google Drive, Rackspace and Box. The free plan only gives you a limited 2GB of storage but the functionality and capability of Dropbox outperforms most other storage services available. Dropbox has amazing syncing capabilities which allows you to move files between multiple devices and manage files exactly how you would using an operating system. Open and edit files directly from your synced folder and have the files automatically transfer to the cloud on save. Dropbox also gives you ability to share files between other account and non-account holders.
How we use Dropbox
Dropbox is our backup solution for all business documents and files. We keep original versions of our resources locally on computers and then sync everything to our Dropbox account in case things go pear shaped. If we lose a file then we can easily grab a new copy of it using the Dropbox history feature.
You can learn more about Dropbox by clicking on the following link: https://www.dropbox.com/
Well that wraps on our list. These are 5 tools we use in office everyday to keep our teams working as productively as possible. The free accounts are more than enough to get you started and if you out grow it, have comfort knowing there are plenty of extras you can take advantage of in the paid plans.