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Five productivity tools to start the year with a bang

By Alexandra Gavril - January 6, 2020

When you run your own small business, time is always an issue. You need to check and reply to customer emails and questions, redo that product page that just isn’t working, then schedule posts and engage with your audience on social media.

And what about that blog post that’s been on your to-do list for days?

If you often feel overwhelmed or like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done, we’re here to help.

In this post, that’ll take you about five to seven minutes to read, you’ll discover the best productivity tools that can help get you organised so that in 2020 you can get more done in less time.

1. Trello

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Trello is a highly visual, intuitively designed and popular tool for managing, organising and sharing everything from simple to-dos to major project management tasks.

If you’re not familiar with it or have not yet used it, you should. Plus, it’s very to use. You can create a big project (called “board” on Trello) such as a new online business and website, and then break it down into smaller chunks or tasks, which Trello calls “cards”.

You can then arrange those cards into different columns, which represent different phases of the project. You can set deadlines, add other team members to assign tasks to, send messages, add checklists and send messages.

As tasks get completed, you can easily drag cards from the to-do list to the completed column, for example. Of course, it’s up to you how you name your board, cards, tasks and everything else.

So if you’re having trouble getting organised and prioritising tasks, projects and goals, you should give Trello a chance.

We’re using it at 123 Reg as well and it’s one of our go-to tools to make sure we’re organised and can easily keep track of everything we need to do to deliver awesome, in-depth content and knowledge to our readers who are looking to get started or to grow their business online.

You can get some advice on how to make the most of Trello here.

2. Office 365

When you run your own business, work never stops. This means you need the right tools to make sure you can do what you need to do, when you need to do it, no matter where you are – on the tube, at a coffee shop or at the office.

This is where Office 365 comes in. It provides you with all the tools you need to get things done – from the usual office tools such as Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint to Skype for messaging and video conferencing, and OneDrive for storing all your important documents digitally.

Find out more about Office 365 and how it can help to simplify otherwise mundane and intricate tasks. Also read expert tips on how to get the most out of Office 365 and learn how it can help make your small business more productive.

3. Buffer

Social media is a business game changer. Never before have businesses had the fantastic opportunity to communicate, inform, and entertain customers like they do now on social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and more.

The problem is that keeping an active profile, engaging customers and attracting new ones, as well as replying to comments and complaints, takes time. So much time.

Fortunately, there are tools out there that make posting and replying to comments on social media much less time-consuming.

One such tool is Buffer. Buffer allows you to easily manage your brand’s social media presence from a single dashboard. It lets you create, schedule and track the performance of everything you share on the social channels you use to engage with your audience.

Scheduling is ultra-flexible, with the ability to set up different date and posting times for each of your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other accounts.

Thanks to its analytics service, you also get to track how well you’re doing at engaging your audience. You can look at things like number of clicks, likes, shares, comments, retweets and more. This allows you to see what’s working and what isn’t, and what you can do to improve.

If you need some help, this post shares some great tips and best practices on how to get started with creating and scheduling social media posts in advance.

4. Grammarly

If you run a small business, the chances are you’re a solopreneur or working with a handful of people. You might even be writing your own website content, blog posts, social media posts, replies to customers on social media or via email. If not all, then at least part of these writing tasks are your responsibility.

So then you know writing is hard and time-consuming. But if there’s one part of writing that you should never skip, that’s the editing part. Considering how challenging it is today to gain customers’ trust, you don’t want a few grammar mistakes to drive them away, thinking you’re not a legitimate business.

Grammarly is a tool that not only helps to make your writing clearer and mistake-free, but also saves you precious editing time. It saves you from misspellings, grammatical and punctuation mistakes, and other writing issues.

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All you need to do is to sign up for an account and install it and you’ll get correction suggestions as your write, whether you’re writing an email, a social media post, or drafting a blog post.

5. Pocket

How many times have you stumbled upon a great ad, video or article with useful tips on how to grow your business, only to forget where you saved or bookmarked it?

There are so many interesting things you find online every single day. And with a tool like Pocket you can save, organise and easily find what you need, when you need it, three or 30 days later. These don’t even need to be links as Pocket allows you to download content for offline viewing.

Wrapping up

Being productive means you get more time to get more done (or why not, to take some time for yourself to relax and recover). This is where productivity tools come in handy.

So if you want to be more organised and productive in 2020, try at least one of the tools recommended in this post. Hopefully, these will help to free up your schedule so you can use that time for yourself or for other important parts of growing your small business.

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