01 Jun 2021
To say that it’s been a crazy year is an understatement. Throughout the previous months, workers have left their offices and created a new working spot at home, coronavirus numbers went up and down repeatedly, people cheered the confirmation of a vaccine and its rollout, paving a way to resume normality. In fact, several offices have started welcoming back its employees into their offices, whilst others chose to embrace the option to work from home. Irrelevant of what companies choose, business has to keep running smoothly. Therefore, it’s essential that the employees have the right tools at hand to help make work easier and manageable. We’ve all heard of Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Drive and how useful they are for the business operation, but there are others that can be equally beneficial.
Serene is an app that seeks to help you focus and avoid distractions, in order to achieve maximum productivity every day. Central to the app are two features that are backed by scientific studies: goal achieving and staying focused. Studies show that if you’ve got just one task to focus on, you’re more likely to be productive than if you had to multitask. Research also highlights how multitasking is bad for your brain. The app also blocks distracting websites, apps and silences your phone during your work hours. This is based on a study which showed that it takes an individual 23 minutes and 15 seconds to refocus after being distracted. It also has a timer so that you can set a time limit for yourself and gives you a motivation boost towards the end of each session. Serene is a free app for Mac.
It’s very easy to immerse yourself in a single task and forget about your other duties. Toggl is a time tracking app which points at how much time spend on tasks. The app originally wanted to help freelancers time their work more accurately so that they’d be able to able to bill correctly. It will also give you a report to identify how productive you’re being and how profitable your time is. Toggl runs on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Chrome and Firefox with plans starting from $9/month per user and business plans starting from $18/month per user.
This app helps arrange meetings, daily stand-ups and weekly team meetings. It plans out meetings and takes into consideration the various time zones that different people of the team may be in. 10to8 Meeting Scheduling Software integrates existing calendars into one to facilitate your planning, instead of you having to monitor all your calendars.
Its title gives the function away, doesn’t it? It’s very important to stay organised during your work and this app doesn’t only do so but also gives your bosses visibility into your progress. The interface is split in columns which you can set the tasks you’ve done, the ones you’re working on and the ones you’ve yet to do. It also allows you to create collective tasks for your whole team. There is an annual fee for the app’s use.
Slack improves communication within the team. It organises instant messaging into channels, which users can join or leave. This way, you won’t receive any notifications or messages that aren’t important to you. You can also set your status, so that your team knows if you can’t give an immediate reply and you can also set voice and video calls directly from within Slack. Similarly to Teams, you can share your screen to give your team a better understanding of what you’re talking about. Slack operates on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and the web and has a free version but also paid options from £5.25/month per user.