Productivity and Software-Does your Software aid or Hinder Your Efforts?

Are you are thinking about onboarding a software tool to help you with your work schedule and perhaps assist with streamlining your collaborative efforts with team members? If the answer is yes, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using such software. Here are some things to consider before choosing. We know the story, we find a great software tool/app and we think it’s going to do wonders for our lives only to find out that 1. it is way too labor intensive to implement and maintain and 2. The most beneficial features of said software/app are only offered if you buy a subscription or in-app purchases.

Implementing software and or apps into your work life is often times an investment in money but also in your time. The time you need to research the various options and finally the time you spend on implementing your chosen software/app. With that being said you want to ensure you are happy with your decision. Not all products require you to purchase them. Some products offer free options and of course, it all depends on the needs of your business as well as user preferences.

Here is a list of productivity software and apps for your consideration.

  1. Zoho– Workplace: this product contains a suite of applications to help you plan, organize and collaborate with your team. They offer a “Forever Free Plan” for up to five users (5GB/user) or a “Pick a Plan as You Grow” which provides plans starting at $3/user. Zoho offers service options for finance, sales, marketing, email and project management to name a few. There is an additional cost for Zoho One licenses for all employees using the software starting at $30/month/user. You can get a free 15-day trial on the Professional Plan.
  2. this software is a great option for anyone who works best with visual presentations. The product designs a workflow plan that allows for color coding Their tagline says it all, “Easy, visual, intuitive“. The user gets to choose from 22 templates to customize. These templates are structured around things like daily task management, client management, team management to event scheduling. This product is a streamlined service offering the ability to plan, track and collaborate all within this one tool. integrates with some other great tools as well some of which include but are not limited to Google Drive/Calendar, Slack, Dropbox, and Excel. Pricing for this software starts at $23/month for the basic plan and increases to $165/month for 25 users and so on. If you like the look of “post-it note”, color-coordinated visuals than you will like the style of this software in creating a visual workflow. You also get a free 14-day trial for this product.
  3. Quip: This software focuses on one place for all strategy, providing the opportunity for group chats right within the “hub” of your created “living documents“. The dashboard of this software has controls to the left side of the panel such as updates, folders, connected apps, and team member chats. The main body of the panel shows the folders that contain the “living documents”, which are all the projects/files you and your team members are working/collaborating on. This software feels very similar to the next product we will discuss, Google Docs. The pricing for Quip is $30/month for the first five team members and $10/month for each additional user. They promote a unique trial offer based on activity (usage), not time.
  4. Google Docs: This product is good for collaborating specifically on documents. However, it does offer some tools for team interaction through email, shared calendar, Hangouts and something they call “Currents“, a company-wide message posting center that enables team members to collaborate on projects and other team-relevant topics. Google Docs is more of a direct tool for collaboration on in-progress documents, It is not necessarily useful for creating a workflow system or schedule for you and your team members. Pricing for the G-Suite product starts at $6/user/month (Basic Plan) and goes to $25/user/month (Enterprise Plan) with a median option available for $12/user/month (Business Plan)

This list provides a starting point as you begin your product research for the best productivity software for your business needs. If you are more visually inclined would be a viable option for you. However, if you are simply looking for a way to streamline your collaborative efforts on document creation and editing than Google Docs can help you achieve this without taking too much space and time with additional components. It really boils down to personal preference when deciding what productivity software to go with. You may not have time constraints on this matter, but we are talking about productivity here so let’s face it time is money. The less time it takes us to fiddle with software implementation/setup the better. And of course, you need to enjoy the user experience of the software. You may like a streamlined presentation without a lot of visual noise to distract you, much like the layout of Quip, with its simple and straight dashboard of folders to click on.

Do you already use productivity software that you love? If so we would be interested in hearing what it is and why you think its a good product.

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