Four time-saving tech tips for managers
For most managers, it seems as if there are never enough hours in the day.
Every time you cross something off your to-do list, another task comes along. As soon as one meeting ends, a request for another comes in. And even if you stay late to finally work your way through all of those unanswered emails, another 50 messages will be waiting for you by the time you get to the office the next morning.
Of course, to a large extent, this is just part of being a manager. It requires constant work to stay on top of things and make sure nothing slips through the cracks. Fortunately, software developers around the globe are making your job easier by developing increasingly powerful time-saving technology. Read on for our four top time-saving tech tips.
Use file sharing apps
Gone are the days when a colleague would send you a large file via email and you’d have to wait for 10 minutes for it download onto your computer. Or the days when, if you wanted to work on something over the weekend, you’d have to download it onto a flash drive and literally take it home with you. Then when you went back to work, you’d have to make sure all of your colleagues had the most recent version of the file in order to avoid confusion and errors.
Today, companies can store all of their digital data in in the cloud so it can be accessed from anywhere—effectively eliminating the need for transferring files via email or external drives. As Scott Beagrie points out in his HR Magazine article titled “Time-saving HR technology,” using cloud-based file sharing also offers the significant benefit of syncing files whenever they’ve been changed. Two of the best known apps that provide free options are Google Drive and DropBox.
Streamline projects with collaboration and project management software
Teams are no longer restricted to one office, one city, or even one continent. With team members in a variety of locations and working in different time zones, it’s critical to have one hub that serves as the nerve center of your project. There are a number of apps that provide robust collaboration and project management solutions. Basecamp is one of the best established apps and has been in use since 1999. Its current version, Basecamp 3, offers a list of useful features including to-do lists, message boards, direct messaging, scheduling, and file sharing. If you prefer Google, Google offers a good collection of robust apps for work, including Drive, Hangouts, shareable Calendars, Docs, Sheets, Forms, Slides, Sites, and more.
Reduce email with messaging apps
A 2012 survey by the McKinsey Global Institute estimated that U.S. workers spent 28 percent of their days writing, reading, or otherwise responding to email. That’s a lot of time to spend on a task that’s not necessarily always productive. As a result, many employers now use messaging apps so coworkers can communicate instantly. Microsoft’s OMessenger, Google Chat, Google Hangouts, and Slack are just a few of the most-used.
Cut the commute with online meetings
Virtual meetings aren’t just for teams in different countries anymore. Thanks to integration with mobile technology, everyone with a smartphone can participate in a virtual meeting—and that saves many business people hours in travel each week. Skype, now integrated with Microsoft, is the most-used app for virtual meetings. Even the free version allows you to add up to 25 people to your call. Other online meeting apps include GoToMeeting and Fuze.
Depending on your industry and job, there are of course other time-saving apps, for example for payroll, accounting, and even social media management. Spend some time researching which apps make the most amount of sense for you and select those that offer the most functionality.
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