Best Business Apps

Alan Rasof Best Business AppsTechnology has proven both a blessing and a curse in today’s business world. While it has made getting information and communication lightyears easier, it has also proved an insufferable distraction, a time-suck, and an inefficient source of headaches and confusion about plans and deadlines. Email has been the main culprit of this epidemic, as teams routinely use emails in place of a phone call or face-to-face meetings in some cases, and in others, they use their emails as chat or IM services, thereby gunking up people’s inboxes for unnecessary two-word responses. If you’re looking for some apps to keep your team cohesive and on the same page besides email, here are some ideas for you.

 

Slack | If your team needs an organized chat service, Slack has been waiting for you. Unlike Skype, which was designed for personal and recreational use, Slack was designed with teams and businesses in mind. Within the app, which works both on desktop and on mobile, teams can relegate discussions to certain relevant “channels” and carry out private chats as well so that small discussions don’t take up valuable inbox space.

 

Trello | To keep your team all on the same page with the progress of certain activities, especially when there are lots of moving pieces that need to coalesce in the end, Trello will do the legwork for you. The app is organized into virtual piles of cards that each have to-do lists, color-coded member assignments, and ways to chart progress that everyone can access.

 

Boomerang for Gmail | When emails are necessary, it’s important for the sender to ensure they get a response from the recipient before moving forward. Boomerang installs directly into Gmail accounts to alert senders if their emails have gone unresponded to. That way, the sender can either resend the message or pick up the phone. Boomerang is invaluable for making email more efficient again.

 

When I Work | This app was designed to meet all your scheduling needs. Email chains, unread texts, and quickly-changing information are the bane of managers’ existence when trying to schedule workers for their shifts or for finding meetings times with clients. When I Work is a comprehensive platform that makes scheduling and communication easy as pie.

 

Toggl | Keeping track of time spent on a project or assignment has never been easier with Toggl. The site/chrome extension makes it simple for workers to track their labor and charge or adjust their time budgets accordingly. It’s transparent, and it lives right on the Chrome extension bar.

 

Investing in Networking

Networking is one of the most important professional skills you can learn that will continuously give benefits throughout your career and can give you more tools than any other investment regardless of what field you are in. Keep in mind, networking takes time and gratification does not come instantly. But, recognizing the rewards that come with networking will help you realize that it’s all worth it in the end. The following are just a few examples of why you should invest time into networking:

alan rasof photo of networking

First, networking enables you to build benefits that can last longer and have more meaning than money and career choices, it allows you to gain significant friendships. Having friends in your business is a vital and often overlooked aspect that results from networking. Working can get lonely, especially if you’re working behind a cubicle every day with only a computer screen to keep you company. But having an actual person who understands what you do is beneficial on both emotional and psychological levels. Relationships keep this world spinning, and having strong friendships associated with your job will not only motivate you, but make you happier and more eager to go to work each day.

Along with gaining friendships in your business niche, these people you have close ties with can offer mutual help when it comes to your career. Whether it is helping you reach for a promotion by giving you a great reputation and strong recommendations within your company, or helping you feel a sense of community involvement, friendships often result in assistance with your career. Not only can they help further your networking investments by introducing you to great people in your field, but they can help you find a way out of sticky situations by having your back when things go wrong and giving you a heads up on various information.

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Lastly, networking will provide you with a plethora of opportunities for you to excel as a professional. If you think that you’re not gaining any opportunities within your workplace, it’s probably time for you to focus on building your network. According to an article written by Chris Garrett entitled 5 Reasons You Should Invest Your Time in Networking:

“All the best opportunities are shared person to person in back channels. Everything from prime domain sales through to employment opportunities. If two people are equally qualified then it goes to who you know, like and trust. A lot of the time even when the person you like is less qualified,” (Garrett, 5 Reasons You Should Invest Your Time in Networking).

Networking won’t only give you new opportunities for you to get ahead in your career, but these opportunities can also pave the path for a happier career. You can accomplish more than you would ever think possible with the help of networking and meeting professionals that truly care and want to help you succeed.

To read more about why networking is worth your time, read Chris Garrett’s article here.