If we’ve noticed anything that the startups that have successfully scaled out from tekMountain all have in common, it’s their organization. Don’t get us wrong—a company lives and dies by its product. But a lot of products don’t get the funding and exposure they deserve, and this all starts with inefficient daily operations and communications.
From document sharing to task lists to project management, there’s a whole universe of professional apps out there to help turn your startup into a well-oiled machine. Below, we’ve listed 4 very effective to help your company finally turn the corner on optimizing your time and resources.
Here’s how to turn a napkin diagram into an official company document. From the same company that brought you the popular notebook app Evernote, Scannable turns your mobile device into a multi-function document scanner with incredible ease of use. Whether you’re holding the document in your hand or you’ve laid it on a surface, the app will use your mobile camera to automatically determine the document’s borders, then take a pic of it that cuts out all background. You can then:
- Email it
- Text message it
- Share it on social media
- Sync it with your Evernote account
- Upload it to storage apps like Google Drive or Dropbox
- Save it to your camera roll
Pretty much wherever you need the document to land, it’ll get there. And that’s not the only function. You can also sync your LinkedIn account to your Scannable app so that, whenever you receive a business card, you can scan it so that the app will extract all pertinent info (name, title, company, etc.). The app will then link this card scan with the person’s actual LinkedIn profile (and you don’t even have to be connected via LinkedIn).
This chat app on steroids makes email look as outdated as snail mail. Slack has emerged as the office communication tool par excellence, as it serves as an all-in-one platform for task communication, brainstorming, file sharing, community bulletin board, and more. You can:
- Create public and private threads (“channels”) that function as real-time group chats
- Share photos and files of all types
- Send direct messages
And Slack has wisely made their app available for integrating with a score of bots and other apps. For instance, your business could add To-do bot so that, instead of a post-meeting follow-up email, new tasks can be added to an employee’s existing to-do list. Or if you use Google Hangouts, you can create a link within a Slack thread that will send the invitee to a hangout (still within the app), complete with Slack control panel on the side of the window.
At tekMountain, we use Slack to connect our 200+ members with an average of 600 messages exchanged in a month’s time. Slack provides us the perfect balance of business and play, too, as we often schedule off-the-clock fun like group surf sessions at the beach.
Take a moment to tally the number of minutes you spend not working on work tasks each day. Now multiply that number by 240 days (or so). You just calculated the amount of time you waste at work each year.
It’s a good thing productivity apps don’t get much easier than RescueTime. Running in the background of your computer or mobile device, this app tracks all your time spent on websites and apps. Through activity reports you’ll see where and how you’re wasting your time, whether it’s distracting yourself with social media and irrelevant websites, or something more subtle like taking twice the time needed to perform a particular task. Through RescueTime, you can:
- Create alerts that show once you’ve spent a certain amount of time performing an activity
- Rate each tasks on a scale 5-point scale of very productive, productive, neutral, unproductive, very unproductive
- Block distracting websites for a manually set period of time
- Set weekly goals (ex: Spend X amount of time on Task A or Spend less than Y amount of time on unproductive tasks)
Of course, as with any data-driven app, what you do with the data determines the effectiveness of the app. Feed your inner geek!
Like most project-management apps, with Asana you can create tasks, organize them into lists/projects, search for tasks by name, and add tags to tasks in order to group them accordingly within a particular project. Where Asana comes into its own is the ease with which you can create tasks on-the-fly, as well as its interactive visualization calendar.
Not only can you create or view tasks for yourself and others, but you can also
- create tasks via email, eliminating unnecessary back-and-forth to confirm the task isn’t buried
- track tasks you assign as via the assigned person’s “My Tasks” list
- map out every step of a particular task/project via a visualization calendar that’ll let you and your team members know how far along everyone is, which also helps to recognize and anticipate holes in planning.
Like Slack, Asana allows for integration with a variety of third-party apps, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Slack, Gmail, and more.
Full Speed Ahead
At tekMountain, one of the nation’s premiere innovation and entrepreneurial centers, we’ve helped startup after startup scale out from pipe dream to profitable business. Thanks to our vast network of investors and mentors, we offer our startups the advice they seek and the ability to raise money to put their ideas into action. And we know that something as seemingly mundane as task management and file sharing should hardly be taken for granted. That’s why we keep up on all the latest professional apps helping to revolutionize the 21st-century office space.
Contact tekMountain today to learn more about the latest and greatest tech that can help your startup.