No one can dispute the countless benefits technology has brought us. Tech has allowed us to connect, perform, improve, and leverage our resources beyond what was once imaginable.
If you’re an office manager and you’re not taking advantage of one of the hundreds of management apps and productivity tools out there, you’re definitely missing out!
Keeping on top of all your roles is clearly a massive task that takes a lot of work and time. Thankfully, every task comes with a tool that will help carry the load and make it easier to manage.
To help you pinpoint the essential tools for your workflow, we have listed 24 of our favorite software tools that will skyrocket your productivity!
Let’s dive straight into the list…
Project Management Tools
A daily to-do list might suffice for simple tasks but if you’re an office manager, you’re probably managing multiple projects with many tasks assigned to each one. You need a platform to keep track of everything that is happening.
When you want to keep your team on top of projects and deadlines, the most important thing you need is an efficient project management tool. Project management tools are aids to assist you and your team to effectively organize work and manage projects and tasks.
In the best of times, it allows you to manage your team’s workload across all your projects. You know at-a-glance if the right resources have the right amount of work. It can keep your workflow organized, ensure tasks are completed on time, and the workload is appropriately distributed for optimal time management.
So whether you’re managing large projects full of interdependent tasks or simply trying to build a repeatable process for your day-to-day work, life will be much simpler if you use project management tools. Here are a few of the best project management tools to choose from:
Among workflow tools, Trello is perhaps the most comprehensive. Users can design boards as frameworks for any kind of process, and the software offers a great deal of functionality at the card level — i.e., file attachments, comments, assign collaborators, and so on…
If you or your team need to start a new project, just create a new board. If you often work with the same cast of characters, you can organize them into a team and invite them to a board with one click.
Monday.com is an award-winning project management platform created for agile teams. This software solution syncs all project data ranging from task details to team discussions in one convenient interface. This way, it is easier for you to keep everyone on the same page.
It also includes personal and public boards for project organization. They can even create smart notifications for each task, tag team members when necessary, as well as set deadlines for time-sensitive assignments. Furthermore, the platform offers built-in communication tools as well as knowledge bases for better collaboration.
Clearly, this tool can definitely help boost your overall productivity!
Just like the two project management tools mentioned above, Asana has also one of the best interfaces around when it comes to organizing your to-do-list. Not only does Asana make creating and managing tasks exceptionally easy, but it also makes sharing to-do lists with your colleagues a breeze!
Each to-do list functions as its own project, with tasks listed underneath the project hierarchy. At the task level, you can create sub-tasks, define each task with a category tag for easy searching, and attach files.
With a strong selection of features, including file sharing and communication, Basecamp can be used as an all-in-one replacement for tools such as the abovementioned.
This tool is good for sharing files such as audio and videos between team members and allows you to conduct group chats on a per-project basis. Aside from that, its to-do list allows you to create tasks, assign them to your team members, add due dates and notes and specify people to be notified when a task is completed.
Overall, using this tool can help you skyrocket your productivity– you’ll love that it gets work done without creating more work for yourself in the process.
Time Tracking Tools
Productivity tools are ultimately about lost time and their equivalent in gold. So, it makes sense to consider using time tracking tools for your operations.
In a nutshell, these applications will allow you to measure the number of minutes or hours that employees spend on particular tasks. This way, you can deter them from procrastinating as well as ensure that no productive time is wasted on unofficial tasks. In addition, it is great for when you need to find the best metric on how to measure productivity or measure the hours worked.
Below are some of our favorite time tracking apps:
Timely is a fully automatic time tracking tool for all types of teams. Using this, you can see how each member of your team spends time working on a project. This ensures that you never spend ridiculous amounts of time trying to track time manually.
The tool tracks activity across all your devices while you work and creates fully-representative timesheets for you. The tool also captures hidden billable hours like travel, client calls, daily digital communication and overrunning meetings.
TimeCamp is a cloud-based time tracking tool designed for freelancers and teams. Key features include a stopwatch timer, graphical timesheets, the ability to set flexible rates (e.g., per project, category, or user), differentiation between billable and non-billable hours, invoicing, reporting and analytics, and employee monitoring.
So if you need to manage a team’s hours worked but you also need to run your business and focus on tasks where you excel, TimeCamp is an ideal time tracking tool. It doesn’t require any special knowledge to get started; it makes tracking your team’s time simple.
Wrike is a real-time work management software that is great for product development and engineering teams as well as marketing and creative teams. This can also be used as a time tracking tool that lets you organize everything you need to complete your project in one spot.
You can break big goals into manageable tasks, attach files, and set due dates. Use this tool to add any task into multiple folders or projects and create any combination of folder structures.
Further, the Live editing feature lets you work collaboratively and see everyone’s changes in real-time. Wrike allows you to upload and edit documents without taking the trouble of saving attachments to your computer.
Team Communication Tools
Communication is the key to success. In fact, studies show that businesses can improve employee efficiency through effective communication.
This is why having communication tools at your disposal is crucial. Using this, you can facilitate conversations among employees in a secure environment. It allows them to relay information faster as well as discuss work matters quicker. Whether they want to use the app, get on a call, live chat, email, or video conferencing, these tools can surely support it!
So instead of sending a new email to your team every time there’s a new idea for your project, wouldn’t it be better to have all conversations about each project in a single dedicated (and searchable) place?
Here a few tools to help you and your team:
Slack allows you to create custom conversation channels based on whatever parameters are most important to you. Project brainstorming sessions, vital spreadsheet and image files, event announcements: all can live under Slack’s appreciably vast umbrella.
This tool can be used in your browser, as a desktop app, or as a mobile app—so you know you’ll always have access to updates and your project communication. You can also have a channel for the entire team and another for a specific project that combines the efforts of members from multiple teams.
All in all, Slack helps save time, specifically that which you’d otherwise spend trawling through endless emails.
Similar to Slack, Flowdock is a chat-based communication and project management tool that brings all of your conversations, work items, and tools into a single place.
It could be a great replacement for email, with a simple interface that practically takes seconds to get used to. With more than 35 integrations, Flowdock allows your organization to sneak peek in literally every communication pattern and to make the most of your team’s efforts to enhance overall productivity.
RingCentral is a cloud phone system that supports different communication options ranging from video conferencing and audio calls to business SMS and internet faxing. It also includes supplementary tools like auto-receptionists, call monitoring, call screening, and built-in directories so you don’t need separate systems for them.
Aside from its comprehensive set of functionalities, RingCentral is great for productivity is its accessibility. That is to say, as the platform is cloud-based, you can easily use it while working offsite.
GoToMeeting is an online video conferencing software that allows users to schedule meetings and share screens. It’s one of the most popular video tools with millions of users.
GoToMeeting definitely fits that bill. The interface, both on the web version and desktop app, make hosting video conferences with your team an easy proposition. If your organization doesn’t have an on-staff IT team that can help you set up and run video conferences each time you want to host a meeting, this tool can truly make your life easier!
Documents, be it physical or digital, are part of any office manager’s day-to-day job. Chances are, you have a bunch of them piled up on your desk or sitting on your desktop right now. That’s why file-sharing tools are a must-have for you!
These tools make it easy to store, send, and share files with multiple people in your office. You no longer have to send large attachments in emails, which take a long time to download.
Most of the tools below let you store documents securely in one place and anybody in your office who has been granted access can view the files. They can upload files to one location and it will be synced with everybody else’s computer.
The benefit of this is that they can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection. It’s especially useful if you hire remote workers and freelancers. Below are some of the most useful file-sharing tools:
Dropbox has been the gold standard for file sharing and storage for a while now. Another giant in the file-sharing space, Dropbox offers cloud storage to keep all your files in one place. It also offers desktop clients and mobile apps to keep all your files in sync and within reach.
This too has become a crowd favorite due to its intuitive and simple design, hassle-free synchronization between desktop, cloud, and mobile, and reliable servers. You can also share necessary files with non-Dropbox users by creating a link to a file or folder. Users can then use the link to preview the contents through their browsers.
Google Drive is Google’s cloud storage service where you can store your documents, files, audio, videos- basically anything. You can access your files stored in Google Drive from anywhere and from any device.
Additionally, Google Drive offers 15GB of free cloud storage to store all your documents, spreadsheets, and media files but you can always upgrade in case you need more. It also offers quite robust and handy smartphone apps for its entire office suite so that you can work from anywhere, anytime!
Microsoft’s answer to GoogleDrive is OneDrive— a safe and secure cloud storage service. Just like the previous two, this tool also allows you to save files and photos and get them from any device, anywhere.
Microsoft provides secure ways to share and collaborate on content with your staff and coworkers, both inside and outside your organization, thereby improving productivity and efficiency.
OneDrive is included with Office 365 and thus, enables you to seamlessly co-author Office documents across the browser, mobile, and desktop apps. You can even make edits to your files offline and Microsoft automatically uploads the changes next time you connect.
This tool is another file sharing service but catered more towards team collaboration than individual sharing. Hightail works on the premise of something they called “Spaces” which allows your team members to share files like videos and images with one another and collaborate.
Hightail makes it very easy for you and your employees to add files to your platform; Whether you prefer to select files, drag, and drop or import content from other services like Dropbox or Google Drive, it makes it easy to upload and share your work.
If your organization deals with customers and clients day-in and day-out, CRM software is your best friend!
Customer relationship management or CRM software could very well be the ultimate productivity tool in your organization. CRMs allow you to maximize your interactions with leads and existing clientele to yield better sales and increase retention.
Using these tools, you and your team members can treat each customer like a VIP as it organizes their details and even previous transactions in one hub. The biggest draw of CRM software is that it allows you to categorize customers according to their expectations. Plus, these are often able to work with multiple third-party integrations to ensure seamless interactions across channels.
Below are some of our most recommended CRM software:
Zoho includes the full range of CRM functionality, with multichannel tools for process, pipeline, and team management as well as sales and marketing automation. Specifically, with the $12 per month Standard plan, you’ll receive email insights, workflow conversion, custom reports and dashboards, and more.
Overall, if you’re looking for a low-cost or even free CRM software to help you and your team members, there’s no doubt that Zoho is a top choice! The free edition also has CRM essentials like lead generation, documents, and mobile apps to accommodate you.
HubSpot is one of the oldest marketing CRMs. It is a beautifully designed, intuitive marketing automation software that comes with a completely free CRM solution. The software helps salespeople and other client-centric workers to effectively manage their customer relationships.
The platform comes with everything your organization needs, without any added complexities of tricky features that you probably don’t need right now. Through pipeline management, you and your team can keep track of all your deals and never let anything slip through the cracks.
Similar to Zoho CRM, Insightly is a great, affordable option to help you boost workflow productivity. With their base plan, your team will be able to manage your customer contacts, sales, and projects in one place.
Insightly is known for its project management focus as well as the usability of its interface. Although the free, two-user plan includes functionality for project, contact, task management, sales pipeline tracking, and bulk email campaigns, their paid plans further extend your capabilities.
Agile CRM is also a great tool to boost office productivity especially in handling customer relationships. Agile has covered every tiny feature that your team can use starting from document signing to marketing automation.
The elaborate suite of features is designed to fit perfectly with any kind of industry your business belongs to. These features range from basic contact management to more enhanced marketing automation features, and much more!
In a fast-paced society, plans are constantly changing. Meetings are rearranged and parties are rescheduled and some appointments are canceled. To avoid overseeing your meetings, deadlines, resources, progress, and more, a calendar app or tool is your best friend.
As opposed to scratching out or erasing plans in the heavy paper planner that weighs down your bag consider a digital calendar tool. Using this, you can sync a calendar across any operating system and even set up communal calendars with your team members.
Here are some tools that can be particularly helpful for keeping your calendar in order, and they’re all free:
Out of the free calendar management tools available, Google Calendar is one of the most popular. That’s because so many project teams already use Gmail, making the native calendar app one that’s integrated and easy to access.
Google Calendar allows for easy calendar availability sharing, which makes it a great choice for things like scheduling kickoff meetings or dropping important milestones on everyone’s calendars. This tool’s customizable event notifications also mean that your team members can be reminded of those upcoming meetings or commitments.
This productivity app creates one unified place for your tasks, goals, reminders, and schedule. A rich variety of reminders help you stay on top of your agenda, to-do’s, and goals as an office manager. The calendar shines on mobile devices, where it makes use of the small screen with grace and poise.
All in all, Any.do’s calendar will help you to stay organized, such as location-based reminders, a notification that reminds you to preview what’s on your agenda at the beginning of each day, and the ability to add in travel time to any notification before an event. It’s the app to choose if you need a lot of help staying organized with your day!
Doodle is a web-based scheduling tool that promises to eliminate the hassle of organizing meetings via email or phone. You set up the meeting details, include however many time options you wish, and invite others via email to respond to the poll.
Moreover, Doodle is probably the most aesthetically bare and stripped-down option available on this list. Its features and functions are limited, but it is good for creating a schedule with which your clients and/or employees can interact.
Just like Doodle, Calendly is also a meeting scheduler app. Calendly lets other people schedule meetings with you by showing them your availability and offering them different types of appointments they can create. It’s an ideal app for you if you get a lot of meeting requests and you need a simple but clear reply.
Calendly syncs all the confirmed appointments to your calendar and offers to create an event on your invitees’ calendars as well. There are tools for setting up an automatic reminder email to attendees, too.
While Calendly works well for scheduling meetings with individuals or your team members, its custom events and outgoing links make it ideal for connecting with external clients, customers, and colleagues.
Bonus Tip For Productivity
Among all the tools we’ve mentioned above, this one is probably the most important: If you want to improve office productivity, consider providing healthy snacks for your team members!
Because in the hustle and bustle of the office, it’s difficult to manage our time to take a pause and grab healthy food that we need for energy. For instance, employees without access to a variety of snacks at the office, leave work to go grab a snack outside. By simply offering and promoting healthy office snacks, you can change the vibe that courses through the workplace.
Your team members can simply zip into the break room and pick their favorite treat. It is clear that this means people spend more time in the office than they otherwise would. Therefore, you help your team boost their productivity! Plus, it definitely wouldn’t look bad on your part to be the one who started getting snacks delivered to the office!
So get your team some healthy snacks! The expense will more than pay for itself with happier, more productive employees who are fully equipped to get the job done.
Still up in the air about it? Here are 7 reasons why you should provide healthy snacks to improve your employees’ overall health, well-being, and productivity!
As an office manager, you have a very important responsibility to keep everything ticking so your team can perform at their best. While it may be tough to juggle a little bit of everything, using effective tools we’ve mentioned above can save you a lot of time and trouble– making it easier to fulfill your responsibilities and get the office organized.
So there you have it– some of the best productivity tools that can make your life a breeze! What about you? What is your favorite productivity tool?
Also, Make sure to share this article with anyone you think could use it!
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