Don’t underestimate the value of the right digital tools. According to a survey by Aruba (part of Hewlett Packard), 74 percent of employees working in “fully-enabled digital workspaces” cited their job satisfaction as excellent or very good. The tools you choose and your team adopts can increase your productivity, collaboration, and communication.
But how do you know which tools are your team’s investment of time and resources? There are countless software services on the market to address production problems. In the marketing world alone, there are more than 8,000 SaaS companies offering tools for various tasks.
One option is to start with high-level categories and find the best tools there. Figure out your company’s pain points and implement digital solutions. Below are a few common problems that companies face and the best digital tools that solve them.
Marketing and Sales Tools
While there may be 8,000 (and counting) marketing tools available to you, your team only needs a solid few. To determine what to prioritize, address any issues you currently face. For example, do you need more analytical data? Is social media overwhelming? Is your sales team disorganized? If so, these tools can help.
- Hubspot: One of the biggest names in marketing, Hubspot offers a variety of sales, content management, and SEO tools for companies of different sizes. For those looking for a work-horse marketing platform—this is your best bet.
- KISSmetrics: This app boasts “enterprise-level features at an entry-level price” and caters to SaaS brands, eCommerce companies, and everyone in between. It’s especially useful for analytics and keyword research.
- Buffer: Consider this tool for social media management. You’ll save time by scheduling posts in advance and analyzing past performance.
Project Management Tools
If you feel overwhelmed by the number (and scale) of the projects on your list for the upcoming year, then it may be time to integrate a digital tool. Project management platforms will help you get organized and streamlined. While there are many options on the market, a few popular ones include:
- Basecamp: Made for remote workers, this tool incorporates to-do lists, message boards, group chats, scheduling options, and even document uploads. It’s a reliable tool for companies looking for one productivity solution.
- Asana: This app is often compared to Basecamp and used as an alternative option for teams. You can assign tasks to people, track projects to completion, and easily sort your work.
- Trello: If you’re looking for a basic project management tool, you can’t go wrong with Trello. By using a series of cards, you can easily see who’s working on what to better balance employee workloads.
While all of the tools on this list will refine your team’s day-to-day workflow, certain tools specifically aim to save your valuable time. If you want to level up the concentration and increase production, incorporate one of these digital solutions:
- Hubgets: This platform converges and simplifies all of your communication channels; messaging, voice, video, knowledge and file sharing, and overall collaboration. It also allows you to easily search previous conversations, files, or content. There are also AI capabilities to aid with “notification fatigue”—a feature to keep users focused.
- FocusMe: This tool lives on your desktop and allows you to clock or limit “time-sucking websites,” i.e., social media channels and pages like BuzzFeed. Stop getting distracted and get work done.
- RescueTime: This tool will track how you spend each day, identifying holes where you get distracted, waste time checking emails, or get caught up in small tasks. You can use these insights to reprioritize.
If you have employees that are road warriors (making deliveries, attending sales meetings, visiting clients, etc.), then you may want a GPS-enabled platform to keep in touch. Alternatively, a time tracking tool can help remote managers ensure that their team is on-task and effective. Many platforms combine both of those tracking functionalities to offer an all-in-one solution.
A few options to consider include:
- Hubstaff: This platform has a clean interface with GPS tracking and geofence, as well as full scheduling capabilities. Employees can submit timesheets and use the time clock feature.
- TimeCamp: This tracking software takes it one step further and allows teams to track time then analyze overall profitability and productivity. It also offers a GPS feature.
- TSheets: A QuickBooks product, this cloud-based software has timesheets, time tracking, GPS location tracking, and more. If you’re a QuickBooks user, it also seamlessly integrates into your payroll and accounting.
Test Which Tools Are Right for You
Before evaluating the different productivity tools on the market, make sure you have set criteria for your needs. How many employees will this tool support? What’s your budget? What are the must-have features versus the nice add-ons? How will you measure ROI?
Answering these questions ahead of time can help you filter out expensive or irrelevant systems that won’t help your team. This increases your chances of choosing the right tools on the first try and onboarding them seamlessly throughout your departments.
Tracy Ring is a freelance writer and content marketer who works with organizations to curate engaging content and grow their social media presence via targeted digital marketing strategies. She brings a real-life perspective to her writing from 8+ years of diverse experience including, HR, project management, customer and client relations, and admin roles. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter.