Best Web Tools to Increase Productivity in Your Workplace

how-to-increase-productivity-in-the-workplaceEfficiency, in today’s highly competitive world, is a deal clincher. Those that achieve the most in minimal time are the ones that will outpace the competition, whether that involves taking your business to the next level or moving one notch up the corporate ladder.

But with the ever-shrinking amount of time most people have available, the use of productivity tools to aid them in accomplishing their tasks has become the new norm. To adopt a totally different approach may lead to burnout, and ultimately, failure.

This being the backdrop, here’s a bird’s eye view into some of the best productivity web tools that will get you ahead of the competition:

1. RescueTime

If you’ve been paying close attention to the world around you, you’ll realize soon enough that money is not the greatest asset in life, but time. That is because if there’s one commodity that’s always in short supply, it’s time. Time management, therefore, has never been more crucial.

The best way to manage one’s time is by tracking it. Once you have adequate knowledge of your daily time usage, you’ll be able to determine how to utilize it.

RescueTime is a web-based time management tool that automatically tracks the time you spend on applications and websites, even documents. Based on your categorizations, you can group together different activities into categories. This way, you can see which cluster is the most time-consuming. You can also set goals and monitor your progress..

RescueTime comes with a free and full-featured version. The full-featured version, RescueTime Pro, is pegged at $9 per month and includes all features of the free version, plus the following: ability to manually track the time you spend away from your computer, temporary blockage of distracting sites and applications, the setting up of real-time alerts that detect whether or not you’ve exceeded the allotted time for a specific category, and an in-depth analysis of the projects and activities you spent your time on.

2. HipChat

Effective information dissemination within a company is critical. However, halting day-to-day operations to keep everyone apprised of business developments may not always be practical. Dispatching memos has two setbacks: (1) it requires the use of paper, and (2) there’s no guarantee that they’ll reach the intended recipient..

Arranging another meeting to brief the uninformed is a huge waste of time and company resources.

A group chat and IM tool specifically designed for teams, with e-mail and mobile push notifications, HipChat ensures that the appropriate teammates receive the information they need. It allows you to create chat rooms and privately message individual team members. You can even share files with your team real-time.

Should you need to be elsewhere while the group chat is progressing, HipChat’s mobile and chat history functionalities allow you to pick up from where you left the conversation via any device. Priced at $2 per user on a monthly cost, it’s a great way to keep everyone in your team informed, involved and engaged.

3. Comindware Tracker

There are tasks that require automation,and there are those that don’t. For repetitive procedures that do not usually require human touch, automation is an avenue to explore. Allowing your company’s greatest assets, your people, to work on such tasks is counterintuitive. According to surveys, the principal reasons most employees stay with a company are for job satisfaction and work-life balance. Automating tasks saves your company considerable time and prevents recurring inefficiencies.

Comindware Tracker is a workflow, task and document management application that streamlines your workflow processes, maximizes your resources and takes care of all your task administration needs. It also tracks issues and project metrics, complete with real-time data analytics that is important for sound decision-making.

From HR to sales and marketing, from software development to finance, Comindware Tracker provides visibility within every aspect of your business. Cloud-based or on-premise, you can test drive the application in your own unique environment for 30 days absolutely free.

4. KeePass

Nowadays, the average person browses at least a dozen websites that require a username and password. If you’re not equipped with a sharp memory, chances are you’ll have trouble remembering all of those passwords, especially if you’re following the two greatest commandments of password creation: (1) never use the same password for multiple applications; and (2) use a combination of alphanumeric characters and special symbols to create hard-to-crack passwords.

An alternative to LastPass, KeePass is a free, open-source (OSI-certified) and user-friendly password manager that uses AES and Twofish, the best and currently most secure encryption algorithms, to encrypt its databases. It requires no installation and can be transported on a USB stick or burned onto a CD. Instead of having to remember multiple passwords, all you need is one master password to decrypt the whole database.

For added security, you can use key files instead of a master password, or a combination of a master password and a key file.

5. MeetingBurner

If there’s a fast, easy and cost-efficient way to conduct briefings, demos, training events, lectures and status updates, it’s through web conferencing. Web conferencing, webinar, online meeting or however you refer to it, has achieved what traditional face-to-face meetings have never achieved – it transcends time zones and geographies.

MeetingBurner is a web conferencing application that allows you to instantly meet with anybody online and share your screen. It’s easy to use and compatible with both Mac and Windows. It also supports mobility, which means you can join in your company’s status meeting while on the move anywhere in the world using your iPhone, iPad or Android phone.

MeetingBurner is free forever as long as you have a maximum of 10 conference attendees. For more participants than 10, MeetingBurner offers the Pro and Premier subscriptions with added functionalities at $39.95 and $99.95 per month respectively.

Final word

Productivity isn’t something you can tackle single-handedly. Whether you like it or not, you need help to achieve the best possible efficiency metrics for yourself or your business. Knowing there are tools to help you with your journey speaks volumes. But having them in place and properly implemented makes for a whole world of difference.

Author’s Bio: Maricel Rivera is a freelance writer with over 10 years of writing experience. Currently, she does web writing for small to mid-sized businesses.