When my father was still managing his Hotel, I was a kid. The main office was full of the newest technologies. A huge Phone Switchboard occupied the back wall, ready to give the right line to the right phone. A Mechanical Transfer loaded of Carbon Paper was on the side of the table to slide the first credit cards coming from American tourists. The Fax had instead a reserved cabinet because no shaking was allowed while working, otherwise a visible out of tuning made impossible to read anything at all.
It was a long time ago. But all of those instruments already saved much time and effort to manage the tons of responsibility he had.
Today? Well, the same concept but much more to do. With the advent of the internet, distances have become shorter as well as the time at disposition to solve any matter.
To fight and win the present, we have simply one choice:
Use our large number of new solutions that are there.
So here we are with:
“The 13 FREE Tools that will drastically improve your productivity”.
The To-Do-List Trinity
How many times, while you were walking, combing the hair, eating at lunch break, sipping your favorite cocktail, and staying in your desk under another pile of paper, you remembered something to do or your customer calls you with a last minute request?
To me, a lot! And the To-Do-List Applications really changed my way to live my work, from a hell of a headache to a peaceful and sunny green field.
From their website: “Keep your life in sync.
Wunderlist is the easiest way to get stuff done. Whether you’re planning a holiday, sharing a shopping list with a partner or managing multiple work projects, Wunderlist is here to help you tick off all your personal and professional to-dos.”
It is an extremely easy to use application. Did you get the idea? Just open the application, write it down, drag and drop it in your best position along the list, done!
The sync will deliver the same information along with all the devices where the app is active.
When you click on the title, a card on the side will be launched with, eventually, the possibility to write down deeper information and notes, or add a reminder.
You can then split the lists of things to do under different tabs, for example, Work, Personal, Baby, and more. Even share it with other people.
Did you accomplish one of those duties? Click on the checkbox and forget about it.
Because it has a vertical concept, if the list becomes too long, sometimes is difficult to get a real idea of the duties outside the main view.
Consider that it is a merely written To-Do-List. A very well-done checkbox list, but no more than that.
From their website: “Meet Evernote, your second brain.
Capture, organize, and share notes from anywhere. Your best ideas are always with you and always in sync. Enhance your notes with links, checklists, tables, attachments, and audio recordings. Even handwritten notes are searchable.”
A complete tool ready to organize almost everything across your ideas and concepts. A perfect content collector.
It is always ready to receive any kind of input: A voice reminder, a handwritten sketch, a screenshot, a link, and much much more.
As many notebooks and tags as many projects you have. Easy sharing with others.
Reminders, cards and an endless number of other useful tools.
It gives the possibility to share without costs up to two different devices.
As it just said, only two devices can be synchronized, and for those are not so used to manage applications, it can be sensibly tough to change the connection from an old to a new device.
Because of its huge potentiality, it can be just a bit too spread as a To-Do-List, as well as catching immediately the written note made a few days before, over some other dozens, it can result not easy.
From their website: “Trello lets you work more collaboratively and get more done. Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun, flexible and rewarding way. From startups to Fortune 500 companies, Trello is the most visual way for teams to collaborate on any project.”
Trello is such a great tool that I can’t live without!
It is not only a To-Do-List, and it is neither only a Content Collector. Trello has something more for me. It can be considered a well-made basic Project Management tool.
Create as many boards as many your projects are. Manage lists in columns and speedy add new notes, attach documents, pictures, and provide more details.
Use the reminder, organize your calendar, give a color label, add a checklist, drag and drop in anywhere, till you will be visually satisfied with the result.
Synchronize it with all your devices while you can share it with all your team and get all of your single actions of your whole projects under control! Simply amazing…
I honestly can find only one unfair con (It is unfair because I suppose it wasn’t a natural born Management App). As Project Management usage, it has no way to create a timeline report, or, anyhow, a way to represent visually the status of the whole project, but only using the internal Checklists into the single notes.
Now let’s proceed with the Time Tracking Twins
I met Anuko in the worst way ever. I was working as a manager in a company with a serious problem of employers’ productivity. The situation went out of control, and it had been decided to force anyone to use this web application, reporting every single action done during the working hours, with a bunch of specifications. It technically worked, even sacrificing the mood of every team, and for that reason, I didn’t like the concept for a while.
I needed to wait for some more steps of adulthood to get the full meaning of this beautiful and precise tool.
It is extremely simple, linear, with no distractions.
Precise and very modular. It works as a database so it has a theoretical infinite potentiality of development.
It is online. Easy sharing. Easy control. Everywhere. Anytime.
It works. It works. And it works!
It is ugly. Oh my God! It is depressingly ugly. It kills the mood as it could be killed by the seeing a car accident.
It is very simple indeed, so simple that you can get only pie charts, with depressing colors.
It as not a mobile application. You can get it only by an internet connection and a browser.
5. TOGGL DESKTOP.
From their website: “The ultimate timer. It’s insanely simple.
Toggl’s time tracker is built for speed and ease of use. Time logging with Toggl is so simple that you’ll actually use it. Toggl drives a stake in the heart of timesheets.”
It does exactly what it says. It is insanely simple, speedy, and easy to use.
A nice design makes all the job comfortable. You can add project, tags, notes, titles.
You can calculate the time from a real chronometer that you can start and stop easily, or you can easily report it lately inserting the data.
You can produce reports in any way you are pleased with, sync your devices (mobile included) and use it as an App or a website version.
I can’t see real Cons. Maybe only a half point. It is not a real con, ok, but there is a very useful option can be activated only with a premium (Not Free) version. The app can calculate how much is the cost of the time, updating the billing system in the base of the working hours. Very lovely!
Now, are you ready for a few free accounting applications? Let’s see these.
From their website: “Money Manager Ex is a free, open-source, cross-platform, easy-to-use personal finance software. It primarily helps organize one’s finances and keeps track of where, when and how the money goes. It is also a great tool to get a bird’s eye view of your financial worth. Money Manager includes all the basic features that 90% of users would want to see in a personal finance application. The design goals are to concentrate on simplicity and user-friendliness – something one can use every day.”
Let’s be honest and clear. It is not easy at all to find a good and efficient free tool ready to manage a medium company accounting.
So it does it. And the developers deserve a lot of claps, claps, and claps.
It is basically an efficient database where you can set all of your needs in there. Keep under control your account and create reports, budget, assets and much much more.
Once you spent a bit of time on the settings, it is there, stable, watching you, waiting for your next command,
faithful as a German shepherd.
Not a lot of it. It is ugly, but as I said. Hey! It is free, be thankful.
I didn’t find yet the possibility to synchronize it with my mobile.
7. CASHCULATOR FREE.
From their website: “Reach your financial goals by planning your future. Keep track of your cash flow to make smarter financial decisions. Easily budget money by category, perform “what-if” scenarios comparisons and more”
Easy to use, easy to use and easy to use. Seriously.
A compact, nice, comfortable tool that can keep track of your incomes, expenses and give you in real time a balance and future scenarios.
It is not indicated for a company accounting, but only for a personal money tracking.
And now a long list of other useful stuff…
From their website: “Your writing, at its best. Grammarly makes sure everything you type is clear, effective, and mistake-free.”
Oh. Oh. Oh. Here we are! Are you not a native English speaker? Well, I am not either (as you can notice it). And I make you sure it is not simple to write something isn’t really yours.
Grammarly is perfect for my case, and for all those cases where some innocent writers need to deal with a fact that, almost surely, on the possibility to make some grammar mistakes, it will be made much more!
Grammarly can save us a bit, it can’t do miracles of course, but a lot of the job, yes. Whatever you will try to write online by Chrome, or even offline by the app, Grammarly will correct you. A nice way to pay attention with the “s”, the irregular verbs and all those weird rules that the weird native English people lovely have.
I can’t see any Cons. Ouch!
From their website: “MailChimp is the world’s largest marketing automation platform. Millions of customers, from small e-commerce shops to big online retailers, use MailChimp to reach their customers and grow their business.”
Make your email beautiful, with a very small effort. MailChimp is seriously the most famous platform where to create and manage lists of contacts, and send them a well-done marketing email. Perfect for CRM, Sales, Pitches or any other kind of company official communication.
With a drag and drop system, it’s very intuitive. A lot of tips will guide you to do not become a spammer. The internal filter will check the quality of your contacts. It will generate analytical reports and let you understand better how the people reacted.
The mailing management it is only a part of the power of MailChimp, but, for now, do not make it more complex than it.
The free edition (it is not just limited to 2.000 contacts) deploys the email with a MailChimp logo at the footer.
Not really comfortable to use it for sending nice emails communications to single people each time.
From their website: “Save time managing your social media. Buffer is a simpler and easier way to schedule posts, track the performance of your content, and manage all your accounts in one place.”
It would seem to be a pretty too technical stuff. I mean, a tool reserved exclusively to Social Media Managers, but not.
Any kind of company, at this modern age, must communicate through at least a social media. And not any kind of company can afford to hire a specialist only for that.
That is the reason why Buffer is for everyone. Or better, it should be!
Extremely easy and intuitive. Set all of your accounts. Upload images and videos. Write down something. Schedule your post. Forget about it.
You are free to move and no more limited to the publishing time.
A nice analytics is there to generate accurate reports.
Up to 10 schedules are allowed.
It is not working fluidly with all the social media (not their fault, but that the reality).
It has sometimes the problem to do not schedule different content at the same time because it recognizes as too similar. (In my case those were a series of animations with the same subject but in different stories and acting)
11. YOAST SEO.
Ok. This is actually a bit too technical. But it is better to know what it is. Has your company got a website? Has it been done using WordPress? If the answer is, yes, you should give a look at YOAST.
It increases drastically the quality of your SEO (Search Engine Optimization), helping you to be more reachable from Google and other search engines.
It is quite intuitive. It is extremely powerful. It gives a lot of good tips.
Not easy to understand if you really know zero about this industry.
Not easy to install without the control of WordPress.
It is a quite technical tool.
From their website: “Is your team remote or distributed? Stay productive with effortless video collaboration!”
After using all the previous tool, do you already get customers? It is time to get a call with them so.
Forget the old and heavy Skype. Create an account on this website and start to use it for your video conferences.
Up to 8 people in a very smooth way.
High quality of calling.
Easy and intuitive to use.
Reserve a (virtual) room, lock it, personalize it, invite the others and enjoy the conversation with the possibility to share the screen too. Amazing!
Mmm. I don’t know. Maybe a too newer concept for someone? I can’t really see bad stuff here.
13. DASHLANE .
From their website: “Never forget another password.
Never misplaced. Never forgotten. Dashlane securely remembers all of your passwords.”
After all of these new tools, you should probably get plenty of new accounts and passwords. Do not forget, ever, that security today has started to be a serious problem to manage. Experts suggest to use different and complex passwords for any account. Including on those numbers, symbols, caps locks, small ones and a long series of characters. It would be hard to remember all of it.
Safe. Very safe! So safe than they encrypt even the data you send them, so if someone steals or hacks their database, cannot take anything!
Memorise in there all of your sensible data. User IDs, Passwords, Bank codes, documents, and much more. All of it will be protected by only one, long, complex master password you will invent and you will hide as your best secret ever.
Ok… if you want the system helps you to share it also with some of your friends (in consideration on any future problem), they can ask you to get a look at the data, with and after your permission of course.
Oh. Don’t you have enough fantasy to invent a proper complex password? The app has a generator that will do the hard job for you!
Moreover, Dashlane will memorize all of your inputs, and if you decide to keep it active, you can enter in all of your accounts only with one click, because the fields will be filled automatically by Dashlane.
But if you dislike this procedure, you can easily shout down the application, and there will be no way to enter in none of your accounts without a manual filling and a good memory.
In the free edition, for the first month, there is also included the sync with any device.
After the first month, the app can still be free of course. But without upgrading to the premium version, the app will not sync different devices. It means if you change a password updating Dashlane on the computer, you must do it again manually on your Dashlane phone account.
The main problem I see it’s if you are distracted, and you forget to close the application while you are away, someone can enter as easily as you would in any of your sensible data.
So. Pay attention to what you do.
Do you have other favourite apps? Do you have some other suggestion?
Write me down or contact me. It will be my pleasure get a look on it.