Let’s face it, our society is obsessed with GTD (getting things done). Productivity is trending and put on a pedestal, but for good reason: the more we do, the better we get.
Caveat being, the more we do, the less time we have.
The thing is, “not having enough time” is just a mindset – we have plenty of time to get things done personally and organizationally. It just boils down to having the right tools that will automate work, keep you on task, and improve communication.
There are endless amounts of software tools out there, and it can be overwhelming to figure out which one is the best fit for your needs. But there’s no need to fret, especially because you can achieve your most productive self by using only three software tools. (Yes, really!) And it just so happens that these tools are completely free.
Whether you’ve noticed it or not, online forms are everywhere. They’re on the “Contact” pages of websites, they’re what you use to collect payments from customers, they’re what you fill out when renewing your Driver License. They’ve integrated into our lives seamlessly and effortlessly, and they’re not going away anytime soon.
Online forms collect, store, and organize any information you’re looking to gather. They save an immense amount of time because there’s zero data entry or manual labor – you simply set up your form for the purposes you need and boom, you’re done. For example, if you’re interested in collecting sales leads, you can do so easily and efficiently with an online form. After a lead fills out the form, their information is saved and you’ll have it ready for when you want to take action.
This tool helps individuals and businesses be productive by automating information collection. Common use cases include requesting assets from team members (I.e., your design team), pre screening new hires, conducting internal surveys, generating sales leads, and more.
JotForm is a robust form builder that’s fully customizable, rich with integrations, and has a suite of written resources that feature topics anywhere from Editing PDFs to inspirational posts for small business owners.
Once you have your information, you’ll need a place to manage it and create actionable next steps. Asana is great for this. Asana works as a project management app to organize information, workflow, and tasks for individuals and teams.
A large part of workplace frustration is not knowing when things are due or if members of your team are meeting their deadlines, which can decrease productivity. But with Asana, you can easily create a multi-step project with descriptions, to-dos, and due dates. It’s also easy see who’s responsible for what because you can assign projects to team members or add them as “followers” to a projects, so there is complete transparency.
Asana is good for keeping your work and personal life in order. It helps teams GTD by providing them with tools to monitor projects they have going. For example, if a marketing team is working on an advertising campaign and they need one of their designers to put a graphic together, they’ll be able to add that project into Asana and assign a designer to the task at hand.
You can also choose to keep track of your tasks in a list or through their famous “calendar view.” If you want to be extra on top on it, there’s also an option to get notifications sent directly to your email, so that you can be sure to never miss a thing.
With Asana, you’ll be crystal clear about what steps you need to take to ensure that it gets done on time, which will support you in being more productive.
Communication is key to staying productive and getting things done. Slack is an excellent app for being “in the know” with what your team is up to and staying in close touch with co-workers.
Slack is the most versatile communication productivity tool because you can create a channel for every team and type of conversation. For instance, you can have seperate channels for marketing, product, finance, you name it.
Additionally, you can also create channels for specific topics like customer questions or random articles that your team finds humorous. If you find a channel to be irrelevant, you can always leave (that is, if your boss says it’s okay).
Feature wise, there’s a lot one can do with Slack. Its biggest seller is chat, but they also offer video in case you need to speak with a teammate in another location. You can also share channels with partners, vendors, or contract workers, so that everyone can be part of a conversation and it won’t have to get repeated. Lastly, Slack allows its users to easily connect other tools, such as Google Drive, so it’s simple to include your team’s favorite integrations.
When you combine these three tools, you’ll become a productivity pro and the master of getting things done.
Annabel Maw is a Marketing Communications Specialist at JotForm, a popular, easy-to-use online form building tool based in San Francisco. She’s passionate about writing and has worked in communications roles domestically and internationally. When she’s not blogging about SaaS or online forms, she enjoys international travel and artisan coffee. Follow at @AnnabelLMaw.