It’s no surprise that technology has taken over the pen and paper to-do list. The list of options for digital productivity tools is almost endless these days. Although everyone has their own mantras when it comes to productivity, our team is sharing some of our favourite online tools this week to help kickstart the new year.
Let’s do this!
As a team of HR specialists, we often work with clients to deliver materials like branded checklists, surveys, infographics, and more! We love working with our designers but for the graphics we need on the fly, we always turn to Canva.
Canva is a free graphic design tool that anyone can use to make beautiful (and on-brand) graphics. Our team even uses it collaboratively so we can work on a design and receive feedback on it at the same time. Beyond that, Canva is a lifesaver for social media.
Tip: Use Canva’s pre-made templates to get you started! You can play around with all the elements in the design and make changes, but starting with a template already pre-made by a designer is one step closer to beautiful visuals.
Finding the right communication platform for your team can boost your overall productivity and remove roadblocks. While working remotely, we rely more heavily on our communication platforms than ever before. Our team uses a hybrid of Slack and Outlook Email. Each platform has a designated purpose so if we ever need to reference a conversation or find a document, we know where to look.
Slack is an amazing productivity tool for short conversations, updating the team quickly, and bringing a little personality into our online interactions. Emoji reactions, gifs, and status updates are fun ways that Slack lets you communicate with each other.
Tip: Try updating your Slack status according to the work you’re doing. This will serve as a visual reminder to your team that you’re open to communication or that you need some space. For example, if you’re on a call you can set your status to a phone emoji and say “On a call” as your status.
Time tracking can get a bad rap for appearing like a “micro-management” approach, but if implemented correctly and used as a way to support employees rather than crack down, it can help boost productivity and find ways to improve efficiency. Beyond this, working with clients means that time tracking is in our DNA. We need a time tracking tool that allows us to keep track of billable hours while also acting as a supporting tool for our team all while being easy to use.
Harvest is simple to use, has great reporting functions, and has all sorts of features to help you be successful with the tool. If you’re new to time tracking or looking to replace your old software, try Harvest!
Tip: For new employees, have them turn on reminders from Harvest that alert them when to time track. Harvest has push notifications that help keep you on track, especially when just getting started.
Project management is key to collaboration. At Envol, we rely on our internal processes to get things done. Having project management software is important to keep track of deadlines and each other’s workload. We have tried a few project management platforms in the past but have landed on using Asana.
Asana is a user-friendly project management platform with a surprising amount of depth and flexibility. It’s easy to pick up and collaborate with it in the first few minutes. You can organize your projects in a format that works for you like Kanban boards, to-do lists, or by calendar. You can follow along on tasks that your team is working on to get notifications when items are checked off. Not to mention they have great reporting to check on how your team is doing!
Tip: Organize your Asana to-do list into sections based on projects or clients then drag and drop your tasks under those sections. This will help you see the magnitude of the projects you are working on and see at-a-glance what needs to be prioritized.
Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive are quite similar tools (controversial, we know ?). Depending on your preference, they have different selling points, but at the end of the day all that matters is that your team is able to access the files they need in an organized way.
The way we organize our files in OneDrive is by internal or external projects, department or client, then the function and the name of the file. For example, if you were looking for photos to be posted on our social media, you would find it in our Internal Envol folder > Marketing > Social Media > Photos. Creating a hierarchy of folders lets us find what we need faster based on a logical sequence.
Tip: Organize your files from the beginning. If you’re just getting started with a cloud-based drive, create your folders first then add files to each folder. Once you’re done adding your files they will already be organized correctly!
Looking to get more out of your organization? Envol is your partner in growth. We help you create scalable human resources strategies to help you and your people thrive.
For some of our own HR tools, check out our resources here!
Reach out to us at [email protected] to learn more.