It’s amazing how many free tools we have at our fingertips nowadays to help us organize and manage our busy lives. Flashback to a year ago, I remember we were just starting to get excited about productivity tools and how they could help our business at Iconica.
I mean we were always organized and had good systems in place, as I’m sure most of you do as well. But we were at a stage where we were ready to take our business to the next level, and knew that to get there, we had to have the right arsenal of tools to support us.
Since then we have recommended these tools to clients, friends and family and the feedback has been amazing. These 5 cloud-based tools have changed our lives and they can change yours as well…
Asana is a free project management tool that allows you to create, assign and collaborate on projects and tasks with team members, or just organize your own life. Whether it’s simple life stuff like paying the bills or remembering to pick up groceries, or managing large and intricate client projects, Asana’s got you covered.
Like most cloud based tools, it is super intuitive and easy to use. Not to mention, it’s completely free unless you have over 15 team members or need super advanced features.
You can log into your account from any computer and download the app to your mobile phone. To get started just sign up and watch a few YouTube videos on how you can make the most out of the tool. Give it one month and I guarantee notepads will become completely obsolete in your life.
A cloud alternative to Microsoft Word, that makes it way easier to share and collaborate. It has all the same goodies that word does, like “track changes” (in Google Docs it’s called “Suggesting”), but doesn’t involve saving files to your computer and sending via email.
Just create the document, share with others and collaborate by suggesting changes or commenting. You can see when other team members or clients are logged in to the doc and see any changes happening live.
We also love Google Docs because anytime we are working on a document related to a project in Asana, anyone can access the doc via a simple link and there is no need to keep uploading the latest versions. All you need to get started is a gmail account.
Google Calendar is fantastic for organizing meetings and appointments, but for us it goes so far beyond that. We all know the tasks in front of us from day to day, but very few of us actually organize our days effectively. By organizing your day in half hour to 50 minute blocks and taking small breaks, you’ll be surprised at how much more you’ll accomplish in a day.
We always aim to have our day planned out the day before, and if anything needs to be moved around, or re-prioritized, it’s easy to make changes by dragging and dropping. Google Cal also integrates perfectly with iCalendar for Mac users, so it’s kind of a no brainer.
Surprisingly, this is one we stumbled upon just recently. It can be really hard with Google search to find great FREE photo storage apps. The usual paid tools always rise to the top like Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud and OneDrive which are all fantastic, but they cost money.
After listening to photography podcasts a few months back we stumbled across Google Photos, which offers unlimited free cloud storage for photos. Yes, this is real. Unlimited AND free. As you can probably imagine it isn’t very well marketed because, well, companies prefer to sell us stuff! But I can assure you, it’s easy to use, and unquestionably the best deal around.
This is another recent find, and total gamechanger for those of us with a plethora of accounts to log into daily. It’s similar to iCloud keychain, but it doesn’t just store the passwords for easy sign in, it also keeps a dashboard of all your passwords in the cloud and they can be shared with other LastPass users.
All you need to do is create an account, which will prompt you to download the software, and then every time you sign into an account it will give you an option to save it in LastPass. So easy and will save you a ton of time and password resets.
Good luck with these tools. I hope we’ve given you a few new ones that will make your lives much easier and more productive. As always, if you have any questions on boosting productivity in your business, don’t hesitate to reach out!
Stephanie Miles, Director of Digital Marketing