Grace sent me an email and asked me if I could write a post about how incorporating technology has helped me run my business more efficiently.
Time management and the methods I use to be more productive are some of my favorite topics. I have written about it many times and as early as in 2008, with a short post about time management when you have kids.
Today I’ll tell you about the 11 best business apps I am currently using. Technology is an important part of my business, even when I’m out walking as you can see on the picture below (it’s from the fortress in Halden).
A lot has changed with technology during the years since I started my business. There are apps that can help us with close to everything in business, and there are more information than most of us can handle. At the same time, there are many weapons of mass distraction and many interruptions during the day.
What I’m saying is that at no time in history has it been this easy to stay productive and get help to run your business, and at no time in history is there more distractions and interruptions.
This is why it’s very important for each of us to stay focused, prioritize what to focus on, stay productive and goal oriented, and at the same time understand the importance of having fun on the journey (and not just focusing on the results).
Let’s start with how I deal with interruptions and weapons of mass distraction.
I have written about how the iPhone is killing my productivity. But, the one app I use on my iPhone that’s actually helping me to get focused is an app that keeps me away from my mobile phone. The app is Forest.
What this app does is that it grows a forest when you’re not using your mobile phone. If I start using it a tree will die. It’s that simple.
The second business app I’m using to stay focused is a service that plays “perfect” background music. The service is Focus@Will. The music is created to help us stay focused an productive.
I have been using many different project managers and to-do list apps, and I’m sure that I’ll be switching many times in the future as well. During the past years, I have been using business apps like Todoist and IQTell, but I keep coming back to the one business app that I can’t live without, and that’s Omnifocus (it’s about time I wrote a review of how I’m using it).
One of the reasons I keep coming back to the importance of time management, is that no matter who we are or where in the world we are, each of us only have 24 hours a day, 168 hours every week, and so on. No matter how good we are, we don’t get more time. Time is a limited resource.
I use different services to help me manage my time and to help me understand how I am using my time. I use RescueTime to see reports on what I’m doing on my computer, and I use Toogl to track the time I use on each “project”.
I have tested many different services and apps for writing, and even though I still use many different writing tools, there are especially two I use the most for my business. I use Evernote for close to everything that comes to mind, it’s mostly notes, but I also use it as an archive for documents and email.
I use Desk to write all my blog posts. This is a desktop publishing client for Mac, it’s very easy to use and powerful.
I spend a lot of time with mail every day, it’s an important part of my workflow. I have tested many different clients, but I keep returning to Mail.app from Apple. I combine Mail.app with Omnifocus and Evernote, and it works great.
I read every day. I read books on Kindle and I read books on paper. I also subscribe to Blinkist to read short versions of books. The app I use the most when it comes to writing is Pocket. I save all blog posts and all websites that’ll be reading in Pocket.
I listen to podcasts every single day. I have tested different podcast apps, but the one I’m currently using is Overcast and it’s amazing. You can view all the different podcast I am listening to here.
One of the most important business services I am using is a customer relationship manager (CRM). This is the only way I can keep track of every relationship. I have tested several, but the one I am currently using is Contactually.
Paper is still important to me
I have listed the 11 best business apps I am currently using to help run my business more efficiently. As I’m writing this I keep thinking about how important paper still is for me. I still write my morning pages on paper, and even though I add all my projects and daily tasks to Omnifocus, I still plan my day using paper.
There are three reasons why I’m still using paper for my daily planning. The first one is that I believe that it helps me stay creative, the second one is that at the same time I feel I’m in more control when I’ve used a pen and paper. The third is that I remember a lot better when I write something on paper.
How technology is helping my business
I could have listed many more business apps, and I could have written a lot more details about how I use every single service to manage my business, and I probably will, but not today.
Technology is helping me on every single aspect of running my business. I focus by using technology. I read by using technology. I build strong relationships, communicate, and keep track of everything I do; it’s all happening by using different technology.
I am using Evernote to keep track of all the business apps I am using, and I am also tracking the costs.