27 Jun 2019 | 10.49 am
Guest Blog: Mike Ianiri, Equinox
Telecoms apps and other tools for improved productivity
27 Jun 2019 | 10.49 am
There are lots of apps out there to save time and assist productivity. Equinox’s independent telecoms expert Mike Ianiri selects his favourites
Where would we be without our phones and laptops? They are vital tools these days and we want them to save us time, make us more productive and, from time to time, entertain us as well.
Right now there are 2.1 million apps available from the Google app store. These include 1.8 million from Apple and 669K from Microsoft. It’s no surprise that there’s an app for almost everything. Which of them will really help you become more productive and save you time? I’d like to share some favourites.
There are lots of apps for VC. Skype, Zoom and Google Hangouts are some of the most popular, but there are lots more. What’s more, you no longer need your PC and a webcam – you simply use your smartphone. You can now make those conference calls from wherever you are, saving huge amounts of time either getting to a physical meeting or even to your PC.
Carrying two phones around, one for personal and one for business use, is annoying. It often leads to carrying two lots of cables and they take up all your pocket/bag space. You’ve also got to remember which one is which – and answer it accordingly. With Re:Call, this goes away. You can add a second number to your phone, separate all the data and do away with all the hassles of carrying two phones.
If you need a To Do list to keep you on the straight and narrow, this is for you. Add your tasks, including deadlines and timings, and it will keep you on track. It integrates with Slack, many calendars, and even Alexa. You can also add your colleagues, up to five of you, free.
Not exactly an app, but it is an alternative solution to Re:Call. It also works on whatever endpoint device you wish to partition. With Bring Your Own Device a popular way of allowing people to choose their preferred phone, it is increasingly necessary to provide the business with data protection. If someone loses their device or they leave the business, there is valuable corporate data on that phone that you don’t want anyone else to get hold of. InTune allows you to separate and, if necessary, remotely wipe that data.
Remember the days of having to remember to print a contract at the office, take it to the client and get them to sign it? You then had to get it back to the office for processing. All a big faff, especially if you had commission payments riding on that contract. With Hellosign, everything can be done digitally. Send the document to the client, and they can sign immediately. It works with Gsuite, OneDrive, Dropbox, Salesforce and many others.
Timesheets are a necessary evil, particularly if you are consulting or charge based on your time. Toggl is an online timesheet for just you or for your team. It integrates with many of the online project management tools out there, such as Basecamp, Asana and Trello.
If you need a PDF or image of something when out and about, have a look at Camscanner. It’s quick and easy. Take a photo and camscanner asks whether you want a JPEG or PDF. You can then share it through all your normal channels, including email, Whatsapp, Evernote and even send it directly to your OneDrive or Google Drive.
You know when you’ve been doing “stuff” but not really sure what and all of a sudden two hours have gone past? You’ve probably been deep-diving into your favourite websites and apps. RescueTime will help you stop losing that time. It can’t get it back for you though! By showing you what sites and apps are using up all your time, you can make the decision to stop visiting them. On the paid version ($72 per year), it will even block those sites to keep you away from temptation.
Cloze is an amalgamator, in that it pulls together all your interactions, so you never forget where you’ve got to with someone. Need to remember the last email you sent to someone, when their birthday is, or what their last comment was on Twitter? This is what Cloze does.
Using some of these apps is bound to save you time and improve your productivity.
• Mike Ianiri (pictured) is director of independent telecoms brokerage Equinox, which helps companies, charities and other organisations choose the right telecoms packages for their needs