By Mary Qin on April 17, 2014
With so many productivity apps out in the market, it's easy to get carried away with trying solutions that don't really work for you. Before you throw in the towel on apps, you can find productivity apps that actually help. You only need to consider your needs and what you want a productivity app to do. The fewer apps you need, the simpler your processes and the more efficient you can become.
So what do you need to consider before choosing a productivity app? Here are some of the key factors to consider:
First and foremost, make sure you know where you are trying to be efficient. Is it in the way you plan and schedule your day? Is it how you work with your team? Whatever the case may be, focusing on your primary goal you want to achieve will help with narrowing down the options.
Once you have done some research on the productivity apps with the functionality you are searching for, take a look at their interfaces. How many steps does it take to accomplish the task? Is the user interface intuitive or would it require extensive training for you and your employees? The easier to use apps will be much easier to implement.
Also, does it make sense to be adding the new steps that the productivity app requires? Sometimes a few extra steps earlier on will save a ton of time later down the line, but that's not always the case. It's crucial to think about what information you need, how you gather it, and how you manage it. Will the apps you're considering be worth the investment or do they just seem useful?
Take a step back and think about the processes you already have in place. What programs and devices are you using throughout your day? You may find an easy to use app, but if it’s only on Android and you use iPads,you’re out of luck You want to make sure they are compatible.
Will the new app produce information that can easily sync with your current programs and vice versa? Is the app designed to work on the computer, tablet, or smartphone models you are using? These are important considerations to ensure a smooth transition to the new process.
When you start using a new productivity app, make sure it meets your most pressing needs. After all, what use is it if you can't even ultilize the app when you want, where you want, how you want? It may be as easy as checking to ensure it can work offline so you don't have to be connected to the internet, or it could be as complex as making sure it integrates seamlessly with your current programs.
It's also good to remember the needs of all users for this new solution. Whether someone is visually impaired and needs accommodations or if employees have trouble typing in the field and would prefer a voice to text option. Sometimes all you need is an extra plugin to allow all potential users to easily adopt the new productivity app in question. You don’t want to spend all your effort finding that great solution only to discover that key users can’t add it to their arsenal of tools.
So what's the secret to efficiency with productivity apps? It boils down to ease of use. When the all potential users can quickly get the new app and start using it (and the app plays well with your current processes), you're well on your way to becoming more efficient