When it comes to technology designed to increase workplace efficiency, there’s no shortage of options. Every day, small business owners, CEOs, and office managers are bombarded with a barrage of products, from nifty gadgets to sleek apps. They all claim to be the solution to the problem of stymied projects and wasted time. So, which ones actually work?
Here are some of our picks for the most promising workplace technology of 2019.
For Productivity: Asana
Both minds behind Asana, David Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein, were part of Facebook’s early days. Moskovitz was a co-founder, and Rosenstein was an early employee. It should come as no surprise that Asana is one of the more innovative platforms in the workplace productivity market. Its simple, yet sophisticated interface clearly illustrates both progress and stalled projects. PCMag gave Asana a 4.5/5 rating and named it “Editor’s Choice,” describing the software as “a flexible and elegant tool that you can bend to your will.” Asana allows you to create a task, list subtasks, set a deadline, add attachments, and jot down a few comments, all in seconds. With multiple views, you can watch your company’s progress in your preferred context, either by timeline, calendar, milestones, or team member. Monitor projects in the Dashboard View, where graphics illustrate how close each one is to completion. Or take a look at the big picture, in Timeline View where you can see how your business is doing over a period of time. It also has a sleek and user-friendly mobile version, so employees can check in on the go.
For Accounting: Intuit QuickBooks
When you’re running a business, it’s crucial to know where every last dollar is going. While keeping track of your finances is absolutely essential, it’s also time-consuming. So, take advantage of Intuit QuickBooks, a leading high-tech accounting software. This program is a comprehensive tool for all your business’s financial needs from P&L statements to payroll. You can sync the app to your bank account and credit cards and categorize each transaction. QuickBooks will guess which categories best describe each transaction, running each decision by you for a quick approval. The process is fast and easy, and the more you do it, the more QuickBooks will “learn” about your business and categorize for you. The Dashboard View illustrates your monthly income, expenses, profits, and sales in easy-to-understand graphs. Say goodbye to tedious data entry and hello to automated accounting. Chances are, you’ll find some areas where you can save money.
For Project Management: Hive
If you were the kind of student who never left the house without your collection of neon highlighters or color-coded notecards, you might like Hive. The ultra-organized project management platform is the clearest way to see multiple projects unfolding simultaneously, thanks to the colorful, minimal interface. Hive is flexible and versatile. As everyone learns and processes information differently, it offers several different views to illustrate the same information. Some of their options include a Gantt chart, calendar, Kanban board, or simple table. Ultimately, all of these views simplify the process of managing multiple projects concurrently, so you can avoid overlaps that cause delays and find opportunities for collaboration during intersecting tasks. Managers can create action cards with specific tasks, and employees can receive their own personalized to-do list encompassing all projects. Hive boasts that companies and organizations like IBM, Uber, Starbucks, and Harvard University use its technology, so you’ll be in good company.
Gadget Pick: Cumulus Skypanel
Never underestimate the power of a blue sky. Many of us are used to toiling away under the unforgiving glare of fluorescent lights and artificial glow. Yet, while this may foster efficiency, it can begin to wear on even the most steadfast employee. Obviously, most office managers would love to treat their employees to gargantuan windows overlooking idyllic landscapes or skylights that drench them in warm, natural light, but that’s rarely an option. In lieu of the real thing, diffuse the harsh light of your office with handy Cumulus Skypanels which bring the illusion of a brilliant summer day to even the dreariest of offices. If you can boost your employees’ moods, chances are you’ll boost their productivity, too.