Do you often feel like you are working constantly, but not actually achieving the results you expect? Do you feel like you are spending too much time on mindless tasks, and find yourself wondering how to improve work efficiency? Many professionals ask themselves how to manage time efficiently, without even realizing how much time they could save by automating repetitive tasks. Here are some ideas to improve productivity using top automation tools available today.
One of the main problems for professionals is how to manage time effectively. A tool such as Scoro can be of immense help. If you need advice on how to improve work efficiency, you could probably benefit from Scoro. This cloud-based solution can satisfy all of your work management needs. Using a relatively simple interface, it helps you organize projects, outstanding tasks, calendars and quotes, all while syncing everything to further simplify your work. It can be used by multiple users and is perfect for medium-sized teams and companies. It can also send invoices to your clients for you, track your expenses, and create reports.
Sometimes the best ideas to improve productivity are the simplest ones. Having to rename a bunch of files doesn’t happen that often, but when it does, it feels soul-suckingly tedious and incredibly time-consuming. Rename Master is a tool that enables you to name large batches of files with ease and speed. It can change the entire file name or just a part of it. And best of all, it’s free.
Probably the most popular automation tool by far, Zapier can make a real, measurable difference in the way you spend your time at work. It’s based on a brilliant premise: it connects previously unconnected programs and apps, by following an if-then pattern. Your job is only to define these patterns, and Zapier then does the rest. For instance, it can automatically publish your blog posts on your social media accounts; copy your email attachments to Dropbox; do data entry for you; help you keep track of candidates during the hiring process. The possibilities are endless.
Alfred has long been a favorite among Mac OS X users. The app’s purpose is to boost your productivity by allowing you to use hotkeys to launch applications and perform other tasks. By predefining keyboard shortcuts, and assigning them to different tasks, you can open programs, create workflows or search your favorite websites. The free version also serves as a spell checker and calculator. The paid version brings more features to the table, for instance, file system and iTunes navigation, as well as various actions on files.
Just like Zapier, IFTTT is free for personal use and has a monthly subscription model for companies. Similarly to its rival, you use it by creating so-called applets, which are basically simple conditional statements. These applets connect various programs to automate frequently repeated tasks. The purpose becomes very clear once you find out that the name is short for “If this, then that”. The limit to creative uses of IFTTT is just your imagination.
Don’t fall into the trap of underestimating the value of automation tasks. Even if certain duties don’t take up much of your time, they still break your concentration and drive your focus away from more important things at hand. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your pending queue could be rid of all those tedious and mindless jobs that suck away your creativity? Be wise, and let your computer do the work in your place. It might take some experimenting, but there are probably at least a few apps that could take on some of your work for you.