11 Productivity Apps That Will Accelerate Your Business

Lessonly

Good leaders are good teachers. And the best teachers use the best tools. Lessonly is one of those tools.

Have you ever outlined a project plan to someone, then parted ways thinking you were on the same page only to find out that you were on completely separate planets? A learning management software like Lessonly helps you build training systems that not only break down lessons, but track completion, and comprehension. It’s easy enough for first-time managers to use and powerful enough for high-growth venture-backed organizations.

lessonly

 

Text Expander

This app almost feels like cheating. Almost.

You know those phrases and pieces of information you find yourself typing again and again? For example, your street address, company description, or standard thank-you note. Text Expander makes adding that information into any app or browser as easy as a couple of keystrokes. It’s a huge time saver and frees up your mental energy for more important things, like what your next SnapChat or Instagram post is going to be (kidding, of course).

Ifttt.com 

I don’t understand how this tool is free. But it is, and it’s awesome.

Ifttt stands for “If this, then that…” And it’s really a framework for how o think about solving problems. With this set of tools, you can automate many of the day-to-day tasks that you might have had to do manually only a few years ago. Now, you can set up actions that trigger with specific actions (like “If: a camera Then: email my assistant at assistanttomatt@vergehq.com”). Create your own by picking from their many, many inegrations. Or get started now and pick from a few of their pre-made recipes.
Here are some of my favorites:

Contactually + Bonus App

I’m sure you’ve experienced the transformative power that good relationships can have on your business and personal life. So, why do we so often take our relationships for granted and even let them languish?

It’s totally understandable. As you build your business and work on new projects, you connect with more and more people. And most of those people you won’t see on any regular basis. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable relationships.

At Verge, we use Contactually to keep our growing network of Vergers and friends of Verge active and connected. This software is a cumulative dashboard that pulls in information about contacts and correspondence from email as well as all of your social channels. We’ve become power users of many of Contactually’s features, but the biggest benefits of this tool are the proactive prompting to reconnect with important relationships, personalized mass communication, and Contact info consolidation.

There are also some pretty helpful integrations. Try out the integration with Full Contact and Zapier to make saving business card information easy. This is a life saver, especially after conferences or other events where you can end up with a stack of business cards.

contactually

Formstack

Good data is often the difference between having a mediocre product and having a product your customers love.

Formstack makes the tasks that go along with customer development easy and painless. With their customizable tools, you can create your own online forms (think surveys, newsletters, contracts — you name it) that look great and are super simple to share.

Call Recorder by ecamm

Use Ecamm to record Skype calls — both audio and video — directly to your computer. At Verge, we use this app all the time to record interviews, and its extra features save us a ton of time in the editing process.

Built in split-screen and side-by-side modes are great for remote, one-on-one interviews, and the quick MP3 converter helps you get your content out there faster.

Sleep Cycle

When you’re building a business, efficiency is everything. And without quality sleep, maintaining efficiency gets harder and harder.
Sleep Cycle is an app that tracks your sleep patterns and movements. By measuring your sleep cycles, the app wakes you up in the morning during a phase of light sleep. That way, you can wake up feeling naturally rested and ready to start your day.

The data you gather in Sleep Cycle is highly valuable information. Insight on your sleeping patterns can help you reevaluate and change the habits and activities that might be preventing you from resting and recharging efficiently. When every hour counts, that’s essential information.

sleep-cycle

TinderBox

Are you still sending proposals and partnership agreements as PDFs attached to an email? Well then, boy do I have a treat for you!

There’s a growing field of software called “sales enablement” that’s helping entrepreneurs increase sales through better tools. If your business uses proposals to win new clients, sales proposal software can be a force multiplier. By using a proposal management software like TinderBox (that’s what we use), you can create more dynamic proposals using video, customized content snippets, and interactive elements that allow viewers to ask questions. The best part is that you get to track when your proposals get opened, which pages get viewed, and when the recipient accepts the deal–right from within the app!

Trello

I’ve never gotten so much value out of a free tool. But like any project management software, you need to have a good system to get the most out of Trello.
You can use Trello to visualize your workflow, taking many simultaneous projects and displaying them simply and remotely. Our team uses Trello to track daily tasks, content ideas, our editing workflows, and several other ongoing processes.

trello

Coach 

Is there a new habit you’d like to establish and maintain? Or maybe a bad habit you’re trying to kick? There’s an app for that.

Coach is a handy tool that helps you create consistent behavioral change. Whether you want to get yourself in the habit to floss daily, wake up the first time the alarm goes off, or to stop drinking Diet Coke; Coach can help by reminding you and layering on other systems that will help you stay consistent. You can join peer groups to hold each other accountable, check-in daily to develop a streak you won’t want to break, and if you’re really struggling—you can even hire a personal trainer to coach you through it.
I recommend the daily meditation or daily yoga habits as a great way to get started with Coach. Your body will thank you.

Rival IQ

Knowing what your competition is up to has never been more important than it is today. Rival IQ provides useful comparative intelligence to show you how you stack up against competitors in your industry.

Rival IQ weeds through the social and SEO analytics for you, so you can focus on what actually works — engaging content and building relationships with your top influencers.

rival-iq

 

BONUS: Gauges

Are you using Google Analytics, but feeling a little overwhelmed? Just check out Gauges …you can thank me later 😉