Use Technology to be More Efficient
We could all be more efficient with our time. There are always messages to answer, projects due, and an increasing set of demands on our day. One of the best ways to overcome these demands is to use technology to your advantage.
The beauty of technology is that it helps us in our personal and professional life. We can be more efficient, use our time wiser, collaborate with others, and simply look cool as the "tech" person. Below are some of the technologies the BizLatte team uses on a daily basis.
Slack for Team Communication
Slack is an amazing communication and collaboration platform that allows you to be productive and efficient with team communication. Whether you are a student or professional, get used to team-based projects. Your colleagues or classmates have families, commitments, long commutes, and more which can make communication difficult.
Slack allows you to chat with your teammates, create dedicated channels to specific projects, and send files, all on an easy to use platform that is free! The BizLatte team uses Slack daily to keep in touch, work through problems, and quickly share links/files.
All things Google for Productivity
I am completely committed to Google’s productivity tools. I use Google daily: Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Keep, Google Hangouts, Google Drive, etc. They are not paying us to promote their products; we just find their platforms to be easy to use and accessible.
Other platforms productivity platforms include Asana, Basecamp, Nozbe, Trello, ZOHO, Dropbox, and Evernote. The aforementioned are excellent platforms with many functions, yet we have become accustomed to Google.
Google Calendar is where I keep daily tasks and recurring meetings, assignment deadlines, etc. The calendar is my personal guide for the week, and I update it daily along with dedicating time each Sunday to go over what needs to be done during the upcoming week. A key tip I received from a high-level consultant is to always send meeting invites. When setting up an informational interview, Google Calendar makes those meetings invites easy which is among the many reasons why it is my preferred platform.
Google Keep is a platform for to-do lists, notes, and other items that you want to be able to easily access. I place my larger tasks in Google Keep and separate items between work and personal to-dos. Surprisingly, this is not a well-known resource for most. However, it is a fantastic tool for staying organized.
Google Hangouts is similar to Skype, it can be used for video calls and screen sharing. It is a great tool for team projects, leadership meetings, and anything else where a video call is needed.
Google Apps is another huge time-saver, as you can use the overall application system for collaboration. Google Drive, Google Docs, and Google Slides allow you to easily collaborate with your teams and share files. If you are unfamiliar with Google Drive, think of it as a form of cloud storage, where you can keep personal files and share files to be viewed or edited by those who share access.
Google Docs is similar to Microsoft Word with the benefit of being cloud based, which also allows multiple individuals to work on a single document at the same time. The BizLatte team edits our blogs on Google Docs and simultaneously works on documents.
Google Slides is the equivalent to Microsoft PowerPoint, and it is a fantastic tool for collaboration. In your professional career, you will be responsible for numerous presentations, and Google Slides becomes a solid platform for your team to add their content collaboratively instead of saving and emailing multiple revised versions of a presentation. These applications will not replace Microsoft applications, however, they are ideal for team-based work and assignments.
Another benefit is that your Google Doc and Google Slide can be exported as a Word Document, PDF, and PowerPoint, which helps for those presentations you will be doing in meetings.
Note: Google Sheets is similar to Microsoft Excel, yet for many advanced functions and features you will want to stick with Excel.
Grammarly has become our go-to resource for editing articles and content. The online application works seamlessly with digital platforms! Essentially, it is a plugin which edits your online documents, emails, blogs, and other items in real-time. Just go get it now and thank us later. We are still on the free version and will upgrade soon. Don't just think of this as something for writers, it is a platform for everyone as it will correct those small mistakes in your email.
TapeACall is an app we use for interviewing experts. This is the app for you if you interview others or simply need a recording of a phone meeting to go back to for reference. Installing and learning to use takes a couple of minutes and will save you hours of taking notes. Please keep in mind you must let people know you are recording them.