The rise of flexible work culture such as ‘working anywhere at any time’ can mean extra pressure for startup founders, which translates to ‘work everywhere at every time. Modern tech workers seem to chase after productivity is like the new-age stage of attaining enlightenment. However, in the midst of this chase, it’s important to remember Ray Dalio’s guidance that “you can have virtually anything you want, but you can’t have everything you want”.
In that case, what exactly is being productive? Is it even important?
Why are startup founders always looking for productivity tools
The most important thing any startup founder needs is: focus.
As Steve Jobs said: “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done.”
Founders are always feeling overwhelmed with everything at once. Being tech people, they often try to find a solution in the next tech tool.
However, that can backfire and lead to even more tools, platforms, and things to distract them from focusing on what really matters. When founders decide to implement yet another new tool in their company, they pass on the SaaS fatigue to their team members.
Are your startup team members facing SaaS Fatigue?
Studies show that in 2017, companies use an average of 16 apps. Moreover, companies with more than 2,000 employees deploy an average of 163 apps. In the era of remote working, we rely on digital tools and software like never before.
However, founders should be mindful that their next team productivity tool implementation might just be another of the time-consuming processes that are dreaded by their team members and reduce the productivity of their business.
We break down this tech buzzword and share the five tools that have proven to work more than just distract.
This list is for founders who are drowned by the hundreds of different startup productivity tools, yet just needs to stay focused.
Instead of listing yet another project management tool or marketing automation software, the tools here will help you find the focus you’ve been desperately wanting. Every productivity tool on this list checks these boxes:
One-time set up in less than 10 mins
Habit-building tools that people actually use regularly without being forced
No need for extra time/effort to manage it
Makes your work as a founder much easier in the long run
No need for constant logging in/remembering passwords on a new platform
Focus on the important stuff with Superhuman
Problem: Your inbox is filled with all sorts of messages, from cold emails to important discussions all in one place. Once you open your inbox, you’ll get flooded with everything at once, leaving you distracted and unable to focus on priority tasks.
Solution: Superhuman’s email app helps you keep track of crucial emails and filter out the noise, so you can stay focused and on top of daily tasks, manage deliverables, and reply to important conversations.
Busy startup founders from Silicon Valley to Singapore swear by Superhuman to manage their exploding inboxes. The email app’s premium features include AI Triage– using machine learning to detect and highlight your most important business messages.
Other features also help goal-focused founders in keeping track of important milestones with follow-up reminders, tasks, and projects. Its user-friendly interface also looks great and works ‘blazingly fast.
The downside is that there isn’t a free plan or free version of this software. Superhuman’s paid plans of US$30/month can be costly especially for small businesses.
It also only supports email on Google Services such as Gmail and G Suite. As such, many Superhuman alternatives and other tools have emerged over the years with other features.
Keep remote teams engaged with RewardNation’s public recognition tool
Problem: The Great Resignation of 2021 cites the lack of recognition as the main reason why employees are unmotivated at work and leave their jobs.
Employees do their best when they feel appreciated for their contributions, yet existing employee recognition programs and engagement activities are not cutting it.
Solution: RewardNation uses micro recognition to help your remote teams stay motivated and productive.
Team members can instantly send appreciation messages to each other to recognise good work. The messages are also published on a company-wide feed such as your Slack/Teams channel, where the whole team can celebrate small wins together, increase collaboration, and engage with each other all at the same place.
RewardNation naturally builds a habit of recognition in your company. This means that your employees will be regularly engaged on the platform without constant management required from you or your co-founder. ANd its free forever.
Take effective meeting notes with Otter.ai
Problem: You go through so many meetings that you forget the crucial points and ideas mentioned in most of them. This causes you to lose many opportunities for business growth. If only you had the right productivity tools or software to help you recall key details of important conversations.
Solution: Otter.ai is a cloud-based platform that lets you record all business conversations and manage projects with one tool. Simply start the recording before your video call, and Otter.ai will generate a voice recording and text transcript of your meeting.
Take note of crucial details so you can easily add new ideas for projects to your project management tool or to do list. No more time-consuming note-taking or missing out on tasks.
A great productivity tool for startups, Otter.ai is perfect for remote team members, small business owners, and tasks on team projects such as consolidating marketing efforts across different team members remotely in various timezones.
Start using this time management tool with their free version, and they also have a premium version or custom software pricing for access to more management features.
Declutter your inbox with Unroll.me
Problem: You cannot focus with an inbox cluttered with spam and newsletters that you’ve subscribed from, but are no longer interested in. Especially when today, every business wants your email and every business is sending you their latest updates and blog post when your own to-do list is piling up.
Solution: Use Unroll.me to see every company you’ve subscribed to on the same page, and unsubscribe from them instantly. We know that you’ve been procrastinating an inbox clean up because it’s time-consuming and there’s always more important business due dates, to-do lists, and new projects to work on.
That’s why Unroll.me’s software only requires your one-time effort for a lifetime bliss of a spam-free inbox. They also have a high success rate of ensuring you will not get spammed by the same domain again.
Enjoy a clutter-free inbox so you can focus on the crucial projects and skyrocket your productivity. This is not only one of the most useful productivity tools for startups, but for every small business owner or project management team to continue remote working while growing productivity for the business and focus on the right tools, tasks, and projects.
Record shareable videos on Loom
Problem: Many meetings could have been an email. Many meetings could also have been done just once, or communicated through a video. Doing unnecessary meetings prevents you from focusing on growing your business.
Solution: Loom lets you record and share video messages of your screen, camera, or both. Faster than typing an email or meeting live.
From onboarding new employees, explaining how to use new tools and software, or reviewing team boards on project management tools. Use Loom to get your message across quickly and clearly.
The free plan on Loom lets you record your screen, voice, and face to create an instantly shareable video that your team can access directly or save to your business Google Drive. Reduce back-and-forth typing and get your message across the first time, instead of creating more team boards on your project management software.
You can also save and send files of your recordings as direct links on Google Docs or your project management tools such as Asana or Notion.
Editor’s note: e27 aims to foster thought leadership by publishing views from the community. Share your opinion by submitting an article, video, podcast, or infographic
Image credit: 123rf
The post 5 productivity tools for busy startup founders to stay focused in 2022 appeared first on e27.