Online and offline business tools come and go, but some make lasting impressions.
From productivity tools to video conference tools, the world of business becomes a much easier place to manage, and withstand, with the help of free and paid software solutions. For example, a system as simple as Trello has been shown to connect both small and large organizations.
The same can be said about Buffer, Dropbox and Pocket, but what about those that bring a certain amount of tracking to your team’s productivity?
Trello has a unique integration with a tracking tool, but how else can you understand if your employees are getting their work done? Even if you run your own business, how do you know that you’ve put in a certain amount of hours or spent that time wisely?
It all comes down to productivity tracking tools, and that’s what we’re going to outline today.
Harvest with Trello
As a standalone product, Harvest works wonders if you’d like to track how much time your team is spending on particular tasks. In addition, the handy, and rather inexpensive tool, assists with sending out invoices after tracking time spent on projects.
This is particularly helpful for organizations that sell services, or for those that want to check-in on areas like how long it takes to develop and manage an online store; but it also empowers all types of businesses to understand where all the manhours are going.
As a bonus, the Harvest system integrates with Trello, meaning you and your team can create tasks in Trello and start the Harvest timer directly from the Trello board. As of right now, the tool is only available through the Chrome Web Store.
The Asana tool is considered one of the easiest ways for teams to track their progress and get results. It works by tracking projects from start to finish, with clear steps and progress modules for showing how close you are to goals.
Asana is well known amongst companies that are prone to tracking, since it has a mobile platform, actionable task options and a beautiful inbox for communicating with your team.
Wunderlist is one of the simplest productivity tracking tools you can find, but dang is it gorgeous. The tool runs as a simple to-do list, which works for both individuals and organizations. Feel free to go back and check what tasks have been completed, or create a rotating list for tasks you must complete on a daily basis.
Work collaboratively by sharing your lists or your email marketing apps for example, and use this opportunity to check-in on your workers to see exactly how they are performing in your company.
The Atlassian tool serves mid-sized to large businesses rather well, since its JIRA software brings together large teams that need to ship early and often. JIRA is a digital scrum board, so it’s primarily used by teams of developers. That doesn’t necessarily mean that your online business can't use it, but keep in mind that it’s designed mainly for web development companies.
Real time data and reports are available, and the workflow can be selected from the many pre built options, or your team can build its own.
Check out inDinero if you’re in need of a reliable tracking system for your taxes and accounting. The purpose of the software is to ensure that your entire accounting process is managed through a single dashboard, instead of trying to integrate multiple tools.
For example, inDinero has real-time financials, mobile access and auto categorization, all of which you can’t find when opting for a real accountant. To go along with that, you receive teams of people who are there to speak with you on the phone and guide you through the tax and accounting process.
Google Drive is not generally seen as a tracking system, but where are you going to store all of those records and documents? Let’s say you log your employee hours through Harvest. It’s not a bad idea to import or write these details in a cloud based tool like Google Drive.
The same goes for your business documents. A huge part of seeing how other people are doing in your organization is checking in on their finished progress. A simple folder for each employee could be checked on in order to use for performance reviews. You can even take advantage of the track change tools for seeing past document modifications.
Toggle is a favorite amongst automation aficionados, because it’s known to amplify the tracking process by allowing hundreds of integrations through the Zapier app. For example, many of the tools spoken about above, such as Asana, Google Calendar and Trello, have the ability to connect with Toggle or other payment gateways.
What is Toggle? It’s similar to that of Harvest, but with a more simplistic approach. To start, Toggle offers an unlimited amount of projects and clients, and you can color code your projects to improve how easy it is for you and your team to understand tasks. In addition, the app allows for the tracking of time when you’re offline, which is a necessary feature if your team is leaving the office to speak with customers, or if they would like to work from home.
Evernote is one of the more popular programs on this list, and it qualifies as a tracking tool because the powerful system stores just about any document, webpage or media file that you could imagine.
Sure, this mainly sounds like a storage app, but the true tracking power comes into play with the search function. If you’d like to check what projects an employee has been working on, type in a keyword that relates to that project. The optical character recognition brings in results from scanned PDFs, while you can also tag each file with your own keywords for future use.
Over to You…
A strong tracking strategy means more than telling your workers to turn in a time sheet at the end of the week. It’s imperative to track your documents, collaboration instances, tasks, projects, hours and income. Otherwise your business is driving in the dark, and it’s impossible to understand how well you’re performing.
Overall, if you have any questions about tracking tools and methods, feel free to drop a line in the comments section below.
Feature image curtsey of Fireart Studio