Ever feel like you’re spending far too much time on administrative tasks? Is your team bogged down by manual data entry, tons of emails, and trying to keep track of multiple client contacts? Have you had a project that’s gone slow as a wet week, thanks to miscommunication and doubling back?
Good news – there’s an app for that.
We’ve rounded up some of the most popular apps, by user numbers/downloads, as well as a couple of personal favourites.
Slack is a messaging app that helps keep teams in touch, no matter where they’re working from. It also makes sure everyone is in the loop and on topic, by allowing you to organise conversations in to ‘channels’ for particular teams, committees, projects, or discussion topics.
You can even send documents, and search the archives of your messages to bring up important files when you need them.
You can use it on your desktop, your laptop, or on the native iOS or Android apps. Leave an ongoing conversation on your work computer and open it again at home on your phone, and it’ll take you to where you left off.
Slack has gathered a lot of data from users, and found that on average, teams:
- were 32% more productive
- sent 48.6% fewer emails
- had 25.1% fewer meetings
Slack is free to use if you only need 5GB total file storage, two person calls, and only need to search up to 10,000 past messages.
Otherwise, plans starting at US$6.67 per active user per month include things like group calls, 10GB storage per team member, custom user groups, guest access, and priority support.
Document management/note taking
Evernote lets you take written notes, pictures of sketches, and other kinds of memos, “whenever inspiration strikes”. You can then access your notes from wherever you are, on any device, and share them with people too. It even has text recognition allowing you to search handwritten notes.
If you’re sick of trying to organise stacks of handwritten notes from meetings, presentations and seminars, on top of great stuff you find online, this could be the app for you.
It’s free to use the basic version, which allows you to share and discuss notes, and search for text inside images. Paid versions, which start at US$49.99 per year, give you extra features including more storage (free version limited to 60MB of new uploads per month), syncing across all devices, forwarding emails to Evernote, and scanning/digitising business cards. Evernote Business, which is $13 per user/per month, has a range of other benefits such as a ‘digital research assistant’.
MailChimp lets you store lists of email recipients and send beautifully formatted HTML emails (with plain text options). It also lets you track the results of each email ‘campaign’, with insights like open rate and click rate.
Advant Plus has integration with MailChimp, so you can send your newly created newsletters and other docs straight through to MailChimp before deciding who to send them to, and tracking the results.
MailChimp is free to use if you have up to 2,000 subscribers and send fewer than 12,000 emails per month. This means it’s ideal for most small to medium advice practices. You get all the most useful features of the paid versions, including customisable templates, free reports and data, and simple email signup forms. Starting at US$10/month, you can get other handy features like email automation and extra-detailed segmentation.
Canva is a drag and drop app with a very simple interface. Just choose a type of design, a template, and go to town on customising with your colours, images and more.
Advant Plus contains all the print and digital client communications content you need – and it’s created by real designers. But Canva can be handy if you’re looking at something a bit out of the ordinary. For example, if need to create a poster for your break room, make a custom Facebook cover image, or a special event invitation, you can do it in Canva.
There are two Canva apps. The basic version is free to use, but includes purchasable photos, illustrations and templates alongside the free stuff. Canva for Work starts at US$9.95 per month, and lets you set up a full brand kit, ‘magically’ resize designs (turn a Facebook post in to a printable poster), and more.
Hotjar is an ‘all in one’ analytics package that gives you a ton of data and insight on what people are doing on your site, but also why they’re doing it.
Ever wish you could see exactly where people were clicking, pausing to read, scrolling past, and hovering? Wish you could peek over their shoulder and see what they find easy (or difficult) to use about your site? This is the tool for you. Google Analytics is great, and can give you some very useful insights, but Hotjar goes even further.
Hotjar is free if you have under 2,000 page views per day, and only need one or two heatmaps, forms or recordings. It’s fine for most small to medium practices. If you want more insight, plans start at US$29 a month.