5 Digital Tools That Will Drastically Increase the Speed and Efficiency of Your Work

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When it comes to being buried in business, you’d gladly accept any help when it comes to getting things done fast and getting them done well. Luckily, technology can cut our jobs in half if we know where to look and how to work.

Here are five applications you can use to maximize your productivity- you are welcome.

Trello

I’ve written about Trello on many occasions, but I want to reiterate that this marvelous organizational tool has changed my life forever and for the better.

Trello is essentially an extensive, interactive to-do list that can be flexibly used for anything from press outreach campaigns and budget tracking to art curation and reading lists. Capable of creating checklists, uploading photos and sharing with friends or co-workers, Trello is just gosh darn amazing and keeps your life manageable and on track.

Squarespace

Need a beautiful website that’s easy to create and maintain? Squarespace is the answer to your desires and so much more. It’s what I use for my blog.

At a cost of about $100 a year, you get to set a domain name and choose from a variety of minimal templates that are super simple, sexy and intuitive to use. It’s an investment, but definitely one that’s absolutely worth it.

If you’re a blogger, I’d actually recommend WordPress because of its functionality — Squarespace can be a bit limiting due to a lack of widgets that WordPress provides. However, if you need an online portfolio or business website that looks modern and professional, Squarespace is the way to go.

Evernote

I am a fervant Evernote user and missionary. This note-taking and archiving app is free, allowing you to organize all your writing into separately categorized notebooks as well as saving your progress automatically so you never have to worry about losing your work. A search capabiity allows you to locate any note quickly and easily.

For me, Evernote has replaced Microsoft Word as my numba one, and I predict many organizations will go through a similar conversion in the future.

Skype

It may seem obvious that Skype has simplified and changed the way we do face-to-face meetings forever, but I’m not touting this app for its expected use.

At my company in Shanghai, everyone keeps Skype on at the office to communicate with one another using the chat function despite being seated in the same space. Sometimes, you just get so into your work that it’s more convenient to send a chat message rather than open your mouth. The file sending function is also surprisingly convenient, and we use it everyday to trade important documents or photos to one another throughout the course of the day.

WeChat

I’ve made it my goal in life to convert everyone in the States to WeChat users.  One of the fastest growing apps in the world, WeChat currently has over 600 million users and has experienced greater growth than Facebook in its first two years.

If any of you are familiar with Whatsapp, WeChat is similar, but way, way better. Here is a short list of why WeChat rules:

1. WeChat is free to download, and free to use with wi-fi

2. You can create groups on WeChat that simplify inviting guests to social events

Want to invite 20 people to a dinner? Forget the pain of sending individual texts ever again. By creating a group on WeChat of all the people you want to invite, you can communicate time, place and expectations to everyone all at once. You can also create groups for professional organizations and networks that allow everyone to stay connected at all times. For example, for the League of Extraordinary Women network I was part of in Shanghai, our WeChat group of 100 women provided a platform for sharing of local events and job opportunities.

3. WeChat enables you to stay in contact with people from all over the world.

4. WeChat comes with photo sharing, video calling and voice message functions that are incorporated right into chats.

5. WeChat lets you share short statuses or photos with your friends on a personal “moments” page that is similar to Twitter or your Facebook wall.

6. WeChat has a seriously awesome variety of smileys and stickers.

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