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9 Innovative Tools To Improve Your Office Productivity

By Michael Crump | 18 March 2013

Wish there were more hours in the day?  Never seem to get around to ticking off your to-do list? We’ve done some research and asked around our young and innovative staff members here at Upskilled to bring you some of the best time-saving tools to make your life a more productive one!

Office Chat

woman typing on laptop

This may sound like a bit of time waster, but research has shown that businesses who have implemented an office chat application such as Google Chat, Yammer, or Sales Force’s Chatter have seen a big decrease in the time spent emailing, improvements in internal communication, and thus a more productive work environment.  The other great thing about these is they are now also available on most mobile devices, meaning no matter where you are, you can always be a part of the conversation.


This is a great one if you have a compatible tablet device as this is all you need to take along to meetings.  It will eliminate the need for writing your notes, transcribing them and then emailing. You can simply email the meeting notes straight from the app to attendees before they’ve even returned to their desk!  It’s also a great way to capture your ideas, things you like, things you’ve heard, and things you see, with powerful search functionality to find the notes or ideas you want quickly.  Evernote is also compatible with most computers and mobile devices.

Voice recognition Software

asian woman talking on smartphone

Forget typing up huge amounts of text. With advances in technology, the accuracy of voice recognition software is much better now, meaning you can simply dictate to have your document completed in a fraction of the time.

Dragon Speech Recognition:

Cloud based document storage

Ever get home from work or out at a meeting and want access to a particular file? There are now some great tools out there that will store your documents securely in the cloud, giving you access no matter where you are, or what device you’re on.  Two of the leaders here are Drop Box and Google Drive, providing free access at an entry level and paid if you need more storage.

Drop Box:
Google Drive:

Web conferencing

Why waste time travelling when you can have a video conference from your home or office.  Web conferencing is a great way to hold meetings, seminars, workshops and presentations to be shared with individuals in multiple locations. WebEx is a popular choice for businesses incorporating features such as the ability to record and playback presentations, meet using a tablet or smart phone, instant messaging and drawing tools.

Send large files online

Having trouble sending large files over email especially when they exceed the email provider attachment size limit? Yousendit is one of the most popular online services to transfer large files.  After uploading files to their Yousendit server, the intended recipient receives an email with a link to download the file.

Keeping up-to-date with the news

business men reading newspaper

The most time efficient way of doing this is via RSS (Really Simple Syndication), which essentially means you can create a feed of all the latest news from your favourite websites.  This means you don’t have to visit 10 different websites, you can see it all within the one application.  Some popular mobile device apps include Flipboard and Zite or you could go with a more traditional RSS news reader such as Google Reader

Flipboard –

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

Having a cloud-based CRM is definitely the way of the future, with the main advantage being  that businesses do not need to invest in purchasing and maintaining IT hardware. Users can access on any computer with a web browser and internet connection.  A good quality CRM uses technology to synchronize, organise and automate business processes including sales, marketing, customer service and technical support.  One of the most popular cloud based CRM’s is Salesforce.

Salesforce –

Virtual Assistant

If you’re forever swamped with admin, maybe a virtual assistant is the answer.  There is a growing trend of professionals hiring virtual assistants who are essentially experienced administrators who work remotely and are generally quite cost effective, in that you only pay for what you need.  They can perform tasks like data entry, event organisation, order stationery, take your calls, manage print jobs – the list goes on.

The Virtual Assistant –

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