3+ Ways Smartphones Can Boost Productivity of Entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are extremely particular about their time. They have to be, or else the clock would gradually tick down on their businesses, for, there is no bigger lesson in firm management than managing time. Experts tell us that smartphones are one of the primary sources of time profligacy. Aspiring entrepreneurs are seen texting their chums, playing games they are addicted to or keeping track of the latest episode of How I Met Your Mother, among other such examples of sheer time wastage, as both their individual potential and that of the firm as a whole is dutifully sacrificed for the noble cause of beating their best friend’s high score in Angry Birds.
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However, while we might have portrayed a smartphone as the mother of all procrastinating evil, if one uses the right tools and apps, the phone can be quite the contrary just as easily as well. The biggest reason behind entrepreneurs wasting their firm’s precious time can end up helping them out in managing their time better and being more productive. Here are three ways the devil in your back pocket can end up being a blessing, with not much of a disguise.
1. Task Management
The service can be used to track anything that needs to be done, like for instance sorting out the tasks according to the folders, which can be further sub-categorized according to the names of the clients or even other general categories like banking. Toodledo is also helpful with regards to setting due dates, deadlines and fixing reminders accordingly. And it also helps you prioritize the tasks that need to be done in a day, week or a month.
Toodledo’s free version can be quite handy in a multitude of ways, but it’s the pro version – costing $19.95 per annum – that adds extremely useful functions for entrepreneurs in particular. For example there is this facility that allows the user to further break down the tasks into smaller sub-tasks, which makes the list look less daunting and can easily be delegated to seniors and subordinates alike. And most importantly, Toodledo provides a safe internet connection, which is pivotal if one factors in cell phone monitoring software into the equation as well.
Another popular app is Remember the Milk, a service which provides simple task lists and suitable for individuals and does not cater to firms as such. And then there is OmniFocus as well, which costs $80 and constructs a complex task review mechanism that might be too much to handle for someone who is eying smaller operations.
2. Scanning Business Cards, Receipts
Collecting tiny little fragments of paper can destroy any entrepreneur and reduce their existence to virtual nothingness. Take for instance an entrepreneur who jots notes quickly on receipts or business cards so that they can recall why either was saved in the first place. However, when the said entrepreneur reaches home, he’d put off the task if actually entering the data into a computer or using the scanner to process the receipts. This is where two apps would certainly help this entrepreneur’s cause.
The first one is ScanBizCards, which is free for Android and Windows Phones and iOS. It allows the user to scan both business card sides at the very moment and save the desired info. Optical character recognition is used to enter data into the required address book, which can later on be exported to the main address book. And for merely $12 per annum the option of web sync allows the user to manage all stored cards through a web interface.
Another apposite app is an iPhone app called JotNot Scanner. It allows the user to scan any documents, optimize file sizes and organize the scans into a document that is secure owing to password protection.
3. Regulating Email Responses
Receiving emails on your phone is convenient, typing on it is not. The latter can be both incredibly tedious, cumbersome, time consuming and owing to auto correct it can result in a plethora of errors. What can be done to overcome this mini predicament is reading the email on the phone and marking the emails that need responses and then replying to them whenever one’s on a computer.
If you believe that an email must be immediately answered, the more prudent thing to do would be to make a quick call. Or of course one can become the ‘writing brief answers’ connoisseur and dig themselves out of that hole. Logically, what should be done is that one should add the email phone of their phone that should say something like: “This message has been send from my phone, so pardon any mistakes any terseness, and I shall get back to you with a longer reply if needed”
TED Email Charter is one such service that can help you regulate the email responses and in turn save a lot of time that would’ve had been wasted in an email labyrinth that entrepreneurs often find difficult to come out of.
So yes, you never gave it much thought but your smartphone can help you ease out your nerves and manage time, which would save time and eventually enhance your productivity. If you’re an entrepreneur struggling with time management, stop playing Angry Birds and use that device in your hand to manage your time, your career and your life in a much better way.