We live in a cluttered digital world where there are new apps and online tools being introduced, promising improved efficiency, time saved and better outputs. Staying on top of what’s hot and what’s not can be a full-time undertaking. Whilst the rewards can be great, some of these tools take up way too much time to understand and use or are not compatible with our systems or devices. The investment of time and brainpower outweighs the potential benefit which defeats the purpose.
To cut through the information overload, the team at Marketing Loco has spent the time to research the latest time-saving applications, and put them through their paces based on ease of use, time-saving attributes and added value. Based on our collective findings, I’ve come up with a list of my top 3 favourite apps / digital tools to help improve efficiency, saving you precious time and energy so you can focus on more important things.
I absolutely love this app. Not only is it very easy to download and use, it has saved me literally hours of time. TEMI allows you to record yourself or any audio and will transcribe the audio into text, which you can download as a WORD or PDF file. If, like me, you’re more of a talker than a write, then this is the app for you!
The first time I used TEMI was to provide information to my copywriter for my website relaunch. I recorded 7 minutes and 24 seconds of my speech into TEMI. I then downloaded the word document, made a few minor changes and sent the document to my copywriter. This task took me 10 minutes in total.
Without the use of TEMI, it would have taken me at least 1.5 – 2 hours to write the copy and edit it. Of course, being busy and in constant contact with my clients and team, I would have been pulled away (responding to emails, taking calls). Whilst it’s true that copywriting is not my favourite business task, more importantly I need to focus on my core business. This task is important but it’s not as urgent as some other imperatives so if it takes too long it simply gets shelved in favour of something else,
The first question you may ask is, ‘How accurate is TEMI when recording audio?’ Well, in my experience it’s very accurate. It even captured my “ums” and “ahs”, which I was blissfully unaware of until I saw them in black and white! The second question you may ask is, ‘How much is it?’ You might be surprised to learn it only costs 10c per minute. In my case, I spent a total of 80c for my 7 minute and 24 second recording and transcribing, which was the best 80c I think I’ve ever spent!
The biggest issue for me with regards to hand-written notes, is the likelihood of either losing them or not being able to read my own writing (which happens more often than you may think). Evernote is the solution to this genuine business challenge.
I downloaded EverNote to my smartphone and tablet. So I’m now able to record and save important notes from meetings. Plus, I can easily create to-do lists and edit them no matter where I am. I also love how the app syncs between my tablet and smartphone so I don’t have version control issues. Actually, I had the idea of writing this blog on the train to a client meeting, so I’m using EverNote right now to capture this list of my top 3 favourite apps onto my EverNote phone app!
You can also share notes with others, add photos, screenshots and links into your notes. And there are a plenty of additional features I haven’t even tapped into yet, so it’s definitely worthwhile checking it out. There is a free version of EverNote that you can use, plus a number of paid plans with additional features.
As I’m sure you are well-aware, arranging meeting times and dates can be very time-consuming and frustrating. Generally, the meeting setup process looks like this: You send an email to schedule a meeting, you wait for a response, once you receive the response (which often has a different date and time), you check your calendar to see if the date and time is suitable to your schedule. You then respond to the email, and once it is confirmed you create and send out a calendar meeting invitation. Often several days after the initial request was instigated. Sound familiar?
Calendly allows you to choose your availability preferences and then share it through a link in an email or from your website. The other party can select the day and time that also suits them – and voila! – the meeting is added to both of your calendars.
Many businesses offer a free phone consult for potential clients. This is the perfect tool for this instance, as it locks them into the meeting and they will even receive a meeting reminder since it’s already in their calendar. Definitely earns the accolade of working smarter in my opinion!
You are probably wondering about the cost? Yes – there is a free version. There are additional features for the Premium and Pro packages which are only $8 and $12 respectively per month. In my opinion, it is very affordable for such an efficient tool.
I hope you found this an interesting read. It’s important to note that I’m not affiliated to any of these tools in any way and I’m not receiving any rewards or commission for mentioning them. I truly get excited about digital tools that make my chaotic business life easier and allow me to get better value out of the time I do invest. And being the business/marketing/digital obsessive that I am, I love sharing business efficiencies with others. Hopefully they’ll help you save some time, energy and frustration too. Don’t believe me? Explore for yourself and then think about what you will do with the extra time up your sleeve. More time thinking about a client or sales opportunity or implementing a growth initiative? Or maybe getting to the gym this time.
Isabelle Durkin is a trainer at Bridge Business College.