October 5

Super-Duper Productivity Tools (Guest Post)

Y'all, #IKnowBrilliantPeople!

This is a guest post from my speaking colleague and bestie Dr. Mary Kelly. This woman's got skills! Please take advantage of her brilliance and check out her favorite tools. 

Oh... did I mention that she's in the Speaker Hall of Fame with the National Speakers Association? 

It's a really big deal. 

I am a motivational speaker and leadership expert.  I’m on the road about 20 days every month, and I need to stay organized.  

How do I do it?  Technology!

In today's fast-paced entrepreneurial world, staying organized and efficient is paramount. Entrepreneurs juggle numerous responsibilities, from managing finances to traveling for meetings and everything in between. Fortunately, technology has provided apps and tools to help entrepreneurs simplify their lives. Beth asked me to share how busy entrepreneurs can leverage technology, including apps like TripIt for travel, expense tracking apps, and other technology solutions, to make their entrepreneurial journey more manageable and successful.

These are some of the tools I use or have used.  I hope it is helpful! 

#1. Streamlining Travel with Triplt:

Entrepreneurs often find themselves crisscrossing the globe for meetings, conferences, and networking events. Travel arrangements can be a significant source of stress, but TripIt is designed to ease that burden. TripIt is an all-in-one travel organizer app that transforms your travel plans into a neatly organized itinerary. Here's how it can simplify your travel experiences:

  • Centralized itineraries.
    TripIt consolidates all your travel information, including flight details, hotel reservations, and car rentals, into a single, easily accessible itinerary. No more searching through emails for confirmation numbers or addresses. No more being at an airport wondering which rental car company I booked.
  • Real-time updates.
    The app syncs with your calendar and provides real-time updates on flight delays, gate changes, and even traffic conditions. This ensures that you stay informed and can adapt your plans accordingly.
  • Collaboration made easy.
    If you're traveling with colleagues or partners, TripIt allows you to share your itinerary with them, facilitating better communication and coordination. My assistant and family also knows where I am at all times.
  • Paperless travel.
    TripIt lets you store all your travel documents digitally, reducing the need for printed tickets and reservations. This not only saves paper but also eliminates the risk of losing important documents. WIN!

#2. Tracking Expenses with Technology:

Keeping a close eye on expenses is crucial for entrepreneurs to maintain financial health and make informed business decisions. Fortunately, there are various technology solutions available to streamline expense tracking:

  • Expensify:
    Expensify is a popular expense management app that simplifies the process of tracking expenses. It allows you to scan and upload receipts, categorize expenses, and generate detailed expense reports effortlessly. Expensify can integrate with accounting software, making it easier to manage your finances.
  • QuickBooks:
    QuickBooks is a comprehensive accounting software that provides expense tracking capabilities. It can sync with your bank accounts, credit cards, and other financial tools to automate expense tracking. QuickBooks also offers features for invoicing, payroll, and financial reporting, making it a valuable tool for entrepreneurs.
  • FreshBooks:
    FreshBooks is another cloud-based accounting software designed with small businesses and entrepreneurs in mind. It offers expense tracking, invoicing, time tracking, and financial reporting features. FreshBooks also integrates with popular payment gateways, making it easier to get paid quickly.

#3. Project Management and Collaboration Tools:

Effective project management and collaboration are essential for entrepreneurial success. Technology has introduced tools to enhance these aspects of business life:

  • Trello:
    Trello is a visual project management tool that uses boards, lists, and cards to help you organize tasks and projects. It's an excellent choice for entrepreneurs who prefer a flexible and visual approach to project management.
  • Asana:
    Asana is a robust project management platform that offers task assignment, deadline tracking, and project visualization features. It's ideal for entrepreneurs managing complex projects and teams.
  • Slack:
    Slack is a communication and collaboration tool that streamlines team communication. It allows you to create channels for different topics, share files, integrate with other apps, and even conduct video meetings—all in one place.
  • Zoom:
    Zoom has become a go-to platform for virtual meetings, webinars, and conferences. Entrepreneurs can use Zoom to connect with clients, partners, and team members worldwide, saving time and resources on travel. It is free for up to 40 minutes.  AND it transcribes!

#4. Virtual Assistants and Automations:

Entrepreneurs can also benefit from using virtual assistants and automation tools to delegate tasks and streamline processes:

  • Virtual Assistants:
    Services like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr connect entrepreneurs with remote freelancers who can assist with tasks ranging from administrative work to digital marketing. Hiring virtual assistants can free up your time and energy to focus on strategic aspects of your business.
  • Zapier:
    Zapier is an automation platform that connects various apps and services, allowing you to create "Zaps" that automate workflows. For example, you can set up Zaps to automatically send new email leads to your CRM system or post social media updates when you publish a blog post.

I love being an entrepreneur, and I rely on technology to make my life easier!

I hope this is helpful!

Guest post by Dr. Mary Kelly, author, speaker, economist, and retired Navy Commander. Her latest book, Better in 52 Weeks is on taking back time and growing businesses.  Mary is also the author of 14 other books about business and economics. Her most recent books, The 5-Minute Leadership Guide and Who Comes Next? Leadership Succession Planning Made Easy.

Mary has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, MENSA, Men’s Magazine, and thousands of additional media outlets!

See a full listing of Mary’s books HERE.

When not taking on the world by storm, Mary can usually be found near dogs and wine.  
She can be reached at Mary@ProductiveLeaders.com.

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  • Holy smokes! Tripit is amazing! I just signed up and loaded about four trips into it in probably less time than I’ll spend writing this comment. No more remembering which airline app to go to or fumbling with finding a hotel to navigate to. Thanks, Mary and Beth!

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