Across our business, third party apps help our team to be more efficient when they are out of the office or in meetings. Like many businesses, there are pieces of software that we use across our business, from core productivity tools such as Microsoft Office, to apps that replace paper based processes.
Word processing, spreadsheets and presentation tools are commonplace in virtually every business. Through freely accessible tools like Google Docs, Microsoft Office and Apple’s suite, our team is able to review and amend documents on the move via their mobile devices. When running presentations, Apple’s Keynote allows our team to not only create or edit presentations on the move, but also play them on external screens from mobile devices.
Even when using a laptop, plugged into an external screen, we are able to control presentations by using the remote function within Keynote, providing us with the ability to view notes or write on presentations. Keynote also enables us to use our fingers to highlight key areas for meeting attendees to look at.
These are apps that we use on a daily basis, that are largely free and allow us to collaborate with members of the team based in our offices. As they sync with desktop versions of apps, we know that any changes that get made on the move will be reflected when we get back in front of our computers, saving us time.
As much as any company may try to reduce their use of paper, it still serves an important purpose in the office and during meetings. Mubaloo’s strategy team will often use Post-it notes when in workshops, to help prioritise ideas or look at processes. The free Post-it app means the team can simply photograph what they have done and export it to PowerPoint presentations or digitise the work instantly.
Apps like Microsoft OneNote for iPad and Android, or Evernote’s Scannable, also help to instantly scan paper documents. In the case of OneNote, we’re able to utilise its text recognition functionality to turn paper print outs into digital text that can be copied and pasted to other documents or apps.
With freely available apps such as Skype or Slack, the team is able to communicate with each other, wherever they are. They are able to use Slack to make documents relevant to project conversations available to the team members, so that they can keep updated with progress. Apps like Dropbox or Google Drive also mean that members of the team can continue working when they are away from the office.
An app like Evernote also means that when we are in meetings, either internally or externally, we are able to easily take notes that sync across our devices, or share notes instantly. These help to replace what would traditionally be done on paper. Even when making paper notes, we’re able to utilise apps that make digital copies, making it easier to document work that can be shared internally.
Though we are a company that supplies employees with laptops, there are still times when they are not the most efficient device for the team to use. Having access to freely available apps, that help us stay connected and enable us to review virtually any document on the move, means we can save time and be productive regardless of our location.
Any company can utilise tools like these, or thousands of others to make simple improvements to daily work activities and tasks. It’s when companies have unique processes or operations that these tools may not offer that. Taking a bespoke approach delivers maximum value. Bespoke built apps are tightly integrated with an organisation and are designed around workflows to help improve processes or operations specific to that organisation.
Though these may be seen to some as a luxury, more often than not they can become core to business operations and create unique advantages. In many cases, they will help companies to save money or generate new revenue opportunities. Our advice to companies is to start with readily available apps and see where there are further opportunities to make improvements that provide value. By acting mobile, it’s much easier to innovate with mobility and win internal support for projects that deliver true improvements.