Online tools for smarter business

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One of the key issues that many businesses face is keeping track of updated documents, especially when team members work in different offices. It’s not always possible for everyone collaborating on a project to come together in the same meeting room to contribute, but thankfully with the advent of cloud computing, the issues of emailing, saving and storing updates to documents have been solved.

Cloud computing services allow any team member with an internet connection to collaborate on a project online. Collaboration can happen in real-time before the project is then stored in a ‘cloud’, where it’s accessible by everyone with permission. This means that the most recent and updated version of a project is always to hand – no more delays because the staff member with the approved document is out of reach!

In terms of inter-company communication, there are also a number of social networking and chat tools which can help to ease fluidity of communication and interconnectedness. Some social networks are designed purely for businesses – only people in your company have access to there, and they allow you to post questions, ideas and news and get input from everyone else in your company. Similarly, VOIP and instant chat programs are great communication tools, especially for companies that are spread out geographically, as you can see who’s available to be contacted within the company through their online status and get instant message replies to quick questions.

If you have trouble keeping track of everything you need to do – and your notepad is crammed with semi-legible scrawls, then maybe you need an online note taking tool. Some of these services can be used on your phone, tablet or computer, and allow you to jot down notes, bookmark web pages to read later, grab screenshots, save images, take photos or whatever else you need to do, and stores all that information in one handy, easily referenced place, which is accessible from anywhere with a web connection. And the beauty of most modern business phone line packages is that you can access your business web connection when you’re on the move, as well as when you’re in the office.

Last, but not least, if you find you’re struggling under a mountain of email, phone calls and admin that’s preventing you from concentrating on moving your business forward, then maybe you need to look at outsourcing those tasks to an administration assistant?

Justifying the cost of a full-time personal assistant can be difficult, but by outsourcing these tasks to virtual assistants in rising outsourcing hubs such as India, you can achieve the same level of professional service for a cost of less than £5 an hour.

While the pace of modern life – and business - may be getting more hectic by the day, thankfully technology is also helping to create nifty little services and tools like these that can help to streamline your life.

Daniel Collins writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

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