Business Automation: 13 Time-Saving Productivity Tech Tools

Is being more productive on your to-do list this year? Getting organized, using time more effectively, and getting more things accomplished have likely been on your “new year, new goals” list at some point. After all, they’re practical and within reach for just about any business owner. So, how can you start the year off on the right foot and up your productivity game? A simple plan of attack that includes on business automation can help achieve your goals and get more done.

digital automation | dallisonlee.com

Digital productivity tools can help you successfully manage a myriad of business tasks and processes — especially the ones that take up too much of your time. For example, some manual tasks are unnecessary and can often suck the time right out of your day. As you might have guessed, this is where automation can help. Keep reading to learn about 13 time-saving productivity tools that can help you automate specific tasks and give you more time to focus on your top goals and priorities.

… but, before you you do, you should know that there’s A LOT of information in this post about business automation that you probably won’t read all at once. Bookmark this article or save it an app like Evernote (click on my affiliate link below to learn more about it) or Pocket to dive into later.

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Business Automation: 13 Time-Saving Productivity Tech Tools

Business automation isn’t a magic pill nor does it mean that you’re completely hands-off and are not involved. You’re simply plugging automation into strong workflows to effectively manage repetitive tasks and instances where you are not specifically needed. That way, you can be more strategic and purposeful about how you spend your time.

Here are 4 ways automation can help you carve out more hours in the workday and 13 tech tools to help you do it:

1. Social Media Automation: Quickly share content from your social queue

If you’re still manually sharing social media updates, you may want to hit the pause button right now. It’s likely not the best use of your time and can eat up much of your working hours. Basically, it’s a repetitive time-suck and the more you do it, the less time you have to work on the really important things in your business.

Use this plan:

  • Decide which social platforms you want to focus on (e.g., TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat)
  • Figure out how many posts per platform you’ll share (e.g., 3 posts per week on Facebook and Twitter)
  • Schedule time each week (try 30-45 minutes) to fill up your social queue (note: a virtual assistant can help with this and free up more of your time!)
  • Use a specific posting schedule (i.e., you decide the days/times to publish) or auto-post (i.e., the tool automatically posts your updates at the best times)

Automate with these tech tools:

  1. Buffer
  2. Hootsuite
  3. AgoraPulse

2. Content Curation Automation: Easily find content to read or share

Once you’ve decided on the type of content that you will share, you’ll now need to find it! This is usually very time-consuming and the perfect opportunity to take advantage of business automation.

Instead of spending hours and hours scouring the internet for the best stuff to post on your social channels, let the content come to you. You’ll save time, stop information overload, and have an organized collection of great articles and videos to share on social.

Use this plan:

  • Set up Google Alerts for specific topics or get a daily digest of articles from “If This, Then That” (IFTTT)
  • Create a digital notebook to store relevant articles you randomly find on your internet travels (the Web Clipper can help)
  • Connect Gmail to Evernote to send Google Alerts you receive straight to Evernote
  • Use IFTTT to send content you favorite on Twitter (❤️) automatically to your Evernote notebook

Automate with these tech tools:

  1. Evernote (affiliate link)
  2. IFTTT

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3. Calendar Automation: Simplify meeting scheduling

Would you agree that trying to find the best time for everyone on your team to meet can be like playing a game of chess?  That can turn into a real headache with never-ending searches through messages as you try to find the best time to meet up.

That’s where calendar automation can help. It can rescue team members from the time consuming back and forth that often takes place when they’re trying to find a date and time that they are all available. Calendar automation also makes it easy to schedule appointments with clients, prospects, and just about anyone who wants to connect face-to-face with you.

Digital calendars and scheduling tools can quickly help everyone nail down the best time to meet, schedule recurring meetings, and automatically send out reminders to attendees. These tools can also automatically set time limits on meetings and add in predetermined “buffer time” before and after each meeting. Best of all, they also make rescheduling easy.

Use this plan:

  • Use built-in features in your current digital calendar (like “Find a Time” in Google Calendar) to easily schedule office meetings
  • Make sure that everyone in your office uses the same digital tools and scheduling process
  • Use a scheduling tool that integrates with your digital calendar and lets meeting participants choose times based on your preset availability
  • Add scheduling links to your website (e.g., home page, “contact” page) so prospects can quickly schedule “discovery calls” with you

Automate with these tech tools:

  1. Google Calendar or your preferred digital calendar
  2. Calendly
  3. Doodle
  4. Timetrade

4. Task Management Automation: Stay focused on important tasks

If an important task falls through the cracks or just doesn’t get the attention it needs, you might see a negative impact not only your productivity, but also on your bottom line. Though you might be using some digital tools and apps to help you stay focused on your priorities, you can put your productivity on autopilot by connecting those apps together.

Use this plan:

  • Connect Gmail and Any.do to automatically create a new entry on your task list when you star (⭐) any email message (Zapier)
  • Connect Google Calendar and Todist to automatically create a new entry on your task list when you add a new event (Zapier | IFTTT)
  • Create a recurring task in Todist to nudge you to record your top three priorities for the upcoming week (IFTTT)
  • Get an email summary of overdue tasks in Wunderlist (Microsoft Flow)

*Don’t see the calendar and task management app you use? Chances are, your apps can be connected with Zapier or IFTTT. Simply do a search or click the “Explore” link to find them.

Automate with these tech tools:

  1. Zapier
  2. IFTTT
  3. Microsoft Flow

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These are just a few tools you can use to insert automation and skyrocket your productivity (also check out #13 on my list, automate.io, for some great project management and CRM integrations). Of course, business automation isn’t the holy grail and you can’t use it in every part of your business.

So, take some time to review your workflows. Get feedback from your in-office and virtual teams to see where automation can be helpful. Then, track your progress. Are your results improving and productivity soaring? Or, do you need to make a few adjustments? Keep tweaking until you find the best digital automation blend for you and your company.

 

Hey folks! This post contains affiliate links. What does that mean? If you click on any of those links and make a purchase, I will get a small commission that will likely feed my growing coffee addiction! ☕

Comments ( 7 )
  • Janet Barclay says:

    I use IFTTT for a few things but I didn’t realize I could use it for content curation! Thanks so much for the heads up.

  • Seana Turner says:

    It is amazing how many great tools are out there to automate workflow these days. I like so many that you mentioned. I may try and do a bit more automation of my social media, although I have to say I enjoy the interaction when I’m on the platform. I do some scheduling, though, so it is good for a baseline. Thanks for sharing my tech-awesome friend!

  • Linda Samuels says:

    Clearly there is a lot I could be doing with some of these apps/platforms that I’m not doing. It’s amazing to think about the possibilities. What a wealth of information and food for thought that you shared here, Deb. And also, what a great idea to save it as a resource for a deep dive at another time.

  • Julie Bestry says:

    As always, Deb, you provide the meatiest information. What do you think of Agora Pulse (vs. Hootsuite and Buffer)? I know Steve Dotto uses it, but I’m mostly unfamiliar. (Future blog post, perhaps?) And I’m definitely going to check out Calendly. (Doodle and I have a love-hate relationship. I love it, but sometimes I feel like it should be easier to automate setting up multiple times on multiple days without so much clicking!) And I’m brand new to MS Flow, so I’ll be checking that out, too.

    Thanks for your brilliance, Deb!

  • Jo says:

    These are some great ideas! I got the IFTTT app but haven’t utilised it properly yet, I need to look into it more x

  • Susan Young says:

    These are great ideas! I am doing some of them, such as calendar automation. The social automation will be a huge time-saver, but I need to look further into IFTTT for myself, and automating my task list. Thanks for the ideas!

  • Gabi says:

    Wow! Honestly I didn’t know about these tools! I gonna go through each of them because I really need to be more organized!! Useful post 😉

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