Consulting is a challenging mission. You need to be outgoing, engaging and have to spend lots of time on the road. You’ll frequently have to come up with word of advice to the surmises of new clients, that come in different shapes and sizes.
Most of you’ll have to habitually work late night. Your time is spent staring at your computer screens and creating a multitude of reports, documents and publishing & conducting new analysis.
In the middle of all this chaos, ever wondered how successful consultants go about managing everything and staying up to date? Secret is, they don’t do it all themselves. Rather, they count on some smart Internet tools to get them through their busy days.
So if you are one of those consulting professionals out there looking to simplify your working, take a look at these 9 productivity Apps:
Slack is changing the way enterprise communication works. It’s an all-inclusive community platform, that combines project management, collaboration and communication tools. Slack users have not only moved away from the unnecessary workflow of email, but also from productivity suites integrated with Gmail/Microsoft Exchange etc. With Slack, many Businesses and Consulting firms have shifted from email and attachments to simply chat and documents.
Slack not only helps you get rid of the waste that goes with email communication, it also lets you take advantage of useful apps that can be integrated with the tool. Slack integrates with a large number of third-party services and supports community-built integrations including: Google Drive, Dropbox, Trello, Crashlytics, GitHub, Runscope and Zendesk. etc.
Todoist is listed as the top task management and to-do App on web. It is excellent at managing emailed tasks, notes for each task, setting up projects between multiple individuals, setting up repeating tasks and so on. I have been using premium model now for past few months after having used Omnifocus, Wunderlist and various other To-do tools. This software combines all the important features together in one package. The best on Internet so far. I recommend Todoist for Consultants.
This unique service lets you connect the Apps and Services you most frequently use. IFTTT makes the Internet work your way by creating tasks that fit this simple formula: “if this then that”. Imagine all the jobs you could do if you were able to automate tasks as: whenever something happens (this) then take this action (that). The tool connects different Internet services together. For instance, you can get one service (e.g. Twitter) to trigger an action in a different service (e.g. Google Drive). Visit IFTTT.com and see in what ways it can help you.
4. Google Apps:
Consultants should get ahead of Gmail and dig deeper to take full advantage of Google Apps platform including- Google Drive, Sites, Hangouts, and many others. Using Google’s enterprise technologies combined with your IT management experience will lead to improved ROI for your consulting business. Google Apps for Work is a cloud-based productivity suite that helps you connect to client/project teams and manage the projects from any location, on any device. It’s easy to setup, use, and manage, allowing you to work smarter and focus on what really matters.
A resourceful Consultant community in the virtual world where you can sell your documents, buy presentations and explore consulting tools. Consultingcafe.com provides access to the world of useful stuff like consultancy proposals, contracts and best practices, etc. It helps you to save time and increase revenue through leveraging each other’s experiences as Consultants. It is most helpful in finding deliverables, exchanging business tips and providing tool recommendations. You can also join the talk and participate in ongoing discussions between different consultants.
Reviewing your email marketing strategy to reach out to more people? I’d recommend MailChimp. It has stellar support, and helps you to design email newsletters, share them on social networks and integrate with apps to track the results. Further, if you want a lot of creative freedom while designing your email campaigns (and don’t bother with the programming part), then MailChimp is your thing. Not to mention, it also targets customers based on behavior, preferences, and previous sales.
The most common reason given by Consultants, who let their online presence fall into disarrangement is that: I don’t have time for social media at all, I’ve got work to do.
To stop mechanical tasks from becoming a toil, it’s useful to keep reminding yourself about why social media matters. Hootsuite, also known as “Social Media Management System”, helps you to keep track and manage multiple social network channels at once.
The new model of creating long-term value in Consulting business is through reputation, relationship building, writing a book and thought leadership. All of these are made easier and more effective when your social channels are working efficiently.
Business Intelligence(BI) tools provide competitive advantage. They help you make smarter business decisions, respond quickly to market forces and better steer business strategies.
Data visualization can be very helpful in finding solutions to a lot of hidden problems in business. Tableau is one such BI tool that helps to create compelling and interactive reports, charts, graphs and dashboards using your project data insights. It can be easily shared with clients and peers. Tableau quickly connects to almost any data source, whether it is web-based data, corporate Data Warehouse, or Microsoft Excel. This process takes only seconds or minutes rather than hours or days.
Basecamp is a comprehensive project management and collaboration software. It helps users with to-dos, files, messages, schedules, and milestones. The best combination of useful features, Basecamp also helps foster real-time communication among teams. You can create multiple projects and add different to-do lists for any given task. With these to-do lists, as well as calendars, due dates and file sharing, Basecamp helps to keep everyone in a team on the same page from start through the end. The tool is typically recommended for consultants having numerous concurrent projects and collaborators.
I hope you find this list useful. If you did, don’t forget to share it with your peers and network. And if you know of any good online tools for Consultants that I missed in the above post, do share your recommendations in the comments below.