February 07, 2018: An office manager is responsible for probably every possible thing that happens in the office from organizing or chairing different meetings, monitoring office expenditure, training the new employees, devising & executing administrative processes and a whole lot more. Looking at this range of functions that an office manager needs to accomplish, it is easy to assume that in the absence of a good office manager, the company is probably going to fall apart.
The job is a tough one and in absence of effective and efficient processes, the company might turn into a headless chicken with no sense of direction whatsoever. It is for this reason today that there is a plethora of office management software and tools to help with the office management. Most managers today would know what I mean when I say that the work day seems to whizz past you without giving you much time to accomplish most of the significant work. This basically happens because all through the day the managers have to browse through a barrage of incoherent data and when such unstructured data falls in your lap much time goes in making sense of it and organizing and prioritizing a task becomes a challenge of sorts.
With digital intervention in the arena of software management, it has become possible to manage these responsibilities and the information overload without wasting a lot of time over it. Appy Pie has put together a list of the top 10 Office Management Software today that help you manage your office in an efficient, productive way.
1. Google Drive
One of the most time-consuming aspect for an office manager in sharing relevant documents with particular people and then re-sharing them every time there is a change and they have to edit the documents. This is a process that sucks a lot of your precious time. Google Drive is one of the most effective and impressive cloud storage tool that has the capability to save any file in any format. The best part is you can then share the files, folders or the drive with other people and collaborate with key people who need to have updated information and be aware of every modification in real time. Put together the time you sent in sending hundreds of mails a day and the time each of the recipients would have to wait to get to the latest document, and you would understand the kind of ease and efficiency it has been able to bring in. team members can also chat from within the drive, add remarks or notes wherever needed and it is all accomplished in real time! Whether it is Google Docs, Google Sheets, or Google Slide, the entire suite is great for creating, storing, and sharing important business documents with assurance of security.
2. Google Calendar
When you are moving between 15 meetings a day and are packed up for weeks to come, it is easy to sometimes spill over from one to the other and forget about some of them completely. Also, sometimes it might prove to be a challenge to keep track of someone else’s movements and to coordinate their meetings. As an office manager you might even have to manage or organize sessions where more than a few key members need to be present. It is tough, in such scenarios to work out a time slot when all the involved people are available. Google Calendar comes to your rescue in exactly these scenarios. Not only can you have a cohesive schedule of all the staff members, but you can also set reminders to keep the busiest of staff members updated about their schedule and help the forgetful ones get to the right meetings at the right time. There are new calendars cropping up in the market every single day, but eventually it is the Google Calendar that has stood the test of time because of its superior functionality and has been the preferred calendar for the industry leaders and the start-ups alike. While Google Calendar is free for individuals and small businesses, but paid plans offer you more storage.
There are times when you need to collate all your things to do, visual tips, lists, and other such elements on one single platform. Trello is an interesting, comparatively simple, and handy way to keep your work day organized. The Trello cards might resemble a board from Pinterest, but it has a lot more scope as it allows you to go beyond the photographs or visuals and lets you add lists, labels, or tasks that can be dragged and dropped into it, to be played around with, later. The software is highly intuitive and offers quite a user-friendly solution for financial project management. The fact that it is a combination of visuals and text, makes it a lot easier to comprehend for the users and convenient to use as well. Here you can create cards or tasks under various lists and once the task is completed, the card can then be dragged and dropped into the ‘done’ list. Trello even allows you to add attachments labels, comments, due dates, and checklists to the tasks. The software also allows you to assign multiple people to one task, making it easier to handle collaborative tasks. Additionally, you can even create subtasks in the same card and set different access levels for different team members. There are a variety of plans where it can be free for individuals and small teams, but as you scale up, it might be time to subscribe for the paid plans.
If you are an office manager, then you are definitely familiar with the wildly popular time management methodology Getting Things Done (GTD). However, to put this in place, it needs actual work from you and can’t be just expected to do some miracles without you actively participating in it. Hence the most important aspect of any time management system is its usability. If the system you choose can’t be integrated into your life easily, chances of you using it are slim. Todoist is one of the easiest to use systems that may be supported on all platforms and it is super convenient to add any item to it. Todoist has three sections – Projects, Labels, & Filters. Adding things to the Todoist inbox is incredibly easy, hence the number of places where you might set up a To Do list comes down. You can connect an email address for the inbox, making it easier for you add tasks from any device with internet connection. Todoist lets you capture and organize tasks as soon as they come to you, helping you remember and stick to the deadlines and build desired habits. At the end of the day, or week you get to review all the tasks or plan your week ahead and create a checklist of tasks to tick off as and when they are accomplished. It lets you organize and prioritize your tasks and projects helping you map out all your projects and goals, highlight your importance and help you collect your thoughts. It lets you see tangible progress as Todoist lets you set short and long-term goals and gives you a visual understanding of your productivity trends.
When it comes to managing customers, you wouldn’t want to compromise with anything and want only the best. Salesforce is one of the most popular and trusted CRMs around and has helped thousands of businesses gain quality leads and effectively grow their businesses. The platform is mobile friendly and needs no coding to be used effectively. However, in case you desire certain unique customizations, it can be tweaked with a little bit of code or be changed completely with a lot of code. This flexibility helps the businesses to bring better services and features to their target audience. Since the CRM in your business is going to be used by a variety of people with different capabilities and backgrounds, it is important that the system be easy to implement and use, and Salesforce is ideal in that regard. It provides analytics including valuable insight about customer behavior, and their response and reactions to marketing campaigns. It also provides relevant information pertaining to marketing trends, lead generation and management, which can then help them develop better marketing campaigns. Additionally, Salesforce gives the businesses freedom to be integrated with other tools and increase the efficiency of processes manifold.
Wufoo is a desktop form building application that eliminates the delays and communication barriers that are imminent in case you hire a programmer to build a form for you. Wufoo liberates you in a way and no matter who you are, a student, a secretary, an executive or anyone else; it gives you the ability to publish an online form without any coding skills! It saves you precious time, it makes you independent, it makes the process interesting, and offers you safety. It gives you the freedom of mobility as you can access it from anywhere on any device as long as you have an internet connection and whenever you want to take your data offline, all you have to do is export it to Excel or CSV and you are sorted! Wufoo helps you organize the data and make sense of it by filtering through entries, creating reports and building graphs on the basis of the data you collected. It can also be integrated with your website further doing wonders for your office efficiency.
Quite like Google Drive, Dropbox lets you store and share files, but offers you so much more than just that! Dropbox is a leading cloud storage provider that offers 16 GB free storage and lets you store files & folders and sync content from your hard disk to your Dropbox account. Sharing content from within Dropbox is as simple as entering the recipient’s mail address in it. Alternatively, you can get sharable links that may be sent through a mail. You can share documents, photos, videos and all other files with colleagues from any device. It also allows you to edit any of the content even as you are on the move and the content is updated in real time for all involved members to peruse. Having all the files in one place makes everything available to all concerned people without hundreds of mails being sent back and forth.
It is common for most of us to have to spend hours looking for a particularly old chat message or wait for remotely located colleagues to respond to a message, and then trying to make sense of multiple concurrent chat sessions with people from HR, your own team, your seniors, maybe vendors and a whole lot more. In this scenario a unified communication central solution like Slack works wonders. Slack allows you to create separate channels, for example HR discussions, specific project deliverable discussion, ideas & pitches, water cooler conversations and more and then add participants in these channels as and when needed. You can even indulge in a number of one-to-one conversations with colleagues through Slack and it even allows you to share files, quote older messages or refer to them, and search for prior conversations easily.
9. Zoho CRM
In this day and age, the importance of CRM or Customer Relationship Management can’t be stressed enough upon. It is the age of the customer, and it is he who reigns supreme over everything. Hence an efficient CRM system or software is imperative for smooth functioning and success of an organization. There are a number of CRM software available in the industry, however, it is Zoho CRM that has gained massive favor and popularity in the recent times. Zoho CRM is an On-Demand Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software that helps you manage your customer relations efficiently. Zoho CRM is known for its efficiency because the software assists you in streamlining the overall sales of your organization, marketing, customer support, and inventory management functions in a single system. Zoho CRM offers a lot to support the requirements of small businesses and the bigger enterprises alike, including features like multi-channel communication, sales productivity, CRM insights, product customization, or even third-party integration.
Twilio is a developer platform for communications and offers the software developers the option to add features like voice, video, and text messaging to their applications providing the businesses an opportunity to offer the right communication experiences for their customers. Twilio allows businesses to reach their customers in their chosen ways and engages them effectively using context related to their interaction. Customer experience is crucial to the success of any business and that is why programmable communication has gained great importance. Twilio allows the developers to programmatically make & receive phone calls and send & receive text messages through web service APIs.
Bonus: Appy Pie’s Connect
While all these tools are great for bringing about a semblance of organization and helping you manage the office a lot more efficiently, the real impact is only possible when you can flawlessly make suitable integrations and for that Appy Pie’s Connect is a great forum. It doesn’t need you to have any programming or coding skills, and all you need to do is follow a guided process on the website to automate all those mundane jobs that are eating in to your productive time.