At this point, Google Calendar is probably known to every person or business on the planet—who hasn’t received a GCal invite to an event or meeting? It might be wise to think of this as a requirement for employees; if each employee kept their Google Calendar up to date and shared it with the rest of the company, it would allow for much easier scheduling. And, as the most widely used calendar application, it offers seamless integration with most of the other applications.
It seems that email is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, with many workplaces replacing email with an app called Slack. Slack allows businesses to set up different “channels” which allow employees to create conversations about certain topics rather than resorting to ungrouped emails. For example, if there is a channel called “Customer Feedback,” any employee can access this to read about a customer’s experience and perhaps use that information to better their own customer service, or a channel called “Articles” could be used to share online items of interest to the company. These could even be labeled with specific client names, allowing one central place for addressing the needs of one client and a record of all communication about this client. This method of organizing information prevents email inboxes from being filled with a hodgepodge of different tasks.
SmartUp, as it sounds, is an app for startups to share knowledge about their industry. This is a great place for employers and employees to get started to avoid costly mistakes.
If you imagined the iPhone’s Notes app had more power and was customized for the workplace, you’d end up with Microsoft OneNote. Although it’s central feature is to take quick notes, it has a lot more functionality then that. First, you can organize notes in a variety of categories and subcategories, allowing you to easily find them when you need them. Second, these notes are accessible on a variety of platforms, virtually anywhere in the world. Third, you can share these notes (or collaborate on their creation) with anyone you like.
Just as it sounds, MinuteTaker is an app for taking minutes during meetings. All the formatting is done automatically, and it allows you to embed photos or documents into the pdf it will automatically generate. With the use of the app anyone attending the meeting can step into the role of minute taker with ease.
Like Minute Taker, Office Lens allows you to record important notes from meetings, but Office Lens functions as a camera. Take a photo of any document and Office Lens will crop and straighten it to make it look like a scanned document that can easily be added onto minutes or emailed.
Gusto is revolutionizing the way companies approach HR, payroll and benefits with their straightforward payroll app. They charge a monthly fee of $39 plus $6 for every employee, and this is worth the headaches it will save you and your employees. Employees simply log-in and they can fill out their HR paperwork, including tax information, employee codes of conduct, and sexual harassment policies; they can fill out their bank account information, including multiple accounts, for direct deposit; and they can learn about and enroll in employee benefit programs. All of this is done in simple language with a clean, straightforward design.
When I Work
Like Gusto, When I Work offers a simpler way to do a task that can be painstaking—and this task is scheduling. For businesses that have many different employees, both part-time and full-time, with many different potential work schedules, When I Work makes life much easier. Employees simply list their availability on the app, and then it generates a schedule, allowing the manager to make changes as he/she wishes. Employees can also use the app to switch shifts, or to request time off in the future. The app will sync either his/her own schedule, or the entire company’s schedule with the calendar app of the user’s choice, and can set options like an alarm an hour before the start of each shift. With the click of a button, a manager can create a report of the number of hours worked/scheduled.
Although many of these applications require the use of an iPad or smartphone, there still exists a need for employers to work out a manual system for employees to clock in and out at work. Allied Time is an example of a provider of employee time clocks that has both very simple machines that simply record a time onto a slip of paper and complex machines where employees log-in and the data is recorded into an employee management database.
GoToMeeting is like Skype for businesses. It allows you to set up webcam meetings with multiple people across the world just by providing a simple link. Attendees have the option of attending via video, via audio, or via keyboard alone, and GoToMeeting has a host of features meant for businesses. For example, if the host is training the group on a new software, he can set make his or her desktop viewable to the meeting and even release control of his/her keyboard and mouse so that attendees can try it out for themselves. These meetings can be easily recorded and shared for those not in attendance.
Vimodi is a presentation application similar to PowerPoint, with one critical difference: a customizable order. Rather than presenting slides in a linear order, Vimodi presents them to the user as thumbnails, and you simply select the slide you’d like to view next. This allows you to go in the order that the customer would like, rather than a predetermined order.
If looking at this list of many apps to do many different things exhausts you, there perhaps exists one application that can do everything, and that’s Oracle’s PeopleSoft. The number one choice of most colleges and universities, PeopleSoft is powerful enough to manage hundreds of thousands of accounts—storing all the information for payroll, enrollment, benefits, invoices, receipts, taxes, scheduling, and more. PeopleSoft is fully customizable so it can meet the needs of any company, no matter how complex. Managing a system of this caliber, though, requires employing a dedicated database manager to both setup and maintain the system.