• Eric Salas, Montgomery Skyline, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, Montgomery Chamber, MGMChamber, Montgomery Alabama
  • Small Business Briefcase: Fave Productivity Tools

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    Get the lowdown on the tech tools that truly enhance workflow from locals in the know.
     
    There’s always some new app or program claiming to make your workload lighter and increase your efficiency. So how can you determine which ones live up to the hype? Get a real-life review. We asked the below MGM small business owners their picks for the best productivity tools.
     
    EXPERT PICKS FOR MAKING THINGS HAPPEN:
    Terry Barber: Owner of three local radio stations
    The new Gmail feature called “Nudging.” If you enable this setting, it will remind you to reply to emails you may have missed and to follow-up with folks who haven’t re-plied to you in a few days. Utilize the Gmail Rules to file your emails into folders. You can also create rules for each of your volunteer organizations, family/school emails. If you are set-ting the goal of “zeroing your inbox,” this is a great way to achieve it.
     
    Ashley Jernigan: Owner of JBD Hospitality, a company that helps clients maximize their exposure and marketing efforts
    Google Calendar for reminders and to save communication emails when scheduling appointments. Once you accept or decline in email, it sets it up in your calendar and notifies your client or group.
     
    Pam Mashburn: Owner and publisher of several local magazines
    The free Chrome extension “Schedule Emails” for Gmail. This allows you to schedule your emails in advance (or at a time when they’ll be at the top of your clients inbox). You can also do the same thing in Outlook by using “Delay Delivery” in the options menu for New Emails. It’s helpful to add the “Grammarly” Chrome extension too, since Gmail didn’t include an automatic spell check in its new version.
     
    HEAD IN THE CLOUDS
    Everyone agreed that cloud-based apps and software make life easier on a small business owner. Here are a few other apps to utilize:
     
    Google Photos: Why We Like It
    • Saves automatically
    • Accessible on phone and computer
    • Automatically compiles your photos into an album
    • Automatically uploads photos from your phone camera
    • Others can upload to your album with a texted or emailed link
    • Notifies you when people have viewed your images
    Group Me: Why We Like It (Better Than Texting)
    • Utilizes less phone memory
    • Accessible from phone AND online (for desktop access)
    • Helps maintain better records of client communication
    • Can be used without downloading the app – Recipients respond as if it is a text message
    • Allows you to prioritize your messages, unlike texts
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