Boost Business Productivity with Free Online Tools

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Boost Business Productivity with Free Online Tools
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About the Author

Danielle Leonard

Danielle Leonard

Danielle is the Communications Coordinator for Oakville Chamber of Commerce, and manages their internal and external communications, including disseminating news to the public and the media. She is a graduate of both the Western University and Ryerson University.

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For small business owners looking for ways to boost their efficiency, these three websites offer online tools to tackle common productivity drains:

Form Fatigue
Filling out forms has become the norm for just about any online purchase or registration process. But no form is more time-consuming to complete than the pdf format that requires the user to print, hand-write, scan, and then email. Thanks to a tool called Paperjet (www.paperjet.com), that pesky print form can be transformed into a fillable form in mere seconds. Using a simple drag and drop interface, it identifies the fields that require data and makes them easy to edit. Worried about security? They’ve got it covered. Paperjet reports their security is bank-grade and even enables users to keep a record of the completed form. Paperjet is free for five uses per month, then $5 per month or $50 per year.

Isolation Blues
Too quiet to work? While that may seem ludicrous to a school teacher, it’s a significant barrier to many remote or work-at-home professionals who crave an escape from the hours of silence that can make up their days. A trip to the library or coffee shop is one way to overcome it, but a less distracting and time consuming alternative is to create some background noise using the website and app called Noisli (www.noisli.com). Noise-starved users can create their own ambience from an inventive selection of sounds or choose a pre-mixed combination – all based on Noisli’s productivity research.

The Lure of Procrastination
It’s everyone’s favourite vice and a struggle for even the most disciplined professional at times – procrastination. Studies have continually shown the benefits of setting a goal to stave off that inclination to procrastinate. This is where the Pomodoro Technique fits in (read more about it at (pomodorotechnique.com). It’s a technique that requires one to commit to working for a specific length of time. Anyone can easily set up a timer to focus on the work at hand. Once the buzz sounds, it’s time for a break or, better yet, stay in the flow of working and enjoy the satisfaction of completing at least one goal that day.

By Danielle Wintrip, Wintrip Communications Design

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