Business, Productivity, Processes, and Workflows – sounds like these terms are flying straight off of a CEO’s desk. But trust me – these four pillars are the key to success for any organization, any business, and any scenario whereby people must achieve goals together.
The truth is that businesses often overlook and even fail to recognize these crucial pillars of growth. Successful business organizations conscious about it often have dedicated teams or business support for Business Process Optimization or BPM.
While BPM is a professional experts affair, the pandemic’s unprecedented changes ask for swift and simple process/productivity optimization capabilities for businesses of any size.
With new remote teams, work-from-anywhere landscape, and fast-paced growth timelines, in-house process management, workflow mapping, and automation are no longer optional.
This is what I will address in this blog today. Thanks to technology and tools, you can now use these 4 Productivity and process automation tools to fly your business in 2021 and beyond!
Let’s get going 🙂
Remote Workforce & Remote Workflows
Imagine your key teams and personnel distributed across geographies and different time zones. You have a big marketing campaign launch coming up. There are creatives, flyers, brochures, landing pages, and sales funnels to be put together. Now consider the following questions;
- Is everyone on the same page?
- Is there a common workspace to track the latest discussions and changes?
- Does everyone know what needs to be done and when it needs to be done?
- What about the new hire’s training for your marketing operations?
- Is there a common timeline/dashboard through which managers can take timely decisions?
- Is every step of launching the campaign sequenced and coordinated?
If you fail to answer one or more of the above questions, it is probably because there are no ‘collaborative systems’ and standardized processes for your teams to stay aligned and execute quality work. The result – a botched-up marketing launch!
Luckily, the following are some of the most powerful tools with exceptional functionality that can solve the above challenge – in fact, any workflow and productivity challenge.
Here they are in my order of experience with them!
Productivity and Process Automation Tools
Category 1. Collaborate and Document
These are the tools that act as the ‘information powerhouse’ for any organization.
Evernote – Align Everyone Together
Evernote is not the new kid in the workspace software street. It has been around for individual users and businesses for more than 15 years. Evernote basically came out as a note-taking app and then grew into something more powerful over the years.
To date, Evernote possesses some features that other tools haven’t been able to replicate. You can create multiple notes, organize them within notebooks, and stack the notes together. Evernote supports all document and file types – that is why it is an excellent database repository for organizations.
You can share notes with custom access levels, annotate PDFs, and use pre-made templates to get started on any task.
What to use Evernote for?
- Use it for collaboration on the go!
- Use it as a repository for critical documents and Standard Operating Procedures – Hiring process, employee policies, marketing schedule, etc.
- Great for automating processes like sales calls, employee on-boarding, and fast document access
Notion – One source of truth for your company
‘One source of truth for everyone’ – that is how Notion has been marketing itself over the years. Now 4 million users strong, Notion is essentially a collaboration tool that helps organizations document everything, create Wikis, and manage projects & tasks.
Two exceptional qualities of Notion are speed and flexibility. This tool allows users to create unlimited nested pages and databases. Each database can have multiple properties and views. Users can also insert web bookmarks, any file-type, embed videos, and connect all major project management tools like GDrive, Asana, Trello, etc.
- Create nested pages and databases – one inside the other and so on.
- Create multiple data views of a single database like calendar, timeline, gallery, Kanban board, list, or a table.
- Superior collaboration and access-level permissions – grant view, comment, edit, and share permissions to anyone
- Invite team members and unlimited guests
- Pages can be switched to make them discoverable by search engines.
- Dedicated private space and workspace (Premium plan)
What to use Notion for?
Notion is excellent for project management, recurring task automation, and creating in-depth Wikis for teams. I use it for;
- Business data management
- Documenting processes, reviewing them, and optimizing them
- Making notes
- Consolidating accounting, HR, marketing, and sales data in one place
- Automating new-hire training
- Creating a process-documentation repository – for SOPs, Work-instructions, and Operating manuals
- Sharing work with the clients and collaborating on the fly
Honestly, all of my crucial projects live inside Notion!
Now that we’ve seen two awesome collaboration and documentation tools, let’s talk about effective ‘process automation tools.’
Category 2. Process Automation Tools
These tools make sure that everyone knows what to do when to do it, and how to do something at all times.
Process Street – Standardize and automate all your operations
Process Street takes pride in being the most effective ‘checklists’ software out there. It is a true BPM tool that contains all your processes, checklists, and workflows to carry out tasks with standardized quality every time.
Process Street Features
In Process Street, you can create different templates for critical operations (Like HR, Marketing, etc.). Within those templates, you can create custom workflows, processes, and checklists and share them with the concerned teams. Whenever these teams have to carry out the documented operation/task – they run the checklist on their respective dashboards.
It also comes with 800+ templates, including ISO manuals – so compliance and work-quality will never be a problem. Plus, you’ll always know the progress, owner, and status of every ongoing activity within your organization.
How to automate business with Process Street?
- Create custom workflows and define every step for every operation.
- Allow teams to run checklists without top-level supervision and instructions.
- Ensure compliance and quality work by standardizing critical processes.
- Optimize your operations by tracking which processes are inefficient
- Run your organization with efficient human-chain automation
Metatask – Powerful BPM for small and medium organizations
Metatask is a BPM and checklists tool like Process Street. Though not too popular, I have employed Metatask to standardize and automate my copywriting agency’s crucial processes.
Metatask is slightly different in its UI/UX. You can again create multiple templates and custom process workflows within them. But, uploading files and work instructions requires knowledge of its Syntax code.
It is a little tedious for creating new processes but much simpler for end-users working on the allocated tasks. However, Metatask’s dashboard is much more intuitive than Process Street’s.
How to use Metatask.io for business automation?
- Automate standard HR operations like hiring requests, employee on-boarding, etc.
- Automate marketing and other tasks that require approval (you can assign different steps of the process to different people).
- Quickly standardize any workflow that is often bottlenecked (like client requests, approvals tasks, etc.)
Embracing the ‘new normal’ for e-commerce brands
Adaptation is key to the survival of the fittest. Remote work and remote teams are the new reality of global industries.
Standardization and automation are the next big shots for businesses looking to grow further and faster. For instance, with a single AI-based automation tool like Wigzo, entire e-commerce frontend marketing, and customer retention can be taken care of – no more manual slogging through emails and cluttered data to make things work. This is a powerful idea.
So, power-up and automate your workflows in 2021
The above-listed tools are just enablers. It is time that you explore them, try them, and garner immense value from them – because digital process automation is the future of every business!
In the meantime, stay tuned for awesome weekly blogs on cracking e-commerce marketing with personalization and automation!