Managing a nonprofit often means operating on a shoestring. There’s not always the budget to streamline processes or outsource tasks to specialists. You have to make do with what you’ve got and be creative about finding solutions. That means everyone has to pitch in to get things done. Often it’s the small or seemingly insignificant tasks that end up taking the longest. You can spend hours every week updating social media or sending emails late at night to keep your team updated. With a few simple apps, you could potentially clear hours in your week to focus on the big picture strategy and really making a difference.
The paperless office is increasingly becoming a reality but there are still many practices that are dominated by paper. Even today it’s still very common to turn up to a meeting and receive a stack of handouts such as the agenda, presentation notes or product details. The same thing happens whenever you attend an event, conference or training course. Course notes and learning materials are often printed and distributed in bulk. Legal and financial matters require signed and printed contracts, and outsourced marketers present printed proposals for you to review and provide feedback on. We’ve dug out 5 simple but incredibly handy apps that could change the way you approach these situations in your office.
Workers who are offline for large parts of the day might benefit from a simple app to cut out paperwork and administration back in the office. Most organizations require their teams to use, and collect data as part of their job. Spreadsheets, content management systems and sales databases have done away with a lot of manual tasks, but for many remote and offline workers, the 21st century hasn’t yet arrived.
Working offline usually means printouts and stacks of paper, documenting manually and returning to a massive workload in the office. Even the best digital systems require manual workarounds for offline workers. There are spreadsheets to update, photos to upload and performance results to enter into the system. Before they head out, field managers download site updates and reports, and sales teams dig out the latest sales deck or price list from their inbox. It all means extra prep time to get the latest version on your hard drive before you go, and painful data entry and uploading on your return.
Simple apps that connect to systems back in the office can make an enormous difference to productivity for offline and remote workers. Check out some of these awesome benefits of using apps to make working offline more efficient:
Has your spreadsheet reached its limit? Is it becoming unwieldy or being pulled in too many directions? Spreadsheets are wondrously useful tools. They track tasks, record activities, manage ordering, organise teams, track stock levels, list features, add expenses and hold all the complex data that doesn’t fit anywhere else. But sometimes you need a little more. If your spreadsheet is supporting a growing team and increasingly complex data requirements, it might be time to transform it into an app.
So you’ve decided you need an app. No doubt you’ve reached that conclusion because you need to meet a specific need or solve a problem. Perhaps your customers want more information about product features or your employees need training resources in the field. Simple problems are best solved with simple solutions, but even if you’re not investing thousands in a multi-featured solution, it can help to be aware of the market trends that shape app development these days. Even simple apps are impacted by market forces, and the users and customers of your app will have expectations based on what else they’re engaging with in the world of mobile apps.
Here are 5 trends to be aware of and tips to think about before you build an app. These trends may also be good to keep in mind for when it’s time to upgrade and expand.