Essential Software Tools Every Professional Needs in 2021

Software tools

Modern work gets more complex every year. You’re expected to juggle 1,000 things while being constantly plugged into the company emails or Slack channel. A 40 hour week has transformed into 50 hours or more.

Needless to say, if you don’t have the right tools then you can’t deliver your best performance. Your productivity will fall and others will wonder why you’re lagging.

In this guide, you’ll learn about multiple tools you can use to do your best work while freeing up more time for yourself.

Document management & conversion

Organizations, both large and small, are producing more and more documentation these days. Sometimes that information will come from customers, suppliers, and clients or be required for regulatory compliance. Other times, it’s generated in-house. Whatever the case, it often needs to be converted to a format that your organization uses most often.

For example, a supplier sends you an itemized statement as a PDF file. You want to make changes so you convert it to Word or Excel before converting to a PDF file and sending it back. That process is challenging when you don’t have the right tools.

Software like UsefulPDF makes it simple to convert PDF documents to other formats and vice versa. This allows you to work with documents in a way that’s suitable for you and your organization. It’ll also streamline processes because you won’t have to ask the sender to make edits on your behalf.

Feedback collection

More and more professions are using an interactive approach to get results for clients, create products, improve company culture, or complete projects. You see social polls asking people for their opinions, large organizations are launching products on Kickstarter to gauge demand, and you may even get customer feedback emails in your inbox.

This qualitative research allows individuals and brands to make better decisions. Even if you’re not interacting with customers, there are many times when you’ll need to collect feedback, collate the data, and make decisions based on your findings. You can do everything manually but that will just add time and complexity.

Instead, use a feedback solution like SurveyMonkey. It’ll make it easier for the survey takers to participate and simpler for you to assess the data. It can give you simple stats like the percentage of people who answered in a certain way and do sentiment analysis. It’s free to get started and can have a huge positive impact.

Task management

The first, and possibly most important, tool to have in your arsenal is one that helps you manage and prioritize tasks. As mentioned before, there are 1,000 things to do. Without a formal process to manage these tasks, many of them will fall through the cracks. The human brain is notoriously bad at remembering things.

Task management tools like Todoist serve as your single source of truth. At the beginning or end of every day, you can assess what you’ve accomplished, what’s important, and what no longer matters. It has a mobile app so if you realize something needs to get done while you’re away from the computer, you can just key it in and continue with your day. 

Grammar and editing

One of the most prevalent activities of modern professionals is writing. That could be writing a memo, an email, a business plan, etc. Whatever the case, you want to sound professional and avoid common grammatical errors. You want your writing to be clear and get your points across.

Unfortunately, most business writing is the opposite. A simple grammar tool like Grammarly can help you ensure your spelling is correct but also clarify your words and communicate more effectively. Combined with a tool like the Hemmingway app, you’ll be able to communicate much more information with fewer words.

It’s free to get started and you’ll be able to enhance your written communication overnight. Of course, it’s a software program so it’s not infallible but it’s much better than relying on nothing at all.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the many tools you can take advantage of to enhance your productivity get better results in your professional life. While these are recommended as professional tools, they can also enhance your personal life in many ways.

In the end, tools are meant to help you do what you already do but better. Keep that in mind and they’ll quickly become your new best friends.

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