touchscreen interfaceWorking better means working smarter, and there are many ways to achieve this, from being more organized to learning valuable time-management skills. Additionally, today’s ever-advancing technology offers employees, managers and business owners a plethora of tools, resources and apps that are designed to help businesses work smarter in all areas, helping them to cut costs, improve productivity, save time, and improve communication.

Searching through the thousands of tools and apps to find the best ones for your business can be a trying, time-consuming, stressful tasks, which is why we’ve created this short list of tips and tools you might utilize and take advantage to transform your entire business into one that works smarter, from top to bottom. Using the tips and tools listed below will help you improve organization and subsequently increase productivity and profits within your small business.

1. Know your goals

It can be hard to work towards achieving success if you aren’t even aware of your goals. Take the time to set both short and long-term goals, and then put some serious thought into figuring out how you are going to best achieve those goals. Be sure to be realistic about it as well, and if you see that you might have some difficulty reaching a certain goal, then you might have discovered an area of your business that needs improvement or restructuring, or maybe you simply need to revise your list.

Once you have your goals in place, use reminder apps to help you remember what specific tasks you must focus on each day in order to ensure that your course doesn’t falter. Statistics show that employees who have a clear idea of their goals, and who also have a written reminder for themselves as to the tasks they need to perform have a much greater chance of achieving those goals.

2. Use Google Apps

Not using Google apps yet? Do yourself a favor and start, because the suite of apps designed and offered by Google for businesses really serve to provide you with a wide range of useful time-saving and cost-effective apps that help you share information in a very easy and efficient manner. Intuitive integration with email, calendars, analytics, and document editing features make Google apps perhaps one of the most important and valuable tools for any business, especially those that want to work in a smarter, more organized manner.

3. Use cloud-based communication

Not everyone understands exactly what the Cloud is, and many others think it is simply a useful tool for storing photos or music. But the cloud offers much more than storage, with a better way to communicate being one of the top advantages of using the Cloud. Cloud Based Phone system offers you a fully customizable, cost-effective and easy to use phone system that works via the Internet rather than through traditional phone lines, and enables you to have more success in reaching others through the use of features such as call forwarding, being able to ring someone on all their devices, and integration with Google apps for advanced functionality.

4. Take notes better

Reduce clutter and be more organized with your information through the use of advanced note-taking tools such as Evernote. Able to easily snatch snippets of web text or complete pages, images, and other content, Evernote then lets you easily store, organize and find all your important notes for later reference, instead of you having to sift through a pile of papers or look in your desk drawers for a hastily scribbled website link. You can also share your notes with others, which is great when working on projects or needing to send someone some ideas for review.

5. Get a better handle on finances

There are plenty of applications available for handling your finances, but if you still have a bit of trouble keeping track of everything and are looking for more ways in which you might be able to cut costs, then you might try an app called Mint. This handy app is used by millions who want to better understand their spending habits, and is a great way to see where you can cut unnecessary expenses or spending.

6. Hire freelancers

It is rare that any small business has a staff of employees capable of handling all of its marketing or online needs. When you need services such as graphic design, website design, data entry, blog posting, social media updates, and content generation, you might try visiting Elance, a site where you can hire freelancers to perform a wide range of services at reasonable costs.

Sheza Gary has been a Project Strategist since 2009 and also involved in the launching of startups and tech companies in New York for over 5 years. She has keen interest in writing her own experiences about business plans and upcoming business supporting technologies. She loves public speaking.