The answer changes with every business I've worked in. It's a dynamic question as well - it depends on whether you are focused on immediate financial impact or long-term customer loyalty (not mutually exclusive).
For a few stores, it was our strong social media presense, for one in Santa Cruz (California) it was our POS that streamlined our neverending line. Regarding my own projects, the blog I started almost 10 years ago continues to get organic traffic from through evergreen content.
How about you? Has this changed for you as an owner compared to a team member?
As much as it sounds a bit annoying, my phone. It is the central hub of everything I do. Aside from actual accounting services, I can run all my networking and communication through there, and initiate invoice processing if needed too.
@Adam_Fenner a totally valid answer. For years I kept my clamshell and avoided smartphones because I didn't want to admit how useful these devices were :smileylol:.
Integration and aggregation tools are really crucial. I found the more apps I had, the more they butted into each other in terms of workflow - I had to keep track of different processes between different apps which got tiresome after 10 hrs on my feet each day. I ended up using a digital notepad.
Do you use a tablet for the same work? Does screen real-estate influence your choices for what you're using? Phone is probably easier to keep track of.
@Anonymous I have an iPad, but it is a bit older. What I've found is that aside from reading, it doesn't provide much value that my smartphone or my laptop doesn't provide, that may be different for other users. It has some limited value, but it isn't an essential part of my workflow.
I will say that I have a pretty conscious view of my workflow. I'm very deliberate, I make it a point to only do essential tasks and cut everything, with regular reevaluation. As a result there are quite a few apps that I was good with for a short period of time, then drifted away from. Some stay essential. But you don't know until you try.
@Adam_Fenner good points, it's important to be open minded and adventerous while knowing quickly whether something works for you or not. I've settled on a few that work well for me (Evernote, Box, and a few others), mostly stuff that let's me work across different machines at different locations.
Appreciate the feedback.
I think I agree with @Adam_Fenner. I use my phone for everything. Has anyone ever used Wunderlist? I use it for lots of things, such as it is where I put all bills that need to be paid. I have a few lists. One is for everything that is Due Net 30, another for "Utilities", and another for Credit card and vehicle payments. It is so nice, because I can set due dates, set as recurring, put invoice# in notes, and also reminds me the morning that they are due. :)
@jessbru99568, I use Wunderlist. But only for reoccuring items. A more advanced project management app that is still free is Trello. I use that for more detailed projects, but you have to pay for repeating tasks. That is where Wunderlist comes in.
I use Wunderlist for everything, recurring and none. I think it would be too confusing to have 2 different apps to check for bills due or todos. :) I've never heard of Trello before. Is it simular to Wunderlist or have different features?
@Anonymous I will. It is nice to know it is discontinued though.
Trello is good. It has a lot of options but the real power comes from the pay options and I'm being cheap. For me it is the repeatable tasks that I lean on Wunderlist for that you need to pay for with Trello. Overall, Trello is very good as a basic to-do tracker or simple project management suite.