ShareThis first image

Time-saving tools for small businesses

Is the web your greatest time saver or time waster? If you’re like most business users, it’s probably both. Fortunately you can tip the scales in favor of saving time with online tools for your business and personal use. Some are free, while others charge a monthly fee; many have a free basic version with upgraded features for a modest charge. Focus on areas where you can save the most time and evaluate these solutions for your business and personal use.

Project Management/File Sharing

  • Basecamp, a Web-based tool for project management and collaboration, lets you share files, messages, and calendars with team members.
  • Google Docs allows you to create, share, and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.
  • is a cloud-based file sharing solution that lets you access, manage and share content from any location on any device.
  • DropBox, another cloud-based solution, stores documents, photos and videos and allows individuals or teams to access or share them.


  • automates business bill payment and invoices, keeps track of cash flow, and is compatible with popular business accounting software.
  • Catch the Best helps you find the best candidates for open positions by creating a database of job applicants and tracking which job boards and ads are most effective.


  • Skype, widely used for video calls, also has useful business applications which include video conferencing, instant messaging, and file sharing.
  • Phone Tag converts voicemail messages to text and sends them to you by email or text message so you don’t have to listen through messages repeatedly. The voice file remains available if you need it.
  • Groupon Scheduler (formerly OpenCal) cuts down on phone calls by allowing customers to make appointments online and enabling you to manage your schedule online.

Information Organization

  • Google Reader helps you keep up with the Web sites and blogs you read most by constantly checking for new content and then notifying you by email.
  • Evernote captures any audio, video or text you select and lets you search from your computer or mobile device when you want to retrieve information.


  • MozyPro provides online backup for small business computers and servers with 24/7 phone support.
  • Last Past keeps all your passwords in one secure location and generates secure passwords automatically. You can access it on any computer or your smartphone.
  • Roboform keeps all your login information secure in one location and allows you to fill in forms automatically.

Personal Productivity

  • Rescue Time is an analytics tool that allows businesses and individuals to examine how time is spent and how to become more productive.
  • Freedom actually locks you out of the Internet for the time period you designate so you work without interruption.
  • Shortkeys lets you save blocks of text that you use repeatedly and places them in any Windows document quickly without errors.
  • The Pomodoro Technique is a simple time-management system that helps you break large projects into small, manageable chunks so you can stay on task.

It’s probably not a coincidence that many of these time-saving tools were invented by small businesses. Finding the right ones for your business is the next best thing to adding hours to your day.


Kelly Burkart is a freelance writer from Minneapolis, Minn. While she has spent most of her time writing about financial services the past 15 years, she has also explored and written about everything from cardiovascular health to travel, higher education and sustainable energy practices. 

©2012 All rights reserved.

Talk to us about financial solutions for your business, from start-up to expansion and beyond.

U.S. Bank Connect
By selecting "Continue," you will leave U.S. Bank Connect™ and enter a third-party website. U.S. Bank Connect is not responsible for the content of, or product and services provided by, nor does it guarantee the system availability or accuracy of information contained in the site. Please note that the third-party site may have privacy and information security policies that differ from those of U.S. Bank Connect.

Continue Close

U.S. Bank Connect
Thank you. Your information has been added to our newsletter mailing list.


U.S. Bank Connect
By selecting "Continue," you will leave U.S. Bank Connect™ and enter a third-party social media/collaboration website. Although sponsored by U.S. Bank Connect, the information being shared on this site is not the responsibility of U.S. Bank, and we are not responsible for the content shared between users and participants on the site. U.S. Bank does not guarantee the system availability or accuracy of this site; that is the responsibility of this social media site. Please note that this site may have privacy and information security policies that differ from those of U.S. Bank.

Do not share confidential or financial information on this site.

Continue Close

connect logo

nsb logo

Enter now for a chance to
win one of five $100 VISA Rewards Cards.

Enter your First Name, Last Name and Email to be entered into the drawing.
All fields are required.

No purchase is necessary. See Terms and Conditions for drawing rules.