Be More Productive

  • August 29, 2013
  • Fran Stephenson
  • 3 min read

This week I led a session for the Texas Travel Industry Association on productivity tools and apps for small travel organizations.  It was fun to talk about some of the tools I use to increase my efficiency and simplify the day-to-day functions of my business.

At the beginning of the session, I polled the group about the pain points in their business and the participants weren’t shy about their challenges. Some of the challenges they shared included information overload, keeping up with technology, getting organized and learning to delegate.

Sound familiar? Most small business owners have felt at least one of these pain points.  The presentation offered some suggestions on tools for work productivity, project management, accounting and other small business needs. The tools and links to them are included below.


It’s easy to tie a perceived level of efficiency to the tools you use. Even more important than the actual tools, though, is to THINK productively.  That’s when the tools you choose will change your working habits. So before you run out and adopt a bunch of tools, you need to think productively. Here’s a few ways to get started:

Principle No. 1: Test it, Don’t Get Married to it

There are so many new tools out there, use the 30 day trial to see if this is the right tool for you. If it doesn’t live up to your expectations, move on. Chances are you can find something similar that does work for you.

Principle No. 2: Listen and Learn

Learn to monitor your brand and your industry to stay on top of trends and see what people are saying about YOU and about your brand.

Principle No. 3: Learn to Say No

Create reasonable boundaries for trying new technologies. You don’t have the time to try every new social network or cool tool out there. So pick a few, master them and add more as time and resources allow.

Principle No. 4: Invest to Simplify

Ask yourself: If I invest in this, what will I gain? If you invest 2 hours digitizing your business receipts which will save you at least 4 hours at tax time, that’s an investment worth considering. Sometimes thinking long term about adopting a tool or app is a better way to evaluate that tool.

Ready to be more productive? I’d love to hear how you made changes to your work habits in the comments.

Many thanks to the team at Texas Travel Industry Association for inviting me to share this information and for all the great work they do in Texas to help regional tourism organizations succeed.