How to Choose a Productivity App for Your Business

Because of the time and learning required to implement any new software, I tend to be a software minimalist. I do not want to spend time implementing and learning new software unless the benefits of doing so outweigh the investment of time and expertise I’ll need to put in. If what I have works well enough, I leave it alone.

This minimalism extends to my relationship with apps.

There is no such thing as the perfect app. App-savvy consumers may spend time on research, set up, and debugging, only to find that the new app is not all that much better than the old app was. Apps, like anything else, are only beneficial when they move us closer to our goals. And as with anything else, less is definitely more when it comes to apps.

I engage two processes when deciding whether to move forward with any type of upgrade, the ‘Questions’ process and the ‘Line in the Sand’ process.

The Questions Process

Both processes involve asking a set of questions. These include:

  • What issue do I want to solve?
  • Is the issue that I want to solve immediate or can it wait?
  • If it can wait, will the issue become more complex as time goes on?
  • How much more complex will the issue become?
  • Will resolving this issue now enable me to spend less time on it in the future?
  • Is it likely that this issue will die a natural death – that is, resolve itself?
  • Can this issue be resolved by using an existing app?
  • If not, can this issue be resolved by upgrading an existing app?
  • How much time will it take my IT person to implement the app?
  • How long will it take me to become proficient in the new app?

The Line in the Sand Process

This part of the process enables me to determine whether the inconvenience of installing a new app outweighs the repercussions, if any, of waiting. My line in the sand for apps? If it will take me less than an hour and cost less than $100 to fix it in the future, I will wait until absolutely necessary. If it looks like it will take me more than an hour and cost more than $100 in the future to fix it, I will engage the new app as soon as I reasonably can.

This risk benefit exercise clarifies my thinking process and enables me to move forward with more confidence.

Next time, we will look at Lisa’s favorite apps and why she likes them. Want to streamline your apps? Contact Lisa Mark, C.P.O. for a complimentary 15-minute phone consult.

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