The tech tools that FEW entrepreneurs can’t live without

Need a little help organizing your work day and increasing productivity? We asked our female entrepreneurs about their favorite apps to optimize their workflow.

Anna Haotanto, Founder of The New Savvy

An online financial planning guide for women, The New Savvy aims to empower women to make healthier financial and investing decisions. 

How do you use to optimize productivity?
I walk into my office every day and make sure I have a clear focus and direction on what I want to achieve -- it may not seem like the most innovative tool, but I find that having this mindset is critical to me optimizing my productivity.

What online tools do you rely on most?
My team and I use Basecamp as a team on a daily basis. Basecamp is a great tool for us as a team because we can work and communicate seamlessly in one place.   

How does technology affect your overall productivity?
Technology has been a good aid for me whenever I need to liaise with different clients for projects. It is important to select the correct technological tool, as it can either accelerate our work process or slow down our progression depending on the suitability.

Bérénice Guinel, Founder of SoInSoGood

SoInSoGood is a eco-oriented social and tech incubator that aims to empower entrepreneurs who are solving big-picture issues, such as economic, social, urban and environmental challenges.

Which innovative tools do you use to optimize productivity?
With no hesitation, my favorite tech tools are Hubspot, which I use to organize and keep track of all my contacts and emails; Boomerang to schedule the delivery of emails (so I can pretend I am up at 7:30am); and Gorgias Templates for canned sentences. An app that I rely on a lot would be Sketch to make some designs easily and rapidly!

Elissa James, Founder of Irislillian.com

Webzine Irislilian.com aims to arm modern career women with ambitious ideas, inspiring interviews, trouble-shooting, thought pieces, and a side of style. 

Which tools do you use to optimize productivity?
I wouldn't call this strictly innovative, but my most effective productivity tool is my Moleskine and an HB pencil. I draw up a list of 'To Dos' every day and tick each task off as I go.

When you work solo on a venture, like I do on IrisLillian.com, you can often feel inefficient because you have to jump from task to task, wearing a multitude of 'hats'. If I feel I've had an unproductive day, I look back over my list in the evening to remind myself how much I've achieved. It's a good morale booster.

What sites or apps do you use to measure effectiveness?
I rely on Google Analytics to understand which articles readers enjoy the most, how they find their way around the site and what they are interested in reading about. I would be running blind without this information.

How does technology help or halt your productivity?
Sometimes email is a hindrance to productivity because I'm constantly distracted by the 'ping' as emails land in my Inbox. I can't stem the flow of emails but I can choose to put answering them to one side for an hour in order to finish the task at hand. This is helpful when I need to focus on finishing a feature article or photo editing.

Mira Ramos, CEO of Ramos Executive Search Limited

For recruitment companies like Ramos Executive Search Limited, technology have make it easier to find talent and build relationships. 

Which innovative tools do you use to optimize productivity?
The recruitment industry is extremely competitive. We can’t just rely on posting advertisements to find the best talent, as most of the best are passive job seekers.

LinkedIn is a great source to find talents who are passive in job seeking. It is also a great social media platform for professionals, and a place where we could build relationships with clients and candidates. With the right marketing strategy, it helps increases awareness, engage audience, generate leads and ultimately drive revenue.

How does technology help your business?
Customer Relationship Management systems like Salesforce allow our sales team to keep track of the status of a prospect in one shared location. This helps our business increase consistency in our customer relations, which overall increases productivity and profitability.

Any personal favorite productivity boosters?

For innovative tools, I use a smart watch. The to-do list feature makes things faster, because I can quickly add tasks using only my voice. It also make reminders more powerful as I can complete or postpone them without lifting my phone from my pocket and unlocking the watch. I just need to look at my wrist. 

Sarah Garner, Founder of Retykle

An online luxury resale shop, Retykle is aimed at families who want to dress their kiddos up in high-quality clothes without paying a premium or sell lightly worn kids' apparel. 

How does technology affect your business?
Technology is at the core of our productivity since our business is online and our marketplace model requires us to maximize efficiency. The amount of choices available for tools to help with seemingly every area of business can sometimes be distracting or daunting, until you hone in on the most appropriate tools for your particular business needs.

Which innovative tools do you use to optimize productivity?
I have been using Slack since the inception of Retykle to optimize efficient team communication and file sharing. It removes formality and acts more as an internal chat and portal for assets. 

What professional tools do you rely on the most?
I rely on freelancers to execute certain ongoing tasks and use Upwork to source the talent and to facilitate compensation. We use Canva daily -- it allows us to execute a variety of design tasks very simply.

Hong Kong based EasyShip has been a great platform and partner for international shipping. Planoly is a handy social media tool, which allows you to schedule and map out the visual sequence of upcoming Instagram posts.