In the real world, there is no magic app that solves every challenge a business owner might face. The key to true productivity is to understand your specific Productivity Bottlenecks first and then create solutions to overcome them.

Once you figure out your Productivity Bottleneck, then the right app can help you become more efficient.

We reached out to the Impactive Strategies family for feedback * and here are some of their favorite apps to help solve common Productivity Bottlenecks. [Note – click the infographic to download.]

Productivity Bottleneck: Struggling to keep track of multiple steps and tasks are falling through the cracks.

It can be difficult to organize projects when you have many hands working on them. Having a centralized hub to manage all the moving parts ensures all tasks are completed and deadlines are met.

Denise Stegall – “I love using Trello with my team. It’s so simple so there’s no learning curve to use it. All of our projects are listed in one place with due dates and updates.”

Holly Matson of the Impactive Strategies team likes Asana to manage deadlines, task assignments, and project details. “Asana makes it so easy to keep track of multiple steps in multiple projects with multiple deadlines. No more balls dropped!”

Other solutions:, Hive

Productivity Bottleneck: Inefficient communication with your team

Leaders need to communicate easily and efficiently with multiple staff members (no more back-and-forth emails!), whether remote or in a centralized location.

Laura Licursi and her team love Loom – “Hands down, it’s Loom. I can quickly record my screen instead of sending long-winded emails, and we use it to capture our company processes.”

Elin Barton – “We use Asana and Slack to plan and communicate about projects. Slack has a new huddle feature so it’s easy to call an impromptu meeting without a lot of planning or fuss. “

Chris Hanus“When we switched from Outlook to Gmail, I saved somewhere between 4 and 8 hours a week in what I called ’email hell.’ Using Google’s Label and Filtering system and their Conversation view allows me to keep my inbox clean and organized and automatically sorted so things are easy to find very quickly and minimal effort is put into upkeeping them.  We also like the ability to share and edit in real-time Docs/Spreadsheets, and I love the Calendar and Task list features.

Other solutions: MS Teams, Voxer

Productivity Bottleneck: Struggling to keep boundaries around scheduling

We all want to avoid double-booking and working outside of office hours.

Mary Keane Molnar “We use Calendly for appointment setting. It’s free and puts it right on my Google calendar.”

Rose Corrick“I like Acuity for scheduling. The business version integrates for free with Squarespace website builder.” 

I prefer Acuity for calendar management with my Impactive Strategies team as well – it integrates so well with my Google calendar, and is super easy for my team and my clients to use.

Other options – any phone reminder app, TimeTree

For even more App suggestions, check out this video with Lisa’s picks for Calendar Apps:


Productivity Bottleneck: Inefficient and unsafe password storage

With many websites and accounts to manage, how does a team keep passwords readily accessible, and most importantly, secure?

Elin Barton – “We use Bitwarden for our team password manager. There is a cool feature it has where the 3rd-factor authentication codes show up right on the app, instead of being texted to a particular phone. Because we care about cyber security this keeps us safe and saves time.”

For my Impactive Strategies team, I love LastPass. We add every password anyone on the team might need, and their sharing features allows us to keep everything handy but secure.

Other solutions:

Productivity Bottleneck: Losing time managing your accounting

Are you spending too much on AR/AP, but you’re not ready to delegate to an accounting firm? These apps may offer options.

Jenny Le – “We have used QuickBooks since 2012 and our CPA uses the same platform. A friend from my NAWBO DC chapter recommended I get Transaction Pro to import all bank transactions into QB. We can download a QBO file from banks and upload the transactions into QB. The cost was $150 for me with a first-time client discount. It will last maybe 5 years and we will need to upgrade it for $200 each time.”

Other solutions: MileIQ

Productivity Bottleneck: Having staff manually type out meeting notes or audio

Unless you have a staff stenographer, you probably have needed transcription services in your business, to take meeting notes or to transcribe a podcast or interview.

Kiley Deveraux of the Impactive Strategies team says, “Otter’s AI is fast, easy to use, and pretty accurate. I like how it automatically breaks up the text by speaker instead of spitting out one giant block of text, and the fact that it integrates with Zoom makes gathering and organizing transcripts a breeze.”

Other solutions: Sonix

Productivity Bottleneck: Wasting time managing how all your apps work together to streamline processes.

With multiple apps managing multiple tasks, we want a way for them to “play nice” with each other. Integration apps are a good solution.

Chris Hanus – “To automate data flowing between apps, I prefer Zoho Flow, which allows us to automatically shift data from one department to another with no manual intervention. We really like how easy it is to balance the books with their Books app and I am able to do it in 5 minutes or less every day. I also like their Vault app for storing/accessing passwords securely.”

Leslie McClure – “My favorites are EverNote and Nozbe for technology to keep me organized and managing a to-do list. They pair well with my paper planner…Full Focus Planner. I like a hybrid system.”

The first step to better productivity is to identify your Productivity Bottleneck. Finding the right solution is next. To uncover your Bottleneck, schedule a Time Thief Eliminator Session and uncover the real obstacles holding you back.