Technology has changed the way we live; including tremendous benefits at home, workplace and schools. Digital tools have made a lot of our work easier, adjusted the way we approach projects, and sometimes have even improved the speed at which projects are executed.
Arguably, in terms of workplace, the digital generation will enjoy more on the path of this saying; “more technology means more efficiency”.
Simply put, digital tools are electronic devices or applications used to make human interaction very easy—interaction with work, family, societies and even other devices. Daily, we continue to see newer applications to help us meet set objectives, sometimes even to the point of doing business with handheld devices in our pockets or bags.
These digital tools range from social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. to smorgasbord of apps like google app, email app and a lot more. All these tools are created and developed to boost effectiveness and efficiency especially at a workplace where everyone is trying to either beat deadlines or meet a certain target. These tools enhance mobility, allow teams to have a centralized location for file storage and also keep you in control of your files—you have access to the files anywhere & at anytime.
Okay, let’s focus on three of the digital tools that every employer and employee should have access to, which cuts across all facet of work. Funny enough, they are not ‘so’ new.
Slack is not much of a new app but most people don’t know about or use it. Launched in August 2013 and founded by Stewart Butterfield. Slack is a digital workspace for internal organizational communication, relationship and in the words of Nicholas Page “it is a conference room for those who work remotely”. Slack is a messaging app like a community that enables organization and people working the same project to organize work meeting, do a work review and exchange files, stay in touch with all members of an organization and your department, and still have a private chat with friend; more like having all pieces of an organization in one place right? It features synchronization of all your chats and files, unifies communication—enables one to easily track down old conversations—and also allows a collaborative environment where teams and companies can work together to achieve their goals. “Slack works like WhatsApp but in a different way more like in a matured way”. Not everyone can be on slack like we all do on WhatsApp and Facebook, you become a user strictly on an invite.
You will be wondering “what is this again?”. Bit.ly is a domain for shortening URLs (bitlinks) by Bitly company. Established February 12th, 2008. Bitly, a privately held company for links management helps you to shorten, share, manage and analyze a link from around the web easily; Simply put, bitly is a link ‘shortener’ with bit.ly beginning the link(domain). It enables companies to push brand awareness on social media like Twitter, emails, etc easily by shortening their own custom domains.
How does it work? Just go to bitly.com, type in or paste that long link on the top of the page and click “shorten” and you will be taken to a new page with your new shorter URL. Then with a click on the copy button, you can paste the link anywhere! You can also sign up for free as a user if you want to monitor your bitlinks— you get know the number of clicks on the links you created, how often those links are shared, information about who shared them. Every new link created gets added to your feed, and each link can be edited, archived etc. you can always sort through your old links using the search bar, customize your own link for easy remembrance as long as no one is using whatever you choose. But if you want to only shorten links for easy accessibility, then no need to sign-up.
For example, instead of having links like zumalo.com/awesome-tech-site/check-us-out, you get the bitlink as bit.ly/zumalo (cool right? yeah I know and you are welcome. And please those links aren’t functional except of course zumalo.com).
Any software engineer or designer should be used to this site, pexels.com. Not only do programmers and designers use the site, writers, bloggers, artists etc use it too. In fact, you ever want some awesome high-resolution photos about anything to feature in your work and wondering where? Pexels.com is your go-to place (thank me now!).
Pexels was co-founded by Joseph Bruno and Ingo Joseph in 2014. In 2015, Daniel Frese joined the group and together, the three now run pexels. The site offers free high-quality stock photos which are selectively handpicked from their group of photographers and sources like Pixabay, Gratisography etc. the awesome thing about pexels is that you get to edit or modify the photos, they can be used anywhere for both personal and commercial use by anyone. Did I mention you can also be photo source for pexels—like you can have a photo featured on the pexel website? Oh yes, you can! All you need do is create an account, submit your photos and the Pexels photo team chooses the best of the picture, send you a notification email and voila! Your photo gets published on their homepage and whenever you wish, you can delete the photo.
So for all entrepreneurs, businessmen, managers and the likes, you wouldn’t want to overlook these three tools.
However, although digital tools have been helpful in the workplace, home, etc. tools like social media and mobile applications can also cause some distractions and procrastination of work. From “having a check for 5sec” turn minutes, minutes turn hours and before you know it, the day is all gone. And seeing that we all work on computers, laptops and sometimes with our smartphones too, with those notifications popping up, sounding like the sweet beckoning from the honeycomb, surely one will want to have a glimpse.
Let’s hear your thoughts on whether digital tools make us productive at work or not.