7 productivity tools for charities you should know about

Now that Autumn is upon us, Charity Digital Exchange’s Raabia Fazil gives charities the insider know-how on some useful gems to add to their digital toolkit to be more productive.

Raabia Fazil | 6th Sep 19

Summer rolls away, everyone returns refreshed from holidays and students get ready for the new school year. Your charity may be feeling similarly energised and eager to get stuck in with work, we certainly are in the Charity Digital Exchange office! 

With this in mind, we have rounded up the best productivity tools to help you raise your game and hit your goals across a range of departments such as comms/marketing, acccounting and more. 

 

Hemingway

Hemingway is a tool that gives you free help with refining your prose. We love the ease of using this website as you can simply paste in a paragraph of your writing and it picks out any long, unwieldy sentences and the dreaded passive voice which turns up in all writing. Armed with this tool, you can enhance your writing and engage more effectively with your audience. 

Try it out and test it yourself or encourage your writers to empower themselves and have a go.  

 

Slack

As organisations grow and workplaces evolve, email can seem formal and a bit clunky when you need quick feedback or when your colleagues are all over the world. Slack helps you to quickly ping teammates for help. You can run it in your browser or install it as an app on your desktop, mobile or both. This flexible tool enables you to run threads with a colleague or create channels for specific projects. 

Slack is free for up to 250 people and provides a whopping 85% discount to charities with more staff. Beyond messaging effectively, multiple APIs help you to link it to other tools and automate tasks. Grouping together several services helps non-technical people access info from technical tools such as bots.  

> See also: Five free efficiency-driving tools for charities

 

Focus Booster

In a busy charity, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, pulled in lots of different directions and everyone wants an answer right now! Focus Booster is great for keeping you refreshed and energised in an epidemic of distraction. Especially if social media is part of your work, you may want moments of calm away from pinging notifications.

This desktop app helps you concentrate by breaking down your tasks into manageable 25-minute chunks and short breaks. It’s based on the Pomodoro Technique and we love how it helps us smash deadlines. A free starter plan and premium plans start at $2.99/month 

 

Dropbox

With multiple projects and multimedia work including large documents, images and even videos, Dropbox is great for team collaboration. You no longer have to use flash drives or any other clunky means of moving work from one computer/device to another. Dropbox helps you access all of your files from any device, anywhere and just as easily send large files too.

You can store up to 2GB for free and upgrade to Plus for 1 TB for $12.99/month. We love the great user experience of simply uploading a file and sharing a link with your teammate. 

 

Hootsuite

With so many social media tools helping you reach and engage your audience, remembering to post regularly across all of them can be a huge task. Hootsuite is great for organising your social media posts, saving time and effectively managing your social channels. With a free version available, Hootsuite gives you one central place to schedule your posts instead of logging into each one individually.  

You can easily create reports showing how your audience are engaging with your social media posts and track how many people are clicking on your links, liking things and retweeting. We love this service for its clarity and time efficiency!

> See also: 3 security strategies for charities that are more secure than passwords

 

Okta

As staff work in offices, remotely or even hop overseas, Okta saves teammates from remembering passwords for all of the accounts used daily. You can log in to one central place and access everything. Okta believe charities deserve access to the best tech to fulfill their mission. They understand limits on budgets and are offering 25 free licenses and charity pricing for extra licenses and products. 

We love Okta as it helps us to log on easily from anywhere, even if you wanted to work from the beach!

 

Sage Foundation

Budgets can affect access to the right tools. Sage Foundation is helping the sector by building unique accounting solutions for eligible charities. They are supplying free and discounted licenses to help your team manage your money without spending too much money.

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