3 Web Tools That Boost Productivity and Enliven the Office

Familiar tools like Skype and Spotify can boost office productivity, if you use them creatively.
February 16, 2012

You probably already use modern technology that improves your office functionality—Dropbox, Twitter, indoor running water. You may have heard of others that are fun, but not realized how useful they are to boost office productivity.

Developers are churning out a lot of productivity applications that are fun to use. Here's how to use some familiar tools creatively.

Skype

Most people think of Skype as a tool for people who are far apart. I thought Skype was just for video calls, you say.

Well, you’re right. Skype is great for spanning the miles between long-distance lovers, but it also connects people in an office and lets them work more efficiently.

A group-text chat can be handy for sharing files and links among select groups or the whole office. A Skype group chat is an instantaneous, electronic community board. Whether the information you pass around on Skype is links, memos or cat videos, the tool lets you transfer information quickly. And it's fun to use.

Spotify

You would think Spotify, the music playlist site with an endless database, would be a productivity killer. But music can help workplace performance.

Allowing employees to listen to their own music creates happy worker bees. And happy workers mean money in your pocket.

Use Spotify to strengthen your workplace community and give employees a voice. Create a group playlist where employees can add songs. Or set it up so employees can send songs or playlists to one another.

37signals

Think of 37signals as your office application Swiss Army knife. It's a rich suite of Web apps, including Basecamp, a project-management tool. Campfire is an intra-business communications tool and the Ta-Da List, is a cool to-do list.

And the best part is, it's freeware.

All the applications we've mentioned here are available, in some useable form, at no cost. You can opt for more robust paid versions of each. Bring a little extra fun into your office, along with enhanced productivity.

Jacob Harper co-founded the clothing store and apparel brand Vintage Vice in 2006. Jacob sold Vintage Vice in 2009 and has been working as a writer and teacher ever since. He is currently a head writer for the weekly political sketch show Top Story! Weekly at the iO West in Hollywood.

Photo credit: ebstock