Productivity is the benchmark of any successful organization. Productivity is dependent on your efficient use of some workplace tools and soft skills. Irrespective of your field, if it has to do with managing work in the office (especially for a blue-collar job), no matter how technical or recurring your job is, it is likely you already use these tools or will direly need them.

Companies in the US rely on them for efficiency and progress. You will typically find workers sit over their computers in their offices working hard at getting, storing and managing data in all its facets. It is the interpretation, analysing, storage and (re)presentation of this business data that you need a solid mastery of these soft tools and skills. For some of us, we grew up in the corporate business world already familiar with these tools. For others, we paid in form of some money or time to acquire them.

These workplace resources are all in public domain, but I have discussed them here to put things in a singular draft for your benefit.

Below are the workplace tools and resources your

1. MS Office. A key component to work productivity is data presentation and management. Weather it is a simple report about a new trend with insignificant impact to your business, or it is the documentation of a key process improvement to your company’s overall business delivery system, the Microsoft Office is a veritable business tool. For me, top three MS Suite tools you need to increase your productivity are:

a. MS Word: Perhaps the most used Office Application, the MS Word has truly been a revolutionary resource in creating or storing data at work. Easy to use, MS Word helps in quickly typing out relevant materials in business. It is the death to the traditional pen and paper documentation.

b. Excel: Arguably the most important business tools, Excel makes basic data management a breeze. From my perspective, Excel is the stem from which Big data emerged. At the advanced stage, you can use Excel to predict market changes, trends and drive key business decisions. With Excel, you can handle complex business math. Learning to use these tools will quickly speed up your productivity and create more business options.

c. Power Point: For official presentations, Microsoft PowerPoint is the is the tool of choice. Often time, after a hard-dug research, you resort to PowerPoint to lucidly present your thoughts and findings. This is a tool that can accommodate aspects of other office tools like the table from Word, Graphs from Excel and other important components that makes presentation easy.

I recommend getting the most recent versions of the MS Office Suite which contains these three and several other tools.

2. G-Suite. The existence of Google has made it easier for companies and individuals to quickly reach some higher level of productivity by creating a workspace for collaboration. By simply opening a Gmail, you gain access to key productivity and collaborative resources from Google. For me the most important day-to-day operational office tools from Google (which you totally need to explore and utilize to your business advantage) are:

a. Drive. Google Drive is the most cost-effective option for collaboration, file management and creation. This app is a simple yet powerful online work station your business should totally depend on for swift and visible productivity. My reasons for this assessment?

i. The ability to create folders, documents, worksheets and many more. Right on the cloud, you can easily create and securely store all company records, work files online. What is more, MS, Excel and PPT work vey well with Docs, Sheet and Slides. Simply import to it.

ii. The Drive allows for sharing and collaboration of all and any doc, folder, everything. You can give full or restricted access. And if you have different departments in the company, each department can have their separate folder (or drive within the Drive) which only members of that department have access to. In real time, a number of team and work remotely on the same project, thanks to Drive.

b. Calendar. Want to get on top of your work schedules, meetings, etc? Commit them to Google’s Calendar. Calendar is easy to use, integrated into other Google products. With your existing Gmail, you can easily access your calendar to create and manage your schedules. It works brilliantly with your phones and laptops. The alarms come as set, to keep you right on time and on top of your schedules.

3. Internet Search. In America, one major use of the internet for productivity is the search for business leads, information, trends, to mention a few. Mostly, we use the internet for extensive business data mining. Thankfully, majority of other businesses and people are online. A thorough search usually coughs up interesting data for business decisions. The web is constantly updated, and thus reaching certain, hitherto unavailable data are increasingly becoming a norm. Most businesses are online with the mind of reaching searchers and researchers who are possibly seeking to do business with them.  Google’s Chrome browser may well be the most popular search tool you need to perform all (or at least most) of your business search. To note, these will help your swift (re)search works:

a. Bookmarks: Bookmarks helps you pin and save pages you’d like to get back to for further information or analysis.

b. In-Cognito mode: Going blind is fairly popular in searching online and leaving no trails. This is true if you’d like to zap in and out of some sites without trails on your location, machine (laptop, etc.), etc. This is also great for office presentations on shared machines.

c. Google search. The big brother and most popular search engine is a free online tool you can rely on to complete online digging works for your business.

As an employer, an employee or an advisor, the above tools and resources have effectively redefined how businesses navigate their positions and interact with themselves (internal) and other businesses and clients (external). The effective use of these everyday resources is key to efficient and productive output in our modern-day business world. Master them today and you are well ahead of the pack in any field.