If you’ve ever had to download a PDF from an email attachment, convert it to an MS Word doc, export half of the information to Excel and then send three different forms of the same information to six different team members (in slightly different variations, of course), you know how exasperating a lack of workplace efficiency and agile technology can be.

Google Apps: Google offers an extensive, free suite of tools that businesses can take advantage of to maximize efficiency, improve communication and streamline meetings and presentations. Google Drive (as well as Google Forms, Sheets, Slides and Forms) easily enables document and spreadsheet creation, sharing and storing, while Google Calendar seamlessly syncs schedules among team members and across agencies. So, no more back-and-forth shuffling of attachments with file names like “monthly report v6.doc.”

Namely: For all things HR, Namely is a relatively new platform that can take a good deal of the headache out of managing a growing business. With a focus on companies in media, technology, professional services and commerce, Namely combines all HR-related tasks in one easy-to-access and modern system. Payroll, benefits and performance management no longer need to be a bureaucratic nightmare — and when information about the things that employees care about (benefits, PTO, etc.) is easy to access and ascertain, employee satisfaction and retention improves.

Atlassian/JIRA/Confluence: The Atlassian suite of products, including platforms such as JIRA, an issue- and project-tracking software, and Confluence, a tool for team collaboration, can be hugely helpful for companies that handle projects with a lot of moving parts.

Asana: It’s no secret that 100-thread email chains can make even the most even-tempered employee want to pull her hair out. With the tagline “Teamwork without email,” Asana makes pairing tasks with conversations simple and removes the need for the dreaded status update. Though the platform can take a little getting used to, it’s an efficient way to manage cross-team collaborations and create tangible accountability.

Trello: Think of Trello as the 21st-century version of the Post-It wall. The helpful platform is excellent for managing tasks within and among teams: Never again will you have to begin an email or send a Gchat saying, “Do you know if so-and-so has gotten to such-and-such yet?” 

Dedicated company Intranet: Creating a “central nervous system” specifically for your company to more effectively communicate is a tactic that some companies use to maximize efficiency. ZocDoc, the popular online and mobile medical care scheduling service, recently implemented such a system, called Pulse.

Basecamp: Another hugely popular platform for collaboration, project management and efficient communication, Basecamp can be a useful tool for anyone from freelancers to large companies. 

Read the full article here: http://mashable.com/2014/09/11/workplace-technology/