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10-untraditional-tools-for-nonprofits-to-boost-their-productivity

10 Untraditional Online Tools for Nonprofits to Boost Their Productivity

Eva

While automation of repetitive tasks is a major aspect of increasing productivity, there are a host of other tools out there that may fly under the radar when it comes to finding ways to enhance nonprofit efficiency. 

We have scoured the internet and collaborated with our nonprofit partners to form a collection of some of the best options as well as free tech tools on the market. 

Used properly, this organizational software has the potential to free up hours within your average work week. 

Let’s get to it! Here is the collaborative work software we will cover: 

10-untraditional-tools-for-nonprofits-to-boost-their-productivity-google-calendar

#1: Google Calendar

We know we said "untraditional," but hear us out because Google Calendar is worth it! As one of the greatest free collaboration tools for individuals or nonprofits, Google Calendar allows you to share your calendar with your team and schedule events and tasks so that everyone is on the same page. 

Some handy features include: 

  • Goals - this feature allows you to tell Calendar what task you want to accomplish and how much time you want to spend doing it. The program will take it from there, breaking down the allotted time within a specified amount of dates and assigning times based on your current schedule. It will then provide reminder notifications. 

  • Coordination - You can access clocks for time zones or even global zones, so if you are collaborating long-distance, you will always know the time difference to prevent confusion or missed meetings. 

  • Shared Calendar - One of the most useful features, you can post notifications, deadlines, reminders, events, and all sorts of other information on your calendar, and all members of your team can access it. 

Productivity Benefits

Having everyone aware of deadlines is a powerful tool for productivity, as it allows projects to proceed smoothly with understood expectations and goals. For example, if your nonprofit is preparing an event, you can break it down into stages working backward, and keep everyone on-task with goals to serve as checkpoints to stay on track. 

The Cost

There is a basic version that is free although it does not provide the full benefit. The business version has two options: $5 per user per month, or $50 per user for a year. They also offer a free 30-day trial so you can determine if it is worth budgeting for your organization. Keep in mind, Google usually offers a nonprofit discount, too! 

Star Features

One of the best features is the ability to let Google Calendar schedule meetings for you. It can design time slots and send notifications to your team so they can choose a time that fits with their schedule. This prevents you from having to track down each person and try to piece everything together like a flexible puzzle. 

Also, there are a multitude of google for nonprofit benefits and services that are great integrations. 

10-untraditional-tools-for-nonprofits-to-boost-their-productivity-taskful

#2: Taskful

As you might expect from the name, Taskful is focused on ensuring that you stay on task and meet your deadlines. 

Useful attributes include: 

  • An intuitive to-do list to help you meet your goals

  • A simple, uncluttered interface, focusing primarily on the day’s objectives, although you can also plan ahead 

  • Notification reminders

Using the Taskful Pro version, you can assign tasks to team members, comment, and even offer public access to certain tasks which is great if you want to include volunteers or members in initiatives. 

Productivity Benefits

By itself, the program is not a collaborative tool, but a useful way to increase personal productivity and set manageable goals. However, a feature of the Taskful Pro version is adding "friends" and sharing categories and tasks, which allows you to work collaboratively with your teams to achieve goals and fulfill projects. 

10-untraditional-tools-for-nonprofits-to-boost-their-productivity-taskfulPeter's favorite? Taskful, tool number two!

The Cost

The app is free, although there is a Taskful Pro version with additional features that is $4.99 per month. There is a free one-month trial. 

Star Features

Taskful bills itself as a "smart" task management software. As a result, the program will recognize goals that include numbered parts to completion. For example, if your goal is to run 4 laps, it understands the goal and allows you to click for completion of each lap until the goal is reached. 

10-untraditional-tools-for-nonprofits-to-boost-their-productivity-toggl-track

#3: Toggl Track

A favorite of the Springly team, Toggl Track is software intended to track productivity by keeping records of how long each aspect of a project takes. Users can set an objective, start the timer, and see exactly how long it takes to accomplish the task. 

For a nonprofit, there are many benefits to being able to make use of time tracking. The goal is not to use tracking for managerial oversight. While this is an option, there are better uses than micromanagement! 

Instead, time tracking is most useful when used by the individual. Keeping an eye on the amount of time it takes for a particular task helps push you to stay focused through completion and is particularly helpful when dealing with a huge influx of emails, slack messages, or WhatsApp notifications. Keeping users cognizant of how much time it takes to accomplish certain goals can also aid in planning and budgeting for similar projects in the future. 

Productivity Benefits

While the free version of the program provides many ways to track time and analyze data involving projects, meetings, or other daily nonprofit tasks, the higher levels of the software add enhanced collaboration tools such as time-tracking on calendars, a wide variety of reporting and estimating projections, multiple workspaces, and team tracking reminders.  

The Cost

In addition to the free version, there is a $9 starter tier, an $18 premium tier, and an enterprise tier with custom pricing. Each level provides the features of the previous tier and a whole series of new benefits. 

Star Features

The ability to track time spent on specific projects and view a wide variety of reports on that information for analysis has practically unlimited benefits. Making estimations for future tasks and finding new ways to improve productivity on similar tasks are two of the best features. 

10-untraditional-tools-for-nonprofits-to-boost-their-productivity-freedom

#4: Freedom

The internet is an endless source of distractions that can easily divert you from your project when you need to be focusing on your goal. Somewhat ironically, Freedom is designed to limit your access to distracting features so that you and your team can stay focused. 

The ability to determine any websites that are either potential security risk, or are known distractors, can be blocked to maintain focus on completing tasks in the most efficient way possible. 

Productivity Benefits

The greatest benefit of Freedom is in different levels of prevention to keep yourself and your team on track. 

  • Insight - This is the best feature for discovering which sites prove the most distracting by analyzing time spent on different sites. Research shows that people who take mini-breaks from work throughout the day are more productive overall. Freedom allows you to differentiate between sites that are productivity boosters and those that are productivity busters! 

  • Pause - This option is least restrictive as it simply provides you a notification and gives you a moment to think about whether now is the appropriate time to visit the distracting site or not. If you found a productivity buster (see above), consider chatting with the team about it before the big-brother banning the site. The pause functionality can be utilized if the first conversation needs a little backup.

  • Limit - Rather than completely blocking access to sites, you can impose a limit on how much time can be spent on a particular website before it redirects you. 

The Cost

There are seven free trials before you have to pay anything at all, and if you choose not to purchase their service, they offer advice on chrome extensions that can prove useful to avoid distractions. The subscription cost is less than $30 annually. 

Star Features

The best feature is Freedom’s main feature. If utilized properly, the ability to block or limit websites that distract your team from focusing on the job at hand can help to improve productivity. 

10-untraditional-tools-for-nonprofits-to-boost-their-productivity-productive

#5: Productive

Another software that provides the ability to track personal goals and progress, their major goal is in the name. 

Your nonprofit can make use of this program to establish optimum meeting attendance or fundraising goals. 

Productivity Benefits

You can: 

  • Evaluate your daily, weekly, or monthly progress toward goals

  • Schedule deadlines and reminder notifications

  • Track progress toward specific goals

The Cost

Productive is a free download, although there are upgraded features for $3.99 or a yearly subscription of $23.99. 

10-untraditional-tools-for-nonprofits-to-boost-their-productivity-productiveOliver loves learning about all these productivity tools!

Star Features

Awareness of how each team member is spending online time can help with analyzing ways to stay focused on a project, even if you do not invoke any restrictions. 

10-untraditional-tools-for-nonprofits-to-boost-their-productivity-grammarly

#6: Grammarly

When you are trying to write professionally, Grammarly can act as your editor. It can offer real-time suggestions to help improve your writing as well as many features to evaluate the effectiveness of your completed document. 

Grammarly can help you structure sentences in ways that reduce confusion and ambiguousness relating to project tasks, responsibilities, objectives, outcomes, and most any aspect of written communication.

Productivity Benefits

Here is what Grammarly can do to ensure your writing is the most productive it can be:

  • Offers real-time suggestions and spelling advice

  • Allows you to analyze your completed document in many ways, such as tone, mood, readability, and engagement

  • Allows you to run a plagiarism check to ensure that your document is original

The Cost

The Grammarly app is free, but advanced features such as plagiarism check and higher-tier analysis options are part of the premium package. Prices for these services include a $12 a month annual package, $20.00 a month quarterly, or $30.00 monthly option. 

Star Features

All of these features are pretty great, but the ability to gauge your readability and formality level can really help you solidify your audience engagement.  

10-untraditional-tools-for-nonprofits-to-boost-their-productivity-adobe-scan

#7: Adobe Scan

With this software, there is no more need to go through the lengthy process of scanning documents in a printer and then converting them to PDF, simply take a picture with your phone and conveniently convert it to a PDF. 

This is a great feature for converting your nonprofit documents and providing quick and easy access for anyone who needs it. 

Productivity Benefits

Obviously, the conversion process is a major time-saver, but as it can recognize text, you can use it to create forms or highlight text easily. 

The Cost

Absolutely free!

Star Features

Being able to take a quick picture with your phone and convert it to a PDF in moments is GREAT for increasing productivity.

10-untraditional-tools-for-nonprofits-to-boost-their-productivity-calm

#8: Calm: Sleep and Meditation

While you may be a bit surprised to find a sleep app on a list of productivity tools, empty your mind and all will become clear. 

As counter-intuitive as it may seem, setting aside time each day to practice mindfulness is a surprisingly great way to clear your head and focus to enhance productivity for the rest of the day. 

Everyone can use a break from the stress and rigors of nonprofit duties and sharing these app techniques together can help reduce stress and anxiety while building rapport. 

Rest as a team, work as a team. 

Productivity Benefits

Clearing away stress and anxiety can help team or committee members focus on their tasks more efficiently.

10-untraditional-tools-for-nonprofits-to-boost-their-productivity-calmAlex is feeling very zen now that he's using Calm.

There are:

  • Activities such as stretches to improve your body

  • Masterclasses to sharpen your mind

  • Meditations to reduce stress and provide calm

The Cost

There is a free trial, but afterward, it is $69.99 a year. 

Star Features 

A wide variety of different techniques is intended to provide something for everyone to help reduce stress and anxiety. 

10-untraditional-tools-for-nonprofits-to-boost-their-productivity-lightshot

#9: Lightshot

Lightshot is a screenshot tool that allows you to take and edit screenshots for absolute clarity. It allows you to communicate your message without having to deal with the complexities of editing a screenshot the old-fashioned way, or worse yet, describe what you want to show using words. 

Productivity Benefits

The app saves time and allows you to communicate visually to your team in a way that enhances understanding without providing unnecessary complications. 

The Cost

Absolutely free!

Star Features

You can add indicators such as arrows, lines, text, rectangles, or even freehand drawings to help draw attention to important concepts or focal points. 

10-untraditional-tools-for-nonprofits-to-boost-their-productivity-springly

#10: Springly

You didn’t think we would end this article without mentioning yourselves, did you? Well, this list would not be complete without an all-in-one software platform dedicated specifically to nonprofits, such as Springly.  

Springly saved our clients over 2.3 million hours of work in 2021.  How, you ask? Well, we did it by automating processes from accounting entries, membership dues, donations, and more. All without having to lift a finger. 

Productivity Benefits

Springly’s biggest claim to fame is the ability for nonprofits to have all their tools in one place. Whether you are looking for automation, templates, or guidance, we have you covered over virtually every aspect of nonprofit management:

  • CRM

  • Accounting

  • Membership

  • Online payment

  • Website management

  • Event management and customization

  • Email marketing

  • Donations 

  • Fundraising software and campaigns features

  • The freedom to collaborate efficiently from anywhere

The Cost

Springly offers a 14-day free trial with no hidden fees. For up to 30 contacts, Springly is free and for more than 30 packages start at only $15 a month. 

10-untraditional-tools-for-nonprofits-to-boost-their-productivity-springlyTrish has some thinking to do with all these newfound tools.

Star Features 

It’s hard to beat having everything you need at hand whenever you need it. The integration of all software features is an incredible productivity enhancer and automation is simply the cherry on top. 

10-untraditional-tools-for-nonprofits-to-boost-their-productivity-honorable-mentions

Honorable Mentions

As you continue your search to find the best nonprofit software, here are some additional options for your consideration: 

  • Evernote

  • Trello

  • Canva

  • Asana

  • Slack

  • Bloomerang

  • Dropbox

  • Mailchimp

  • Google Analytics

  • Donorperfect

  • Wix

  • Eventbrite

  • Hootsuite

10-untraditional-tools-for-nonprofits-to-boost-their-productivity-end

Springly is trusted by over 20,000 nonprofits to help them run their organizations on a daily basis. Try it, test it, love it with a 14-day free trial!

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