If you have used computers throughout the last few decades, you understand just how different they look today than they did in the eighties and nineties. Once upon a time, end-users purchased things like Photoshop and Microsoft Word on CDs, and subscription services and apps as we now know them were faint ideas. Now, in the age of the App Store, the programs we use are available in mere seconds, their information transmitted online without the need for CDs, flash drives, or floppy discs. Apps for laptops, smartphones, and tablets allow us to work anywhere, keeping our information within an arm’s reach at all times. Consider adding some of these tools to your devices and work like a computer support pro!
Computer Support Necessities: LastPass for Password Management
When it comes to computer support, particularly when working remotely, security is paramount. A password manager is a helpful tool that allows users to create and store complex passwords and login credentials. This way, users can use unique passwords for all of their apps and accounts without forgetting them. Launched in 2008, LastPass is a password manager that is compatible with a wide range of operating systems and web browsers. With LastPass, users can sync and store login info across multiple mobile devices, browsers, and computers, letting them login from anywhere with ease while keeping their login info encrypted. Password management programs are a helpful way for users to make the most of all of their apps without leaving themselves vulnerable.
Apps for Task Management and Productivity
Task management is somewhat tricky; everyone works differently, and apps that some people live by may not work for others. Still, more and more workplaces are insisting that their staff members use task management apps to keep their teams informed, efficient, and productive. Since most of our clients are Microsoft Office 365 based, we choose to highlight some tools and solutions already included in the Microsoft subscription. There is a wide range of these apps available, and each one has its perks:
- Microsoft To Do is a list-based app designed to sync to-do lists across Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS devices. Users can create multiple lists to share with others, assign tasks to specific people, and integrate other programs such as Outlook and Cortana.
- Microsoft Planner is a light weight, mobile and web-based application that comes with most Office 365 for business subscriptions. With Planner you and your team can create plans, assign tasks, chat about tasks, and see charts of your team’s progress. You can also use Planner from within Microsoft Teams and Microsoft SharePoint. If you’re using Microsoft Teams, you can organize your tasks by adding one or more Planner tabs to a Team Channel. You can then work on your plan from within Teams or in Planner (for web) – to be able to remove or delete your plan, and get notified in Teams when a task is assigned to you in Planner.
- Microsoft Teams is a collaboration app that helps your team stay organized and have conversations. It combines workplace chat, meetings, notes, and attachments along with hosting voice and video calls with screen sharing capabilities. You can easily integrate Teams into your workday and projects in a secure and hybrid environment and access it via Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS devices. Teams allows you to organize tasks, files, chats, meetings, and ‘channels’ to stay on target. It even syncs with your Outlook calendar.
These third-party applications are also out there as options you might have heard about:
- Asana is also based on to-do lists, but it allows for greater visual customization; lists don’t work for everyone, and Asana features a handful of display options including boards, calendars, lists, and timelines. Both free and premium versions are available, with a web-based version and app on the App Store. Team members can collaborate on tasks, share attachments, and add due dates to projects.
- Slack: Unlike Microsoft To Do and Asana, Slack is primarily designed for chat-based communication. Team members can create projects, channels, and direct messages to keep others in the loop. The search function is essential, allowing users to find old conversations or attachments with the click of a button. Slack hosts voice and video calls and can be integrated with apps like Google Drive, Office 365, and more. The app is available for Mac, iOS, Windows, and Android devices.
Need a Managed IT Services Provider? Choose Howard Tech Advisors.
The team at Howard Tech Advisors is committed to providing managed services and customized IT solutions to our clients in Howard County, Baltimore, Columbia, and Ellicott City. We specialize in managed IT services for small and midsize businesses, particularly those near our office in Elkridge, Maryland. To learn more about our business and our work in the community, contact us at (410) 997-2500 or visit our website. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to stay up-to-date on our service offerings and tech tips.