The world is awash with apps—including everything from viral word puzzles to pass away some free time to full-on productivity apps designed to optimize your working day. When it comes to the latter, of course, the problem is that, while many of these so-called productivity apps are made to make our lives easier, they often have the opposite effect.
App fatigue is real, and it’s more than likely affecting your organization’s ability to get stuff done! In fact, employees and managers are suffering at the hands of a technology overload that has a habit of throwing more apps at the problem to try and solve issues caused by other apps! It’s a vicious circle and no one is getting any more productive!
The basic truth is that multiple apps are killing team productivity, making it increasingly difficult to find information, manage multiple UIs, breaking up creative flows, and generally creating more stress than anyone needs.
But with so many apps in the market that claim to make things easier, how do you go about slimming down that ever-growing list of shiny, new productivity tools? Here, we look into why multiple apps are killing productivity and how you can ditch the myth of multitasking with Spike!
Finding Information Is Hard
When you use multiple apps in the workplace, it immediately means information is siloed. This might mean all your important deadlines and meetings are stored in a calendar app, while the notes you need to conduct the meeting are in a separate notes app. Worse still, if you’re meeting online, you all need to come to a decision on which of the countless video conferencing apps you should use.
Put simply, navigating all of these apps makes information hard to find. For example, Eva Frye, a freelance content strategist in San Francisco knows this all too well:
“I had so many different calendars for clients. I set up calendar syncing between Gmail and Outlook, but it’s not a perfect system, and I was always worried I was going to miss a meeting. I completely lost confidence in my calendar’s ability to keep me on point, and it was TERRIBLE.”
In the end, siloed information is problematic information, meaning it can be difficult or almost impossible to find if you forget which app you used last.
Multitasking Interrupts Your Workflow
For many years, people believed that multitasking was a highly prized skill that any productive employee should have. However, recent research has suggested the opposite, and multitasking across multiple apps interrupts your workflow and can hinder your performance.
Again, managing multiple calendars is a great example, with the potential for you to double book yourself whenever you forget to sync your Google calendars or other time management apps. The same is true if you are managing a project across multiple apps where different information is stored. Each time you break your workflow to find something in another app, you lose time and focus, with estimates suggesting that you’ll need at least 15 minutes to get back into the original task.
Multitasking Kills Your Focus and Creativity
Still on the subject of focus, for creatives like Freelance Graphic Designer Inna, being constantly connected with her work means one app for organizing entire projects, keeping both focus and creativity alive.
“Before Spike, finding a specific attachment was really like finding a needle in a haystack – impossible, frustrating, and a huge waste of time. Now, [with Spike] all the files are organized, and I can preview them right there in the email thread – it’s absolutely amazing!”
It’s clear that constantly switching between multiple apps for communication and file management can be time-consuming, and when you have that big idea, you don’t want anything to slow you down. After all, that spark of inspiration may already be gone by the time you spent an hour searching for that specific image from two years ago! Implementing email consolidation as part of your digital transformation strategy will greatly streamline your workflow as well. You don’t want to be using multiple apps to manage multiple accounts.
Multitasking Makes you Feel Stressed Out and Unhappy
Despite the suggestion that multitasking interrupts your workflow and kills creativity, we’re all still guilty of it. But to make matters worse, using multiple apps in the workplace also has the potential to increase stress and make you unhappy! The bottom line is constantly switching your attention creates a distractible state that means you are never fully present. In turn, this can lower IQ and make simple tasks more difficult and stressful.
Reducing the number of apps you use and setting goals of remaining focussed in a single task for at least 30 minutes can help to negate some of these effects. However, taking regular breaks is also important as it allows your brain to process the information and dampen rising stress levels.
Multitasking Makes it Nearly Impossible to Avoid Errors and Omissions
Multitasking across multiple apps also makes errors and omissions increasingly likely, with information constantly passed from one app to another, leading to a kind of “game of telephone” effect. In other words, what goes in one end doesn’t come out the same at the other.
For example, if you need to transfer data from MS Office to Google Suite (or vice versa), all kinds of issues may present themselves. Whether it’s a formatting issue that makes information illegible, a data issue that prevents formulae from auto-calculating, images that don’t transfer correctly, or simple spell-check issues that go unnoticed.
Managing data across multiple apps can be a nightmare, not only draining your time but also increasing the chances that your big PowerPoint presentation looks a mess and displays the data incorrectly—a tragedy waiting to happen when you need it least!
More Apps Don’t Mean More Productivity
While the marketing departments of the latest and greatest apps always want to sell their new productivity apps, taking on a less is more approach can benefit almost any organization. Basically, more apps don’t mean more productivity, and in most cases, they will only slow you and your team down.
Solopreneur Tyree of incubator Urban U, L3C puts it perfectly:
“I love that I have only one place to go to check my emails. I currently have ten, and it only feels like one through the Unified feature.”
In fact, by reducing the number of apps from 20 to 5, Tyree and his team estimate that they save around 70 hours combined over the course of a week. Slimming down your apps then, is a real-world antidote to wasted time.
Working with multiple apps – Use case:
“Before Spike, our team was constantly getting bogged down by the logistics of communication,” says Doron. “We were spending too much time managing multiple apps and trying to keep track of conversations across different platforms. It was becoming a major hindrance to our productivity and creativity. But with Spike, everything is in one place. We can see all of our tasks and messages in one place, which has made a huge difference for our team.”
Read more about Menta Global, digital agency and how consolidating communication tools onto a single platform streamlined their work to be more effective and significantly impacted on their success.
Spike — Everything You Need in One App
While there’s a new app released every day and plenty of tech gurus ready to sing their praises regarding productivity at work, a minimalist mindset for communication, project management, creativity, and innovation has the upper hand. After all, the less time you need to think about what goes where and why or transferring data from app to app, the more time you have to get to the things that really matter,
Spike’s all-in-one approach to productivity packages all of the core tools you need in a single, centralized app that’s as easy to use as email. Featuring a familiar inbox with consolidated email for multiple accounts and voice notes working seamlessly alongside Conversational Email features that act as an instant messenger app, you can work with your team both synchronously and asynchronously without switching apps.
Group chats are quick and easy to set up, including powerful video conferencing features that allow you to meet face-to-face whenever you and your team are in the world. Online notes, tasks and to-do lists, a fully-fledged calendar linked to all of your emails, plus the best search engine around to help you find and manage all your files.
The bottom line? Spike is 10-apps-in-one—and we’re still growing! So, ditch the IT bloat and delete those multiple apps that drag you down, and switch to Spike today for a less stressful and more productive work experience.
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