There are many tasks to complete when it comes to achieving your business goals. Completing those tasks efficiently means having the right tools for the job, but it’s common to fall into the ‘popularity trap’ when making your decision. The most obvious choice can become the only choice without some research. Search engines tend to funnel queries towards the most popular option, making the mainstream even more common, while keeping the tool of your dreams hidden away, like a diamond in the rough.
In this article, we’ll explore three mainstream tool options that will help you achieve your business goals, as well as their lesser-known alternatives. We’ll highlight why each tool is valuable to your business productivity and why you might consider an alternative over the most popular option.
Calendly – Simplifying Your Schedule
Scheduling is a simple task that can really start to weigh on your time. One email to set a meeting time can quickly turn into 25. This time management task can be easily delegated to digital scheduling tools, allowing meetings to be scheduled by others without conflicting with your existing schedule. Calendly, the mainstream choice, offers many features for minimizing how much daily effort you have to put into scheduling and a limited free plan. However, just because it’s the most commonly used doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best option for you, depending on your specific needs.
There are a variety of Calendly alternatives offering different plans, options, and tools. Consider what specific tasks you’d like to simplify with a digital scheduler, from scheduling meetings hands-free, polling for best times, or even email compatibility, as you search for the right option. It’s likely that one of the alternatives fits your set of requirements better, or has only the features you need with a better price attached. Putting in that extra bit of effort to explore your options is sure to help you get the best tool to better achieve your business goals.
Grammarly – Being Your Best Writer
When it comes to achieving your business goals, one of the worst things to get caught up on is the small things, like spelling and grammar. Scouring each document for tiny errors can be a slow process, and time is money. Although these problems are small, they can make a huge difference in the quality of your work, as misspelling and technical mistakes scream non-professionalism. So grabbing a proofreading software is a no-brainer, and everyone jumps at the big-name behemoth, Grammarly.
There are a variety of proofreading alternatives to Grammarly, offering different types of plans, plagiarism checking, and other valuable tools that can surpass the mainstream choice. One example is Ginger, which offers a text reader to verbalize your writing back to you, an easy way to hear how your writing sounds out loud. Some of the more niche options offer services that may better align with your business goals, such as translation services, templates, or style guides.
Notably, most available tools have free plans, meaning you can try before you buy or stay 100% free. Grammarly is well worth using, but why stop there when another tool that meets your needs might be around the next corner?
Macbook – Bring Your Work On-The-Go
Having a computer dedicated to work that can go anywhere you need is an essential tool for anyone and everyone, opening the doors to seamlessly swapping over to remote work when needed. Perhaps the poster child of this portability is the Macbook, being lightweight, having a secure OS, and being very straightforward to learn and use. Once again, this mainstream option represents only the tip of the iceberg of laptop choices.
Take a look at some of the many laptop alternatives offered. Depending on which features you look for most in a laptop, which choice is best for you varies. Consider what you’re looking for in a laptop – battery life, processing power, weight, or price? Macbooks are an overall solid choice, but depending on its use case, they can easily be surpassed in a few, if not all, of these factors.
One thing to consider is the operating system of the laptop you choose. Despite being very powerfully built, Macbook OS isn’t always compatible with all applications and tools you might plan to use, especially more niche and smaller ones. Windows laptops have the capability of being compatible with nearly all applications, although they also can suffer lower levels of optimization, and thus be slower than a Macbook. Sweeping generalizations don’t exactly work here either, since Windows laptop options are so wide and diverse.
No matter where your priorities lie, take the time to define what you need. Laptops are a long-term investment, so putting in the effort to find your best fit will help you get the most out of it.
Look Beyond The Mainstream
Being productive and efficient with your tasks has always been an essential part of completing your business goals. While you might get by by just using the biggest, most expensive, and most popular options, the price starts to add up. Taking the time to research your options, reflect on what exactly you need the tool for, and finding that golden egg will pay dividends in the long run.
This philosophy applies well beyond the business world, and is well worth considering in all aspects of life. Often, the easiest choice isn’t the best, and spending just a bit of mental energy exploring alternatives can lead to meaningful discoveries.