Jun 29

10 Productivity Tools to Help You Do More at Work

Posted by Kirsten Hawke at Friday, June 29, 2018

In today's fast-paced world, everyone wants to be more productive. 

Fortunately, there is an ever-increasing number of tools, many of them available online and across multiple devices, that promise to help us achieve our goals. The challenge then becomes how to know not just which tools will live up to their promise but which tools are right for our business.

Choosing the best productivity tools depends on a number of factors, from the business size, type, and location to understanding where and how we, as individuals and teams, can work more efficiently. That's why any list of the most useful tools for any business starts with time tracking tools to help you determine what kinds of tasks take up your time and where you might find opportunities to be more productive.

Individuals and businesses that charge or are paid by the hour are familiar with these tools, but anyone who juggles a variety of tasks or multiple projects can benefit from the insight they provide, particularly if they are being asked to take on more responsibilities or additional projects.

Two of the best time tracker applications are:

    •    Rescue Time - Once installed, this application runs in the background analyzing your daily work pattern and how much time you spend on each activity. There are two versions. The free one has limited capabilities, primarily tracking websites visited and applications used. The paid premium version tracks off-line time and provides more detailed reports, making it better suited to larger organizations.

    •    Toggl - This robust time tracker is popular with freelancers because it plays well with others, be they mobile devices or other software tools. Toggl offers four levels of service, including a free version with limited reporting, team management, and project management capabilities, as well as three paid versions which allow it to be scaled to the needs of your organization.

Once you know where time is going, it's much easier to identify opportunities for working smarter, more efficiently and more productively. Which productivity tools will be most helpful will depend on what you discovered while tracking your time, but here are eight tools that can help solve or at least reduce common issues that distract and slow down the workflow.

Effective communications can be a stumbling block for many organizations. Whether you are dealing with a large business having multiple departments or a virtual company with a distributed team, connecting people and information is quickly and easily is paramount to being productive. Four of the best tools for achieving better communications are:

    •    Slack - This popular messaging platform not only helps collaborators and co-workers communicate over distances and even in the same office, it helps organize the conversations and keep them all in-house. Users can message each other individually or collaborate with an entire group across both mobile devices and desktop computers. Free and paid versions are available.

    •    Evernote - Everyone takes notes, at meetings, during presentations, when reading email or even surfing the web. This handy tool gives you a place to store your notes as well as a means of organizing them that allows you to access information when and where you need it, from your computer or mobile device. Best of all, it's free.

    •    Google Drive - Version control can be painful in many organizations, especially if more than one person is working on a document. That's why Google Drive is such a great asset. It makes tracking changes a breeze, supports a variety of file types from PDFs to photos and stores it all in the cloud, so everything is available from anywhere you have internet access. Initially free, you'll pay for more storage space if you need it.

    •    Tettra - This indispensable tool isn't widely known, making it your secret productivity weapon. Tettra is a centralized knowledge base and knowledge management system that puts vital information at the tips of your fingers. This tool also reduces the tendency of organizations to silo key information with a limited number of knowledge experts whose loss would deliver a serious blow to a company or project.

Most businesses organize what they do in terms of projects or products. Managing projects has even become a career path for some. Fortunately, you don't need to hire project managers to manage your projects more efficiently. Two popular productivity tools especially useful in keeping projects on track are:

    •    Asana - Asana has been around since 2008, making it one of the most robust and stable tools for project management available. You can create unique tasks for each project or develop templates that can be used repeatedly across your business. Asana also allows you to create strategic calendars, set reminders and send requests between team members. Free and paid versions.

    •    Trello - This visual project management app helps individuals and teams see their workflow, which can make it easier to keep projects on track. Trello is versatile and plays well with others including Slack, Google Drive and Evernote, allowing everyone to know where a project stands at a glance. Free and paid versions.

Keeping projects on track is great, but sometimes you need something to keep you on track. Planners, to do lists, reminders and post-it notes work but can get cluttered. They also tend to encourage multi-tasking rather than helping you focus. These final two productivity tools are task managers that will help you get more done by doing one thing at a time. They are:

    •    Hello Focus - More than just a to-do list, Hello Focus helps you prioritize tasks so you can work more efficiently. Multiple views so you can see what you or your team are working on today, this week or this month.

    •    TaskQue - is a free tool that uses algorithms to balance workloads. This is a fantastic tool for managers because it helps reduce employee burnout and overload. Simply group similar resources and assign a task to a group then track it to completion. Completely cloud-based.

Productivity is a difficult thing to master. Hopefully, these ten tools will help you along your journey and allow you to reclaim some of your valuable time.

Don’t forget, there are a number of fantastic Xero-add ons and apps available support your goals. Talk to a Number Nurse today about how they can help give you your time back.

May 01

7 ways to grow your business seminar

Posted by Kirsten Hawke at Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Not on track to achieve your desired financial results this year?

Join Kirsten & the BUSINESS buddy CA Team on Wednesday May 9th 2018 at this 90-minute event to understand the mindset change required to succeed in a changing business landscape.

The Benefits of Attending:

  • Look at your business like you never have before and be challenged to adapt.
  • Understand the seven ways to grow your business (and how they apply to you.)
  • Learn how to set a road-map and dashboard for your business.
  • Discover how to measure and maximise business efficiency.
  • Learn how the seven ways impact your profit and cashflow.

Time: 4.10pm to 5.40pm
Venue: BUSINESS buddy HQ, 35 Allens Road, East Tamaki, Auckland 
Price: $60.36 per ticket - BUY NOW

Mar 20

Save the date - 7 ways to grow your business seminar

Posted by Kirsten Hawke at Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Join Kirsten & the Business Buddy CA Team on Wednesday May 9th 2018 at this 90-minute event to understand the mindset change required to succeed in a changing business landscape.

The Benefits of Attending:

  • Look at your business like you never have before and be challenged to adapt.
  • Understand the seven ways to grow your business (and how they apply to you.)
  • Learn how to set a road-map and dashboard for your business.
  • Discover how to measure and maximise business efficiency.
  • Learn how the seven ways impact your profit and cashflow.

Time: 4.10pm to 5.40pm
Venue: BUSINESS buddy HQ, 35 Allens Road, East Tamaki, Auckland 
Price: $60.36 per ticket - BUY NOW

Mar 01

What shape are your end-of-year accounts in?

Posted by Kirsten Hawke at Thursday, March 01, 2018

The end of the financial year can be either stressful or a seamless part of what you do. 
Ideally, your end-of-year accounts will confirm what you think your business has been doing for the past 12 months.

Being prepared is the key to avoiding end-of-year financial drama and stress.

  1. First make sure you have all the documents we’ll need, such as PAYE statements, bank statements showing interest earned, dividend statements for shares, and receipts for expenses. Don’t forget receipts for charitable donations.

  2. Look at writing off old debts. Scrap redundant or worthless assets, so you get a deduction on your books.

  3. Print out profit and loss, balance sheet and general ledger listing reports and store them safely.

  4. Have a final look at your payroll reports. You don't have to give summaries to your staff, but if you give them Earning Certificates, they can be used to check IRD information.

  5. Note odometer readings on vehicles and ensure logbooks noting business and personal use, mileage and costs etc. are in order.

  6. Dispose of obsolete stock by the year end or write it down to its net realisable value.

  7. Talk to your accountant about any planned dividend payments, as managing imputation credits will be important.

Our Number Nurses® are on hand to point you in the right direction or to provide end of year relief.

Jan 30

Let's talk expense claims

Posted by Kirsten Hawke at Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Anjini, our East Auckland Number Nurse® would like to talk Expense Claims this month - here is what she has to say:

- An expense claim is a collection of receipts from personal spending that needs to be reimbursed by the business. Each user in your organisation, with a role other than Read Only, can add receipts to record their expenses. They can then submit an expense claim to be reviewed and approved by a user with the required user role.

- To add a receipt to an expense claim, go Accounts, select Expenses Claims, then click Add Receipt.  Complete the rest of the details in the remaining fields and attach a copy of the receipt.  And SAVE.

- To submit an expense claim for approval go back into the claim and select Submit for Approval and OK.
It’s a great and easy way for employees and business owners to record and claim any expenses and attach the receipts and invoices to prove the claim.

Find out more about Expense Claims in Xero here or contact Anjini today to lend a helping hand. 
Anjini Singh - 021 157 3485 

Jan 10

Save the date for cash flow workshop

Posted by Kirsten Hawke at Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The next few months can be financially challenging for business cash flow. 
BUSINESS buddy is hosting a workshop on February 19, 2018. 

Yes, it’s nearly next year already!

You’ll learn about:

•             The difference between profit and cash.
•             The working capital cycle.
•             The cash conversion cycle.
•             Your plan for cash flow improvement.
•             The seven key causes of poor cash flow.
•             Next steps and options for support.

Book your hot seat now!

Dec 20

Number Nurse® closedown

Posted by Kirsten Hawke at Wednesday, December 20, 2017

With the silly season here, The Nurses will be taking a well earned break over Christmas. 

Our offices will be closed from Friday the 22nd of December and re-opening on
Monday the 15th of January.  

If you are needing anything during this time, please drop us an email to and we will be in touch.

Have a safe and Happy Christmas.

Dec 08

Anjini is here to take your payroll pain away

Posted by Kirsten Hawke at Friday, December 08, 2017

Our East Auckland Number Nurse® Anjini has had a busy couple of months helping firms with their GST reviews & Xero tidy ups - we have even pulled her in to lend a helping hand at Number Nurses® HQ.   

On top of this, Anjini has passed her Xero Payroll Certification in October and is ready to take your Payroll pain away. 

Spending your weekends doing the books and filling in forms is as about as much fun as reading a 1992 women’s magazine in a doctor’s waiting room. We know you’ve got much better things to do and Number Nurse® Anjini is scrubbed up and ready to assist in an admin-ectomy. 

 Contact Anjini today to take your payroll pain away over the silly season. 

Anjini Singh - 021 157 3485 

Nov 30

Franchise Association NZ Awards

Posted by Kirsten Hawke at Thursday, November 30, 2017

Award Winning Nurses

Number Nurses® was well represented by Head Nurse Kirsten Hawke and Business Manager Deidre Morgan who scrubbed up for the Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards Presentation and Gala dinner 2017 – held 11 November 2017 at the Tasman Room at Alexandra Park, Greenlane, Auckland.

It was with bated breath and oxygen masks at the ready, they waited to see if the Number Nurses® entry for the Best Emerging Franchise System award was a successful operation. 

The Category award was sponsored by MYOB and winner was announced as Zones Landscaping SpecialistsNumber Nurses® along with the other finalist Propertyscouts were awarded “Highly Commended”.  Whoop whoop!

Franchise Association of New Zealand (FANZ) promote The Westpac New Zealand Franchise awards, and entry is only open to its members.

Entrants go through a comprehensive process and are evaluated by the New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation based on the internationally-recognised Malcolm Baldrige criteria, used by 25+ countries as a standard for quality awards. 
The Awards are recognised as having some of the most rigorous criteria in the world.

Nov 21

West Auckland Know-How

Posted by Kirsten Hawke at Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Number Nurse® Camille has been wiping the sweat from business owners brows last month, taking on a few new clients, both large and small. Check out her latest testimonial: 

"Camille has recently signed me up to a Xero account to help me manage my growing online delivery business to get a clear picture without getting bogged down by record-keeping work so I can focus my mind on what really brings the money.

If you're looking to grow big or simply make a living while you enjoy life, Contact Camille. 

She's a fabulous number-nurse, an excellent teacher who will guide you through the nitty-gritty of managing the accounting side of your business."  
Cindy David - Director of Creative Balloons NZ

Contact Camille today and start focusing on what is important to you.

Camille de Guzman - 021 079 4884