My Top 3 Awesome Productivity Tools – Part 2

This is Part 2 of a three Part series on  some tools that I implemented throughout last year that FINALLY helped me make some inroads on being productive and organized.  It’s a never ending challenge for many of us and with all of the tools available out there, you can spend much of your time just testing them all out.  And that’s not very productive is it?

So I’m hoping that sharing my top 3 will help you filter through the noise or perhaps give you some ideas as to how you can fundamentally get back some time this year.

If you missed the first tool, it was OmniFocus and you can read that post here.

On to number 2 – eVoice.

First the challenge I was experiencing, and then I’ll tell you how the tool helped me.  There were actually two challenges that this tool helped me with. I’ll start with how we began using it second, as it may be a common problem for most of you with teams.

Two factor authentication (2FA) – it’s everywhere.  The more apps that you bring into your tech stack, the more times you’ll encounter 2FA. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the terminology, let’s start there. 

According to

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a second layer of security to protect an account or system. … 2FA increases the safety of online accounts by requiring two types of information from the user, such as a password or PIN, an email account, an ATM card or fingerprint, before the user can log in.

The most common form of 2FA is when you try and login to a website with a user name and a password, the software program wants to text you a code to your phone which you have to enter.  An extra step, but not usually a problem. Grab your phone, read the 6 numbers and enter them into the program and you’re in. Where it started to get tricky for me was with my team. Many of us login to the same websites – for example, bank access for a particular client.  When the device logging in keeps switching, or the location that is being logged in from is always moving (which is one of the biggest advantages of being a cloud bookkeeper!) you will get that annoying second step more frequently,

Our first attempt to address this was with our team entering their own cell numbers.  But team members leave. It’s a fact of life. And sometimes we got ourselves stuck in a loop trying to resolve the 2FA when the team member and their associated cell number wasn’t part of our team any longer.  Our fix – we all used my cell number. As long as the business is around, the likelihood is that I will be there 🙂 So some consistency. It worked well for a while. A little bit of a pain, but nothing that was insurmountable.  Then the number of accounts started to grow. The number of team members started to grow. The number of times the 2FA was kicking in started to grow and I was getting bombarded with text codes. Sometimes while I was on vacation, disconnected of course, or in meetings, which was interrupting the productivity of my team.  When I received the code, I also had to know who was requesting it, in order to send it. More time wasted.  

Enter evoice. eVoice allows you to purchase a virtual number that can receive texts.  Everyone on my team has access to our evoice account. When we need to set up 2FA for any client related account, we all now use this single generic phone number.  Now, no matter who it is, or where they are, when that annoying 2FA pop up arises, everyone on my team can obtain the code without any delays, and without my cell phone buzzing at the most inopportune times, like when I’m on a beach 🙂

Use case #2 for evoice.

Hiring is always a challenge for businesses, and it is a HUGE time suck.  I don’t need to tell you that. You may have already heard of our Kninja Hiring System – which streamlines your hiring process through the use of automation and not only finds you a superstar, it also reduces the time you spend to just 4 hours.  If you’ve not heard about it, you can read more about it here.

We use eVoice as part of our hiring process.  We have this same virtual number that we use for the 2FA above, as part of our hiring process.  It allows our candidates to call into this number and answer the questions that we’ve asked of them.  It’s basically a virtual voicemail box that is part of our screening process for new hires. It saves us a TON of time!  The phone in the office isn’t ringing, which takes up time from my team to answer, and it allows us to listen to those voice mails on our schedule.  evoice also has a great feature where it will transcribe the voicemail and send it via email to us. So if we don’t want to listen to it, but just read the responses that’s also an option for us.

So that’s productivity tool #2 for you.  There are certainly other programs similar to eVoice out there that provide the same functionality.  Some VOIP systems also do (ours doesn’t have the texting capability at the moment), so if you have VOIP, do check into that as well.  It’s always ideal where an existing tool you have can serve more than one purpose. 

But if you want to check out eVoice – you can do that here.

Would love to hear what you are doing in your firms to overcome the 2FA requests, or your hiring challenges.  Just drop it into the comments below!

One more post coming for my third game changing productivity tool!  Hope you are finding this helpful!


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