Although technology can be time-consuming (spam email) or distracting (cat videos!), it can also be a timesaver. Think back to the days of typewriters, where every mistake had to be painstakingly corrected, or the time required to send a letter or invoice by mail as opposed to typing a quick email. Today there are many ways business owners can leverage technology to save more time, as evidenced by these savvy suggestions.

Use a digital voice recorder and speech recognition software (which translates the digital audio into an electronic document) to record great ideas or other notes during your day. Not only does this ensure you won’t lose these spur of the moment ideas, it allows you to quickly and easily transfer them to your computer via the voice recognition software output. –Paul McGinnis, Precision Index Equipment

Stop letting the phone interrupt you and start managing your time by using a phone answering service. You dictate what gets through and what gets screened so you can efficiently maximize the use of your time. –Ken San Pedro, The Carpet Cleaning Guy

In the past our staff spent a lot of time looking for old invoices to answer customer inquiries or provide refunds. We now put all invoices into our computer via an imaging system. (Other members of my TAB board use scanning software to input invoices to their systems as PDF files). We can now almost instantly get the information we need without wasting valuable time. –Trace Blakely, United Parts Plus

I give a different e-mail address to important customers, suppliers, etc. and then forward those messages to my cell phone with a special ring tone. That way, the most important e-mail is addressed in a timely manner, while other e-mail can wait until later, or you can ignore the clutter entirely. –Sam Minick, Minick Materials

When collecting business cards at events, jot a quick note on the back to remind you of where/when you met the person. Also, purchase a business card scanner and use it to scan the cards into your contact management system (Outlook, ACT, etc.). This will streamline administration after events and increase your productivity. It also allows for quicker follow-up. –John Almont, Communicator Tel Inc.