6 Free Online Tools FM Professionals Need to Try
Your life as a facility manager can be a hectic one, filled with constantly evolving problems and plenty of moving parts. Creating a comfortable and productive office environment requires you to stay organized and communicate clearly.
And, if we're being real — we all have budgets and are limited in knowing the latest technology that is constantly evolving.
Thankfully, there's a whole host of free online tools out there to help you with everything from task automation to gathering workplace input. So we did some digging to find some of the best facility management tools out there that can make your day easier and more efficient.
1. Manage projects with Asana
Use Asana to manage and track your projects, ensuring your team keeps on pace and works effectively driving results. The application wraps its sleek user interface around a rich feature set, including third party app integrations, progress visualization and all the classic task scheduling features you would expect in a robust management app. The app is free for teams of up to 15 member profiles. Asana is a trusted project management app for large organizations, including NASA and Tesla Motors.
2. Automate tasks with IFTTT
Automating tasks can help you stay organized and save hours of your time. IFTTT allows a user to create custom automations between many popular apps called "recipes" using simple conditional statements. For example, you as a manager can auto-fill a spreadsheet with information whenever an employee sends an e-mail request to reserve facility space.
The best part about IFTTT is that there are dozens of linkable apps to choose from, allowing you to customize your recipes to your specific needs. Afterall, staying organized is a major component of a successful FM professional.
3. Track inventory with Stockpile
As a facility manager, tracking office inventory is a task that demands attention to detail and the ability to organize information in a clean and clear way. Stockpile is a free and simple app that you can use to manage your inventory online, so you can focus on more important tasks. Best of all, the app combines the unlikely worlds of "free" and "unlimited," providing unlimited users, items and locations.
4. Create diagrams with Draw.io
Draw.io is a simple diagramming app (online Visio) that can help you visualize your physical space or sketch out a process to provide further clarity to a conversation. With over 1 million users and counting, the app sports a very simple and to-the-point user interface, allowing you to forego a difficult learning curve and make mock-ups quickly for that next decision-making meeting.
5. Get feedback with Free Suggestion Box
You can use Free Suggestion Box to quickly get suggestions and comments from your workplace. Gathering this feedback gives you the data to provide the most comfortable, safe and productive office environment possible. It also signals to your team that you support an open and honest workplace culture. The app keeps all user submissions anonymous, meaning you can get honest data that isn't influenced by social pressure.
6. Survey employees with Survey Monkey
It's imperative to get employee input after undertaking something large and impactful — like an office move, for example. Survey Monkey is a free, easy-to-use tool that allows you to create and send surveys over mobile, web and social media and to analyze the resulting data. Alternately, if your company has a Google Business account, you can create free custom surveys through the Form function of Google Apps for Work. These two survey tools (and others) can be integrated with OfficeSpace software so an email with a link to the survey is sent directly to your employees.
The right combination of tools can help rid you of unnecessary frustrations, freeing up your time and energy so you can focus on creating a beautiful, functional workplace environment.
If you want to take your organization skills to the next level or require visualization aids that go beyond a simple sketchpad, OfficeSpace can help simplify office moves, handle requests or track resources — all on a budget.