It's nearly Thanksgiving, and in the spirit of giving thanks, our team decided to reflect on the amazing tools we use every day that allow us to work efficiently, effectively and intelligently as a team. Talent and strategy only get you so far -- the technology we use enables our ability to implement and scale those inbound marketing strategies and utilize our talent in the best way possible.
What tools are you thankful for? Here are ours:
When you have a team of people working on multiple pieces of a single campaign, things can get a little chaotic. That's where Asana comes in. Asana is a project management software that allows your team to keep track of their work. You can set up projects and build out the tasks associated with that project. Best part? Every task is assigned to a person and given a deadline.
It is the only way our team has been able to keep on top of our mountains of deadlines for multiple clients. It organizes our efforts day-to-day, week-to-week and keeps everyone in the loop. Plus, we can take it on the go and assign tasks on the fly via mobile.
What good would being organized be if we didn't track our time! Harvest is an amazing and easy-to-use time tracking tool that makes it simpler to budget our time. It's also a great tool to keep everyone accountable, as well as working just the right amount -- no more, no little.
We can also use the reporting tools to predict when a project may go over budget. Tracking tasks over time also teach us about how much time something really takes so we can plan our weeks more effectively.
Our team LOVES slack! If you hate waking up every morning and finding 100+ emails from clients and colleagues in your inbox, then Slack is the answer. Slack gives us a beautiful real-time chat tool that organizes our conversations (channels down the left side). We can also search for past conversations easily, upload documents and images, and private chat each other if necessary.
Best part? Our clients (who also love slack) can invite us to their channels so we can also share in real-time. Instead of emailing each other back and forth, we simply send a Slack message. When we get a moment, we can check in and respond. No more crazy email threads, no more overloaded email inboxes. Slack has been a tool sent from heaven for the over-communicated-with team.
We send a lot of emails. FollowUp.cc is a lightweight relationship manager for Gmail that helps us make sure no conversations fall through the cracks. It gives you the ability to set reminders for emails that go unanswered so that you don't forget to get a response.
You've heard us talk about HubSpot before, right? HubSpot is a marketing automation and CRM software that allows us to generate leads and measure marketing ROI seamlessly and effortlessly. Landing pages, forms, calls to action, blogging, social media, etc. is all right there. Plus, we have great reporting tools that can tell us where leads are coming from, what's in our sales pipeline, and how much revenue each marketing channel is bringing in. Ah, closed-loop reporting is a beautiful thing.
Among many social media tools we have tried for Instagram, OnlyPult is the only one for us. OnlyPult is THE best Instagram scheduling tool -- and it has analytics! It's super simple -- you just upload your images, add your caption and hashtags, and schedule it for a future date. And that's it. No real-time posting needed!
While we're talking about social media tools, we have to talk about Buffer. Just like Hootsuite and other social tools, Buffer is a great tool for scheduling out Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and even Instagram (for reminders -- not automatic like OnlyPult). What we love about Buffer though is the Google plugin that will give you the ability to share an article directly into your buffer schedule -- so convenient!
Not a graphic designer? We're not all one either! That's why we are so thankful for GetStencil. It's a simple tool that allows us to choose an image, a size and utilize awesome templates to make cool graphics. It has a library of loyalty-free photos to choose from with pre-set sizes for all the social media photos you could need.
When we're hitting a wall or just want to know the best way to frame an article, we turn to BuzzSumo. BuzzSumo is essentially a search engine that serves up the top articles on a certain topic, based on social media shares. This is great when you're looking to 10x your content for SEO.
We are giving major thanks for Camtasia! When we have a complex process to explain to a client, we'll simply use Camtasia to video record our computer screen as we go through the tutorial. It is so easy to edit videos in Camtasia that you don't even need to understand editing software to get things done. It's a great tool if you want to simply make some tutorial videos or edit some testimonials quickly with a professional product.
Can you think of other products we should be using? Let us know in a comment below!