5 Tools to Make Your Life Easier
It takes a lot to run a business. Besides having the necessary talent, you need to have the right tools. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in; you probably need some specific tools to get the job done. Marketing agencies are no exception. There are plenty of tools that we have used over the years to make our workflow better. One of the things that we look for when choosing a new tool is how well it integrates with our current workflow, whether there are Google Chrome extensions for new apps that we choose, integrations within the other tools, and other such considerations. The following are some of the amazing tools we use and why we love using them.
Asana, Project Management Software
Ever since I was introduced to this tool several years ago, it has become the heart of our business. Every task for every project gets logged and assigned in Asana, with deadlines if we choose. Asana keeps us on track and accountable. When revisions are made, we can check them off, which then also notifies other team members, if you want. Once the task is done, it gets moved to the Done folder and you can archive it, too. Dates and times are recorded so we can go back and check on any part of the project. Asana also has a wide integration base. This really helps with our overall workflow because we are able to assign tasks right in Gmail, so if someone emails us about a website update, for example, we can assign that update immediate in Asana through Gmail. We have used other platforms for project management, but Asana has been the one that works best for our agency. Asana has both a free forever tier and also paid plans that come with added functionality for larger teams.
Slack – Messaging and Communications
Most teams are familiar with Slack. Slack keeps the conversation on track and organized with different project channels. Tagging other users is easy to make sure all team members stay in the loop. Slack also integrates with a wide variety of applications which is an advantage over other communications platforms.
G Suite – Email, Docs, Sheets, Presentations, Calendar…
Google paid G Suite has been a game-changer for our business. Say what you want about Google, but working with these tools for over 5 years had saved us time and created an easy to use system for sharing, collaborating, and managing all aspects of our business. G Suite includes software that directly competes with Microsoft: Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Presentations, Calendar, Hangouts (now called Google Chat), and (Hangout) Meet for professionals to have meetings. Over the years, Google Docs has added more Microsoft Word capabilities which makes it really easy to collaborate with customers who are using Microsoft Office (and not Google apps). We could go on about the advantages and tasks, but it’s best for you to just have a tour and try it all out yourself to see how it can work for you. You can get a free 14-day trial to try it out.
Hubspot – CRM
Hubspot is a leader in content management and sales pipeline management. Hubspot offers a free CRM that has many of the features most companies need. Similar to other CRM systems, Hubspot seems designed for creative businesses. Combining sales and marketing with email automation makes it a great tool for creatives. There is also a Google Chrome extension that allows two-way communication between Gmail and Hubspot, making it easy to track and log your email communication and organize leads. You can easily set up a meeting through a quick shortcut when composing an email. Love them or hate them, you can create chatbots to be added to your website. If you are tired of copying and pasting emails that you send out frequently, Hubspot also offers a handly template tool to make it easier. Once you have contacts in your database, you can create deals and tasks to help move customers through your sales funnel. The free version has a standard sales funnel pipeline whereas the paid tiers allow you to customize your pipeline.
Toggl – Time tracking
Since some of the projects we work on are billed hourly, Toggle is a great platform for time tracking. Again, it integrates with everything we use, making it really easy to add and employ this app. There is a Google Chrome extension with which you can start and stop your timer at any time without having to navigate to your account in a browser. You can also start and stop timers within Gmail and Asana. Reporting is easy. Just select dates or projects and it gives the time spent as detailed or summarized as you like. If you have a team, you can track the members’ time all within your dashboard.
There are so many great apps that we use, these are just a few. If you are looking for information about email newsletter apps, we wrote about it earlier this month. Be sure to check it out. If you have any questions about these platforms, leave us a comment or send us an email and we would be happy to answer your questions.
bOB HOmer is the Co-Founder and Digital Marketing Director of Lethologica. bOB’s artistic vision extends across all media and reflects his art school training. His superior knowledge and ongoing education in all things web- and SEO-related affords him the expertise to be lead on all web projects, making him your best resource for inbound marketing excellence. bOB has been bringing his unique vision to art and the web for over 20 years