16 Tools That Maximize Productivity and Help Marketers Get More Done
Many website studies report as much as half of our marketing time is spent in email. Others put it at a much higher percentage. As far as the rest of the day goes, one batch of studies have marketers working more than 12 hours a day while only accomplishing 6 hours' worth of real down in the trenches work. I would quote sources but the search for this information provided so many of them that I would not even know where to begin. Besides, if you are a marketer, you already knew this information. That is why we want to share our list of 16 hard working tools that take the bite out of time; helps generate more coin of the realm, and put some of that money back into your pocket where it belongs. Let's start with that half a day in email.
1. The Boomerang
Boomerang is a great tool for reminding us of promises made via email. We all know what it is like to have more work come in through our email than we can manage. This application will come back to us or remind us of a follow-up date to close that important deal. The first 10 are free. Around $15 bucks monthly gets you the whole package.
How often have you missed something that was sent in last week's email? How many opportunities lost, only to be found buried under hundreds of unopened emails? Tout will let you do a triage glance of your email and set a time to come back at you with the ones you really need to see. This one tool alone could save you thousands and get you back half that day. It will cost you $30 per month for the full use.
This free tool ends procrastination once and for all in marketing teams that spend too much time surfing than completing important tasks. It can block selected websites and puts up a very serious looking Get Back To Work Sign instead. This fun app is Free.
4. Astrid Tasks
This is for marketers with a big team, especially when they are spread out all over the world. Astrid Tasks keeps track of everyone's workloads and to do lists; putting a ton of information right at your fingertips. Know what is going on with everyone, all the time with this fantastic and free app.
5. Remember the Milk
If you have trouble organizing your day and then doing it again to accommodate your email, you are going to love Remember the Milk, found in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. It allows you to add and build your to do list right in your email, because that is where the majority of your work comes from in marketing. Make your day easier for free or go pro for $25.
If you have tasks that come in unexpectedly and take you by surprise, then you need the Wunderlust task management program. With it, along with its 3.5 million other users, you can create lists, synchronize in the cloud, and collaborate across the internet with anyone, anywhere. It is free.
7. Google's Edit
Google has numerous helpful and free apps, but this one above all can really save you a ton of time. When you come across something on the internet that applies to a task or project, simply click the app to open and copy the part that you need. It installs the image into an email to be sent to the right department or person.
This app costs just over a sawbuck, ($10 just once) but it is worth it. If you produce content, as all marketers do, then Pinboard is the one tool you absolutely must have. When it comes to research, it cannot be beaten. It acts much like a search engine. This one has personal applications as well so watch yourself if you are using Pinboard at work. It is tempting. Still, it makes researching articles and blog posts a breeze and eliminates many unwanted search listings.
9. Midnite Inbox
This is one of the most versatile applications you will ever use for task management. It works on your desktop, iPad, and iphone for supreme versatility. In theory, there is no job too big or small for this well put together application that keeps all of the information from every part of the team in one place, sorted for easy access. The iPhone app is only $4.99 mo, In addition, the iPad at $9.99. Midnite classic is free and pro will run you $20.00.
This application is perfect for social media marketing since it not only keeps social site separated, it shows the popular posts and newsfeeds or the day so that you can take advantage of hot topics. With Flipboard, you have full control over your social media engagement campaigns with up to the minute hot content allowing you to run at the front of the article influx pack. Flipboard is also free!
Although many other applications exist, Evernote is fast becoming the most popular application for marketers and content writers or anyone else who needs to store information from the web where it can be quickly accessed. An under-complicated design helps you store items for research later. Take pictures and snippets off the web or handwritten research notes and save tons of time. Evernote will synchronize with numerous applications and is free of charge. Any kind of notes that you can take, Evernote will file it logically for you.
If you get Evernote, as you should, Powerbot is the perfect companion for it. They work in tandem to send your completed Evernote notebook via email to anyone. Once sent, it links back to Evernote. Now how cool is that?
Easily the best social media engagement aide in the media marketer's toolbox, this app really rocks. Rapportive tracks the people you are interested in, showing you where they go in social media and what they post. This is the information that builds insight about potential customers. Once you know what they are passionate about, it is easier to speak with them. Rapportive builds relationships... for free.
14. Word Cloud
The word cloud is a great tool for creating custom images that tie directly to your article. Plug in whatever text or keywords you want, and let Wordle generate a custom image, ready to go and free to use.
15. Personal Blocklist
If your articles, blogs, newsletters, and other promotional items are not living up to your standards, perhaps you are getting your information from the wrong websites. That is okay; block those websites with Personal Blocklist. This simple to use application takes the guesswork out of auto blogging by eliminating the possibility of a poor performance by eliminating websites that are causing problems. Now you can research like a pro. It is 100% free!
16. Snooze and Active Inbox
Snooze and Active Inbox have primarily the same function with one exception. Both allow you to scan your email before they file it for you and bring it back later. You get to specify when you want to see them again. The difference is that Active inbox has so many other cool features, like turning emails into tasks, filing them in an organized way for easy retrieval at any time, and you can place a deadline on any email or project. It costs $25 for Active Inbox and has a less bulky free version. Snooze, on the other hand, is free.
A Tool For Everything (Almost)
There you have 16 of the marketer's best friends. Using just one or two of these helpful tools will save hours off your workload allowing you to achieve more in a day. Who knows, at this rate, maybe they will come up with an app that can do the marketers job and he or she can just go home. I wonder how much it will cost.
Time Flies image courtesy of h.koppdelaney, flickr.
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By Ben Oren
Ben Oren is a Web marketing specialist and Director of SEO at WhiteWeb technologies. Ben Oren is specializing in large corporations in a highly competitive niches mostly in the US and Europe. He is a marketing analytical consultant at Dynamic Search™ - a US based, reputable web marketing agency.