Be More Productive

Social Media Scheduling

Edgar is the social media queue that never runs out because it creates a database of your posts. I set up the calendar, categories, then it sends items out according to my schedule. Let me repeat, it never runs out. With other programs you have to keep uploading posts every few months or so, queue them up, then remember what you loaded and when. With Edgar you don’t have that problem. I’ve never loved a program so much in my life and recommend this program wherever I go 😉

Hootsuite is a social media platform that publishes your content, manages your social profiles, and promotes your brand. Create keyword search streams to track mentions, respond to customers, and nurture leads.

Similar to Hootsuite, Buffer shares your content, schedules your posts, and monitor your social media accounts.

Team and Client Communication

Asana is one of the best collaboration and productivity apps for teams you’ll find and it’s free. This web-based team collaboration service specializes specifically in workflow management, but it also handles the nitty-gritty of task management with ease. Business owners with teams can use it to keep track of the daily to-dos of projects – it has space to separate out the projects, tasks, assignments, due dates, notifications. It really has it all and I love working with it. Here is a two-minute Asana demo.

Basecamp is everything you need to pull people together to work on projects or with clients. Every team needs a way to divvy up work, hash things out quickly, make big announcements, keep discussions on-topic, store and organize key files and assets, lay out milestones and deadlines, and have regular check-ins to make sure everything’s all right. I think this is a great program for large teams; this is what we use for IVAA’s day to day activities as well as manage volunteers and projects.

Another oldie but (free) goodie, Trello is a visual-based, free team collaboration system, using boards, lists, and cards. Here’s a great and thorough Trello review by Lewis Parrott.

Online File Storage & File Sharing

Dropbox is a file hosting service that offers cloud storage, file synchronization, personal cloud, and client software. There are different levels, such as personal, business, and enterprise accounts. I use this program as a file sharing program between me and my clients. It provides a way of sharing files securely as well as having a backup.

Backup & Security

Mozy and Carbonite protect your data by backing it up to the cloud. Copying data to another hard drive isn’t enough these days – what if there was a natural disaster or a burglary? Backing up data to the cloud should be part of your contingency plan!

BackupBuddy – The plugin is the best way to back up (and move) a WordPress site. It allows for scheduling, offsite storage, and it can do database or full backups.

Sucuri is a website and blog security monitoring service. This service has saved me and my clients a ton of downtime and headaches. Once you get an alert that your system has been hacked, you send the alert to them and they take care of it.

LastPass remembers all your passwords, so you don’t have to. There is a “family” option which lets me share specific items with family (so they stop bugging me about Netflix password).

Electronic Signatures

Collect signatures and get paid in one go, using DocuSign. It’s as easy as adding a payment amount and inserting a drag-and-drop ‘Pay’ field via your mobile. Then send your invoice.

HelloSign is a powerful browser extension allows you to sign documents from right within Gmail. Once the extension is installed, any attached document you receive through Gmail will have a “Sign” button to load the HelloSign window. Sign; then download your signed document.

Online Schedulers

Online schedulers are great because it eliminates the back-and-forth emails with clients to schedule phone calls or meetings. All of these programs let you easily schedule appointments online and adding an online calendar can turn even a basic website into a powerful sales tool that works 24/7.

Other Time Saving Productivity Tools

Sync2CRM (formerly SyncSumo) combines the power of Facebook advertising and Infusionsoft to grow your business automatically by syncing CRM data with custom audiences every 3 hours.

Originally meant as a “to do list” type app, Evernote has evolved to become a versatile catch-all application that allows you to not just take notes, but also perform handy tasks such as saving web pages for later (using Evernote’s Web Clipper chrome extension) and sharing your clips with clients or team members.

Just want to record a quick message for your website or team, and don’t feel like opening up an audio program? Go to Vocaroo, click to enable Adobe Flash and record your message. Done! (and free!)

If you are easily distracted and can easily lose yourself in non-essential tasks and website, or you want to hold yourself more accountable for how you spend your workday, Rescue Time might be a handy tool for you. This simple software runs in the background on your computer, and gives you detailed data and reports on the time you spend on each website. You are in total control, however: You set which websites to flag and what type of reporting you want. You can block distracting websites for specific periods or track how much time you spend on email or social media.

 

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