As a social media marketer, consultant, husband, and leader at my church, my time is very precious to me. I try to make it a priority to spend my time doing things that will have a positive impact on the goals I am currently striving towards. Over the years I have found a few digital tools and apps that help to keep me on track and boost my productivity. These tools have helped me stay on the path towards my goals, collaborate with others, and increase my proficiency. The following tools are all FREE so you can download them and try them out to see if they work for you.
1. Evernote – My Lifeline
Let me start by saying, I do not know what I would do without Evernote. In the simplest terms, Evernote is the best note-taking app out there hands down. I use this for everything from studying, to research, meetings, and even writing this blog post right now. The team at Evernote is always working to make the app even better by constantly adding features such as audio recording, web-clipping, presentation mode, reminders and more.
It helps me to stay organized with it’s simple folders and tagging system, but even if I do not file or tag a note correctly, Evernote’s beefed up search functionality can help me pull up that note no problem.
2. Apple Reminders
I have tried many of the “best” task management apps out there such as, Wunderlist, Gneo, etc., but I always find myself going back to good ol’ Apple Reminders. For me it just works so well. I manage a number of clients so I am constantly adding action points with details and due dates, Reminders allows me to do just that, and quickly I might add. It syncs seamlessly with my Calendars and never fails to remind me at the times I set it to. It also has a sharing feature, so if you are collaborating on a project with someone you can share the folder with them so they can see the action points and details as well. Apple reminders helps to keep me focus and never miss an important task.
3. Copy – My Dropbox Alternative
For my social media and content marketing clients I need to have the ability to access and share photos, videos and other files quickly and easily, especially while on-the-go. Copy is the file-sharing service I use most. It is similar to Dropbox in it’s features, the only difference being is they layout and user interface is slightly different. What I love about it is when you sign up it starts you off with 5 gigs of storage right off the bat! Not to mention if you refer someone to sign up you get another 5 gigs. It’s fairly new so they may change that offer sometime soon as more people start to adopt it. I would jump on it if I were you.
4. Hootsuite – My Social Media Dashboard of Choice
Managing multiple social networks for multiple brands and organizations can sound like a nightmare, luckily my friends over at Hootsuite have developed a freemium solution to most social media managers problems. Hootsuite is a social media dashboard that allows you to sync all your social networks so that you can post, monitor and respond as your brand on each social media channel without having to visit that specific page.
That is just the beginning, it also allows you to listen in to key conversations happening on the social web to help you identify new or potential customers, problems or opportunities to engage. If you are a social media novice, they also offer a number of training modules in their Hootsuite Universtiy that will help you learn what social media strategies work for you. Hootsuite helps to streamline your social media efforts so that you can make a greater impact without having to jump around all over the web.
5. Lift – Great for Building the Right Habits
Lift is an app that helps to turn your goals into habits using positive reinforcement and easy goal tracking. I use this for everything including fitness, nutrition, breaking bad habits (like biting my fingernails), reading my bible, praying daily and much more. Not only does it help you visualize your habits and progress but there is a community of ther lift-ers who are there to build you up and motivate you.
6. GroupMe – Team Collaboration
If you work on a team to accomplish big projects you need to make sure everyone is on the same page at the same time. GroupMe is a simple, but effective group chat app that allows you to invite and organize your teams into key organizations.
It is great for streamlining information and getting everyone updated. I use it heavily in my church ministries to accomplish large events and initiatives. You can share text, images, links, etc, and it even allows you to pool money together in case you need to all pitch in and buy something. GroupMe is available for almost any device and even has a web dashboard making it easy to communicate with your team anywhere and any time.
7. Feedly – Blog Reader of Choice
After the death of Google reader (R.I.P.) I was turned onto Feedly by a hero of mine, Michael Hyatt, for a better blog reading experience. Feedly is an amazing RSS reader that is sleek and has great social sharing functions built into it. A big part of being productive is staying current on your industry or passions. Subscribing to blogs in your areas of excellence and spending time reading is a great way to brush up on basics and keep an eye on what’s relevant and happening.
One cool feature is the recommendations that Feedly provides you with based on the articles you read, favorite, and share. I have found many new publications and influencers who I read frequently and I would have probably never found them without Feedly.
*BONUS* Listen to Podcasts for Continued Learning
If you have a passion you want to excel at, get better at your business tactics, or even learn a new language you can learn quickly through the use of Podcasts. The age of podcasts has provided us with the ability to carry around the knowledge and teaching of others with us where ever we go. Listening to podcasts on your daily commute to work or school is a great way to spend your time. Zig Ziglar referred to this as “Automobile University” because you can literally accumulate the equivalent of a college degree with all the time you spend in your car. The best part about podcasts are there is one for every interest pretty much.
My advice is to select podcasts that:
- Provide you with valuable wisdom or training to improve your quality of life.
- Have relatively short episodes that are easy to digest.
- Lead by thought leaders in your area of interest.
- You find enjoyable.
Above are just a few digital tools that make my life easier and help me to be more productive. I hope you can benefit from them as well.
I’d love to hear what tools help you to accomplish more in your everyday life. Leave a comment below.