I’m often asked about the productivity tools and technology I use to manage my business and various consulting projects. I’m a tech junkie. It would take at least a small book to give a decent review of all the apps I use and love.
Here are some of my favorites.
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Urgentcarementor is brought to you on the The Rainmaker Platform, which brings together beautiful design with all the membership and learning management systems, email integrations, podcasting and so much more.
It’s basically a souped up WordPress site, but instead of having to sort through all the hundreds (thousands?) of plugins, themes and other add-ins, they’ve already done that for you integrated into one finely tuned system.
Perfect for the type of work I do, from consulting to training and education online, blogging and producing great content, and curating other services and products I know will be of benefit to our members.
I’ve used several of the popular email list apps – from the straightforward Aweber and Mailchimp and to the more complex InfusionSoft and SharpSpring. The latter two feature CRM functions and complicated automations. Too complicated for my tastes, you have to dedicate a lot of time and training to really use those features to their fullest.
Rainmaker has built in Rainmail, which is coming along in development, not quite full featured yet, but I have started to add lists there. It should have all the automations I need to deliver subscribers and members the relevant content that matters to them.
Meanwhile I’ve been using ConvertKit, which has some really good automations – triggers > actions. And much easier to use than InfusionSoft or SharpSpring. An advantage over Aweber is when a subscriber is on multiple lists in Aweber, they are counted – and you are charged – for every list they are on as another subscriber. In ConvertKit it doesn’t matter how many lists they are on, they count once.
With the Hootsuite chrome extension I can quickly push any post, page or anything in my web browser to multiple social media profiles all at once! I can send now, “autoschedule” so they queue up throughout the day/week, or schedule later. So everytime I write a new post I’ll do a combination of these and schedule them out for several months. Then I can use Hootsuite’s calendar to see what I have posting out to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn (all my favorite groups).
These are my favorite types of productivity tools. There are SO many PM and task manager apps out there. I think I’ve used or trialed all of them from simple to-do, to many different Kanban style boards from Trello to Kanban-(pick a suffix – ize, ery, tool, flow ++), to full fledged PMs like Clarizen, Teamwork and everything in between.
The one that has survived thus far is Wrike. One day I’ll do a full review. I have not found any other app that has the flexibility and features to keep me organized.
But one of the truly outstanding features I’ll just touch on here is the gmail gadget that takes any email and almost effortlessly turns it into a task. I can assign it to any team member, set start and due dates, place it in multiple folders or projects at the same time (like tags – incredible organizational tool).
This is how I get to “Inbox Zero” consistently.
Jan 10, 2017 update to project management: I’ve been watching Asana for quite a while, and decided to use that for my most recent projects. Turning emails into tasks is still a breeze with their Chrome extension (plus other 3rd party extensions), the user interface is clean and beautiful and has crazy integrations with just about everything I need at a much lower price point than the professional Wrike plan I was on. I now have the free version of Wrike to finish out my older projects.
Evernote is just in a class by itself. It is one of those incredibly flexible, easy to use productivity tools, another of my “can’t live withouts.” I use the Evernote web clipper to save websites – full pages show up as notes or just selections or bookmarks. You can organize notes by notebooks, but lately I just use tags for everything, as I can search by tag, then drill down to “sub-tags” and find just the notes I need right now.
I keep everything from random thoughts and reminders to research, travel arrangements, receipts, scanned documents and pretty much anything that needs to be stored somewhere, in Evernote.
It’s easy to share individual notes or whole notebooks with others – here’s a shared note to an OSHA link.
It is so flexible and full featured I really can’t do it justice here – but there are plenty of great reviews out there and many different ways people use Evernote. Here is an excellent review by my friend, Dr. John Jurica. There are free and paid versions.
Others I use every day are Google Apps, ScheduleOnce for appointments and group meetings, and Zoom online meetings.