10 Helpful Tools to Increase Productivity

Sometimes I feel that I am my own worst enemy when it comes to productivity. Spending a little too much time catching up with friends via email, Facebook andTwitter. Or too much time organizing myself instead of actually putting my ideas into action. I am sure many of you have your productivity vices as well. For all you social media pros out there who are so busy between Tweetups and networking and managing emails and Tweets for both your personal and professional brands, I have some tools to help you (and me) out! Keep reading for  a list of apps that can help you stop wasting that precious time, and make use of it more efficiently (because our time is valuable!)

1. Evernote: Ever think of a great idea for a blog post or business decision but don’t recall it the next day? I hate that! Well Evernote, is helpful in those situations because it helps you keep track of ideas whether you’re on the go or not. And luckily for us, it is available for Macs, Windows, iPhones, Androids, Blackberrys and more! My boss mentioned this tool to me and I had been meaning to check it out…she could not have been more right regarding taking notes and staying organized with Evernote. Two thumbs up!

 

 

2. Rapportive: Too many emails and social media connections to keep track of who they’re from? Rapportive allows you to see profiles and social network connections of anyone you are emailing with (in Gmail). Simple way to keep track of people and how they’re connected to you.

 

3. Yammer: Want a way for you and your coworkers to communicate regarding business objectives in a fun yet effective manner? Yammer allows for the simplicity of Facebook and Twitter, yet keeps things private for your work community only. Allows employees to share documents and files, as well as communicate directly with coworkers without the use of email. Nifty tool to keep up with coworkers and business ideas inside and outside of work.

4. Mystickies: Tired of bookmarks? “To put it simply, Mystickiesallows you to place little yellow squares of digital paper anywhere and everywhere you feel like in the whole wide web.” This is basically another way to keep track of what you want to go back to on the web later with fun “stickies.”

 

5. Tungle: Your schedule as hectic as mine? Worried about making meetings and double booking for lunch? Tungle integrates with your calendar and shows your availability to others so they can schedule meetings at your convenience. The work isn’t in your hands, and it eliminates the back-and-forth email communication involved with scheduling meetings.

6. Boomerang: In short a helpful add-on for Gmail which allows you to schedule emails for later. For example, you may want to send reminder emails to people regarding an event, product, service, or meeting — but not right away. Schedule them, and have Boomerang do it for you later.

7. Timely: Worried about wasting time tweeting out posts and not getting any engagement from your target market? Timely helps you figure out which times work best and when you can program auto-tweets for best response.

8. Mint: Don’t fret over money, Mint helps you stay organized and “fret less.” In short, Mint brings all your financial accounts together online, automatically categorizes your transactions, lets you set budgets & helps you achieve your savings.” Pretty awesome and way less time than an excel spreadsheet.

 

9. Manilla: Like Mint, this tools helps you manage money, BUT — it helps you manage all of your accounts and automatically pay online from ONE place. Therefore, rather than having a million accounts coming from email, mail, and different websites, Manilla provides a simple user-friendly platform to have a more efficient way to pay your bills, subscriptions, and keep track of points!

 

10. Join.me: A simple way to have a meeting away from your office. You can share your screen or view someone else’s and see what they want to demonstrate and show you without being present in the conference room! My advice – add Skype when doing this!

Have other tools you love for productivity? Please share!

Note: this post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot. 


Interview: Julia Roy of Manilla

During SXSW in Austin, Texas Julia Roy, VP of Marketing at Manilla, and I took some time during brunch (and yummy bloody mary’s) to chat about her new career and why consumers should check out the cool and useful online application.

ME:  Why did you choose to work for Manilla?

JULIA:  I wanted to go back into the start-up world and do something that I really believed in. The app is something I would personally use and it adds tremendous value to people’s lives. I also wanted to see something from the ground up. Up until Manilla I had worked with some very big brands, and they already have a presence online. So you would normally augment whatever kind of sentiment and things they are already implementing. BUT, when you are at a start-up like Manilla, you have to strategize how you would use social to take a brand from “nothing” to “something” – I wanted to tackle that challenge.

ME:  For the readers out there, tell us why they should check out Manilla.

JULIA:  It would save you a lot of time! Right now you spend a lot of time managing your bills and it is a large consumer problem. Some people have a range of twenty different accounts including banks, credit cards, travel, rewards, and subscriptions. You get some in mail, some in email and with all the different ways you receive and pay bills, you can easily lose track. For example, you could have gotten this trip to SXSW for free if you  kept track of points! In short, Manilla helps you keep track. It’s not a social network but a personal application to help you manage your accounts.

ME:  And it’s free for consumers?

JULIA: : Yes Free!

ME:  That’s awesome. And we consumers definitely like Free. Could you explain more about the customizable options and capabilities for consumers?

JULIA:  It’s very customizable for user ease with reminders however far apart you want. You can also add your own accounts and Manilla will have any of those available for you. In addition if you don’t see one you use such as a store credit card, we can build that account as needed and/or on request. Typically we can build any request within a week.

ME:  Since I am a social media geek and I know you are too, how are you utilizing social media for Manilla?

JULIA:  We are using social for customer service and engagement. We are mainly focusing on Facebook and Twitter to start with. For instance, we don’t have a lot of video content yet, so YouTube is not a focus for us. The point is to make brand “real” and it’s a large challenge for a company like Manilla because we manage very personal information and in turn must be professional and build trust first on social networks.

Social is also a conduit to make sure we are responding to people talking about our brand and engage with them. We also run contests and promotions such as the 5K to people who sign up for the beta version!

ME:  5K? I want. I want!

JULIA: Continues to ease her mouth which is on fire from the bloody mary’s.

ME: So if you had to pick one tool you couldn’t live without when handling Manilla, what would it be?

JULIA:  CoTweet because it makes managing convos so much easier! Like Manilla manages your accounts, CoTweet manages my social.

ME: Going back to Manilla and it’s sheer awesomeness with convenience and organization – what is the one thing consumers should know about its advantage and asset?

JULIA: It will get you “Sys-te-matized!”

ME: Chuckling. Systematized?

JULIA: Yes! Manilla helps you get systematized! Psychologically all these bills and items to pay can crowd your mind and inhibit your ability to enjoy and relax. So Manilla helps you organize so you can relax and know Manilla is doing it for you.

ME: I like it!

The interview wrapped up with “cheers” over our bloody mary’s and a fabulous brunch. I definitely suggest each of you to check out Manilla for yourself. If you ever have any questions, definitely hit up @mymanilla for the answers!