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. 

How to: Connect Email Marketing and Social Media

Nowadays communication is about being at the fingertips of your consumers. Consumers want to find how they can reach you at the click of a mouse button. Whether it’s via email communication, social media, and/or both. Your place of business should make it as easy as possible for your consumers, so why not connect both together? Combine your mechanism for direct response with your organic communities. Therefore consumers can find, communicate, and engage with you how and when they want to. Thus, you’re not “pushing” yourself on them, you’re “pulling” them in. Awesome.

In addition, some people think that email is old school, while social networking is the “new black.” Truth is, you can leverage both in order to effectively manage your brand and increase engagement and ROI in the long run. Here are some great ways to get started…

1. Make your email more social: When you email your blog and/or newsletter subscribers, make sure your email message includes social sharing options. Leverage your email subscriber’s social networks. For example, if your email subscriber list is 10,000, each of those people may have 100 or so followers and 600 or so Facebook friends and another couple hundred LinkedIn connections, and so on. Therefore, your message’s potential social reach could be millions because of the connections your subscribers have. In short, social sharing buttons in your emails is a huge opportunity! Two tools to help you get started:

A. Constant Contact: A great email marketing service that allows you to include a share bar in your newsletter. Therefore, your subscribers (current and potential) can share what they’ve read in your email on their portals such as Facebook,Twitter, and/or LinkedIn. Word of mouth marketing about your service/product? Yes, please. You can try this service for Free up to 60 days and then subscribe for as low as $15/month with other options included.
B. Mail Chimp: Another great email marketing service which allows you to insert your social site icons in your newsletter/email/etc. Therefore subscribers can instantly click and go to your social platforms and engage in real-time and share with others too. Valuable and key to building relationships with your target market. Mail Chimp is free for up to 2000 subscribers and a send limit of 12,000 but you can have unlimited depending on the pricing plan you prefer.

2. Add sign-up options to your social sites: In order to reach out to more of your target market via email,  make sure your social sites such as Facebook, have a link to subscribe to your blog and/or receive a newsletter via email. Make sure this option is easy to find, and easily seen when new potential consumers visit your social site. In addition, if you have a blog and a newsletter, add a “sign up for our email newsletter” on your blog’s sidebar. Great use of ” social real estate”. TIP: Keep your sign up fields short and sweet. That way the target consumer will be more likely to take the 2 seconds to enter their email. Afterwards follow up with your sensational email marketing campaign which promotes your product/service. In addition, this allows your consumer to choose between receiving information via your Facebook page, their  inbox, or however your target market decides they would prefer to learn and keep up to date on what’s going on with your company. This prevents your company from pushing one mode of communication, and instead allowing the consumer to choose what they prefer. Pull them in!

3. Two tools that will rock your socks off:

A. AWeber: Allows you to instantly send a link to your Facebook page and Twitter account and share your newsletter with your followers and fans. That way new and potential target market consumers have a chance to subscribe and/or keep up with your “happenings” via the channel they prefer. First month sign up is for $1.00(normally $19.00/month for up to 500 subscribers).

B. Rapleaf: Takes a unique approach where they assist marketers in understanding “the social connectivity and influence of existing members in their online databases.” Each member has value and can spread the word positively or negatively. Staying on top of the influencers is key and Rapleaf can assist by customizing emails to each member of your audience. Personalized emails? Great way to engage on a higher level. Try out for free here.

Want more social contact management tools? Rapportive, Hoverme, and Gist help to connect the contacts you have from your email and find them on their social networks. Great tools and ways to engage and build relationships and utilize both email and social marketing together. Utilize this “social inbox” because every social media user has an email address for each of their social mdia platforms. In short, “email is the glue that ties social media together” and your company would be wise to make the two work together. To get started, feel free to check out my Toolkit for your convenience…

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