If you’re anything like me, you wouldn’t say no to some tools that could make your everyday working life a little easier. Here I’m about to share 10 tools that are ideal for anyone who needs to think creatively and strategically, and is looking to do so in small timescales. It isn’t taking short-cuts, it’s using your time and resources more constructively!
Superb online collaborative mind mapping
Mindmapping in my view is key to creating strategies and planning out project and marketing campaigns. Mindmeister is one of my most frequently used online tools. It’s a brilliant online collaborative tool for brainstorming and mind mapping ideas online. As well as text you can also map images, hyperlinks and documents. It’s easy to use and allows you to share the map with colleagues or clients.
Easy, back to basics wire framing tool
If you’re building an online presence like a blog or eCommerce site, sometimes it’s good to just sketch out the sitemap or page elements and make sure you’re thinking about the various pages needed. Denim is very basic in terms of the look and feel, it does keep that pencil look however it does have the benefit of being interactive. I use a pen and tablet so it’s much easier than a mouse to draw the interface and make it look good. A great alternative to look at is the Pencil Project by Firefox, which doesn’t rely on sketching out.
Collaborative task management and to do lists
Managing tasks is generally not fun or easy when you’ve got a lot of things on, and you need to juggle tasks and manage your workload. If you use Remember The Milk you no longer have to write your to-do lists on sticky notes, whiteboards, random scraps of paper, or the back of your hand etc. It’s an online tool which can be accessed in a number of ways, you can even use the iPhone’s Siri to add tasks. It’s been helping us with all our agency tasks for two years now and we’ve not looked back, in fact each member of the team can assign tasks to each other and we find it works really well for us.
Create awesome jaw dropping presentations
Do you ever get the feeling that sometimes it’s death by Powerpoint? Prezi allows you to collaborate and create some really compelling presentations with unique style and transition animation, which lead your audience down a path of discovery on the zoomable canvas. I love using this tool as it also gets you thinking more about the content and how to structure a presentation in terms of what’s important to the audience, without thinking the linear way PowerPoint is constructed.
Store and share your files in the Cloud
Forget the highly touted Google Drive for one minute and explore good old Dropbox. I’m sure most of you have got a dropbox account already or have used it in the past. One thing, which does make my working day easier, is creating separate private folders for clients and sharing documentation temporarily. If I want to tweet or share a document on social media I sometimes use my public folder also.
Check how websites look in a variety of devices and resolutions
This website does exactly what the name suggests! It’s a handy utility to see how your websites appear in various resolutions and popular devices.
7. Bounce App
Screen grab websites, then overlay comments and share
This site allows you to enter a URL in order to take a screengrab before displaying it on the page. You are then able to drag and drop areas to comment on, which can then be tweeted or posted to Facebook. Great site to quickly share brilliant features and functionality. I use it to share ideas with my team on cool things we should watch out for etc.
View your social accounts in a magazine layout for easy reading and sharing
Your social media Magazine. I have no idea what I would do without Flipboard! I use it to browse my social media platform feeds on my iPhone and iPad (mainly iPad). The way it presents information and formats the feeds on the page, make it very easy to read and RT/post anything which you think is of value to your followers and subscribers.
Schedule and manage your tweets for maximum impact
I think we all end up tweeting and browsing our feeds when we have time. Unfortunately this can lead to updates being pushed through at times when your followers and potential followers might not be engaged. This site allows you to queue your tweets which are then scheduled to a time which will have maximum impact – this is done by analysing your past 199 tweets, similar to tweriod and Buffer.
A collection of online essentials
I don’t think I could write a post on free productivity tools without mentioning Google. There are many, many tools of Google’s which we all use throughout the day. A few of my favourites are Search, Webmaster, Analytics, Reader and Docs.
So, there we have it!! The above 10 tools I couldn’t live without. Have I missed any?
I hope there’s a tool or two that you haven’t used before, and that I’ve introduced something new which will help you in some way. Let us know how you get on and as always I’m happy to answer any questions you have.