Running a business is filled with many processes, tasks, and jobs. It includes writing, social media management, research, completing administrative tasks, developing sales funnels, and keeping in front of potential clients.
That’s why using automation tools developed specifically for certain tasks help you be more productive and efficient. Everything from research to project management to scheduling can be automated.
This list of productivity tools is just a small portion of what’s available to keep you organised and make progress. (I also share my favourites, and what I use in my business, down below.)
Tools for market research
Google Keyword Planner is an easy to use search-engine optimisation tool, useful in researching keywords and creating marketing campaigns
SEMrush allows you to improve your advertising strategies by analysing your competition and the market in general.
Searchmetrics provides SEO analysis to help optimise your content strategy, making your content more easily found by your target audience.
Project planning and Task Management software
ClickUp is a tool that lets you create and assign tasks to team members. Boards can be customised and categorised by status. (Even if you don’t yet have a team, this is a great tool to track projects!) This is my project management tool of choice, and I recommend it to anyone and everyone.
Miro is a fast, free, and simple-to-use digital whiteboard built to help you collaborate with others any time, anywhere.
Omnifocus is designed specifically to run on Mac and mobile devices running on iOS. You can organise, manage, or delegate tasks and individual projects. Features include locations, notes, context and due dates. You can structure projects in a specific timeline.
Trello allows you to track project status using boards and cards. Tasks can be categorised and added easily with drag-and-drop capability. Boards are shared with team members. I prefer to use Trello for personal tasks, as it isn’t quite as robust as ClickUp.
Wunderlist is a general to-do management app that helps you run your day by keeping your personal and professional life synced. It schedules tasks and tracks the time it takes to do them.
G Suite includes Google Drive, Google Docs, and Google spreadsheets make it easy to edit and share different types of files so team members can share notes within documents.
Zirtual is a virtual personal assistant who will take care of your scheduling, calendaring, manage your inbox and give your team a hand.
Evernote is a mobile app you can use to make notes, organises photos and set reminders. You can upload attachments and clip web articles to read later. It syncs across all your desktop and mobile devices.
Pushbullet syncs your computer with your phone so you can eliminate switching between the two while you are working. It lets you view your phone apps on your computer screen.
Social Media Management Tools
Buffer is helpful for managing different social media accounts. It’s easy to schedule and share articles to your social media accounts. I’ve used buffer before, but I am testing out Later now – so far I am liking it! It isn’t quite s robust as Buffer, but it suits my needs (and it is prettier to look at!).
IFTTT stands for If This Then That. It lets you craft what they call “recipes” so various apps and services connect and work together, for instance, uploading Instagram photos to your Google Drive.
Time/Habit Tracking tools
Toggl and Clockify are a simple time tracker tools. It’s easy to use; just click the Toggl/Clockify button and the timer starts. They let you look at reports and see how much time you spent on different projects.
RescueTime is like Toggl except it has some more advanced features. It tracks what programs and websites you spend the most time on.
Today is a habit tracker that lets you customise the dashboard to help you set your priorities according to what’s important to you.
Outsourcing sites like Upwork are ideal for finding writers to outsource to.
LinkedIn is also a good place to look for freelance writers.
Hemingway is a tool that checks your grammar and highlights potential sentence problems.
aWriter is a minimal writing application that is good for distraction free writing.
GoodNotes is a note taking app that combines drawing and notes.
Stay Focused is a free Chrome extension. It restricts the time you spend on time wasting websites such as Facebook. You can customise it to choose specific pages of a website or an entire website to block or to block for a certain amount of time.
30/30 is a task manager app that helps you focus. The idea is simple. Work for 30 minutes focused on a single task without any distractions. When time is up you take a break and do something else for 30 minutes. Then you rinse and repeat.
Calendly is an appointment scheduling tool that allows you to upload your availability in one pass then embed the link in emails or your website. It integrates with most popular calendar applications, offers flexible scheduling options and gives you control over when and how often appointments can be made.
FollowupCC is both an email tracker and a scheduler. You can customise contact lists, adding notes and insights so you always have crucial information about clients in front of you. You can set up reminders for various tasks and emails you’ve scheduled to go out.
LastPass is a secure app that remembers all your passwords so you don’t have to remember them or constantly be resetting them.
SaneBox analyses your email activity to determine which emails matter to you and which don’t. It then moves less emails into their @SaneLater folder that shows up in your inbox. You can retrieve the emails whenever you want.
MailerLite is an email marketing service that allows you to communicate with clients and prospects in bulk. You can create email marketing campaigns, your own newsletter, and customise your mailing list.
Using just a couple of these apps can greatly improve your productivity. Take the time to learn how to use them so they work with your working style.