You can save a lot of time and give your productivity a serious boost just by decluttering your email inbox. I know from experience that it’s all too easy to get bogged down in reading, filing and answering emails – to the point where your ‘real’ work falls by the wayside.
Luckily, there are some excellent tools and integrations out there that can help you work more effectively and efficiently. In this article, we’ll look at some of the systems we use at Imagine Digital Marketing and the benefits they bring to the business.
This is a ‘content discovery engine,’ which means it automatically trawls the internet to find relevant, interesting and useful content that you or your clients want to read about (in our case, all things digital marketing). Thanks to ContentGems, gone are the days when I needed to subscribe to endless newsletters and blogs to keep track of key developments in my sector. Today, all my notifications are in place – and my inbox is a lot tidier as a result.
ContentGems can also be integrated with a wide range of apps to help you streamline your content distribution processes and help you keep providing high quality, curated content to your client base.
This is another brilliant integration tool that lets you connect with an amazing 2,200 apps, including ContentGems and Microsoft Teams.
Slack is the communication tool we use most at Imagine to cut down on work emails between the Imagine team. All client work is organised into channels. We also use Slack to integrate with the following systems:
- MailChimp. Slack lets me know when people subscribe and unsubscribe to my email campaigns, as well as helping me manage the status of different campaigns. Before I started using it, subscriber notifications used to go into my Spam folder (because the messages were essentially sent from ‘Me’ to ‘Me’), making it difficult and time-consuming to keep track. Life is much easier thanks to this integration, as I don’t need to keep manually logging into MailChimp to see how things are going.
- Trello. This is a fantastic app for managing projects collaboratively with your colleagues, suppliers and clients. It works by letting you create boards, lists and cards for individual contacts or internal projects – a bit like having lots of virtual Post-It notes for the various workstreams you’re managing. Using Slack, I can manage the various features available within Trello and receive automatic updates on activity within each of my boards – without needing to log in separately.
This is basically a ‘one stop shop’ for customer relationship management. A range of features enables you to automate many of your sales, marketing and service functions using a single platform. In terms of inbox management, you can use Agile CRM to link with your Outlook account, synching emails from each of your contacts and keeping their details up to date.
Another useful feature is automated appointment scheduling, where your calendar can be shared online – enabling contacts to see when you’re free and book their own appointments. Scheduling, invitations and follow-ups/reminders all take place automatically, with no need for multiple emails to be manually sent and received.
Agile CRM also offers powerful social media integration with your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. At Imagine, we mostly use it to automatically identify and connect with potential clients on LinkedIn, and follow up on leads (this saves a lot of typing time).
Toggi is a time tracking app that’s specially designed for a number of sectors, including creative agencies like Imagine. It makes it quick and easy to keep a record of how much time we spend working for each of our clients, so invoices and time reporting are correct and accurate, and quotes and estimates are backed up by ‘real’ data.
It also helps us keep track of how much time we’re spending on each project, so we can identify at an early stage whether we need to adjust the timescales and/or our clients’ expectations. To help business run even more smoothly, Toggi integrates seamlessly with both Trello and Slack, amongst other applications.
Other productivity-boosting apps are available…
I’ve focused in this article on the systems and applications that I find work best for my business. But there are many more out there, so why not do a little exploring online and find the tools that will help your own company work more efficiently?
Need help choosing the right digital marketing tools?
If you’re not sure where to start with choosing tools and platforms, Imagine Digital Marketing is here to help. We’ll provide the advice and support you need to make the right choices and get started successfully. Call us on 01636 922 747 to book an internet marketing consultation, or complete our online form with your enquiry.
Or, explore our blog for lots more advice and tips on boosting your productivity and online presence.
Digital Marketer offering a personal and tailored web consultancy service to small business owners and self-employed professionals in Nottinghamshire. I formed Imagine Digital Marketing in December 2016 and I really enjoy helping my clients make the most of online opportunities.