Let’s face it. We’re all super busy, and the work day just never seems to have the hours necessary for us to accomplish everything we set out to. That’s why it’s so important to find ways to improve productivity, relieve stress, and most importantly to work smarter, not harder. In effort to help you streamline your tasklist, maximize output during your work day, and revel in the sweet, sweet bliss of a job well done, our team has rounded up a few applications and business tools with the power to help you crush your workday everyday. Here’s what our team had to say about some of our favorite digital tools and organizational apps.
3.8 out of 5 stars
The more I learn about cyber security and password best-practices, the most passionate I become about password management tools. If you’re anything like the majority of online users, you may have three passwords, at best, that you have cycled through for years. If you’re anything like I was, you may even think: Who cares? What in the world would anyone gain or want from little ol’ me? Well, a lot; the least of which being your time, stress and a lot of headaches.
While there are a lot of password management tools out there, I’m familiar and comfortable with Last Pass. They all have their own pros and cons in regard to integration and ease of use. Last Pass can be buggy from time to time, but that is mostly related to living in a world, especially a tech world, where everything is instantaneous. Last Pass can integrate into your web browser as a Plugin, allowing your slew of unique, heavy-hitting passwords to “autofill” on your saved sites. It requires you remember one, fairly long, multi-symbol, number and character password to get into your “vault,” which has folders for organization, and gives you the ability to share certain areas with others. Last Pass also has a smartphone app where you can (most archaically) copy and paste passwords into your phone’s browser. And every time you log into a new site, Last Pass asks you if you want to save those credentials in your vault!
My favorite feature is the Password Generator Tool, which I use every time I join yet another site. See below for example.
Passwords Best Practices Tip: Don’t save your password in your web browser. It becomes easy prey/low hanging fruit for those nefarious online predators looking to exploit your identity, bank accounts, and more!
Music for Productivity
5 out of 5 stars
These days, it seems like the world is in total disarray. Work can be a welcomed distraction from all things pandemic and the outside stressors of everyday life. While working from home, I like to double down on that escapism and try to keep my mind focused and my spirit calm.
My current daily routine includes some light energy/ meditation background music. You can find a lot of pre-made playlists on YouTube, Spotify, Amazon Music, etc. Just make sure it isn’t a spa selection intended to lull you to sleep. Incorporating some lyric-less tunes has centered me, furthered my production, and provided some clarity to drown out the background noise.
These days, my “go to” is this calming track, available to anyone via YouTube: Calming Self Love Music
4.5 out of 5 stars
Like all digital marketing solutions, there are a lot of options with a range of tools depending on your needs. When it comes to hard email marketing campaigns, Constant Contact has enough flexibility to allow custom coded e-newsletter to come from our graphic design team, while still providing a user friendly editor where I can comfortably build out an e-newsletter if need be. Constant Contact specifically has many email list management and tagging features, and can get really nuanced with it’s target without the painful manual combing of email lists necessary to work within some other email marketing softwares.
My favorite feature is Automatic Resend, that allows you to update the Subject Line and send your same email to anyone who has yet to have opened your e-newsletter is a set time range. This translates to a higher open rate for e-newsletter and a healthier IP address (which ensures you’re getting through Spam Blockers/ reaching the most people possible.)
4.3 out of 5 stars
If you are in an industry that has a lot of foot traffic, think food and beverage or hospitality, Zenreach probably makes a whole lot of sense for your business. Beginning as a means of collecting email addresses, Zenreach works with your Wi-Fi router to permit guest access to the internet for customers visiting your establishment. It is in this way that Zenreach is able to (exponentially) grow your list of customer emails in a way that is as effortless for you as it is effective for learning more about your customer base. Once your customer has signed onto your Wi-Fi, i.e. opted in to receive your e-newsletters, you’re able to unlock a world of information about their frequency of visits… including how effective your last marketing message was to bring them back through your doors. And, while acting as an email marketing platform to send your e-newsletters, it can also send text messages requesting customers leave you a review based on their experience! Online reviews = more online visibility for your business.
Smart Messages are another aspect of Zenreach that I think is super savvy. Smart Messages send pre-set messages to customers utilizing the information they put in upon initial sign-up. What does this mean for you? Well, from birthdays and anniversary specials to recovering a lost customer or someone who came once and never walked in again, Zenreach allows you to incentive the return of a lost customer or send a personalized message of gratitude, etc. based on a slew of specific and predetermined scenarios. And, the messages are just as branded and akin to your business as your e-newsletters are.
4 out of 5 stars
Canva is an easy-to-use platform that allows a user to create visuals for nearly any design piece they can think up. From Instagram graphic to brochure to digital ad- Canva has nearly everything you need to get an assignment started. Perfect for skilled and unskilled users alike, there is something for everyone with need to create on-brand visuals. After signing in, you simply choose what type of graphic you want to create, then you’ll be able to choose from one of their thousands of templates to customize. There’s also an option to create your own from-scratch graphic using their assets to build out your own custom design!
If you are constantly creating graphics or even just need a little inspiration, Canva is a great place to start. There is a free version, which I find suits my needs. You can also opt-in for their Pro account for $9.95 per month, which gives you access to more images, templates, custom fonts, and gives you the ability to save your brand kit in your profile.
4 out of 5 stars
Grammarly is a life-changing (and free) browser extension that proofreads everything you write on the web. Once installed, it automatically checks every paragraph of text you write while using your internet browser. It even works within email clients like Gmail. You may be thinking ‘Gmail already has a spell checker’, but Grammarly checks for more than spelling. It will find duplicate words, words you spelled correctly but don’t actually make sense, it will suggest synonyms, and even detect your writing tone so you can decide if your email is hitting the right note. With Grammarly, I can feel 100% sure that my writing is the best it can be before I hit send.
4.97 out of 5 stars (I don’t do max stars, but it’s legit)
Notion is a digital dot-grid notebook. Well… more notebook than digital, somehow, but a notebook with smarts. It can be virtually anything you need it to be – list of recipes? A project thought exercise? Whole-house planner? Connect the whole-house planner to the recipe book? Inventory management System? SURE! The breadth (and depth) of what it can do is mindblowing (Templates/Examples).
I’m conscious of what I spend money on – but I don’t even question the $4/month for Notion. I’ll at least question my gas bill.
4 out of 5 stars
Figma is a great tool for collaborative and simple, clean design. Multiple users can edit and view a design document at the same time, very smooth and seamlessly. Figma provides a simple set of tools for designers to build beautiful mockups. It provides great tools for developers to easily export assets as well as providing CSS code for developers to copy and paste into their code. One of the best things about Figma is that the handoff between design, development, and other players in the process is truly seamless. Figma has a “Present” mode that allows you to easily send a prototype of your design to others. This tool is free, and works right in your web browser, no downloads required! Figma also has community-made plugins that can add features and tools.
Our digital marketing team at Riverworks Marketing Group hopes you’ll find these tips useful. No matter what industry you’re in, or what role you play, finding applications that make your day more seamless is key to streamlining your workflow, and achieving maximum productivity.