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What We’re Thankful For: Productivity Tools

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By Scott Moody, Director of Public Relations

There are no shortage of things we all should be thankful for. Whether you’re thanking the sales gods for helping you to close that deal, giving a courtesy nod to that thoughtful driver who let you cut in front of them, or counting your blessings for amazing family and friends, there’s so much around us that we are thankful for.

When it comes to work-related matters, the tools we use nearly every minute of every day are certainly worth praising. In the fast pace world of marketing, PR and advertising, great productivity tools can be your best friend.

As a public relations professional, one service I’ve grown to love is Help A Reporter Out (HARO). If you’re unfamiliar with the awesomeness of HARO, think of it as your daily dose of fresh PR opportunities, served to your inbox three times a day. HARO collects queries on a range of topics (“a range” is an understatement—there really are stories on EVERYTHING) from members of the media, including broadcast, print, bloggers and more, and aggregates them into an email that is sent out three times a day.

From a PR perspective, having possible media placement leads handed right to you is invaluable. We’ve found a number of great placements for our clients and our company through HARO. Personally, I’ve also sent leads to friends and colleagues who aren’t clients and those kinds of favors go a long way with folks.

For more ideas, the rest of the team at Marketing Matters have shared some of the resources they are thankful for below. Hope you find them as helpful as they do.

Kyle Glass, Marketing/PR Manager
About 80% of my job involves managing projects, so the tools that help me handle our 40+ marketing projects (at last count) more effectively are the tools I’m most thankful for. Two come immediately to mind.

The first is Google Chat. Coordinating with colleagues is paramount making how I communicate with them the most important. Email and telephone have their place, but in the ever increasing speed of the business world email can be slow (I can’t believe I just said that) and telephone can take minutes with all the pleasantries and formalities. Gchat gives me the communication I need in an instant.

The second is a new tool I’ve been working with called Workflowy. There are a few programs we use to keep track of our projects, but for me I’ve never found anything better than the good ole’ pen and paper for my current personal project list – until recently. Workflowy is a web-based list management/organization tool. Very simple in nature—which adds to its beauty —it allows me to keep a running list of projects that I can tag with who’s responsible for getting it done. It tells me every morning which jobs I completed yesterday via email, making it beneficial for my end-of-day reports to the boss, and I can simply export the list to Excel or text to work off of for weekly staff meetings.

Craig Roloff, Operations Manager
We all spend hours each day in front of our computers. Many of us actually use multiple computers. If you’re like me, your desk is cluttered with notes, pens, coffee mugs, and half-eaten sandwiches. There is hardly room for multiple keyboards, mice or monitors.

I use two computers to maintain my productivity. My laptop is my “command center” where I reply to emails, type up necessary Word docs and do all of my web browsing. On my second, more powerful computer, I run Adobe Creative Suite. Between the two computers, I have three screens in front of me: my laptop in the middle flanked on either side by 23″ LED monitors. To be honest, it’s a bit much for a home office, but it is a really cool set up.

As you can imagine, with this amount of hardware there is hardly room for keyboards and mice…not to mention my five-dollar-footlongs. To solve the problem, I use Mouse Without Borders. This great little piece of software from Microsoft allows me to share my mouse and keyboard between the two computers. It is a simple network connection that is incredibly easy to install. It is impressive that I can move my mouse from my far left monitor, completely across all three monitors, all the way to the far right. The most useful feature, however, is that I can copy a file from one monitor/computer and drag it over to the other computer.

I’m thankful for great, simple solutions like this that allow me to maintain my productivity.

Coleen Sterns Leith, President
I am most thankful for my iPhone and iPad. With these two tools, I am able to easily stay in touch with clients, vendors and our team from virtually anywhere. I have access to my desktop, our network and can easily get information I need, when I need it.

The apps for each are icing on the cake. TripIt has eliminated the needs for printed travel documents. If one of our team members is on the road, I have their travel information at hand. It’s one of my favorite apps.

RedLaser is another favorite as it acts as my QR code reader and barcode scanner allowing me to find a product I need at the best price.

And the Magic 8 Ball is always there to help with those subjective decisions.

Technology has greatly improved our team productivity and we’re all grateful for that.

So there you have it, a few resources we’re thankful for from some of the team here at Marketing Matters. We would love to know what some of your favorites are.