Amazingly Useful Time Saving Tools
As an online marketing specialist, I spend a lot of time on the web. I’m very inquisitive (a polite way of saying “nosey”) and observant. Always looking out for new and interesting stuff. I scan many blog posts and articles daily, keep my eyes open on the social networks and as a result I’ve learned about scores of fabulous time saving tools that I now use constantly. I’ll share some of these with you. They are all free although some may offer paid versions. In the majority of cases however, the free version is perfectly adequate.
Where would I be without Feedly?? This is my regular go-to source of information for my social media updates. Feedly is an RSS feed reader that aggregates feeds from as many blogs as you wish to keep an eye on. It allows you to set up various categories according to your interests, and assign feeds to these categories. You also have various display options – basic text view or different image display layouts. If you need to find useful, non-salesy content for your social networks, give this a try.
If you can’t be bothered to use browser bookmarks and need to add notes, screenshots etc to web pages you save, then Evernote will be invaluable. It’s a comprehensive note-taking app with offline as well as online functionality. Web, iOS and Android versions are available and your notes are easily synchronised across all your devices. Your “notebooks” can also be shared with other users making this a great teamworking tool. Evernote also has browser extensions, including a “web clipper” that allows you to easily save web pages in just a couple of clicks. This can also be activated by right-clicking on a page you want to save. Tagging is an additional function, allowing you to group pages on specific topics.
Pocket (formerly know as “Read It Later”) is broadly similar to Evernote although it has less functionality. However it’s even simpler to use – just one click saves web pages in your “pocket”, an online repository that’s much easier to access than trawling through browser bookmarks. There’s also a right-click function. Pocket has browser add-ons / extensions and can also be set up as an “app” within Google Chrome so that it’s easily accessed whenever you open a new tab. As with Evenote, you can create tags to group together blog posts / articles on the same topic. There are iOS and Android apps so your content can be synchronised across various devices.
This is one of my more recent discoveries and could well be the best thing since sliced bread (if you market your business on Facebook). Likealyzer is a brilliant free tool that monitors the performance of Facebook pages and gives you helpful suggestions as to how you can tweak various things to optimise your page. For example, it tells you what type of posts are interacted with the most, what times of day are best for you to post, the number of characters your followers respond best to, and lots more. In case you’re thinking that you get all this within Page Insights, well yes you do to some extent, but you need to spend quite a long time digging around. Likealyzer gives you a simple one-page snapshot of your page’s performance – did I mention that you can also monitor competitors’ pages? I LOVE it!
Another of my fairly recent finds, MadMimi is beautifully simple email marketing software. Like most email marketing platforms, there is a free version. For most business owners just starting out with email marketing, the free version is perfectly adequate and I’m still using it myself, although will probably need to upgrade later this year in order to get the autoresponder functionality and a wider range of web signup forms. MadMimi provides a good range of templates and simple drag-and-drop functionality to make creating eye-catching emails straightforward. As you’ll see, the branding is fun and quirky, but don’t let that put you off! NB: I also offer email marketing setup and support.
I heard about LanderApp while doing a Facebook ads training course last month. It’s a free, cloud-based tool for creating landing pages. Even with the free version you get access to various statistics such as number of visitors, conversions and conversion rate. You can also create a mobile version of your landing pages, and run split testing. LanderApp is a good, viable alternative to often somewhat expensive landing page software such as LeadPages.
I came across iPiccy via another training course I took recently, aimed at designing your own marketing graphics. It’s a web-based image editing application that allows you to use slightly more advanced techniques than (for example) PicMonkey. iPiccy has a number of tools for basic and in depth image editing, including a range of filters, masks, picture frames, textures, preset shapes etc. I took the course just before Christmas, just in time to create a few seasonal images – and as you might have guessed, the image for this blog post also!
A Note Regarding Training Courses
As mentioned above, I’ve recently taken a couple of very worthwhile courses – here are the details. For Facebook Ads, I took Claire Jarrett‘s course “Get Selling on Facebook“. Contact Claire for details of the next course.
Over To You
I hope you find my recommendations of time saving tools helpful – will you be trying any? If you already use them, which ones? Let me know in the comments, and please share this post if you find it helpful. [hr]