Over the last week my team launched a new client, my inbound partner-in-crime went on maternity leave, and I had more meetings and webinars than I could count. Piece of cake, right?
As Marketers, we wear many hats. We’ve all been called many names, but multi-tasker is one that I’m proud to claim.
With change velocity at warp speed, how can you stay ahead of it all? And, if you’re leading a team of marketers, how can you guide them to avoid the all-too-common burnout?
Two words: Productivity Tools.
I’ve been called a "Productivity Tool Addict" a time or two... affectionately, of course. With that background, you can assume that choosing just five tools was an incredibly difficult feat for me, but here we go:
Inbound Marketing is part skill, part science, part art, and a whole lot of process. The most successful Inbound Marketing teams run like well-oiled machines. Without a well-defined, documented process, that well-oiled machine is nothing more than a pipe dream.
SweetProcess is a tool that helps you to “Document all those repetitive tasks that eat up your precious time, so you can grow your team and grow your business.” Within your processes, you can drop in screenshots, video, lists, links, and more. Once you’re done, SweetProcess takes your steps and generates a beautifully designed PDF and link that you can share with the rest of your team.
Because there are so many moving parts in the world of marketing, Project Management software is essential. We recently switched from our old tool to TeamworkPM, and I’m never looking back.
Some of my favorite TeamworkPM features are:
- Time Tracking: This all ties in to process. Knowing how long a particular task takes helps you to plan well, and be more efficient and effective
- To-Do List Templates
- The ability to assign multiple people to one task
Because the tool is pretty robust, I don’t have to hop between time tracking, assigning tasks, and managing the project. It’s all a part of the software, which makes my job a heck of a lot easier (and, ultimately, makes me more productive).
Prior to using HubSpot, we were piecing our marketing together:
- Our landing pages and blog were on one platform
- Our forms were a plugin, within our website
- We used a tool for email marketing
- Our contacts database was in our CRM
- List segmentation took a lot of time and some mean excel skills
- Social Media monitoring was one tool
- Social Media publishing was another tool
- Analytics were rarely used for anything more than measuring site traffic
Are you exhausted yet? We were.
By having all of these tools, and more, in “All-in-one Marketing Software,” we were instantly more productive. Add to that the fact that the tool is constantly improving to make marketing, quite frankly, better? It’s a no-brainer, and one of the most powerful weapons in my productivity toolbox.
4. Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is a godsend for burnout-prone professions like ours. It’s basically a cousin of Timeboxing with -- wait for it-- built in breaks. Those breaks are an essential part of the methodology as “scheduled breaks while working eliminates the ‘running on fumes’ feeling you get when you’ve pushed yourself too hard.” A feeling that us Inbound Marketers know pretty well.
- Build your task list.
- Set your timer for 25 minutes.
- Work on the task until your time is up.
- Put a checkmark next to your task, once the timer rings.
- Take a short break (5 minutes).
- Every four Pomodoros (25 minute cycles), take a longer break (15-30 minutes)
One of the best parts of the Pomodoro Technique is that it doesn’t require software. Your phone timer will do the trick.
While Spotify isn’t normally classified as a productivity tool, it’s important to remember that marketing is fun. Here are just a few of my favorite Spotify Playlists:
My creativity and productivity peak when I have a good soundtrack to power me through.
Now it’s your turn: What did I miss? Is there a productivity tool that you can’t live without?
Katie Gutwein is Director of Marketing and Social Media at KBK Communications, where she leads a team of Marketers, as they help their clients manage inbound and outbound marketing strategies. You can connect with Katie on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus, or read more of her posts on KBK Communications’ blog.