The 7 Productivity Apps Which Fuel Our Marketing Team
A productive marketing team can make the difference between a couple of sluggish articles per month (and maybe slinging a few posts over on reddit) and a fully loaded content calendar with solid strategies that actually get stuff done.
From writing to task management, here are the most popular apps in our content marketing team at Process Street that keep us publishing 5 posts per week (there’s only 2 of us), overseeing the content promotion process and staying in touch with influencers and guest blog editors.
If you’ve never used markdown for blogging before, you’re missing out. Instead of writing in plain text, then formatting it up later in html, why not write in markdown and export directly to html? Markdown makes that easy, and iA Writer is the perfect text editor for it.
Including a library sidebar, and a beautiful distraction-free mode, iA Writer is great but exported html files will need a little cleaning up. Formatting in iA instead of html means I can do it as I go, and don’t have to click around WordPress’ editor or use html tags to get work done.
For sharing and collaborating over documents, I’ve found no app as useful as Quip — not even Google Docs or Microsoft Word. It’s both a writing app and a collaboration app, meaning that you invite the marketing team to join and they get an app with a feed of recent documents. Then, if someone has the role of an editor, it serves as a comprehensive list of work that needs to be approved.
Currently, we only use Quip for some blog posts and haven’t gotten into a solid system with it yet, but plan on making the switchover from the busy document management system that is Google Docs and Drive to the focused, writing-only Quip.
It’s not only developers who work in sprints, productively trying to hammer out work for approval, and meticulously account for every hour of the working day (and night). Marketers need to focus on time management and task management, too. For this purpose, I’ve found nothing better than Todoist, even though I have switched between different apps a lot.
I rely on Todoist for lists of all kinds, perhaps more so than I should. It’s my list of blog post ideas, overall goals, what needs editing, weekly recurring tasks, appointments, and even my reading list. At its least structured, it’s a scrapbook of all ideas. At its most structured, it’s a prioritised, due-dated focus list that tells me exactly what needs doing and when.
I’m still gasping for breath after resurfacing from an extremely lengthy keyword research process where we found thousands of relevant keywords by processing a ton of data, automatically and manually. We could have used a traditional spreadsheet tool like Excel or Google Sheets, but instead we opted for Airtable, and I’m relieved we did.
Unlike a spreadsheet, where each cell exists as its own entity, a cell in Airtable is a ‘record’ that can be pulled into another table. With this kind of power, you can set rules for particular views and have them auto-populate with data based on the available information elsewhere in the database. If I had to make an educated guess, I’d say that Airtable has saved us more time than any other single tool, especially now we’re more focused on data than ever.
Inbox by Gmail
If you use something like Outlook, Mail, or even Gmail, you probably wake up every day to find a number of irrelevant emails taking the same prestigious spot in your main inbox as genuinely important messages. With Inbox, email notifications from apps you use and daily summaries are bundled together and collapsed into a single slot while an algorithm pulls the most important messages to the forefront.
It even bundles together emails from the same content distributors like Quora and Pocket so they’re only ever appearing in your inbox a maximum of one time. And, as an added bonus, you can hit inbox zero in just a few clicks. Then, when new items come in, it’ll be easier to see your action items.
If you’re an Evernote user, you’ve probably realised that it can become a horrible mess if you don’t regularly look after it and process notes properly. As soon as you want to step it up and use it for more than just jotting, you’ll have difficulty. That’s where Alternote comes in.
Alternote isn’t an entirely new app — it’s works directly with Evernote, which means you can selectively sync your ‘serious’ notebook and keep away the clutter while you work in a wonderfully distraction-free environment. Alternote is my go-to for big projects with lots of related notes because it’s much easier to make sense of tagging and structuring when you’re anywhere but inside Evernote!
I realize Spotify is a bit of an off-the-wall choice, but there’s nothing that gets me in the zone faster than a bit of focus music — usually dance music with Star Wars samples but if that’s not your kind of thing, there’s actually a dedicated set of focus playlists that will find the perfect set of tracks for you to concentrate alongside of.
Which productivity apps do you use?
The sheer amount of productivity apps out there is insane, and even articles that you give big lists to look at can’t cover them all. I’m always trying to improve my productivity and boost my output while keeping quality high, so I’m wondering: what suggestions do the Hallam community have for me? Thanks for reading!
Benjamin Brandall is the head of content marketing at Process Street, covering technology, productivity and startups. In his spare time, he writes about the mysterious side of entertainment for Secret Cave.