There’s a business owner I know who should get an award for most apps downloaded on a single device. She has all the latest gadgets and tech tools, belongs to multiple project management platforms, and uses a slew of productivity programs. She uses Evernote and Slack, Google Docs and Flock, and is the first to sign up for the next hot tool on the market.
There are so many tools in play throughout her virtual enterprise that her team members are constantly confused, and have a difficult time keeping up with her. Truth be told, so does she! She often forgets where she put certain files, which platform she used to communicate with team members, and where information has been stored.
I believe she has reached the point where the tech tools she is attempting to use are working against, instead of for, her.
There are a gazillion programs out there, and it can be tempting to try them all, especially when you like certain aspects of all the different tools you start to use. However, there comes a time when you must decide whether the tools you’re using are helping your productivity or hindering it.
In the case of my friend, I think you would agree she is overdoing it.
As an online marketing specialist, I see this happen all the time. A client will come along who uses twenty different programs and is at the point where they can’t keep anything straight anymore. Is it any wonder?
I think the problem is that it’s in our nature to want to try the newest, shiniest thing out there; even if what we have is working just fine.
If you’re cluttered up with apps and tools, I have a suggestion for you … streamline!
There really are a few different types of tech tools that you, as a speaker or coach likely need and use:
- Social media scheduling. This is a tool that helps you keep your social media activity humming along even when you’re traveling or unavailable. Pick one that will handle all your social media profiles and stick to it! In my experience, Hootsuite will serve you well, as it is very reasonably priced, and will allow you to schedule LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also integrate the Tailwind app to accommodate Pinterest, and … AND, Hootsuite will allow you to post directly to Instagram now, without the mobile app!
- Project management. If you work with a team, you need some sort of project management platform. Basecamp is an oldie but goodie, and my team would be lost without it. Teamwork is another project management system used by many. The key is to find one you like and stick to it. This is where your projects and team communication will happen. Don’t complicate things by asking everyone to use another program for file storage and another one for quick messages. When working with a team, first find out if they have a project management system in place. If they do, use that one. If not, then choose one program that will handle everything you need to do with regards to project management.
- Appointment scheduling. If you give people the ability to book appointments with you online, you most likely have an app or some sort of tool that syncs with your calendar so you know where you need to be at any given time. There are several out there that are very good. Personally, I use and absolutely love, Book Like a Boss. It rocks. Whichever system you use, however, pick one and use only one.
One of the good things about working with a team of online marketing experts, is that you have a support structure in place to defer tasks and keep your projects and systems running smoothly, which will help ease your overall feelings of overwhelm.
Are you an app or tool-happy coach or speaker? What are your favorite business tools and why?
Also published on Medium.