You cannot get more time out of your day, but tools exist to make better use of the time you do have. At Schaaf-PartnerCentric, we are always evaluating new tools and apps that have the potential to help us work smarter. The number of tools can be daunting, but in our years in operation, we've tested most of the emerging tools when they hit the market.Here are details of the five free tools that we find most helpful and what they can do for you:
By an overwhelming majority, our team said Skype is the most useful tool you can have on your desktop. Skype is a great tool for fast communication within your organization. Skype has something for everyone - whether you prefer instant messages, phone calls or video calls. The tool also offers screen-sharing options that are very helpful when you are trying to train colleagues or troubleshoot issues with a presentation, site or document.
"Skype has proven extremely useful when I need to review our paid search campaign with other members of the marketing team," said business development specialist Jessica Griffin. "It saves us so much time because I can share my screen with the team and we are all looking at the same data in real-time. Something that would take an hour to explain becomes clear within minutes."
Skype is also a nice tool for conducting instant messaging or phone conversations with small or large groups. Having a transcript of instant messaging to refer to after each group discussion is a great resource as well.
This free tool enables your entire organization to share documents, photos, videos and more. Dropbox is a useful tool because of the value in having a common area to store recurring reports and supporting documents for easy reference and sharing among other members of the team.
"I store all of my weekly reports in Dropbox, which means they are always easily accessible to me and anyone else on the team who might need the information," said senior marketing analyst & technical solutions specialist John Wong. "This proves useful to everyone including our marketing team, which can examine reports and find data for case studies."
Password management is a challenge for any business that manages multiple accounts, websites and tools. LastPass is a great tool for managing passwords. The tool enables you to save passwords as you go. After you have saved a login and password, the next time you need access, LastPass autofills the access information so that you do not have to remember or find the password independently.
Your login information will be saved in a central area where you can update and manage login information to keep all of your operations running smoothly. With LastPass Premium, you can access a mobile app that keeps your passwords at the ready no matter where you are.
This tool does some heavy lifting, enabling you to manage multiple schedules, learn who is meeting when and where and find open dates and times to schedule new meetings.
Google Calendar makes it easy to create a new calendar item, which you can easily share with anyone via email. The Calendar enables you to share your schedule with others and send invitations and RSVPs.
You can also set up reminders to ensure you do not miss any meetings.
Ghostery is a privacy-based browser extension for Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera. The usefulness to affiliate marketers is that the tool enables us to detect tracking scripts on a website. It has an opt-in data share that sends anonymous information about the trackers you see and where you see them.