A peek inside my WFH digital toolbox

With so many more of us working from home- 60% of the UK’s adult population at the height of the first lockdown (Finder.com), finding efficient online tools to aid communication and productivity is crucial.

Inevitably, usage of the video conferencing app Zoom has skyrocketed this year- as of April 2020, it surpassed 300 million daily meeting participants, up 30x in four months (The Verge)!

Apps and software are constantly evolving and adding new features to adapt to the Covid-19 remote working era; it can be hard to keep up but here’s a peek at the trusty digital tools in my toolbox…


Trello

Fab drag-and-drop productivity tool. I wouldn't be without it now! Can be used in so many different ways- as a workflow, for social media planning, to manage client projects, its uses are endless! You can invite people to boards, colour code tasks, add attachments...

You don’t even need to create a Board from scratch as there are plenty of templates to choose from. I can’t believe it’s free!


Canva

Lifesaver if you're not a designer! I use it almost every day. Can be used to create all kinds of assets- social media posts, flyers, presentations, infographics, business cards, you name it! Collaborate with others by setting up a team.


I'd say it's 100% worth getting the Pro version because you get access to many more images and elements to use for your designs, as well as the Magic Resize feature and the ability to save your Brand Kit. The recently added Content Planner allows you to schedule designs directly to seven social media platforms! Canva are currently running a ‘Pay for 1, Get 4 Free’ offer if you sign up to Pro- ideal for teams!


Google Drive

Docs allows you to edit and collaborate on projects in real time and import from MS Office. With 15GB free storage (the largest free cloud storage), you can share large images or videos. Access it from anywhere (not that we’re going anywhere!)


MailChimp

Drag-and-drop email marketing tool. Create automated emails, newsletters, website landing pages, surveys and more. You can even sell directly by linking to your online shop. The Free plan includes up to 2,000 contacts across all audiences in your account and up to 12,000 email sends per month. I would recommend paying because you have access to more templates and features.


Calendly

Such a simple and efficient tool for booking meetings by sending a link to your attendee. They book in a time with you, you can accept or suggest a different time and the meeting is automatically added to your calendar (Outlook/Gmail/iCal). No more emailing back and forth! It also integrates with video conferencing apps such as Zoom and Teams. On the free version you can only set up one meeting type.


FreeAgent

I was very unsure about managing my accounts when I started but FreeAgent makes it really straight forward for those just starting their own business. Links to your bank so your expenses are recorded automatically and you can track time spent on client projects which links to the invoicing feature. The app also works really well.


Top Tip: If you set up a Natwest business account, FreeAgent is free for 18 months!


Buffer

Fab and very simple tool for social media scheduling on desktop and an app. The free version allows you to post to three platforms but unfortunately you can't save drafts. I use Buffer because I can schedule to Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. With the paid version, you can set up campaigns and access the Analytics function.


I’m also a fan of these:


Feedly

Allows you to organise the latest news and articles into different topics and save them to boards. Like a more efficient Google Alerts!


Slack

Ideal for rapid remote communication between teams (and sending funny GIFs!). Set up multiple teams from one account. Really handy to create different channels for projects or topics. Avoid typing ache by using shortcuts.


Asana

Asana is great for project management- especially managing large client projects with multiple aspects. When you assign tasks and deadlines to people, they are notified by email. There are also a range of templates, such as editorial and marketing.


If you’re looking at this list and feeling overwhelmed or unsure, please don’t hesitate to contact me and we can talk it through- via Zoom or the good old dog and bone!

Jennifer.palmer@thecontemporarypa.co.uk

Find out more about me: www.thecontemporarypa.co.uk/jenniferpalmer

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