There's no shortage of marketing and business tools, apps, and websites available these days. This year, I had fun discovering and exploring a few tools and wanted to share some that I liked.
Canva (free with premium plans starting at $12.95/month) • This is another one that I upgraded earlier this year, and I'm happy that I did. It's excellent for non-graphic designers like me who need to design something simple. This service offers a drag and drop feature, making design easy and image resizing a snap. You also receive photos, icons, shapes, and more.
Emojipedia (free) • If you're on your desktop and looking for a simple way to add emojis to your eblast or social media post, bookmark this site. Search the feeling, activity, or object you're looking for, and any related emojis will appear. Then, copy and paste them into your piece.
Grammarly (free with premium plans starting at $11.66/month) • Grammarly is a digital writing assistant that uses AI to help you create clear and effective communication. It goes beyond spelling and grammar and offers recommendations on how to make your communication easier to understand. I upgraded to a premium subscription, and I'm glad that I did.
tldrthis.com (free with paid plans starting at $5/month) • Are you writing a longer, nuanced article? This website will take a long piece of text and break it down into five bullet points, so your audience gets the message's gist.
Words To Use (free) • If you get a case of writer's block, this website helps you get unstuck. It's not a thesaurus because they group subject-related words by parts of speech, not subject-related words. Search for a word, phrase, holiday, or trend, and it will come up with a list of adjectives, nouns, verbs, negative words, and phrases.
AnswerThePublic (free with premium plans starting at $79/month) • Gives you insight into the questions people are searching for online because it listens to Google's autocomplete data, giving you fresh content ideas. Submit your search term, country, and language and see many different search terms in a visually enticing format.
Google Trends (free) • Get a bird's eye view of what's trending on the web. You can also type in your own keywords to see how they're trending, where, and other related search terms.
Airtable (free with premium plans starting at $10/month) • This is terrific for planning and creating your social media content and truly your entire marketing campaign. It's like Excel; only you can add attachments, long text notes, checkboxes, links, and more. You can then shift the information into different views (or reports) like a calendar or a social media post mockup. You can also integrate Airtable with many other apps and social networking sites like Facebook, Zapier, and MailChimp.
Awario* (starts at $29.99/month) • Awario monitors every corner of the web, especially social media, for mentions of your keywords in real-time, ensuring you are the first to know about the conversations that can impact your business. So you can react to them promptly before anyone else does.
Later (free with premium plans starting at $12.50/month) • This social media management app is based on Instagram but allows you to post to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. It allows you to visually plan your social media posts to make sure the overall aesthetic or look is on-brand. I've found that it's easiest to post to Instagram from a desktop with this app, but it's not compatible with text-based posts.
Calendly (free with premium plans starting at $10/month) • Since I started NEW, I'm regularly networking and scheduling one on ones with old and new friends. The time it takes to find available times, creating calendar invites, and setting up Zooms adds up. Calendly allows you to give out a link to an event that's connected to your calendar. You get to set the times you're available, how many of each particular event you want to have a day and more. Then, you give out a link to your calendar, and people schedule the meeting at a convenient time for them. A calendar invite with phone, Zoom, or in-person meeting information immediately follows. This is another one that I upgraded, and I am so glad that I did. The time I've saved has been significant.
Rocket Book Panda Planner ($37) • Two cutting edge companies made a baby. RocketBook is a reusable notebook that allows you to take notes by hand and then email them to yourself, upload them to Google Drive, and other digital spaces with the RocketBook app. Then, you wipe away your writing with a damp microfiber cloth and use it again. Panda Planner combines time management with Cognitive Behavior Therapy. There are monthly, weekly, and daily sections to write down your to-do list and goals. It forces you to write down just a few priorities and tasks for the day so that you feel more productive and less overwhelmed. There's also space for a mini gratitude journal, the day's wins, and how you'll improve.
This combines the two - a reusable planner with some pages for notes that you can send to digital spaces.
Those are some of my favorite tools for 2020. What are some of your favorite tools?
* I haven't used this yet, but it sounds cool.