27 May 5 Game-changing Productivity Apps for PR Pros
By Molly Galler
As a PR person, your day-to-day responsibilities require expert-level multitasking. In one work day you can go from pitching a product announcement, to media training a client, to following up with event vendors to hosting a social media live chat.
So how does the LaunchSquad team keep it all in check? Below, five Squadders tell you which apps they use, why they can’t live without them and how much time they’re actually saving.
Who: Megan Scarborough, Senior Content Editor
Why: “Using 1Password means I don’t have to remember any logins and I can have a different, secure password for every site. It keeps my work safe and I never have to waste time trying to remember my login credentials!”
Time Saved: “At least 10-20 minutes per day.”
Who: John Harrington, Account Associate
Why: “Slack helps my workflow in three main ways: automation, communication and distraction management. For example, I set up an IFTTT tracker so that all client articles appear right in the channel for that client’s team. We also have the Trello integration set up for our team so you can see directly in the group anytime someone completes or comments on a card. I’m a really big fan of is Slack’s ability to manage your notifications and thus your distractions. In Gmail, it’s pretty hard to manage desktop notifications. You’ll get the same type of notification whether it’s an important email, a team alias email with an update not concerning you, or even a random newsletter your team is subscribed to. With Slack, you’re able to set up custom notifications so that you’re only notified when someone @mentions you directly which allows you to stay in your work zone without being distracted by non-urgent updates.”
Time Saved: “I would say 30-60 minutes per day. Slack is something you don’t realize you need until you use it, but once you do, you can never go back.”
Who: Anna Farnum, Account Manager
Why: “Things is a really powerful to-do list app (what PR person doesn’t keep a to-do list?). Some of my favorite things about it are:
- Tags – I can tag each task by client, so when I look at my list, I can easily see which tasks I need to do for each client.
- Scheduling – I use the scheduling feature all the time! Allows you to add a task, then schedule a specific date for it to show up on your to-do list. You can also schedule tasks as recurring. So, for example, I have a reminder to submit my expenses at the end of every month.
- Things Cloud – This feature syncs everything between your devices. So, when I add a task on the Things app, it automatically appears on my desktop app.”
Time Saved: “5-10 minutes per day. The time saving comes from typing rather than hand writing (and rewriting) my to-do list. I used to carry a notebook around with me and scribble down action-items that were added to my plate throughout the day. Then, at some point I’d have to sort through the scribbles and write a clean list with tasks ordered by priority. With Things, when a new action-item is added to my plate, I just type it into my master list on Things. Prioritizing and re-prioritizing is easy. If I need to do a task that day, I move it into the “today” folder. If I want to do it first, I drag it to the top of the list.”
Who: Hela Sheth, Vice President
Why: “Using Trello allows me to stay organized on the teams I lead. It’s been especially useful on teams that have different focus areas. For example, one of my teams works with two separate divisions at the same company. Using a Trello organization allows us to color code the work that we’re doing for each area. And because there are many one-off projects on this particular team, it’s extremely effective to quickly and visually see the progress of certain tasks. We have Trello cards labeled “Upcoming,” “In Progress,” “With Client,” “External Outreach” and “Complete!” When I’m looking for more detailed information about a particular project, I can open that card to see the latest activity, which team members input. I’m religious about using Trello on this team. We also use it to streamline our internal meetings and put together our agendas. On one of my accounts, we have integrated Trello with our client and I’d say it has reduced email by more than 75 percent.”
Time Saved: “We’ve been able to get our internal meetings down to 15 minutes, even though there are seven team members and often over a dozen projects going on at once. In addition, I’ve cut down at least 20 minutes per week on the prep that I’d otherwise have to do in order to host an effective meeting. Lastly, Trello integrates with Slack, which allows me to ensure that I don’t miss out on any real-time updates.”
Who: Maggie Hollander, Media Relations Coordinator
What: Yesware (full disclosure, Yesware is a LaunchSquad client)
Why: “I use Yesware for email tracking and analytics. It allows me to see when and where someone opened an email of mine, and how it is comparing to other emails I have sent. This gives me the opportunity to see which pitches (or subject lines) are performing better than others, who to follow up with and who to leave alone and more. It’s like a flashlight in a dark room, guiding your work day.”
Time saved: “Hours. Yesware’s microanalytics allows me to see where my time is best spent and adds much-needed clarity to my day.”
Poof! Just like that, you got a few hours back.
What’s your favorite productivity tool? Let us know in the comments!
Image c/o pawnsmartusa.com