What do we mean by “make things happen?” After all, things could mean a lot of things, so let’s clear the air about some…things. In this post, “things” can have a few different meanings. We could be talking about project management, brainstorming or even communication, but all of the solutions we will be discussing are in relation to your daily work tasks. At GreenMellen, we’ve got nothing but “things” going on, but we use some life-saving tools that help make sense of our chaos and keep us moving forward.
Below are some areas in which we use these beautiful tools and which ones we take advantage of every single day. Keep in mind, all of these tools are web-based and can be accessed from any device.
Emails & Tasks
Google Apps – Oh, Google, words cannot describe how much we love you. From Gmail and Docs to Drive and Calendar, the entire Google Product Suite is synced together and offers a consistent experience from every device. The best part: all you need is a Google account and these apps are free! If you want to purchase the Google Apps for Work suite for your whole business to be synced to, it will only cost you $10 or less!
Teamwork Desk – How does your ticketing system look? Are you providing the best customer service possible? If you’re hesitant to say, “It’s great,” then Teamwork Desk is for you! This platform allows you to smoothly manage your clients’ tickets from start to finish. Features such as ticket statuses, customer insights and an all-in-one responding system will simplify your customer support desk. Prices range for Teamwork desk, but the maximum you would pay is $20/month. For all of these features, we’d argue it’s a bargain worth investing in.
Asana – Declutter the sea of Post-It notes on your desk scribbled with tasks and due dates; Asana is here for the rescue. This wonderful platform allows you and your team to track projects, all from one system. Know where each project is on the timeline without sending an email or having a meeting, and turn conversations into actionable tasks. With prices starting as low as $0 (that’s right, it’s FREE for teams of 15 people or smaller), you too can let Asana be your all-in-one Post-It note. Here are some additional thoughts on why we love Asana so much.
Slack – If you haven’t heard about this “Team Communication for the 21st Century” platform yet, you’re missing out on one of our favorite tools. This is the hub where we communicate with each other. No, we don’t only talk in characters and hashtags to each other, but Slack organizes all our conversations and archives them for future reference. We also have separate channels created to organize our conversations even more, and integrate our Asana, social media and other apps to avoid switching between pages. Starting at $0, your business can start your 21st century communication today! Here is a post with a lot more information on how we use Slack.
Google Analytics – This is probably the “to-go” tool for anything SEO related, but it’s that way for good reason. Seeing how this search engine is, by far, the most popular one out there today, it makes sense why you would analyze your SEO efforts on a Google application. Get to know your audience, track your performance, and make changes on your current campaigns, all from one tool. All you need is a website and Google Analytics can be your #1 SEO resource, too! We’ve written a lot about Google Analytics over the years, so we encourage you to dig in and check out some of those older posts.
Raven SEO – Although it may seem that Google Analytics might be the only SEO tool worth using, we are also a huge fan of Raven SEO from Raven Tools (keep in mind, they offer a few different product suites but we solely use Raven SEO). This software allows you to create customized SEO reports within minutes (not hours…minutes!), and these reports are as in-depth as you need them to be. This tool is on the pricier side (starting at $99 a month), but with every account there is no limit on how many of these reports you can create.
Google Calendar – Here at GreenMellen, we keep each other in the loop as much as possible, including our schedules. Our Google accounts are all synced in a Google Calendar, so we know when we’re free or able to meet on something. It’s free, easy to use and something we’re all used to using on a daily basis. Win. Win. Win.
FreshBooks – This tool just replaced our use for Toggl, which is a great time-tracking solution, but FreshBooks could provide us with both time tracking and expense reports from the same site. FreshBooks allows invoices and expenses to stay organized, as well as sync billable hours to clients’ accounts. This site offers a lot of great features we don’t personally use, but small businesses anywhere would benefit with FreshBooks. This tool is unfortunately not free, but it’s definitely affordable for any budget!
Keep in mind, some of these tools may not work for your business. No two businesses are the same, and each one has unique needs and processes in place. However, there is no harm in trying a few of these out to see if they work for your world. We at GreenMellen appreciate the little things in life, and some of those things happen to be applications and online tools to help us continue building brands for good.
Which of these tools do you use in your daily operations? Do you have a tool you use that didn’t make the list? Let us know!
***This post was inspired by Mickey Mellen’s WordCamp Atlanta 2016 presentation, “Finding the Best Tools to Make Things Happen.” To see all the tools we use here at GreenMellen, watch his presentation below and follow along with his slides!