Ah, it’s finally that time of the year again.
The time when we can finally put aside our regular facades of ungratefulness (I’m talkin’ to you, middle school kids who think it’s hip to be a gosh darn nuisance) and publicly declare how thankful we are for all the beautiful, wonderful things in our life. Thanksgiving.
And when it comes to internet marketing, business, or just productivity in the 21st Century, we’ve all got a lot to be thankful for at Black Fin.
Our work is made exponentially more productive and efficient by all the tools that technology affords us, allowing us to focus less on optimizing our workflow and more on optimizing our clients’ results.
So to celebrate this wonderful time of the year, we’re sharing our favorite tools for business, marketing and productivity. If you’re not utilizing similar tools for your own business, you’re doing yourself a disservice. There’s no excuse for that in today’s age.
Heck, if the ancient Egyptians had used these tools, building the pyramids would’ve taken 20 days instead of 20 years.
So before you stuff yourself full of turkey, ham, tofurkey, or whatever it is you plan to overeat this holiday, take some time to read through these tools and see how you could apply them to your own firm or business.
So without further adieu, let’s get to it!
Your Communication Channel: Slack
Whether you’re running a business, a country, or a weekly book club, there’s nothing as important as good communication. And with employees and business partners living all over the country, even all over the world, good channels for communication have now become that much more essential to your operation.
Don’t worry, this tool doesn’t give everybody the ability to forget their work responsibilities and “slack” off. In fact, it’ll keep your organization communication tighter and more effective.
Think of Slack as an instant message thread for your company or firm, except instead of one thread that ideas and thoughts often get lost in, Slack offers infinite, customizable message threads and channels for communicating specific ideas.
Need to talk about your latest marketing campaign? Easy, just create a #marketing channel and add all the necessary people to it. Need to talk to somebody directly without bothering everybody else? Slack allows you to have one-on-one conversations as well. Going crazy at work and need something a little funny to brighten up your day? Well your #random channel with all the best YouTube videos and memes and witty non sequiturs should do the trick.
You get the idea.
With Slack, the world of communication is yours.
Your Basic Design Needs: Canva
Welp, that graphic designer you were going to hire just asked for too much money and all you need is a pretty basic social media graphic. But neither you nor anybody at your firm has any sort of design experience. What’re you to do?
Lucky for you, Canva is an easy-to-use online graphic design platform that can help almost anybody on your team take a DIY approach to your design needs. Of course, Canva doesn’t have all the flexibility or functionality of working on software from the Adobe Suite or similar products, but for small items that need to be churned out relatively quickly, it might be your best bet.
Depending on your design needs, Canva offers both free and premium paid-for platforms. With plenty of templates to choose from, Canva makes putting together graphics a breeze. Or, if you want something a little more customized, Canva has enough capability to make almost any average user happy.
Would we use Canva for everything? Simply put, no. There are some things that require a graphic designer, such as designing websites.
But if you want to take charge of your graphic design efforts and are looking for a place to start, Canva’s the best we’ve seen.
Your Everything: Google Cloud Tools
I get it.
I still like using Microsoft Word, too.
But unfortunately, I’ve lost plenty of content material over the years to accidentally closing out of a document. And nowadays there’s just no excuse for losing unsaved material, thanks to tools like Google Cloud.
Whether working with Docs, Spreadsheets, Analytics, Drive, or literally any of Google’s many cloud-based tools, you can’t beat the convenience of automatically saved work that doesn’t take up space on your computer. Nor can you beat the convenience of the shareability of every document you create in Google Cloud. You can make your documents and information as accessible or as private as you want.
Looking for some critiques of some content you’ve written up, but you don’t want the person you’ve sent the document to mess everything up by accidentally erasing everything? You can make that document viewable strictly for “Viewing” purposes. And even if anybody erased everything in a document, you can always go back through the document’s history to retrieve all the content you lost.
Quite frankly, we don’t have nearly enough time in this post to get into all of Google’s awesome cloud-based tools, so for now you’ll have to take our word for it.
Oh, and check out this guide we whipped up on how to get the most out of Google Docs.
Your Social Media Manager: Hootsuite
Man, I can’t wait to tell my grandkids about a time when I used to have to physically click a mouse to post something onto social media.
“Grandpappy Gytis, that must have been so hard on your schedule and your poor little fingers, having to actually be around a computer when you posted something.”
Grandpappy talk aside, Hootsuite takes social media management to another dimension. Between scheduling posts, coordinating posts across multiple social media platforms, and basically doing everything other than creating your social media content for you, it’s definitely one of our favorite tools for time management and productivity.
The days of “well I just can’t keep up with all of this social media stuff” are long gone. Of course, there are other platforms for managing social media, but Hootsuite is the most widely used, and perhaps the most user friendly. If it’s good enough for the White House, HBO, and Martha Stewart, we can assume it’s good enough for your law firm.
So next time you want to put up that awesome blog post on all of your social media accounts at the exact same time, do the smart thing and make it happen with Hootsuite.
Your Content Editor: Grammarly
Whether you think the English language is a living, breathing organism that grows and changes over time or you get upset about the improper use of “whom,” we can all agree to a certain degree that grammar matters.
In addition to grammar, ain’t nobody that thinks plagiarism isn’t a big deal. More plainly stated: plagiarism sucks.
So in the world of internet content that often feels like the wild west mixed with some other generally well-known lawless land, Grammarly can help you make sure your content is both as grammatically correct as possible while also checking for plagiarism.
Seems like an English teacher’s best friend, but more importantly it can be your best friend. As lawyers and attorneys, you don’t want to be known as the person in the legal community that consistently makes small grammar mistakes on your web pages. You know that language and words matter, and Grammarly checks for adherence to 250 different grammar rules.
We know that you probably think that your writing is great, and it doesn’t need the extra set of automated eyes. But don’t let hubris get the best of you, that’s always the tragic flaw before having to go into the backend of WordPress to make a revision, wondering how many people have already caught your mistake.
The Most Honorable Mentions
Beyond our favorites, here’s a list of other super-useful tools to help you with your work productivity.
- F.lux – A great tool to set up on your computer to make sure the light from your screen isn’t destroying your eyes.
- Clearbit Connect – An awesome way of optimizing your email experience.
- GIMP – Don’t want to shell out the cash for PhotoShop? This is the next best thing.
- Buzzsumo – Ever think to yourself, “What content is most popular on the web?” Well here’s your answer.
- SumoMe – An excellent set of tools to help bring traffic to your website.
There are plenty of more awesome tools for optimizing your work experience, and we certainly don’t know them all. But we hope the tools above can be instrumental in helping you grow your business.
And while we know that all these tools can be helpful, we know there’s one tool that can certainly help your law firm’s digital and online presence…
*Enter shameless plug*
Need Some Help?
At Black Fin, we’re truly committed to serving our clients in the most effective ways possible, and we’re most thankful every day for the opportunity to serve clients across the country.
The world of internet marketing can be confusing and upsetting, especially if you don’t have any experience with it. That’s why we want to act as the tool you use to establish yourself in the digital sphere, that trusty tool you can count on to hammer out the details and build a better marketing strategy.
So if you’re having difficulty with your own internet marketing efforts, please, feel free to reach out to us. Give us a call, send us an email, or shoot us a message from our contact page.
From all of us at Black Fin, a Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
Don’t forget to download your free ‘How to Use Google Docs’ Guide.