Gini Dietrich

12 Days of Christmas: Four Productivity Tools

By: Gini Dietrich | December 6, 2018 | 
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Productivity ToolsOn the fourth day of Christmas, Spin Sucks gives to you…four productivity tools, three books on writing, two marketing trends, and a professional goal for 2019.

We’re peeling right through this series!

Today we’re going to talk about my favorite productivity tools…and then you’ll have the chance to tell me yours.

Yay, productivity! You rule!

Productivity Tools: Slack

I know it may seem odd to include Slack in an article about productivity tools, but it’s far better than Facebook—groups, its newsfeed, and the like.

We launched the Spin Sucks community in Slack a few years ago for two reasons:

  1. We saw a big need for a private place for people to brainstorm, get help, find resources, network, and even vent; and
  2. You don’t go down the Facebook rabbit hole. You know the one I’m talking about. The one where you open Facebook to do something for work, look up 20 minutes later and can’t figure out why you were there. Yeah. That one.

There is not a rabbit hole with Slack. You go there for your work purpose and you’re done.

It’s also an incredibly easy way to connect with people—real people, not robots.

If you’re not already a Slack enthusiast, or if you don’t see its work purpose, than join us in the Spin Sucks community.

It’s free, it will give you the opportunity to use Slack, you’ll figure out the ins and outs…and soon you’ll be begging everyone you know to use it.

It also provides a secondary place to connect with people. You know… in case Facebook implodes.

Productivity Tools: Wunderlist

I’m a list person. I love making lists.

I know every productivity article out there, especially for business leaders, says not to make lists.

Yet, here we are. I’m not perfect!

But Wunderlist makes it so easy…and I get the great satisfaction of checking something off of my list when it’s accomplished.

But more than that, Wunderlist and Slack now integrate with one another—and it’s a beautiful union.

At the end of each day, I review my Wunderlist tasks and block time in my calendar to get the three most important things done the following day.

But in isolation, Wunderlist isn’t as effective as it can be because it doesn’t reach its full potential.

Integrating Wunderlist with Slack doesn’t seem like a significant step until you see it in action.

Add a task: It pops up in your Slack channel.

Finish a task: It pops up in your Slack channel.

The Spin Sucks team performs a #dailycheckin each morning.

This is a transparent look at what we have on our plates, what our focus is for the day, when we’re free, that sort of thing.

Typing ‘/wunderlist tasks’ will show me my list.

As I’m working, if a new task surfaces, /wunderlist add [task] ensures I don’t miss it, and I can stay in Slack to do it.

You can make your task additions and completions private or public, depending on how transparent you want to be. Also depending on how many alerts is too many.

As productivity tools go, I cannot live without Wunderlist.

Productivity Tools: CoSchedule

I once asked CoSchedule to marry me…and they said yes!

(Wedding date pending. I’ll send save the dates soon. You’re all invited!)

We use Co-Schedule to manage our blog and social media and can’t recommend it enough.

It is the most amazing thing EVER. OK, maybe not ever, ever, but I really love it.

Anytime I schedule a post for publication, I click a template we created in CoSchedule and it schedules the post to be distributed on social media as often as we like.

That’s the easiest part of using CoSchedule.

But as you get used to it and start to understand its efficiencies, you’ll soon begin to use it for product management, editorial calendar planning, email marketing, and more.

Before CoSchedule, we used:

  • Basecamp for project management.
  • A spreadsheet for our content calendar.
  • Our community manager’s inbox for guest authors.
  • The scheduled post feature in WordPress.

It was terrible.

Content was regularly getting stuck in this backwards way of doing things.

Now we use CoSchedule for all of that and have only one place to go.

It’s A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

Productivity Tools: Planning

I know, I know. Planning isn’t really a tool, but a habit.

But I’ve included it here because I don’t think any of us do a consistently great job with it.

I’m not talking about communications or business planning.

I’m talking about that review of your priority list I discussed above to help you plan your days, your weeks, and your months.

A few months ago, I wrote an article about how to make Monday more productive…on Friday.

Research has shown that only three percent (three percent!) of workers are productive on Friday, which makes Monday the second least productive day.

Egads!

If you want to change that (and you should want to change that), there are six things you can do on Friday afternoons:

  1. Plan ahead and prioritize
  2. Use the two-minute rule
  3. Look back and reflect and readjust
  4. Start now
  5. Unplug
  6. Exercise

You can read the article I wrote about it in July below. Try it this week and let us know how it goes!

Six Ways to Make Monday More Productive…on Friday

What Are Your Favorite Productivity Tools?

And now it’s your turn.

Even though it’s only the fourth day of Christmas, let’s add to this bad boy.

We can create the ultimate list of productivity tools after the holidays.

What are your favorites?

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, the lead blogger at Spin Sucks, and the host of Spin Sucks the podcast. She also is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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