With Thanksgiving just around the corner, now seemed like the perfect time for the Boom team to share some of the tools and resources that make all our lives easier. Hopefully we’ll shine a light on some hidden gems for you while we say a big thank you for the sites and software that rock Boom’s world.
Lauren – Pocket
One of the tools I’m most thankful for is Pocket. Wayne actually introduced me to Pocket, and I’ve been using it ever since!It doesn’t measure anything, or give me any data – it’s simply a place to store all of the articles that I don’t have time to read right now for later. There’s a chrome plugin available, so all it takes is a single click to save an article, and I use it on my iPhone too! It’s come in really useful when I’ve been stuck for something to tweet about, and it means that I don’t miss out on great articles because I don’t have time to read them properly the first time I see them. My Pocket is filled with everything from articles about content marketing and SEO to recipes and even websites that I know I’ll want to come back to at some point.
What I am thankful for:
After much deliberation and a rejected first draft (way to destroy my confidence Alison, what wrong with being thankful for mother nature and tears, you didn’t even tell me why it was rejected – just a flat out no!).
Editors note: Yep that’s me, Alison Parcell crusher of hopes and dreams.
As much as appreciate workmates and peers I can’t write about them without calling them names it sounding like the biggest, soppiest SEO love in that ever did happen.
- How can I make my work life easier?
- Is there a tool for that?
I have written in depth before about tools like Buzzstream and Raven that help me out with the day to day tasks associated with the work that we do. So I am not going to talk about them. I have covered hacks and free tools for excel and google docs. I’ve written about social tools, writing tools, demographic tools and all in between. Liquid Planner has been a godsend for Boom – helping us organise, plan and deliver for clients – but that deserves its own post.
So what helps me keep my life together? What stops me tripping over myself and on track? What stops me having to use my brain too much?
It’s where I put all the things.
Client notes, client ideas (in the infancy stage), client meeting, internal meetings, checklists, tools to share with the Boom team and blog posts that I might want to refer back to in the future.
I use it as a swipe file using the web clipper – making sure that I remember as much as possible as I cruise round the web like a fly without direction. I store ideas for future blog ideas that are in the gestation period (with a rough idea of format and the posts that inspired it/want to link to). I have started to store images and gifs that be useful in the future (I’m a hoarder by nature) and ideas that I would like to steal make better.
Over the last year it has started to become my bible, one that I can add to whenever inspiration strikes me (the mobile app is rather swish), allowing me to capture almost everything that I need to save time further down the line.
Evernote is my thought catcher.
I am also grateful for lizards.
Gozde – Mention
I’m thankful for the app ‘mention’ it has made it very easy for me to track our clients and stay on top of the mentions they got. It’s very easy to use as well just get registered and you’re good to go!
Rebecca – Moz Academy Videos
These videos are brilliant for learning the basics, and I keep going back to them when I need to. Everything gets explained through simple diagrams and examples (there’s even handy transcripts that include these). Also, Rand Fishkin is incredibly enthusiastic about the topics, which means the videos are even more engaging!
Philippa – Buzzstream
The thing that I find that makes my job easier is the people that we work with. I know its sooooo lame and cheesy, but its so true. The people that Rob and Ian have chosen to work here are brill, everyone is lovely and seems to get along really well.
I’m very thankful for Buzzstream. Buzzstream is a huge help to our daily routine (I think most people here use it daily). It supplies us with everything we need for blogging. Keeps all the sites for each client and holds a lot of information! Tis my best buddeh’!
Alex – Google Analytics Academy
I am grateful for Google Analytics academy because it has taught me the basics of it and has given me the platform to use it in my future work. The videos were helpful and straight to the point and although were quick were detailed and full of knowledge.
Amy Elliott – Followerwonk
I like Followerwonk. I’ve used it a few times now for Twitter outreach and it’s made the process much easier and I’ve seen some great results.
Ian – Fireshot
My most-used browser plug-in is FireShot (ironically in Chrome) – an exceptionally handy tool for taking screenshots then cropping, annotating, saving/copy to clipboard etc. Makes life much easier when writing reports and training materials than trying to annotate an image inserted in some kind of Office document! Available for all major browsers other than Apple’s awful Safari.
Amy Fowler – Fireshot
It’s awesome because it’s free, lets me take screenshots, crop them, and annotate them, and it also means I can easily create images out of things like stills from videos.
It helps make searching for blogs quicker and stops you from wasting time sifting through sites which don’t reach your requirements.
Editors note: Now seems like a great time to shamelessly remind you about my Search Operators Guide 😉
James – Font Squirrel
Because lovely kind design people (or maybe they’re robots) have taken the hassle out of acquiring quality typefaces that are free for commercial use. No more sifting for gold on dafont.com before being disappointed by the license text file. It’s like a carefully curated museum of modern type I get to visit every day in my browser!
Katie – Excellent Analytics
I’m thankful for Excellent Analytics. Wayne mentioned it in this post, it’s an Excel plug in that allows you to import Analytics data into Excel (with the exception of Multi-Channel Funnels reports). I use it all the time for importing raw data for easy analysis – e.g. for keeping track of seasonal trends.
There are so many things I want to list and I’m worried as soon as I hit ‘publish’ that I’ll remember another thing I meant to mention but here goes.
After much deliberation I’m picking Raven’s Site Auditor Tool. It’s a great way to diagnose on-site SEO issues quickly and easily, making it ideal for initial client audits. You can also benchmark your reports so you can track your progress as you improve the site and give clients a handy visual checklist of the work you’ve done. It’s constantly being improved with new features added all the time. Thanks Raven!
Some bonus picks because I’m indecisive/greedy:
- SERP Preview Tool – This is great for visualising how new title tags and meta descriptions will show up in the SERPS to ensure you get the best use out of the space.
- Hootsuite’s new bookmarklet or Hootlet – I never really got into Buffer, I’m more of a Hootsuite kinda gal and this new hootlet makes sharing much easier – and as an added bonus you get a cute little owl in your toolbar!
- Analytics Woman Chrome plug-in – I love this little plug-in which changes the Google Analytics woman into a range of different characters including Iron Man, Ned Stark and the occasional dinosaur. It always puts a smile on my face!
So there you have it, the tips and tools that Boom are most thankful for. Did we miss any of your favourite resources? Why not take a minute to give them a big thank you in the comments. And for those celebrating in the next few days, Happy Thanksgiving!
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jackassjones/