Times they are a-changin’.
Recently I decided it was time to welcome my mom to the future, so I took the initiative and I activated my vintage iPhone 4 under her number. In all its shattered glory, it felt like I was bringing Frankenstein back to life (it’s aliiiive).
She didn’t have the phone in her hand for more than 5 minutes before she started rattling off questions like: “What’s a push notification?”, “Why are the squares shivering like that?”, “Can I get a Luke Bryan screensaver on here?”
Remembering that she once taught me how to walk, I swallowed my tech-savvy pride and began my impromptu version of the “Beginners Guide to iPhone Usage.”
In due time, she picked it up. I mean, I bet she can’t even remember life without the Pinterest app by now.
Point being, there’s no avoiding new technology these days, especially from a marketing standpoint. While it can seem intimidating to stay on top of the times, the resources put forth by the industry’s most innovative minds can make your daily workload a whole lot easier.
After all, the moment your competitors come across a new tool before you do, is the moment that you fall behind.
Let’s change that.
Here are six up-and-coming marketing apps that you’ll want to get acquainted with sooner rather than later.
Whichever CRM your company uses, get the associated app. You’ll be so glad you did when you’re not stuck updating the CRM on your computer after a long day of meetings or calls — just pull out your phone, and add info as you go.
You just stumbled upon a awesome article on how to increase your conversion rates, but your next meeting starts in 2 minutes. No worries, just put it in your pocket.
While the average pocket commonly serves as a home for a piece of lint, 25 cents, and a rogue paperclip, the Pocket app serves as a place to store more valuable items, like that article on conversion rates you just found.
Formerly known as Read It Later, Pocket is a bookmarking app that makes it easy for users to store articles and videos to queue up at their convenience. The read-later experience doesn’t rely on an internet connection, so you can revisit your findings pretty much anywhere. Sounds like a great way to increase your productivity on lengthy plane, train, or automobile rides, huh?
Best of all, Pocket will sync across all of your devices, providing users with a hassle-free way to resume reading on their preferred device.
I don’t like to think of Any.do as an app, but rather a morning ritual.
The first stop in any Monday morning grind should be this user-friendly planning tool. On paper, Any.do can best be referred to as a to do list application designed to help you plan out your busy day, but it’s really more than that.
Any.do helps you manage your life, both professional and personal, by inputting tasks into it’s sleek and simple interface. Users have the option to schedule tasks into 4 categories, (Today, Tomorrow, Upcoming, and Someday) making it fun to plan tomorrow’s blog post and someday’s vacation. Tasks can be sorted into different folders to optimize organization, and notes and contacts can be added for added clarification.
Additionally, Any.Do is highly integrated with the calendar application, Cal. So much so that one might say they’re “going steady.”
You can even sign into Cal using your Any.Do account, and all of your tasks will carry over into its interactive internal calendar. Adding events to the calendar is simple, and it even gives you the option to enter a location name so that Cal can map out a route for you.
Any.Do Moment and Cal provides busy marketers with a lens through which they can focus their tasks and interactions.
Asana is a task management tool that makes collaboration on team projects easier than ever.
Created by Facebook co-founder, Dustin Moskovitz, Asana is a free* application that provides real-time interaction through a user-friendly interface.
Asana users can create tasks, assign them to team members, set due dates, add notes, attach files, create internal checklists, and communicate with others through comments.
Once tasks are created, you can group them into projects, and invite team members so that they can brainstorm, assign subtasks, and work toward accomplishing their goals.
The thing that makes Asana the perfect tool for marketers is its ability to present conversations and projects side-by-side, eliminating the hassle of scattered emails and missed messages.
No more digging through your inbox to find that file John sent you, and that set of images Bobby wrapped up last week. Asana keeps everything you need neatly in one place.
(*Asana offers a free version of the tool for up to 15 users. Beyond 15 users, Asana offers several different variations for paid plans. Their pricing ranges from $50/month – $800/month)
Pronounced like gift without the ‘G’, IFTTT is a innovative new app that stands for “if this than that.”
IFTTT provides users with a tool to mix up custom “recipes” that trigger a particular action. Sounds confusing? It’s not.
The average IFTTT recipe contains the following elements:
- Channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Evernote, iOS photos, Weather, Dropbox, Email, Feedly, iOS Reminders, LinkedIn and 70 more.
- Triggers: “I upload a photo to Instagram”, “I’m tagged in a photo on Facebook”, “I set an iOS reminder”
- Actions: “Send me a text message”, “Add it to my Dropbox”, “Post to Facebook”
Let’s say you want to keep your branding consistent across the board, and you want your Twitter avatar to match your Facebook profile photo. Simply use this “recipe”:
If my Facebook profile pictures changes, then update my Twitter profile picture.
A lot of the time when I am working on a “how-to” blog post I reference screenshots from my phone? Oh you do too? Use this recipe:
If I take a screenshot on iOS, then save it to my Evernote notebook.
With seemingly endless combinations, IFTTT provides busy marketers with a way to automate simple tasks that save a lot of time.
6) Life Graphy
Life Graphy presents users with a totally unique approach to the average productivity app concept.
The colorful app breaks your tasks down into mini pie charts that can contain up to ten segments (1 segment per task). As you complete tasks, the individual sections within the chart begin to fill up. A completed circle is something to smile about.
Life Graphy offers users 3 views: Day, Month, and Year. By switching between the 3 views, you can get a good visual idea of how much you have accomplished.
While the functionality of the app is enough reason to try it out, it’s the interface that really does it for me.
Committing to a task-based planning app is easier said than done, but Life Graphy makes you want to keep trucking along because its fun!
So Now You Know
New technology isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. As the pace for innovation quickens, we can expect that there will be a whole lot of new advances coming our way whether we think we’re ready for them or not.
It isn’t possible to know everything, but if you equip your team with the right tools, you’ll notice how much easier it is for your business to remain relevant and increase productivity.
Simply put, if you’re not taking advantage of resources like these 6 apps, you’re doing it wrong.
Carly Stec is a Senior Content Strategist on HubSpot’s Content Acquisition team, and the former editor of HubSpot’s Marketing Blog. She has a strong affinity for New Haven pizza, anything Kate Spade, HubSpot’s email tracker, and this awesome video course on SEO.