Happy belated Labor Day! While you enjoy the last of your summer and get back into the swing of things on the work front, we thought we'd greet you with a few recommendations on tools that will help you get out in front of your deadlines and be more productive.
Here is a list of the top free (or nearly so) productivity apps for membership managers. We’ve broken it into two categories – content and time management.
We know membership managers are constantly dealing with content. You have programs to implement, member benefits to deliver, and online communities to seed with articles and questions. These apps will help you keep track of all the content you deal with on a daily basis.
App #1) DropBox
Share content with anyone who has Internet access. You can upload pictures, documents, and more for your team to look at whenever they need them.
Cost: Free and paid options.
App #2) Evernote
This app allows you to file things in the cloud for access later. You can take notes or upload a variety of content, tagging them for easy access. For instance, if you’re surfing the web at 2 am and you stumble across an article that could inspire your next blog post, you can tuck it into a folder on Evernote. The next time you need to pound out an article, there it is.
Cost: Free and paid options.
App #3) Hootsuite
Haven’t tried it yet? This is probably one of the most affordable scheduling tools for social media platforms. It allows you to manage between three and 50 accounts across Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other sites. It also provides insights and reporting. Chrome even offers a Hootsuite extension that lets you share articles with the click of a button.
Cost: Free for individuals, plans for organizations start at $9.99/mo.
App #4) Google Drive
This handy cloud-based app lets you upload and create documents, spreadsheets, images, and more. It has a user-friendly file structure as well as sharing and collaboration capabilities so multiple people can work on documents together. This product compares to Microsoft Office, but without the need for constant upgrades. Just be wary of copying and pasting content directly from Google Drive docs into your CMS – it may bring in unnecessary HTML.
Similar to: One Drive
App #5) Feedly
This app allows you to subscribe to sites of your choice so you never miss any of their content. Articles can be saved in the app for offline viewing and easily shared across platforms. You can also create folders and assign content producers to each, so if you have work and home interests, you can use the same account but still keep content separate.
Productivity and Time Management
Once you’ve gotten your content organized, use these apps to make the most of your time through automation and connections.
App #6) Trello
Trello is a digital bulletin board that lets you create “lists” that are then filled with “cards.” You can keep an individual Trello board with lists of your priorities, or you can share a board with your team. If you share boards, you can also label the cards to show who is in charge of each task. For instance, if you’re hosting activities for Member Appreciation Month, you could create a Member Appreciation Month List and assign individual cards to staff members with their tasks. Cards can be archived when completed.
App #7) IFTTT
IFTTT is short for If This, Then That. It allows users to set up if-then situations between multiple devices or platforms using conditional statements. For instance, you can use IFTTT to set up text alerts using the statement: “If it’s below 60 degrees, then send me a text.” To accomplish a wider range of tasks, IFTTT integrates with many other apps and can also automate tasks, such as setting the same post to tweet every Sunday night. This may sound a little intimidating, but once you create your recipes, you won’t know how you managed without it.
App #8) Workflow
Workflow is similar to IFTTT in that it automates certain activities and connects actions. But instead of working only with if-then statements, Workflow advertises itself as a personal automation tool. You can drag and drop any number of actions into a single workflow to do things like contact Uber to take you to a restaurant for lunch, get a tip calculator, or send a tweet. Workflow is available on Apple products.
App #9) Streaks
Streaks is an Apple tool to help you build healthy or productive habits. You can track up to six activities that you want to accomplish every day, such as going to the gym or answering a member question in your online community. The app will track how many days you’ve accomplished your task, making it your goal not to break your “streak.
Similar to: Habit List
App #10) Google Cards
Google cards is an Android app that may bring to mind recent news reports on artificial intelligence. Essentially, the app looks at everything you’ve done through Google, then gives you logical reminders. It can even take over actions that you repeat consistently. For instance, if you look up baseball scores every morning, Google Cards will begin showing them to you as alerts on your phone. If your mom sent you her plane reservation information via email, Google will tell you when it’s time to leave for the airport based on your location. For more control, you can tell Google what cards are important to you.
App #11) Brain.fm
This is a fascinating Apple app that provides computer-created music designed to stimulate your brain. You can select meditation or sleep mode, as well as music to help you focus. They have a free trial so you can see just how powerful these sounds are
Cost: Plans starting at $3.99/mo.
Use the Productivity Tools that Work for You
There are tons of apps out there to help increase your productivity, but they won’t help if you don’t make using them a habit. Try playing around with these and see what you think. They could be a useful addition to your usual online community and event apps that help you save time and feel like you’re getting some extra hours in your day.
If you love any of these, or have other apps that give your work routine a boost, let us know. We love discovering new ways to work smarter.