The 7 best tools no digital practitioner should live without

September 2019

As lovers of shiny new tools here at 14OhFour, we thought it worthwhile putting together a list of some of our favourites.

This was also a great opportunity for us to commit to specific tools and make the most of what they had to offer.

This is not the ultimate list of what's hot and what's not. We have committed to one tool in each category as we found it worked best for us at that specific time. There is no perfect fit, you have to try out different tools and see what provides you and your team the most value.

It is also worth noting, this list is most suitable for in-house digital marketers.

An automation tool

Zapier

For us, this is a huge time-saver and an absolute must for almost any business. Whether the whole business is on board or specific teams that can benefit.

In Zapier's own words they offer:

Easy automation for busy people. Zapier moves info between your web apps automatically, so you can focus on your most important work.

Think of each piece of software you use speaking a different language. Zapier acts as a translator, allowing them to speak to each other. On top of that, they add a layer of automation which allows you to create trigger events (eg if this happens in app A, I want this to then happen in app B).

Life. Saver.

Note-taking tool

Evernote

Some form of note-taking is vital in the workplace. Whilst there is nothing wrong with a pad and pen. There are huge benefits to supercharging your note-taking routine.

Evernote is a tool for taking and organising your notes. It allows you to file and search your notes along with the ability to share notes with other people. It can hold meeting notes, web pages, to-do lists, images and even voice memos.

We have found it useful (as individuals) having a notebook known as 'Daybook' and each day creating a new note. A great way to keep your daily information dump sectioned and searchable. We also find it helpful creating a new notebook for each project and creating new notes for each meeting within it.

There is also the added benefit of having a feature-rich free pricing tier and the ability to work across any device and have your notes synced. Think voice memo on the way to work and then picking this up on your laptop when you get in.

Having said all this, don't sleep on the standard notes app found on every iOS device. It's great for the occasional jotter.

Project management tool

Asana

There is an endless array of project management tools out there. Many of them claiming to be the best, offering different features, at different prices.

Asana is our project management tool of choice. It is sensibly priced, whilst offering a free tier (which will see your team through a range of projects). It offers the usual features including a to-do list, boards, teams, timelines and integrations. We also found it had the cleanest interface, making it easier to get to grips with.

You see, embedding a project management tool into your team or organisation is hugely beneficial. It offers easier collaboration; better communication with clients; an effective way to manage time, resource and budget; and is great for multi-device remote working.

For those of you just starting, unsure about whether you need to introduce project management into your life, we'd recommend trying Trello first.

Wireframing tool

Adobe XD

Wireframing is a fantastic skill to have in your arsenal, even at a basic level of understanding. Hear us out, this may prove helpful.

Our go-to wireframing tool is Adobe XD. A free tool offered by Adobe that allows you to wireframe, design, prototype and present amazing experiences for web, mobile, voice and more. We have found the learning curve to be minimal and they offer an endless amount of tutorials, live sessions and a fantastic community.

The benefits for you oh digital marketer, with your hands in the dirt, getting stuck in, are two-fold.

  1. You can turn your thoughts into something real. It might not be pretty, that is where designers and developers shine. But your initial draft will be backed by customer data from the start and that will be beneficial.
  2. When you are giving feedback to designers and developers it will be constructive and realistic. Saving you huge amounts of time, avoiding the unnecessary back and forth between teams.

Knowledge of a CMS

Webflow

The majority of websites today are running on some sort of Content Management System (CMS). It is imperative, as a digital marketer, you know your way around the basics. Whilst they can each offer different features, understanding the basic features of any CMS platform gives you an advantage.

Understanding the key features, such as dynamic content; a media library; and permission control.

WordPress is a safe bet when it comes to picking which CMS to explore. We have recently made the move to Webflow and are enjoying what we have seen so far.

Up to date

This one is simple. Marketing. Changes. Daily.

Keep up by reading. It will help you.

Some of our favourites:

Communication tools

For us, this is a big one. Crafting the perfect message is a key part of marketing. But how you communicate that messaging is the difference between success and failure.

See, we are not expecting everybody to be an expert on all platforms. But, have an understanding of each platform, to the point of knowing what audience you can reach and the type of content that will produce effective results. Understand that your article will reach your target audience more effectively through email as opposed to a video on TikTok (side note: we are spending a lot of time on TikTok at the moment to see if it is a platform worth pursuing - we think it might be!).

In summary, understand the options available to you and the various platforms - not enough to be an expert in it but enough to be able to go and talk to the experts in your organisation about it.

Want to know more?
You can't be expected to make any sort of decision yet. What you need is to discuss this further, with somebody that knows a thing or two. That's where that shiny green button below comes in.
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