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5 Tools That Completely Changed Our Business

Business.com / Networking / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

As you expand the scope of your content marketing efforts, creating processes and implementing organization tools is essential to success.

As you expand the scope of your content marketing efforts, creating processes and implementing organization tools is essential to long-term success. You must develop a plan and hold yourself and your team accountable to outperform your competition. After researching the best of the best, I selected the following tools, which have completely streamlined our internal processes:

1. Trello

Trello streamlines the editorial workflow, bringing writers, team members and clients into seamless communication. Its user-friendly interface displays a visual overview of what projects have been assigned, what is being worked on, and what has been completed. Each board contains a series of cards that can be edited, commented on and moved to the next column when a task is completed.

At L&T, we use Trello for project management and accountability. We have several team members who work remotely, so this tool helps bring us all together, even when we’re not in the same office, or even the same city. Best of all, Trello can be integrated with our other primary operational tools — Slack, Google Drive and Harvest — allowing our company to operate more efficiently than ever.

2. Slack

Communication is vital to success in any workplace, and can be especially challenging if you have employees who work out of the office. Using Slack, all of our team members have access to each other and to vital team resources, no matter where they are. Slack channels can be created for specific purposes, bringing together the relevant group of team members to discuss the topic at hand.

For example, we have a “general” channel to keep all employees up-to-date about company-wide developments, but our “content” channel is only visible to members of the content team specifically. Segmented communication prevents employees from having to sift through countless messages that aren’t relevant to their priorities.

3. Google Drive

Google Drive gives employees shared access to live documents, spreadsheets, presentations and more — promoting seamless collaboration among team members and clients. This synchronization tool is invaluable to our everyday processes at L&T. Our writers complete assignments in Google documents, passing their work on to the editing team for revisions. Any changes the editors make can then be viewed in the revision history and comments.

4. Harvest

With the Harvest time tracking tool, we are able to constantly optimize workflows in real time based on what tasks and projects take longest. Each client and category can be easily selected from a drop-down menu, allowing employees to enter the task at hand, start the timer, and get to work. At the end of each week, work hours can be submitted for approval and payment — it’s that easy. As a bonus, Harvest also allows you to create and send invoices. By tracking time spent on each task, team members can take ownership over their work, identifying successes and improving on weaknesses.

5. ProsperWorks

ProsperWorks offers a powerful framework for our sales process in the same way that Trello defines our editorial process, promoting accountability, collaboration, and seamless communication between team members.

This CRM tracks all sales activity, integrating seamlessly with existing email accounts, compiling all data and packaging that data in a highly searchable database and sales pipeline. The tool helps me and my team prioritize leads, track our progress against internal sales goals, and monitor the success of independent strategies. At L&T, we needed a tool that could keep pace with our scrappy sales team and even scrappier processes. ProsperWorks gave us our answer.

To succeed in today’s business world, you must find tools that promote accountability, organization and collaboration. The key is finding what works best for your industry, team and overarching goals — and wasting no time to implement these potential game changers.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com/g/Roman+Samborskyi

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