Each year we like to share a handy list of some of the tools that enhanced our everyday routine, to hopefully inspire a brighter New Year for this community. Now is a great time to reflect on your achievements, asses where you may still want to grow and commit to a few (realistic) ways to getting there for 2019. In the spirit of doing things with a bit more thoughtfulness, we’re excited to highlight a few of the most impactful resources and musings we’ve come across this year. These little tools have helped us better communicate and execute our plans, while we learn to grow and adapt to our clients’ changing needs. Ultimately, we’ve found they help us to be more creative inside the office (and out). And that’s important.
For design brainstorming with a digital-first approach: Milanote (free)
What we love most about Milanote is that you can collect all of your assets in one place—images, ideas and research side by side (including vendors and details) and include your personal notes. Then, you can export this dynamic moodboard to an easy-to-read PDF version or invite clients to collaborate online directly within the board. It’s a great tool for designers and planners who want to have a more polished and streamlined experience for their clients, but also a place to work from within their team as ideas continually evolve.
You can also create marketing plans and campaigns, build client personas and more. We’ll be utilizing this great tool in 2019 and hope you find it useful for your own business!
Some light reading material: Oversubscribed: How to Get People Lining Up To Do Business With You (Amazon - $15)
Want to give your business a bit of an edge and find a new perspective on approaching the market? This book gives readers an inside look at how to get people lining up for their products or services. Author Daniel Priestley explains how prolific businesses are able to harness word of mouth and use it to their advantage. Priestley gives tips and examples on how to get your business “oversubscribed” in a crowded marketplace and learn how to stand out amongst your competitors.
Our favorite morning newsletters (in no particular order):
TheSkimm - one we have shared in past iterations of this annual guide - is a daily newsletter filled with breaking news and insightful articles from around the globe, with plenty of pithy personal anecdotes.
Founded by Amy Parker & Gina Pell have created THE WHAT; a community of a 100,000 perennial women in SF and beyond. We love their women’s groups, intimate salon-style events (check out THE WHAT Summit) and awesome monthly email newsletter, THE WHAT LIST; filled with general musings that are essential to the powerhouse creative woman.
The Broadsheet: “The dish on the world’s most powerful women.” What more could you want? This Fortune daily newsletter is a must read (not only for women) with an analytical view into global economy, policy, financial and startup news all syndicated from other mainstream publications in the business world. Some are inspiring stories, and many are in-depth views behind headlines that will absolutely shock you.
Glossy: Glossy is our go-to for news at the intersection of luxury, fashion and lifestyle. If your clients live in this space, Glossy will be your bible. Their podcast is a fascinating series profiling the trendsetters in the luxury market and their perspectives on the changing consumer landscape.
For maximizing team collaboration to the next level: Airtable (free to $20/month, with enhanced features)
Making tables can be intimidating, especially when MS Excel could be the only table tool you have used. Airtable takes the intimidation and confusion out of creating charts, tasks, timelines, agendas and more through an easy to use interface. These tables are able to be used solo (just for yourself) or they can be shared among a group of people. This app feels effortless and approachable to both the novice and techie. We’ve seen it used to develop social media calendars, where you can drop images and craft content easily. For campaign calendars, we can upload documents directly into each task and assign a ‘lead’ on the project; enhancing our productivity amongst the internal team and directly with our clients, without the need for additional email reminders.
The Podcast That’ll Let Your Brain Breathe: NPR's Hidden Brain (free)
Shankar Vedantam’s Hidden Brain is a series of podcasts that help the listener understand the world around them and themselves. The podcast has some insightful guests who may help us all step outside out normal grind and indulge in a bit of ‘big picture’ thinking. Some recent topics? The psychology of surprise, voting and the middle class, and a discovery into how power and wealth affect our minds. Each episode is complex and rousing, and we appreciate the thoughtful conversations about changing society. They are released once a week and last for a little less than one hour (perfect for commuting).
Other great business tools
Freshbooks: Easy Invoicing, Accounting & Time Tracking
Invoicing, accounting, time tracking, and all the things to make tax time easier
Word Swag: Making Your Words POP Online
Add some creative typography to your Instagram stories and posts with a few clicks
Grammarly: Enhancing Your Message One Word at a Time
This app helps catch grammar and spelling mistakes while you’re writing emails and blog posts.
If you’re looking for a holistic marketing partner, we would love to hear more about your goals for 2019. Let’s chat.