When things get busy you need tools that help you stay organized, remove unnecessary activities, remind you of balance and help you get more quality out of everything you do. It's not about doing more. It's about doing the right things exceptionally well.
Things are getting busy at StrategicLee and that is a good thing. It means that there are a lot of maturing technology businesses out there that are ready to tell their story. They have a product roadmap, customers and know exactly what makes them different.
What that means for me is that I need to rely on solutions and resources that help me not only get through my business day but help me get more quality out of every hour. And it is not only in the tools themselves but in the way you set them up that gives you enough time to do things well. Because PR is more than execution. It is about strategy. And strategy doesn't crank itself out just because you ask it to. It takes time, resources and creativity. And that means I have to get some things off my plate in order to create space to do quality work. So here are the tools I am leaning on right now:
Pulse: I read a lot of news and I need to know what is going on in several industries and spaces. Pulse gets my morning going and allows me to share in a click. For every new client or subject I just create a new page and boom, I got what I need for my coffee time in the morning.
Trello: I create one of these for each client and share it with them and my team. Here is my secret - It is organized by program along with the Franklin Covey four quadrants. Now clients know what I am working on at all times, what activities a fire drill will push to the side, and team meetings are 30 mins long.
Wunderlist: Sometimes you just need to get the little stuff down and crossed off. I use Wunderlist to track all the in between tactics that we all forget to allot time for. Like random emails that pop up but need addressing. End of the day is so satisfying when all is checked. I am also using it to create permanent lists like media interview checklists etc. I might share those publicly - I'll keep you posted.
Rev.com: Seriously, participate in the meeting - everyone. You don't need a note taker you need a very inexpensive way to transcribe. That is rev - and I usually get recordings back in 24 hrs.
Calm: I have a long burn-out story that I will tell another time. Calm has guided meditations that are based on emotions and some are as short as 5 mins long. I live by the 10 min focus mediation when I really need to think.
Outlook: Dagnabbit it's back. I can't believe I am saying this but ever since they bought Acompli and their focused inbox, my life hasn't been the same. I read VIP email only. Not the 10 M newsletters I apparently signed up for in 1999.
Dropbox: This is just a no brainer. My desktop isn't slow, I have everything I need at all times and I can share with my remote team. Done and done.
Sunrise: I have 5 different emails - another long story. I just need one calendar and I need my calendar not to look like 1980's Berlin. Ever been afraid to look at your calendar? Sunrise can fix that.
Slack: Because I might kill Skype if it crashes again and I can join all of my clients teams and feel like I am part of the team. And sometimes you just don't need a video call to make a decision.
Fitbit: This goes along with the Calm app. Because in the last 5 years, with a bad back, I have discovered Netflix binges, Basil Hayden and the art of BBQ. In order to keep those things and live to see 50 I gotta get back on the fitness. Apparently gamification was made for me. I get pissed if I don't get those steps.
Good Ole Fashioned Timer: There are some things that I have to stop myself from noodling on and just get it done. They are time bandits like rewriting releases or creating media lists. They can take 30 mins or forever. Now I give myself a timer and get that shit done so I don't have to think about it again. You'd be surprised how much of your work deserves very little of your time.
That's it for now! What are you using? What should I be using?