Tools

3 Tools to Keep You Organized and Your Time Optimized

The more efficient we are the more revenue we can generate.  So in an attempt to save us time and money I’ve reviewed 3 Internet marketing tools that I use every day.  I have had great success with these products and I know you will too.

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What is it?

SugarSync combines cloud syncing and online backups creating one simple solution to ensure all of your files are safe, secure and easily accessible.

Dropbox, until recently was my favorite file syncing service.  It’s fast, reliable and easy.  However there was one major flaw, you have to put all of your synced files in one folder.

How it Works

SugarSync allows you to sync any folder or file on your computer simply by right clicking on it and selecting “add folder to sugarsync”.  Once that file is synced to the cloud, you can then choose to sync it to other machines as well.  On top of that you get the ability to use the Magic Briefcase, which if you’re in a rush is the fastest way to sync files across all your devices.

How I Use It

When I say devices I mean everything.  Right now I have SugarSync on my desktop, laptop, iPad and Android Incredible.  SugarSync makes my life extremely easy by allowing me to work on my desktop in my home office and at any point I can save my work and walk away.  Later I can pick up exactly where I left off on my laptop.   Or if I’m in a meeting and I need to pull up a presentation file or email someone a word doc I can access everything from my iPad or phone.

Combined with all the above features SugarSync gives you up to 500GB of space, which is an insane amount of space.  I keep my files very organized on my computer and because of that I can use SugarSync to backup my entire machine.

Disclaimer: The above link is a referral link and if you sign up for SugarSync we both get added storage. I wouldn’t promote SugarSync if I didn’t use it and I certainly wouldn’t create a referral link that adds SugarSync support if I didn’t love it

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What is it?

A couple of months ago I gave an in depth review of Buffer and I immediately got a lot of great feedback.  Most of the feedback was informative and opinionated against “scheduling tweets”.  I wanted to add buffer to this list today because it adds great value to my daily routine and really is a great product. However it’s not a  twitter scheduling service.

You have no ability in Buffer to schedule a tweets specific post date and time.  Instead you define times tweets are released through-out the day, basically queuing tweets, not scheduling them.

I do not recommend scheduling tweets, recycling tweets, or automating any social media effort.  Leo Widrich one of the founders of Buffer App agrees with this completely.  He has built specific functionality into Buffer to prevent scheduling and recycling tweets.  For example: Most accounts limit the amount of tweets you can queue, so you can’t add more than a few days (at max) of content ahead of time.

“Our aim with Buffer is to help anyone share more of the great content they come across each day. We found that when we are reading news, it doesn’t mean our followers want to too. So we fiercely try to avoid full automation and rather just optimise the timing of Tweets going out.” Explains Co-Founder Leo Widrich on Buffer’s vision.

How it Works

Buffer continues to add support to make it easier to queue your tweets.  My favorite tool is the Firefox browser extension which allows for you to immediately add any page you’re on to your queue with a single click.  It will also allow you to enter your bit.ly api key so you can shorten your urls and track your clicks through bit.ly.  They’ve also added support for Google Reader and they’ve created badges for you to add to your blog.

Once you’ve added your tweets to your queue, buffer will auto tweet them based on a predefined schedule you’ve created.  Just this week new functionality has been added, which allows you to define your tweeting pattern.  This gives you a more flexible schedule to “release” your tweets.  You can define high traffic times and even turn off weekends.  It’s a great addition to the buffer solution and I am currently loving it.

How I Use It

I love twitter, it’s my favorite social media network. Come say hi @professor.

Every morning I read through about 400 articles in Google Reader.  When I find articles, tutorials, posts, websites, or anything else I know would be useful for web heads I add it to buffer.  Buffer is perfect for me because I read these articles at about 5am (yes I get up that early, I drink my coffee and read before I get to work).  It would be pointless to tweet these resources at 5am eastern time. Twitters inherit expiration of content prevents me from creating content on the fly and having it be useful to anyone. So I can either copy and paste these links into a notepad and try to remember to tweet them throughout the day so I’m not “automating it” or I can simply use buffer.

Do I recommend Buffer for everyone, for every tweet? No, I don’t and neither does the Buffer App crew.  Buffer exists to make it easier for you to queue specific types of content over a short period of time.  My buffer queue rarely has anything in it the next day.  So everything that is tweeted by Buffer was added that morning, hardly scheduling or automating my social efforts.

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What is it?

Google Apps saved my life…  Well not literally but before Neal Advertising switched to Google Apps I was spending way too much time managing our companies email accounts and it was driving me a bit crazy.  Once I switched our accounts over to Google Apps I saw my productivity increase greatly.

Google Apps allows you to use Googles amazing services for yourself or your business.  Our @nealadv.com accounts are now managed by Google.  I even get to sign into gmail to check my work email.  On top of that we use Google Calendar, Docs, Analytics and other tools, now, as a team.

How it Works

Once you sign up for an account you can start with a free account which has limited services and up to 10 free email addresses (accounts).  You point your mx records from your domain over to your new Google Apps account and voilà, you can send company emails from gmail.

Gmail is an amazing email service, with robust search features, insane reliability and fast speeds.  Being able to use this as a corporate account makes me smile.  On top of that you get all your other favorites like Google Docs and Calendar.

How I (we) Use It

Having one centrally web located admin to manage all our email accounts, reset passwords, create new accounts, monitor space and more has made my life so easy.  It takes minuets to perform any action with our accounts and I can stay ahead of the pace by monitoring allocated resources.

I also have the added benefit of sharing information from employee to employee.  Google Calendar makes it extremely easy to view your colleagues (public) calendar.  We can also define resources in the calendar which makes scheduling a meeting with my project manager in our main conference room extremely easy.  Once we do that everyone else in the company can see our schedule and know whether we are available for anything else we are doing.

We can also add a document to Google Docs and share it with the entire company or specific individuals, and give them the access to modify the document before a big meeting.

I really hope this short but efficient list will make your life easier and provide some real value to you.

 3 Tools to Keep You Organized and Your Time Optimized
Jesse Friedman is a veteran WordPress developer. In 2012 he wrote the “Web Designers Guide to WordPress“. With years of experience as a speaker and a Professor at Johnson & Wales University he delivers impactful and educational talks. Currently Jesse is the Director of Web Interface and Development at Astonish, the premier Digital Marketing Company for the Insurance Industry. Jesse co-organizes the local WordPress meet-up and is very active in the community. He works closely with his students and others to share knowledge and bring forth a better future for web design and development.

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24 thoughts on “3 Tools to Keep You Organized and Your Time Optimized

  1. Good article. I was using Buffer myself for a while, until I ‘hit my tweet limit’ and had to pay a monthly fee to keep using the app. With other similar software available for free, I started to use Timely. 

    I actually prefer Timely to Buffer now – It has the same bookmark function to queue up tweets like Buffer and has many other similarities, yet looks a lot better and has that ‘upgrade’ feel when using it. Also it is completely free.

    Also, I use Dropbox instead of SugarSync, because of my naivety in never hearing of the latter! I might have to check it out.
      
    Let me know what you think of Timely compared to Buffer. I added you on Twitter as its our favourite network :)

  2. I was also doing some research into automation tools for a blog post. I was gathering some input from members of my LinkedIn group and I will reference this post for your Buffer explanation. 

    Thanks

  3. Thanks for the posting!  I’ve been learning more and more about sugar sync and it seems like it’s definitely more practical than Dropbox.

  4. What a powerful post it is very useful! It is very informative. I learnd a lot by reading it. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Yes this is very good post and all the three tools will prove vital in making work organized and saving time. Can you please explain in your next post about ” New Techniques of Link Building and ways to Improve Quality of Links”

  6. Wonderful article Jesse, Google Apps i know and using daily but other two are quite new for me and specially bufferapp is bit handy with social media. So looking forward to it and thanks for the update.

  7. I have read your stuff before and youre just too awesome.  I love what you have got here, love what you are saying and the way you say it.  You make it entertaining and you still manage to keep it smart. This is really a great blog.

  8. Excellent Information!! Thanks for Sharing. Google Apps are quite useful for optimizing your site with ease!! I normally used Page Speed Test for Determining the Page Speed of particular web page!! Buffer also seems impressive tool for use.

    1. Yeah its very informative. I using also Google Apps already. Its working really…….
      Nice post here and have good behavior. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful information.    

  9. I use all Google Applications and products because i feel that when you do so you start gaining Google’s trust thus gaining so credibility. Google G+ has given my website a lot of boost and i will continue to use more of such apps. You have made the right point in the post that if people start using such amazing apps then their time will be saved and they can use it somewhere else. Also the above tools will keep you and you website organized. Thanks for sharing such amazing post and i am sure other people will like this too.

  10. as nice as these tools may be, the first thing I did after reading the first paragraph of this post was check out my Google calendar to make sure I had updated all my talas and if they had sync’d with my iPhone. thank you Google apps and thanks for this post!

  11. Here is a similar story

    SugarSync
    believes it can be your backup system, saving any file – music, photo,
    video, spreadsheet – of any size, and with no limit to how much data you
    can save. And the company says its automatic file backup system works on 96 percent of all mobile devices

  12. You summarize a lot of good techniques to keep in mind.  Time management is essential and these three tools definitely help! Thanks again!