It certainly can be argued that without today's digital marketing and productivity tools, it would be impossible for online marketers to do what they do.
So being aware of (and mastering at least some of) these tools is a necessary part of any event marketer's job. The scope of what's available certainly can be daunting. But fortunately there are others who regularly share their recommendations online.
My process for finding and adopting new tools is simple: I watch what people I trust are recommending and when something intrigues me, I make time to try it out. (Usually online tools offer a cost-free entry level version, or at least a free trial period.)
If I like the tool, I will try to use it to assist with my daily or weekly tasks. If it's a true fit, it becomes integrated on a regular basis, and I barely even think about it anymore.
Here are 7 tools that I use so often, I almost forget I use them.
Toggl is a time management tool that allows you to keep track of how much time you are spending on your tasks. I begin my day by entering my first tasks here and assigning them to the appropriate client. Not only does this tool help me to keep track of my hours so that I can bill clients appropriately, it also helps me to manage my time more effectively so that I'm less likely to be sidetracked. Toggle is an online tool, nothing to download.
After I get the morning's first email correspondence done and have had a quick look at my social media accounts, I go to Feedly, my favorite tool for curating content.
Feedly allows me to keep an eye on the latest posts of my favorite blogs - and organize these "feeds" into collections to reflect different topics. For instance, I have a "content marketing" collection where I can view the latest posts from the content marketing bloggers I follow. I also have a "transportation" collection where I can collect feeds from sites and blogs that write about transportation - a topic of interest to the niche audience of one of my clients.
All of this, I get at no charge, though the Pro version of feedly is reasonably priced at $45 per year and offers integration with such other tools and platforms as Evernote, DropBox, Buffer, HootSuite, and LinkedIn.
There are a lot of options now for finding free photos and graphics. The new tools certainly warrant further exploration, from what I've read. But I keep going back to my tried and true favorite for finding appropriate photos that don't require royalty payments: Photo Pin.
Photo Pin is a tool that allows you to search for Flickr Creative Commons photos using keywords. Search results are displayed in small versions of the photos. By clicking on one, you can choose the size you want and download the picture to your own computer. It also provides the html code for you to add to your post to properly give credit to the photographer and link back to his or her Flickr page.
Working with my colleagues in Ottawa Canada, I have found Basecamp to be extremely useful for keeping us all on the same page.
First, it solves that persistent problem of the group email that is difficult to follow - ie who responded when and to whom. On Basecamp team communication is clearly posted in Messages and easy for all team members to follow.
To Dos allow specific tasks to be assigned to individuals, with due dates. Basecamp also offers the Writeboards feature which allows team members to all work on the same document. The Files feature allows storage of very large files such as visuals and text documents to which all team members have access.
Finally, Storify is a wonderful tool for capturing stories and conversations that are happening on social media and turning them into aesthetically pleasing content for your marketing.
I regularly use it to capture the conversations that happen during the weekly Twitter chat on content marketing that I moderate, #ContentChat. I embed these captured conversations on the Smarter Shift WordPress blog, thanks to a plugin designed just for this. You can have a look at how I do this, here.
For events, Storify is a particularly useful way to capture the social media conversation. Just search for your event hashtag within the Storify tool under Twitter, Facebook, G+, You Tube, Getty Images, Flickr, Instagram, Google, or Giphy. Choose from the results and drop and drag them to you Storify posts. You can add your own text to help tell the story.
For more insights, read Focused Productivity: Ways to Achieve the Nearly Impossible in Content Marketing.