Whether you’re a blogger, web developer, or designer, you know that there’s not much more valuable than time. Sometimes doing things manually works best because you get to give a project the personal touch. Other times, though, you can find something that improves your workflow, helps manage your projects, and gives you extra time for the things that absolutely need your direct work.
Design tools help you work on things like layout, typography, and images. They can assist you in producing beautiful layouts that are easy to read and highlight the most important features that you want viewers to notice on your page. They can also help you keep track of different elements and experiment before making any major changes.
Look for tools that address your specific needs. For example, a blogger might want a design tool that focuses on layouts, image presentation, and ad integration. A web designer, on the other hand, might be more focused on typography and color blending.
Social Media Plugins
Social media plugins aren’t just ways to integrate your social profiles into your site or blog. They’re also another channel for fans to share the content you’re creating. When you add social sharing buttons to pages on your blog or site, people have the chance to quickly and easily pass it on. Sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are common ones featured on social media plugins.
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to spread awareness of what you’re working on. When people share what they love with their friends, chances are people with similar interests will navigate to your page — and maybe stay for awhile.
Many social plugins also come with some analytics tools that help you figure out how your page is being shared and spread on social media. Checking this out can help you maximize your impact.
Knowing who is looking at your site and how they’re getting there is valuable information. It can help you better direct your marketing dollars, make your ads more targeted, and deliver the kind of content people want. If, for example, you find out that people are finding your blog from a search that deals with cooking, you might want to focus more on recipes and try to nurture that audience.
There are plenty of tools that help you collect and interpret analytics. Look for something that is secure so that only you can see information being gathered. Check what kind of analysis each tool offers – especially what details it goes into. The more information you get about who is looking at your online projects, the better.
You can often use the data you gather from analytics tools to improve your search engine optimization and get in front of more people.
Project Management Software
Even if the project you’re working on is personal and not collaborative, you can have a much easier time working your way through it with project management software. It can help you keep track of every piece of a project, manage deadlines, and visualize where you are in your workflow.
If it is a collaborative project, project management software is even more important. For example, if you work on a team that includes a blog, advertising, and software development team, each team member can save work to the project management dashboard and share it with others. It’s a great way to streamline your work and ensure that everyone has a chance to chime in.
Data Collection Plugins
Whether you’re a blogger looking for people to sign up for a newsletter or designing a site for a company that needs to collect customer email addresses, data collection plugins are essential to many different projects. Look for one that’s secure so that your reputation and the information you collect are safe. Look for one that offers customization so that each different project doesn’t take you all the way back to the drawing board. Integrating html forms into your website can help you get a lot with very little work – and you don’t need to take the time to design it yourself when there are tools that are easy to install and use.
Time Management Software
Time management is so important. It’s what helps you get your projects done on time and deliver what you promised to clients or readers.
There are a few different types of time management software to consider. One type is tracking software. You record everything you do, how long it takes, and what category the activity falls in. After you’ve been doing it for awhile, you get a more clear picture of how you spend your time. This can give you an idea of where to streamline or where you need to prioritize your time on busy days.
Also consider time management software that lets you prepare for deadlines in advance. For example, there are lots of blog plugins that let you schedule posts months in advance and then publish them automatically. Doing that not only ensure that you have content ready to go, but it also prevents you from having to manually return to your blog and publish a post every time you’re ready for one to go live.
Other types of time management software are those that help you focus and avoid distractions. Things like Pomodoro timers or distraction blockers can assist you in staying on track – which is helpful when the urge to check your email for the tenth time in an hour hits you.
Finding time saving software will help you have more time to dedicate to the things you care about the most. Many times, there are tools available that are elegant, functional, and easy to integrate into your existing site. Try a few new tools today to see if they improve your workflow and overall production – you might be surprised at how large an impact they can have.