#HatchitHacks: Ten tools to improve productivity, impact and office culture
Over the summer, I pitched the idea for a series of helpful tips, tricks and tools that are essential to our daily workflow. What started as a brief idea for social media quickly developed into an insightful look into our work processes.
We examined our marketing strategy, workflow, client communications and office culture for the best aspects to share for this series. In this process, we also reflected on ways to improve ourselves. In the end, we decided to consolidate all of these hacks into one easily accessible blog post for your convenience. Read on, and enjoy.
1. Take a look back with the Wayback Machine
The Wayback Machine provides an easy way to reflect on progress in the web world or just to snoop around the web archives. Whether it’s used for research, benchmarking progress or as design reference, their archive of almost 500 billion webpages can be a valuable tool.
2. Find yourself in a Brand Discovery
Another great tool for reflection, brand audits make you put down on paper the important details that are often overlooked. We use this tool with all of our clients to really get a grasp on who they are, but it’s not a bad idea to take the time to go through it yourself too. Documenting and standardizing your identity is crucial to developing a recognizable and long-lasting brand.
3. Stay on top with Social Media Scheduling
Once you have a brand identity in place, social media becomes a great tool for building brand recognition. Keep your message consistent with scheduling tools like Hootsuite and Buffer. We like features from both and use them in different capacities to accomplish specific business goals.
4. Get noticed with Help A Reporter Out (HARO)
Every business can benefit from media exposure in the form of speaking engagements or news placements, but we all know those placements are difficult to obtain. With HARO’s free service, businesses and professionals in a range of industries have access to reporters working for publications large and small. Submit quality answers to their queries, and you may be citied as a professional source. It takes some work on your part, but it’s really made a difference for some businesses in the past by allowing them exposure to thousands of people that may not have heard of the brand otherwise.
5. Manage your inbox with Boomerang
When it comes to managing client emails and a flooded inbox, Boomerang becomes an invaluable tool for your Gmail account. Schedule emails to send at appropriate times – maybe not in the wee morning hours? – or according to your clients’ time zones. Boomerang also includes the capability to return an email back to your inbox if the recipient doesn’t open or reply within a set timeframe. So, that explains the name…
6. Stay sane with Teamwork
Keep all of your projects, tasks, deadlines and meetings in order with Teamwork – an app designed for office productivity. We like the ability to combine time logs, files, notes, deadlines and more into one workspace. Use their Teamwork Desk extension for a streamlined client support system, and get those endless emails out of your inbox.
7. Stay connected with Slack
Possibly one of our all-time favorite office tools, Slack lets us communicate with one another without leaving our desks. We use Slack for its powerful workflow features, like in-app file sharing, to boost productivity. Slack also forms a key component of our office culture, with a variety of subject-specific channels (i.e., #lunch-club or #intern-probs) and ample use of Giphy for every situation.
8. Prototype with InVision
Somewhere between wireframes and product delivery, there comes a time to prototype your project for client approval. InVision provides a relatively easy way to do this and allows for comments and feedback within the preview.
9. Work on the business
As someone intelligent (cough, Jeremy) once said, “Don’t spend too much time in the business and not on the business.” We get so focused on doing our best for clients, but every so often, take the time to work on internal projects, do a little housekeeping and reflect again on your strengths and weaknesses. We are always looking for ways to improve – our favorites are weekly reflections on Thirsty Thursdays and tackling internal projects as a team on Workday Wednesdays every four to six weeks.
10. Lighten the mood
So you’re super productive and successful, what now? Too much stress and too little fun will only hurt morale and backtrack on all that newfound success. Don’t let things get too serious – we keep Nerf guns and a dartboard on hand for a little screen relief.
Have any tips we should add to the list? Did this list help your business find success? Let us know what works for you using #HatchitHacks on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.