When working at a PR agency, staying organized and efficient is always top of mind. Here are five of our favorite organizational tools we think every PR pro shouldn't live without.
Toggl - Ann Mulvany, Senior Account Executive
I began using Toggl (not a typo, no 'e') in 2013 while consulting for clients domestically and abroad. Rapidly switching between projects, I needed a timekeeping method that could keep up, and Toggl fit the bill.
Its gloriously simple time tracker feeds into additional, and optional, functionality that allows for greater depth and project management. But what I really love about Toggl is that those features don't muddy the basic timer. If all you want is to track what you do and how long you do it, there aren't any unnecessary tools in your way.
With a desktop widget, mobile app and web browser interface, Toggl works wherever you need it and syncs instantly across all devices. BONUS: It's free and takes less than a minute to set up.
Time is precious and Toggl helps you take ownership of how you're spending it.
OmniFocus - Denise Clark, Vice President
Because I like to group my to-do list items according to client and then by client project, I really like OmniFocus. This application lets me organize my to-do list the way I like while also making it easy to separate out my personal to-do list. Because of the way this tool allows me to separate clients and projects, I no longer have two different programs to keep track of everything I need to do. I can view my lists in a variety of ways: Inbox, Project, Contexts, Forecast and Flagged.
OmniFocus also helps me review my to-do list so nothing is overlooked. Because of the program's capability with my iPhone and iPad, I am able to easily see my to-do list without opening the program just by swiping down on the iOS. This system helps me keep my tasks straight in a non-overwhelming way. Because who likes to be overwhelmed by their to-do list?
Pocket - Wesleigh Mowry, Graphic Designer
My favorite way to collect all the articles, videos, and blog posts I come across is using Pocket. Pocket is a bookmarking site and app, which isn't that revolutionary, but what is revolutionary is how well it integrates with EVERYTHING. You can access it through the app or website, but also by installing extensions that let you save any page on the internet by clicking a single button in your browser or directly from a news or social media app on your phone or tablet.
Using Pocket you can save items, tag and sort them, save them offline to read later, and even use their new Recommendations function to discover new items and follow influential users. I use Pocket almost every single day, it's an integral part of my organization routine.
Old-Fashioned Composition Notebooks - Lara Kretler, Vice President
Ready for an old school (literally) idea? I love the "one notebook for all" method of organization and note-keeping because no matter where you are or what you're doing, you always have access to all of your recent (about three months' worth) client notes, brainstorm ideas, to do lists and reminders. I keep track of time in my notebook, jot down notes during client meetings and record key information I may need to refer back to. The composition book is my go-to notebook because you can't rip pages out. It all stays. It's a perfect chronological record with nothing missing.
Fortunately, composition notebooks have gotten pretty fancy since my school days. I pride myself on never using the same cover twice even though I go through at least four a year and I've been using this method for almost twenty years!
Trello - Jillian Cameron, Account Executive
A friend introduced me to Trello a few months ago, and I've been head over heels in love ever since. Trello is the perfect tool for PR pros, especially us agency people, because it's an easy way to manage collaborative projects, or just your own to-do lists.
Trello organizes projects into something they call boards. At FH, we have a board dedicated to each of our interns so we can know what they're working on and stay on top of the progress they're making. We have another board that helps our social media team share, refine and organize content for the FH blog.
Inside each board are lists - a way to break down each board into more specific categories. For example, our interns have lists for ongoing projects, items due soon and finished items. Inside each list is a card, which is where you list the specific tactics for each project. You can easily move cards out of one list and into another, making it easy for your team members to know where you stand on a project.
Trello is a unique project management tool because each user can make customizations to make it fit their specific needs. It also doesn't hurt that their spokesperson is a cute little Husky named "Taco!"
What tools do you use to stay organized at work? Let us know in the comments below! And if you haven't already, check out some of the other free tools we recommend for PR success.