There are hundreds of tools available that promise to “get work done faster”, “stay organized” and “save time” but it’s hard to know which are the real deal and which are phony. As the Workflow Manager at CBD Marketing, I’m responsible for weeding out the bad tools and selecting those that will work best for our team — and ultimately for our clients.
Below are the primary ways CBD gets work done, which keeps our clients timelines and budgets on track.
1. STRONG PROJECT MANAGEMENT TOOL: ASANA
Executing several client projects at one time can feel like a juggling act. Luckily, CBD’s preferred project management software tool, Asana, helps us stay organized. Asana is an increasingly popular tool that many large and small organizations alike turn to when it comes to project management. Here are a few of the top reasons we at CBD rely on Asana:
- It’s flexible. We’re able to organize our account based on our internal client/project/task breakdown using our own processes and what works best for us, rather than trying to fit into an already existing structure.
- It’s customizable. When first kicking off a project, we’re able to create/add in custom fields to keep track of all the details using our own nomenclature. With Asana, we can see a project’s status (whether the project is in progress, pending, needing discussion or complete), which producer on the team is assigned to the project, due dates, hours, etc. This gives us a topline overview of each job in the pipeline.
- It’s user-friendly. Some project management software tools feel either cumbersome and outdated or extremely progressive, which isn’t necessarily a great thing. My team was able to transition to Asana’s user-friendly platform in less than a month, which meant more time working and less time training. We also have had client success on the platform, creating specific project spaces to discuss deadlines, upload information and share progress updates pertinent to client projects.
2. ONLINE PROOFING SOFTWARE TOOL: PAGEPROOF
While it would be nice to gather the entire team for a formal meeting each time a creative deliverable needs to be reviewed, that’s not very realistic. That’s where PageProof, an online proofing software, comes in. We love PageProof because:
- It’s efficient. PageProof easily routes videos, PDFs, websites, PowerPoints and more to stakeholders for reviewing and approving. Reviewers are given a deadline for when their feedback is needed which keeps approval chasing low and project managers happy.
- It streamlines feedback. The review team can comment back and forth on suggestions made or questions asked, keeping the lines of communication open. We offer the tool to clients as well, which typically allows us to get feedback faster than scheduling an in-person review session would.
- It’s comprehensive. Additional features such as workflow templates, versioning and a powerful search bar allow us to get work through the pipeline quickly.
3. EASY COMMUNICATION TOOL: SLACK
The agency world moves incredibly fast, which is why it’s important to have a communication tool that moves with you. For CBD, Slack is that tool. When our team members are at industry events or working from home, Slack allows us to instantly connect so we’re always on the same page. A few of Slack’s major benefits include:
- It easily shares files. Slack allows users to drag and drop files into the tool to easily share anything from spreadsheets to videos to PDFs.
- It’s organized. You can create channels for specific groups of people, creating a space for quick team discussions and project updates. It really provides a level of efficiency and collaboration that wouldn’t exist otherwise!
- It’s integrated. Slack integrates with widely used tools including Google Drive, DropBox, Canva and more.
- It’s good for a laugh. We can’t forget about one of the best parts of Slack — its GIPHY finding feature. Because sometimes we could all use a little humor in our day.
What tools does your team rely on to get work done? I’d love to hear from you! Find me on Twitter @mmeyers_cbd.