There’s a special kind of satisfaction that derives from being productive and accomplishing much with little time and effort. And there’s tons of frustration when you put the time in and at the end of the day nothing much has moved forward.
In this feature, we wanted to share some of our favorite tools – these are all on our speed dial and help us keep our team lean and our quality up. You’ll probably know some, but maybe not all.
Category: cloud storage
Why you need it: document storage, sharing and online editing
Ok, so you’re probably using Google Drive already. If you’re not, you need to get your free Google Drive account now. You get to store your documents online (up to a massive 15 GB for free), share them easily with collaborators, access them from anywhere in the world and create all types of docs (word documents, spreadsheets, forms, image files and many many more) without having to pay a penny.
Category: image design
Why you need it: beautiful graphics for your website and social media
Need to try your hands on a new DIY logo? Need to create a new race poster? You can do all that and a ton more with Canva. Canva gives you stunning social media, print media, banner, logo and other templates to create professional-standard graphics you can download and use for free.
Category: image optimisation
Why you need it: website storage management, website load speed
We use TinyPng all the time for optimising images before we upload them to our websites. It’s a very easy to use drag-and-drop online tool that drastically reduces the size of your images (often by more than 60%) without any discernible compromise in quality.
Category: news alerts
Why you need it: monitor news from the web
Another fantastic free Google tool. Have you ever had a need to monitoring the web for news and stories containing certain keywords? Maybe you want to know what’s happening in your area or follow news of other events or sports? Google Alerts can do all that through a simple news digest of all the stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
Category: social media scheduling
Why you need it: manage your content schedule across several social media platforms
There are other tools you can use to manage your social media content schedule. Hootsuite does that and more, but if you’re looking for the best scheduling tool (only) and don’t care about other features, Buffer is your app. Get a fee account to get started and easily schedule ahead posts on both Facebook and Twitter. Our favorite feature: auto-load images from links even when writing tweets.
Category: social media management
Why you need it: manage, monitor and schedule content on social media in one place
If you don’t have the time to manage several different tools and are happy to get most features under one roof, try Hootsuite. Hootsuite does content monitoring, scheduling and posting in a single window and across several social media accounts (although, like Buffer, only one account per platform under the free plan).
Category: project management
Why you need it: plan and manage all your and your team’s event tasks in one place
When it comes to project management of any kind, from planning out your new race website to managing your entire event workflow, there’s no beating Asana. Powerful, easy to use and – for most event teams – free, Asana has got everything you need to take your project management to another level.
Category: email marketing
Why you need it: easily manage newsletters, mailing lists and email campaigns
If you are building an audience of fans and prospective participants for your race, wish to continue engaging past participants and easily manage communications with volunteers, you need a mailing list management tool. Mailchimp is probably the best in the industry – certainly one of the harder free offerings to beat. Get 2,000 subscribers (12,000 emails per month) for free and more features than you can shake a stick at.
Category: Twitter alerts
Why you need it: monitoring Twitter for mentions and hashtags
If Hootsuite is not your thing and you only need a meat-and-potatoes Twitter alert service, try Warble. You receive a daily email with Twitter alerts on any keyword you choose you track. Perfect if you like browsing through your alerts over coffee.
Category: URL shortening
Why you need it: track link stats; share short, memorable URLs
Shortened URLs are super popular these days, with several organisations having their own dedicated short domain. Bitly is the granddaddy of shorteners and offers a massive 10,000 short links with its free account. The service is very simple: provide a horribly long URL, receive a nice neat short URL you can track online. Use the short URLs on Twitter (obviously) or wherever you need a more convenient URL you can remember by heart.
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