Staying organized can seem more difficult than writing.
There are days where a content marketer’s head is exploding with random ideas, deadlines and a million “to do” items. Most pros rely on tools and systems to keep things orderly and efficient.
Which products and apps should content marketing and PR pros lean on to keep projects organized so they can get their writing done? There is no single “right” answer, but here are nine excellent options for your toolbox:
In his book, David Allen advocates creating a system for taking in information and prioritizing work using reminders, lists, and regular reviews. He argues that by using a dependable system and a defined approach to priorities, we can spend more time working on the tasks that matter most to us.
GTD is a useful framework for approaching tasks—especially step one: c apture everything.
No matter how small or random the task, Asana can capture it. I can assign reminders and due dates and share editorial calendars with many people.
There’s also the immense satisfaction I get from looking at my little “progress” chart every few weeks to see how much I’ve accomplished. That little digital pat on the back always helps keep me feeling motivated.
The program has great searchability, tagging and the ease of use, but of all the tools I use, this is the one I have reservations about. The sharing and chat functions leave a lot to be desired, and I’m not very happy with the latest round of changes or the program’s price.
Using Google Trends, you can look at historical search data to see when a keyword or phrase gained popularity and how much popularity, relative to the total search volume across different geographic locations and languages.
This is an online social listening tool that allows anyone to check on what content is most popular for a given timeframe, keyword, or phrase. It’s available as a free or paid service and allows you to find out what others share most, at what times and through which channels.
You can also use this tool to gain insights into which social channels to use for distributing different types of content and help you identify new publications or potential partners to pitch.
This web-based mind mapping tool is perfect for brainstorming ideas
You can create private mind maps, or you can share them to collaborate with clients or team members for everything from event planning to meeting planning to reorganizing website architecture.
This virtual whiteboard is especially great for team collaboration, but I have also used it on my own for brainstorming and getting down my ideas for content or design work.
This program is perfect for collaboration with remote teams, SWOT analysis, group (or solo!) brainstorms, mood boarding, and beyond, especially when your project has a visual element that would benefit from being moved around free-form.
I live my life in Google Docs and Sheets, tracking time, projects, consulting clients, research, budgets, and lots of other miscellaneous data.
I also write my blog and article drafts in Google Docs and share those drafts with collaborators and editors by using the “suggesting,” “editing,” and “comment” features (so much more convenient than using MS Word and track changes to handle edits).
And final articles? I use Google Docs for final versions and archive copies, too.
This web app parses your writing as you type, pointing out overwritten sentences and suboptimal vocabulary choices and helps you write clearly.
I often copy and paste my writing into the app to check on things such as average reading grade level or sentence construction errors. It’s especially helpful for the final polishing step when aiming for simplicity.
What organization and writing tools are you using, PR Daily readers?
Irene Malatesta is a marketing content strategist, writer, and designer. A version of this article originally ran on Spin Sucks.