From project planning and time tracking to keeping everyone on the same page, there seems no end agency management. Thankfully, there’s also seemingly no end to the number of tools designed to make it easier. But with so many tools to choose from, how do you know which ones are most useful and which lead to additional work? Well, we’ve learnt the hard way so you don’t have to. Here are our top 10 tools for everyday agency management.
Trello is one of the world’s most popular project management tools, and for good reason. Its third party integrations mean it’s super easy to use alongside almost every other tool – whether that’s time tracking apps or Google Docs. Its user-friendly interface allows you to easily organize and prioritize both tasks and projects, and it makes staying updated on progress a breeze. Checking off tasks from boards and to-do lists as you complete them is also enormously satisfying!
If you feel too much of your agency’s time is spent on accounts and invoicing, check out FreshBooks. The intuitive tech automates mundane tasks like invoicing, managing expenses and following up with clients, freeing up more time for productive work. As it’s a cloud-based accounting software, you can also easily (and securely!) access it from your computer, phone or tablet.
No-one actually likes time tracking, but as any agency worth its salt knows getting it right is essential for success. Timely uses automatic time tracking to provide detailed records on how project time is spent, where your budget is going, and who’s working on what. All activity goes into one main dashboard, so it’s easy to gain full visibility over resources without having to ask around. Its exact time records are also instrumental when it comes to improving future project workflows and estimates. No billable detail gets left behind.
Basecamp is another agency favorite when it comes to project organization, reforming communications and making sure nothing falls by the wayside. By storing all project info on one page, you’ll never have to search aimlessly for documents or information, and its super easy messaging and scheduling capabilities help streamline communication and organizing multiple different projects.
Meetings are still an unavoidable part of agency life, but the back-and-forth emails in relation to scheduling are a real pain. Luckily, Calendly integrates with Google, Outlook, Office 365 or iCloud calendars to automatically check availability and ensure you’re never double booked. You can set buffer times between meetings, create private events, automate tasks with apps like Salesforce, GoToMeeting, Zapier etc, and prevent those dreaded last minute meetings that spring up.
Sprout is a social media management software that helps agencies build their brand as well as connect with the right people. You can schedule, plan and keep tabs across all channels, and the dashboards allow you to easily visualize your progress and see which posts perform best. There are also some useful curation capabilities that show you related content your audience will be interested in.
If your agency needs a hand with outbound communications, Mailshake is one to check out – especially if you ever have to send cold emails! Offering solid analytics, tracking, one-click templates, scheduled sending, automation and enhancements, Mailshake helps you generate new leads, form relationships and promote content. Its reporting abilities give you a history on how your emails are doing, too.
Another social media management tool beloved by agencies round the world is Hootsuite, which shows you how to get more out of your social media. From discovering new prospects to planning posts and curating content, Hootsuite makes locating, scheduling and managing social media content that bit easier, and its analytics capabilities help measure both the success and impact of your social campaigns.
Having a visually appealing, fully functioning website is essential for every agency these days, and Squarespace makes it easier than ever to build beautiful, simplified websites. Featuring drag-and-drop tools, template options and a comprehensive set of marketing tools, you can also use Squarespace to enhance your marketing and communications strategies, as well as engage with your audience.
In 2019, content still reigns king for any ambitious agency, and creating powerful interactive content can do wonders to build your brand and absorb your audience. Ceros is an experiential content creation tool that makes it incredibly easy to create immersive content experiences – both for your own agency and for your clients. With no need for coding, Ceros allows you to build exceptional content in a few hours.