8 Free Productivity Tools to Win the Day

Transcription:  Hey guys, hope all is well. I hope the holiday season is rearing up well for you guys. First and foremost, I want to apologize for my nasally tone. I’ve been getting over a cold the last few days, but I didn’t want to miss this week’s episode. Anyway, let’s dive into it.

So, we live in a digital age, right?

I mean, you can literally listen to any song ever recorded with the touch of a button. We’re constantly connected via channels like Instagram or Facebook or Snapchat and the age of personal assistance has literally migrated to out cellphones. With that being said, working in an environment with so many distractions can be, well, how do I put it? Distracting. Especially if you work remotely, in a shared working space, or around so many different devices.

Sometimes you can take a break to check out your Facebook and get sucked into a rabbit hole of articles about scanning the Calypso. And listen, I love Calypso. So, I wanted to discuss eight insanely helpful tools for productivity. These have been used by myself for a daily basis and other digital markers can take control of our day and leverage of time that we have. So, let’s do it.

1. Google Drive

Number one is Google Drive. If you’re not using Google Drive to organize your online files, documents and Excel spreadsheets, you’re missing out on the mecha of productivity. In case you’re not familiar with Google Drive, all you really need is a Gmail account and you can visit google.com/drive while you’re logged in. Google Drive is also because, one, you can store all your files, all your content and images there up to fifteen gigs for free. That includes photos, stories, designs, PST files, whatever you have. You can even convert your Microsoft Word and Excel docs to a Google document.

So to access it all you do is go to Google Drive. We basically live by Google Drive, we share all of our documents via the platform. We create our documents. So you can create a Google doc, which is kind of like a Microsoft Word document, Google Sheets and Google Slides which is similar to PowerPoint. To create docs just hit new, you can hit Google doc, you can title it. It’s pretty much the same format as Word but totally free. You basically just stick everything into Google Drive and share our documents. You can also see when this was last modified. You can add people to share docs and more.

2. We Transfer

Number two is WeTransfer. It’s a simple file transfer solution for big ass files up to two gigs. Oh, and it’s free. This is also an awesome tool for people who don’t have a Dropbox or don’t want to transfer these large files via email. WeTransfer is totally free up to two gigs and literally takes two minutes to send. All you do is hit WeTransfer.com, hit skip, agree to the terms and conditions, then all you do is add files. You hit your friend’s email, your email, and if you want to send it to multiple people just add them in here. A little message. And hit transfer. Leave the window open until you get a hundred percent and you’re done. So it’s a great way to transfer videos and large content that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to unless you paid.

3. Sidekick by Hubspot

Number three is Sidekick by HubSpot. It gives you email superpowers with contact insights, email tracking, email scheduling and more. You find out when people are opening your emails, where they’re located, what time it was. I mean, it’s a little creepy at first but trust me, this can a great sales mechanism. One, let’s say you set up a proposed line at 1:00 PM, you see that your potential client checked it out around 2:00, now you can send out a follow up email or a call.

It kind of gives you a good gauge of where to start. So to sign up you just getsidekick.com. I’m going to hit my stream so I can show you what mine looks like. It will show you an overview of what time your email was opened, how many views it’s had. If you hit the dropdown you can see that it was opened by someone, so we don’t know specifics, but you can see the time and the location. When you compose an email you can actually schedule an email time. So, you can hit this button here right next to “send now” and this integration starts once you sign up with Sidekick. You can choose a time, tomorrow morning, tomorrow afternoon or a custom date, and then when it’s orange and highlighted like this that means it’s tracking. So anytime someone opens that email you’ll get a notification that they opened it. You notifications are integrated on your device, so you’ll be able to see it pop up here as well as on your desktop. And if you have the phone app you can get them on your phone as well.

4. UnRoll.me

Number four: Unroll.Me. Unroll.Me manages your crazy inboxes of digestible daily emails to clean up that long email stream in your inbox. You saw how clean my inbox was, right? It’s all due to this tool called Unroll.Me, which is also totally free. All you do is unsubscribe to your thousands of email lists with one click. So let me show you how it works. You go to Unroll.Me to sign up. I’m going to log into my account since I’m already a member. One thing, it doesn’t work with personal domains. So if you have your own domain that you sign up with through the account, it might not work as well. However, if you use Gmail, Yahoo or any other email addresses it works flawlessly. So, one, it take you to this landing page right here. I’m going to go to “edit subscriptions.”

Now, it’ll give you a list of your current subscriptions that are new that have recently come in for websites that have signed up for or things that have happened. You also get three options. You can either add it to your rollup, which is a daily email that you get with all of your subscriptions in one email. So if you have fifteen subscriptions, you’ll get a nice clean email daily with all those subscriptions in one email. Then you can hit unsubscribe, which is easy. Usually you have to go through your email, you have to go to their website, you have to type in your email, it’s a whole process. Unroll.Me makes it easy. All you hit is unsubscribe, unsubscribe. And then if there’s an email that’s super important that you want to keep on its own in your inbox, just hit keep in inbox. So I’m going to start going through these and just unsubscribe, and this really just helps your email stay clean. It’s also for productivity because you’re not going through thousands of emails. And I usually go into this about twice a week. You can see I’m unsubscribed to more than thirteen hundred subscriptions.

5. Pocket

Number five is Pocket. It’s a pretty dope concept actually. You find a great article, you throw it in your Pocket and you can listen to it or read it later. To get started with Pocket all you do is go to getpocket.com and sign up. When you sign up they’ll give you a widget that you can add to your desktop. So, anytime you see an article, for example, I’m looking at this one. I don’t have the time to read it, so I hit this little widget and it gives me the option to save. This page automatically gets saved into my Pocket account. Now, a few things about Pocket that are really awesome is, one, they work offline. So if you’re on a flight, let’s say you’re somewhere where you don’t have internet connection, you can actually still use Pocket to read all of your articles and content, images are still there as well. Plus, you can modify articles and organize them via tags, kind of like a hashtag.

For this one I’m going to put SEO, and then hit this since it’s an existing one, and hit save. You can also use Pocket on your phone, on your tablet. Any articles that you see, you can actually add an option or there’s an option where you hit an option to drop it into your Pocket with ease. I mean, it’s probably one of the most used apps on my phone. So, this is an example of my list. As you can see, I’ve got articles here from friends and anything that I see online that’s really important and pertinent to what we do. For example I’ll click the article and as you can see, it’s going to streamline. It’s super easy to read, super easy to digest. Last thing about Pocket that I really love for productivity is you can actually have the articles read back to you. So, on my morning drive when I’m going to see a client I actually play the article and listen to it as Siri reads it back to me. That way I don’t have to read, I can listen to it. It’s a great thing to use on the drive.

6. Product Hunt

Product Hunt sure rates all the best in products, websites, and the latest mobile developments. Instead of browsing the internet for the newest tech, the newest games, the newest podcasts, Product Hunt is basically reddit for the tech industry. So, people up vote certain products or websites or services and you’re able to see the top ones on a daily basis. So, for example, today in tech one of the top ones are this item, this item. You can see how many people voted it, you can look at the comments, and then you can either download the app or software to your computer.

7. SEMRush

SEMrush, it’s a super powerful and versatile, competitive, intelligent suite. So it takes the best of SEO, the best of SEM and tells you competitive analysis on your competitors as well as your own PPC and social media efforts. SEMrush is a tool we’ve spoken about before but it’s amazing for productivity, especially from the SEO standpoint and searching your marketing standpoint as well.

We use this tool on a daily basis to run analysis on client website as well as ours, and you can do it for free up to a certain extent to find out how your keywords are ranking, how your website is ranking. For example, let’s type in google.com so we can get some data on Google. You know, we’ll get some really really juicy data on that. It’ll give us an overview. It’ll tell you, give it a second to load up, their organic search, their paid search on a monthly basis, how many backlinks they have. It’ll also tell you their organic SEO rankings. You can also look at the keywords that are actually driving traffic to their website, their main organic competitors, and so forth. So, it gives you a nice bird’s eye view.

8. Freshbooks

The next software piece for productivity is Freshbooks. It’s a cloud platform that organizes all of your accounting. Freshbooks is another free tool we live by. It’s a small business accounting software that does so much for you, especially if you’re not a huge business, you don’t really have an accounting department. This lets you manage everything. I’ll show you an example with our account, but you can do your invoicing, expenses, time tracking, payments, reporting, everything is in there organized and ready to go. Once you sign up you can do five clients for free, anything more you’re paying a monthly basis but it’s so worth it. They also have a mobile app as well, so you can add in expenses.

Bonus! MileIQ

As a bonus, I want to tell you guys about Mile IQ. It’s a great app for if you’re driving to a ton of meetings, lunches, and more meetings. This app tracks your miles and organizes them into a spreadsheet for tax purposes at the end of the year. One of my most used apps, especially because we drive to visit clients pretty often. Automatic detection once I… classification. So it stores your drives automatically in the background on your phone. Then, all you have to do once all these drives populate in your phone on the app, you just swipe left or swipe right.

So, if you swipe left that’s a personal drive, maybe you’re going to your mom’s house or your girlfriend’s house. Right is a business trip, so maybe you’re going to an office to meet a client. at the end of the year or at the end of the month, wherever you prefer, all your information is stores and you can print it in a spreadsheet for your tax purposes for your accounting at the end of the year. This app is amazing, you can do forty drives for free a month and you even more it’s 5.99 a month, but it’s well worth it in the long run.

Well digital peeps, I want to thank you for watching another episode of The Digital Block. We’re actually doing a quick giveaway of the shirt I’m wearing, Entrepreneur Empire, by my good friend Danny Damaso who owns a company called dieepic.com. Die epic, live legendary. He’s an adrenaline junkie and has an online brand, and he sells t-shirts like this one. We’re actually giving one of these away, so all I ask it you subscribe to our channel and we’ll announce the winner on December fourth, and we’ll ship it to you for free anywhere in the United States. Again, thank you guys again for watching The Digital Block and I will see you later. Peace!

Using Heat Maps to Improve the User Experience


Ok, so you’ve got a badass website, right?

Kudos. But, honestly, you haven’t even started yet.

A website is like a child, (baby crying) it grows with you, changing its look and feel, and can be defiant at times. It’s an ever-changing organism that will continue to improve over time to maximize the user experience. Or what we geeks like to call it, the UX. The main goal of an amazing UX is to provide a stellar experience to customers visiting your site.

It allows them to find exactly what they’re looking for in the least amount of time while using a strategic and beautiful approach to design. Tactics include a Responsive Design, which structures the website layout for every kind of device in a fluid motion so users can find what they’re looking for on their desktop, tablet & mobile phone.

Tactics include a Responsive Design, which structures the website layout for every kind of device in a fluid motion so users can find what they’re looking for on their desktop, tablet & mobile phone.

Valuable, Honest Content. with consistent updates to your blog, visual content and more to keep users informed and checking your website for updates

And Collecting REAL User Feedback, Constantly. That’s actually where the importance of this episode comes in. Let’s talk Heat maps. In the following episode, we’ll discuss a FREE Heat map tool you can utilize to track up to 5 pages on your website for free.

So, What is a Heat Map?

Heat maps provide an instant visual representation of where users are clicking on your website. In what looks like Gamma Ray exposure to The Incredible Hulk, heat maps provide real-time analytics to help you take immediate action to improve UX and user retention on your website.

So, I’m going to show you how to install a Heat map

How to read the data

How to implement specific strategies to improve your website’s UX.

Let’s dive in!

First and foremost, visit heatmap.me. There are other great Heatmap platforms out there including CrazyEgg (which provides additional software). However, since heatmap.me lets you track up to 5 pages for free, we’re going with it. Once you start to see how progressive the tech is, it’s simple to upgrade your account to track more pages.

Next, hit sign up for free in the upper right corner. The free version gives you a solid amount of tools including On-site click heatmap, Responsive web design, & Real-time page statistics. Once you’re done completing the form, it’s time to install heatmap.me on your site. Here’s another great thing aboutheatmap.me it works as a bookmarklet.

So, since it’s a small software application stored as a bookmark in your web browser, it allows you to interact with the currently loaded web page once it’s installed.

Either install Heatmap-it via WordPress, if you’re running that Content Mgmt. System, or if you’re using another website platform, install the tag to your site in the <head> section. If you’re not familiar with web dev.

No worries, shoot me an email @ john@5fourdigital.com and I can point you in the right direction.

For now, I’ll show you how to implement it via WordPress. In your WordPress admin > Plugins > Add new, and search for “heatmap”. The plugin is named “heatmap for WordPress” Download and activate the plugin. Now, visit the front end of your website while logged into your wordpress dashboard. At the top of the page, you should see “heat map” in bold, gold letters.

The Rest is Continued in the Video Above!

The Introduction



The Digital Block is a combination of no-BS digital marketing tips for business owners, bloggers and ecommerce peeps in search of real advice on improving their web performance and sales.  We’re not trying to sell you a damn thing.  Just high-quality, quick to implement tips to help your business thrive.  That’s it.

We’ll talk Search Engine Optimization, web design, social media, User Experience, online tools to help you track your efforts and more.  We’ll also interview and discuss tips with industry leaders in all verticals including ecommerce store owners, other Digital Marketing peeps and successful business entrepreneurs.  At the end of the day, we’re looking to provide some awesome info for all of you aspiring and thriving entrepreneurs out there, absolutely free.

Lastly, feel free to ask questions in the comments below or mention the hashtag #thedigitalblock on Twitter or Instagram to recommend topics and more.  We want YOU to be the driving force of our content.  Thanks for visiting The Digital Block and I’ll see you later. Peace!