Here’s another thing that drains your workday bit by bit:
Sifting through email or digging around on your hard drive to find stuff.
Say you have a bi-weekly blog. Content is coming in from contributors…via email (strike 1). You download the attachments (strike 2) and save them in some cluttered folder (strike 3).
When it’s time to edit, you search for the content (strike 4). When it’s time to post, you have to search again (strike 5).
You know it’s a problem when you have to say things like:
Waste. Of. Time.
You’re trying to leave by 5, not be digging around in your inbox.
Email inboxes and hard drives were never intended to be project management tools. And they don’t have to be.
The good news is that there are several online software programs that take the hide-and-seek out of the workflow.
Their price: Free. Well, most of them.
Here are 4 awesome online tools for managing healthcare marketing projects:
This is Google’s way of saying “take that!” to Microsoft Office, except instead of storing documents on your computer’s hard drive, they stay on Google’s servers.
You and your team can edit right in the program at the same time, instead of downloading attachments.
Yes, you need a Google account to use Google Drive. If your healthcare organization still uses Outlook, that’s fine. Your team can still set up Google Drive accounts for content writing and editing.
And if you still want to create content in Word or PowerPoint, you can do that. Then upload the document to Google Drive. All changes are saved automatically, so there’s no such thing as a wrong version.
If you have a desk full of post-it notes, Trello will be your best friend.
It’s great for seeing everything on your to-do list at a glance. The interface mimics laying out cards (or sticking paper on your screen.)
You can also add task lists, attachments, due dates and include other members of your team on a particular project. So, no more skipping team members on email strings.
My favorite aspect of Trello is that it integrates with Google Drive, so you can avoid attachments.
Price: Free, and a business class version for $25/month
If you want an email-like tool that offers more collaboration, Asana is great.
You can create a project, say Week 5 blog posts. Your content contributors can upload their drafts as attachments and offer comments. (Unfortunately, this one still uses attachments.)
You can also send much bigger documents through Asana than you can through email, like high resolution images and photoshop comps. They might take a little while to load, but at least everything’s all in one spot.
If you want to add some fun to project managing your content, Basecamp it is.
It has discussion boards, and you can upload pics of all the team members on a project.
You can also upload files and view them without having to download them. So no more fishing around on your desktop just to give something a quick glance.
It also has a task list feature that you can assign to different team members.
Price: Free for 60 days then $20/month for 10 projects
Here is what’s great about all of these tools for healthcare marketing teams and website managers:
They all have wonderful mobile versions, so no more having to be chained to your laptop to do work.
You can take people on and off a project. This can save time from unnecessary meetings.
If you’re working with an outside vender, you can include them too.
If you just can’t get enough of email, all of these tools allow you to send your team an email when a project has been created or updated.
They all have calendars to track workflow and due dates, just like on your content calendar (which you’re probably sending around as an attachment).
Here’s the bad side: These tools are addictive.
Remember how we used to memorize phone numbers? Now, most of us couldn’t get in touch with our own spouses without our cell phones. Same with these tools.
Once you start, your ability to remember anything on your own might disappear.
But, if that cuts down on email attachments, it’s worth it.