6 Productivity Hacks For Content Marketers #socialtoolkit

by Jason Yarby on Jan 30, 2015
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Tamsen-Webster-social-tooklitContent marketing is time intensive on numerous levels. As an expert in messaging and helping others create their best content, we invited Tamsen Webster on as a guest for the Social Toolkit podcast to share her best productivity tips.

From content curation, organization to simple planning and time hacks, she gave a ton of great tips.

Tamsen is SVP of Executive Communications and Idea Whisperer at Oratium, where she helps communicators refine they’re presentations to ensure the best delivery of their message.

During the show we discussed a few of Tamsen’s favorite tools like Toggl (of which I am now an everyday user), Evernote, Feedly, the Pomodoro technique and the social marketing software that organizes her life.

Listen to the full episode here:

Tamsen gave us some fantastic Toolkit tips for efficiency, organization, and staying focused. Here are a few of those tips, along with Tamsen’s complete toolkit at the bottom of the article.

If you have not already subscribed to get the latest episodes of the Social Toolkit podcast, you can do that on iTunes here, or search for the “social toolkit” on the podcast app of your choice.

1. Track your time (even if you’re not working at an agency)

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Tamsen uses Toggl to record her time to help her be more productive. There is nothing like the accountability of looking back at your day or week and seeing an exact hour amount next to the tasks and projects you worked on. And Toggl makes this easier than most of the time tracking apps our agency friends are used to (forced to use).

Toggl has a ton of easy options for recording how you are spending your time. Tamsen shared with us that they have a great built in timer in desktop version, the app, or the chrome extension.

And if you are performing a task off of your computer, like a conference call, Toggl will help you remember to track that time as well.

2.  Identify specific categories of items to save in Evernote

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It’s an outside brain. Anything you want to remember you stick it there and it stays there. Across all devices, it’s the app Tamsen uses most.

One of the unique uses she gave us as an example for finding categories is speaker bios. When she has to deliver a speaker bio for an event she is speaking at, she saves it in Evernote with a word count. So the next time an event needs a bio from her with a similar wordcount, she has it ready to go, or to use as a starting place.

Of all the features Tamsen makes us of in Evernote, the automatic recognizing of where you might want to store information is perhaps the most useful. She bookmarks numerous websites, articles, research studies, images, graphics, how-to’s, cartoons, etc, and Evernote will recognize the content and essentially predict where you will want to save it, based on how you have saved previous content.

3. Integrate Evernote with Google search

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If you run a search on any topic that you may have stored in your Evernote, Google can feed you your Evernote files directly in the search results. Simply download and enable The Chrome Extension to enable Google to search Evernote.

4. Use the must read feature in Feedly

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As far as content aggregation tools go, Feedly is the best, and in many situations, a better replacement to Google Reader.

Feedly, as Tamsen describes is, is a treasure trove of great, fascinating content that is otherwise a pain to discover.

The feature to categorize by content and to classify some sites as must read, are what make Feedly a must-use app for Tamsen.

When you add a new feed or website into feedly be sure to pay attention to whether you want to always know what is new on that site or you’d rather just check in every once and a while. The must read option (see red arrow in the image above) creates a default reading list that you can focus on when you have less time to browse content.

5. Time boxing

An approach to time management found in late 80’s, set a specific amount of time in which you will work on one project/task and everything else gets shut down.

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Using the Pomodoro technique, you do those in 25 minute blocks. Then get up take a 5 min break. After 4 Pomodoro’s you take a 15 minute break.

The days Tamsen uses Pomodoro, she get 3x’s more done. Brain science says your brain doesn’t power through after a certain amount of time. Pomodoro forces you to break that. Being that you know a break is coming, it gives you a great reason to shut everything else down.

6. Rotate between tasks

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It is more effective for Tamsen, and she recommends for everyone, to rotate between tasks than to stay on ONE. You learn better and apply better thinking after returning back after a cycle.

When you only have 25 minutes to work on something (Pomodoro), you are SUPER focused. And you also find you strive to get more done when you are working on 6 projects throughout the day, rather than 2.

Tamsen Webster’s Complete Toolkit:

Phone: iPhone5
Social network(s) where you spend time: Facebook. Professionally, Twitter
Saves time: Feedly
Saves money: Evernote
Content discovery: Feedly, Facebook, Twitter
Photography: iPhone Camera app, Camera Plus
Organization: Toggl (time tracker), a Pomodoro timer (time mamagement), Leankit (personal kanban – to do), FifteenFive (weekly reports to colleagues and managers), Mailbox for iPhone and Desktop
Productivity: Pomodoros most of all — forced focus and urgency.
Automation: Buffer
Publishing: I use Squarespace on my own site, but rarely publish content. WordPress and LinkedIn.
Analytics: Google Analytics
Hardware: Apogee mic (sometimes) that I steal from Tom
Blogging/Writing: Draft in Evernote
Most used apps: Mailbox, Sonos, Campfire, Evernote, TripIt Pro, Flight Tracker, Sleep Cycle, Keeper (passwords), Waze, Uber, Groundlink, Shoeboxed, Toggl
Top 3 social tools: Tweetdeck, Facebook, Feedly
Game? Groops

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Director of Strategy for Social Fresh, Founder of The Wild Letters. Frequent Traveler. Sartorial. Lots of Coffee. A serious weakness for new experiences. #CharityIsSexy...