From university coursework to doing small one-off projects, it’s important that I use the right tools to get them done efficiently and effectively. So to help you get started I thought I’d share some of them with you.
Time management is crucial to project work. You have to be on top of your timings if you want the best results. For bigger projects, I would use a Gantt or project plan and mark off tasks as being completed as they are done. For smaller projects, a record of time I spent on a task has to be done. For these types of projects, I use TimeCamp.
TimeCamp is a free to use time tracker. Its simple to use interface and design means I can record and monitor tasks with ease. Plus the reporting section allows me to do a deep analysis of task time by day, tasks and projects.
In the past I have used Toggl to do this, however, I had difficulties being able to secure a free version.
There are a variety of tools you can use for Search Engine Optimisation. For finding keywords there is Google’s Keyword Planner, Moz’s Keyword Explorer, Keywordtool.io and much more. However, for this blog, I am going to share the software I use to crawl websites: Screaming Frog.
The ability to crawl a website can help to pinpoint the exact areas in SEO guidelines that you need to fix to achieve better indexation on search engine result pages (SERPs).
Screaming Frog is a great crawling tool. Its free version allows you to crawl up to 500 pages at once so is perfect for doing small projects. It’s also super easy to use in that you just have to insert the URL and hit crawl. From there you can see an overview of the site’s pages, their URL’s, titles, images, headings, response codes etc. It also has a handy guide to get you started.
Social Media Analysis
I used social media analysis a lot during my masters project and my last internship and found the following tools really useful.
Linkalyzer: Allows you to get a look into the performance rates of not only your own facebook page but those of your competitors. It shows score ratings for the level of engagement, responses, activity, about page, and front page detail, allowing you to see a brief overview of your performance at a glance.
The Twitter equivalent I use is SparkScore by SparkToro.
I would, of course, use this data in conjunction with insight and Google Analytics if more detail is needed.
Facebook debugger: Facebook debugger allows you to analyse how your links appear on Facebook before you post them. It shows you the data (link image, page title, link etc) Facebook has on your business based on code snippets in your source code. Which I find valuable as it dictates how Facebook treats your links and how they appear to your social community. In a way it links back to your SEO, the stronger it is the better it will be.
When creating reports or other types of documentation I prefer to use Google Docs. This allows me to have a collaborative approach with clients. It also means I can work from any device without having to download and upload new versions. Plus with Google’s Data Studio I can import what data I have in that client’s folder with ease.
There are times where I also use Office software should it be necessary for the brief.
Good old pen and paper
I’ve mentioned in my previous Starting A Project post about why I feel note taking is important in any project work. No matter how small the project I find myself taking notes incase I need to justify actions later or to serve as a reminder into the work I have done in the past and how that has impacted on future work.
So there is just a starting line-up into the tools I use when doing project work. Let me know what tools you use or share your thoughts on the tools I use below.