You don’t need what you don’t need.
I know, I know…That was deep.
But it’s so true. The more stuff I clear the more at peace I feel. The correlation is real.
And while Marie Kondo may have changed her tune a bit, I will forever maintain that I do not do clutter. Nope.
I don’t like extra stuff in my home, in my car, in my office—or in my digital domain.
I’m sure you, too, are constantly bombarded with tools and software and downloads you need and must! have! in order to keep your business and life going but I don’t subscribe to that either.
I try to keep things as simple as possible—to only use (and pay for) what I actually need to keep things running.
And while this list may evolve over time (what doesn’t?), these are the platforms in my essential content tech toolbox—the ones I’m using day in and day out. If you’re finding yourself lost in research or paralyzed by the options, peruse this scaled-back list of essential tools to plan and publish your content, aka my tried-and-true favorites.
Here’s my essential content marketing tools
A business email and basic office tools.
I like Google Workspace.
Work from anywhere on any device with business tools that allow you to connect and collaborate. With Gmail (and a custom email @yourcompany), Calendar, Meet, Chat, Drive, Docs, Sheets, and more, you’ll have just about every tool you could need to work the way you want to in one user-friendly suite.
Find it here, starting at $6 a month.
A project and task manager.
I like (and run my life by) Asana.
I’m not sure how I ever existed without a project management tool to keep track of my calendars, task checklists and more. It allows an overview of everything I need to get done as well as the detail needed to complete it. It’s also become a filing cabinet for info I need, all easily searchable.
Find it here free.
(If you’re at a loss looking at a blank workspace, I found this course and its ready-to-load templates incredibly helpful.)
An email service provider.
I like ConvertKit.
If you’ve been in any kind of online marketing space you’ve heard it said plenty: You need an email list. Unlike your social media profile, which you don’t own and are subject to constant algorithm changes, you do “own” your email list and can reach your audience there on your terms.
Plus, this is a great place to start even if you don’t yet have a website.
Get started with ConvertKit’s free, 30-day Grow Your Audience Challenge. You’ll get a free trial account plus on-demand workshops to walk you through each step of email list growth via a landing page—from opt-in creation, to building and promoting your landing page.
(And if you want a nearly done-for-you email to send each week? Try this $9/month membership that’ll deliver one straight to your inbox every week.)
For creative flexibility that’s still easy to use, I like Showit paired with a Tonic Site Shop template. I moved this direction in the past year after many years of using and loving Squarespace but just not being able to get the design just right. (That’s where my Tonic template came in…what do you think?)
An AI editor.
If you want to write with confidence, install Grammarly.
The tool offers real-time suggestions to strengthen your writing, and checks your spelling, grammar and tone along the way. It’ll catch typos, missing punctuation or commonly confused words so you don’t end up distracting your audience.
You’ll have a second set of AI-powered eyes on your content, which means your writing will be more clear, more engaging and more effective.
A content management system
While I use Asana for task management, I love Airtable for my content management. I built a simple and sustainable content management system using its power.
We’re in the eye of the content storm. And a lot of content out there sounds pretty generic and boring.
Add to that what feels like a mile-long list of “must-dos” in today’s online marketing world and it all seems as impossible as making it to the moon. I KNOW. Showing up to share your work can sometimes feel like a self-imposed content prison.
But … What if you knew exactly what to work on when, and how, so you could get past the perfectionism…and create in order to connect?
What if all you had to do was see how it was done once, and then you’d know it forever?
What if you had someone to show you how to make your content work for you? (Hi, it’s me!)
Here are some things that a simple and sustainable strategy and system have helped me do:
- Get content done in a fraction of the time.
- Have one place to organize and plan my content and ideas.
- Stop struggling with where to show up or how.
- Focus more on meaningful work to serve my audience better.
- Not worry about posting on the fly or ghosting my audience until the whim strikes again.
- Know how to manage the moving pieces to consistently publish content across channels without feeling overwhelmed.
- Ensure my audience receives regular updates, building trust and engagement.
- Stop spinning my wheels.
- Leverage content effectively and make it a seamless part of my business strategy.
- Remove the feeling that content creation is scary, stressful or overwhelmingly time-consuming.
- Know what I’m going to publish on the blog, social media, newsletter and other platforms (and have a strategy for repurposing one piece to many).
- Approach content with confidence, knowing I simply need to work my plan.
- Enjoy becoming a valuable resource for my audience.
- And one million requests from friends who want help with their content, of course.
A social scheduler
Even with a strategy for repurposing content, managing multiple social media platforms can be time-consuming, especially if you’re doing it all yourself.
One of the most effective ways to save time is to manage these platforms from a single dashboard, and my favorite is Later. Later allows you to schedule posts, collaborate across multiple teams, and track your social media analytics all in one place.
If we haven’t had the chance to *virtually* meet yet, hi! I’m Christin—professional editor and content strategist (aka word wingwoman) here to simplify content for creatives. If you want to show up consistently online, this NEW 5-day email series will show you how to plan your content for next quarter (and feel less overwhelmed doing it). It’s 100% free—you’ll be making better content (with less actual content) in no time! Get on the list for CONTENT CAMP.