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5 Apps to Streamline Public Library Marketing

There are always a lot of wheels in motion when marketing the public library. There are blog posts to write, social media to update, and event promotions to run. And it’s never just one campaign or activity. It’s many, and they’re all happening at once.

Public library marketing can be messy and complicated, but productivity and collaboration apps can change all that. While there are plenty of marketing-specific apps – for example, Hootsuite can update all of your social media at once – there are also apps to help with writing, time and project management.

The following five apps can streamline your marketing tasks, coordinate your team’s activities, and help you get more done in less time.

Scrivener (Writing program)

Although Scrivener was designed with book authors in mind, it also works beautifully for bloggers. The binder system of organization is very useful for managing and organizing your editorial calendar and for keeping all pieces of a blog post together, including images and links. You can pin ideas for future posts to the corkboard and then rearrange them by completion status or priority. And if you find staying focused is difficult with emails pinging your inbox, you can put Scrivener in composition mode for distraction-free writing. Bottom-line, it’s a highly flexible piece of software that can be customized to work the way you do. Read more about how writers are using it for blogging here and here.

Price: $44.99 for Mac, $40 for Windows and $19.99 for iOS

Asana (Project management)

Whether you have a staff of two or 50, coordinating and tracking projects can be a Herculean effort. Asana is a project management app that enables you to see at a glance the current status of a project, identify any potential bottlenecks, and assess the workload of each team member. Team members can comment directly on a task or project, and keeping those conversations together in one place for future reference is immensely useful. This tool greatly simplifies the task of project management.

Price: Free for teams up to 15. Note that the free version has limited functionality.

Slack (Team collaboration)

It’s no secret why everyone hates email. There’s too much of it, and there doesn’t seem to be a good way to organize it. Enter Slack, everyone’s new favorite communication tool. This is instant messaging on steroids: It allows team members to communicate in real time about multiple projects. Conversations are organized by channel, and can be archived and searched easily. So, if your library is putting together one event in March and another in June, you can create separate channels for each. It’s easy to keep tabs on what decisions are being made and why.

Price: Free for one team

Hours (Time tracking)

Wouldn’t it be great to know exactly how long a task really takes? Or if you or your team are spending more time on a project than you should? Once installed on your phone, the Hours app allows you to track the time you spend on each project with just a tap. Upgrade to the Pro subscription to use with teams. The reporting tool helps you identify and eliminate bottlenecks and streamline future projects.

 Price: Basic account is free; the Pro subscription is priced at $8 per user per month.

Pomodoro Time (Productivity)

The Pomodoro Method was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The idea is to take frequent breaks to maximize your ability to focus. With the Pomodoro Time app, you can schedule working blocks interspersed with short breaks. Not only does it help you focus, but it also forces you to get up, move around or switch to another task every 25 minutes. After a five-minute break, you resume work on your project with a fresh eye.

Price: Free

Each of these apps can save you at least an hour or two a week, if not more, so they’re worth a try. And if any don’t appeal to you, there are plenty of other options in each category. Test a few out, and let me know which ones you love!

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About Tiffany McClary

Tiffany McClary is the Director of Communications, Marketing & Outreach for the New Jersey State Library. She coordinates marketing and public relations initiatives in order to enhance the reputation of the State Library, and promote the value of NJ libraries and the services and programs that they provide to residents.