How to get by with a little help from digital tools

I get a lot of questions about how do I manage to juggle all my projects, so I decided to write a series of posts about digital tools that I use on a regular basis that you might find helpful as well.

Photo by Jenn Vargas on Flickr and used here with Creative Commons license.

I juggle a lot. Besides my part-time job with the Humphrey Program at the University of Maryland, I also teach a multimedia class at the Merrill College of Journalism, work on web design/development projects, do occasional digital media workshops for international journalists, manage lilyQA.com and send weekly newsletters to my followers. Did I mention managing my social media presence? Add that to the list too.

I can proudly say that I get everything done and make it look oh so effortless (as best as I can). Don’t be fooled, while coffee helps, good organization is the key.

Being efficient while not suffering on quality is what I strive for. I also want a healthy work/life balance, so if I can find shortcuts when doing all these tasks, I’m all for it! That’s where useful digital tools really come handy.

Whether you’re a freelancer, thinking about becoming one, managing others or yourself, these three tools that I currently use I find extremely helpful:

Managing and sharing documents — Google Drive

The reason why I love Google Drive is that I can easily share and collaborate with others without exchanging multiple versions of the same document. I can also organize my documents per project and access them from anywhere.

Hour tracker: Toggl

This is a great free time tracking software. I love that I can track my time spent on tasks and download a spreadsheet that I can share with my clients and keep for my records.

Social media manager: Buffer

Who has time to be on Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media all the time? There comes a time where you pick where you want to invest your money to save on time. That’s why I gladly pay for the monthly subscription with Buffer. There is a free version too and you can include all your social media channels and easily schedule your posts.

In the next post, I’ll talk about tools I use to send my weekly newsletter. If you have questions or suggestions for next posts, please feel free to reach me at http://lilyqa.com

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