Let’s Get Organized: 5 Content Management Tools Creatives Love
From simple, no frills task lists to robust content management platforms, these tools help individual creatives and large teams stay organized, efficient, and focused on the prize.
There’s an old stereotype of the “disorganized” creative: someone who has talent and brilliant ideas, but is scattered, hard to wrangle, and limited to working with one side of their rigidly regimented brain. The more we think about it –this could likely extend to many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and CEOS.
Even if you don’t identify with this mindset, having the right tools to manage creative workflows — whether you’re a freelance photographer or designer, managing a large team or bootstrapping your own startup — can help bring the smartest ideas to reality. From simple task managers to robust kanban boards, below are five tools that have helped us stay on point at Wemark and in our side gigs. The one thing that brings them all together? A shared sense of simplicity.
Originally called “37 Signals,” but changing its name officially in 2014, Basecamp has been around for nearly 20 years. Unlike many content management tools, it’s as popular with freelancers and startups as it is with mid-sized companies and multinationals.
Instead of having projects scattered all over the place — strewn across separate products, lost in inboxes, or scrawled on stickies or notepads — Basecamp brings the chaos of products, inboxes and random scribbles into one central platform, adding transparency to what everyone on a team is working on at any given time. It’s an effective way for product owners and project managers to get a bird’s eye view into what’s going on.
Price: 99$/month flat fee with a 30 day free trial
Self described as “Simple enough to compete with a piece of paper,” Teuxdeux is just that. Launching in late 2009 by serial design-wizard-entrepreneur Tina Roth Eisenberg as a solution to too-many ill-designed productivity apps, Teuxdeux was quickly lauded by FastCompany as “The Web’s most beautiful to-do list” for its elegantly simple design. “Why couldn’t there just be an ideal solution?” says Eisenberg in the app’s mantra. “Something that was calendar based and as simple as a piece of paper?” Like a handwritten to-do list, Teuxdeux gives creatives — or really anyone — space to jot down ideas, projects and other to-do’s that might get lost in random notebooks or scattered post-its. And it even provides stats ranging from your “best hour” to “Teuxdeux’s per day.” While it doesn’t serve as an organizing platform for your entire team (yet), it’s a great, clean way to keep tasks in one place.
Right now the app is available for iPhone only but we’re hoping that will change soon!
Price: $2-$3 /month, paid yearly with a 30 day free trial
We’re heavy Trello users at Wemark. It helps us track tasks and keep them moving and transparent across teams in an efficient, super visual way. Whether it’s managing the status of a content management post like this one, keeping designers and copywriters synched, or cleanly organizing subtasks within a complex project, Trello continues to be one of the most effective tools we use to stay focused and goal-oriented. Many of us have used it in previous jobs and as personal boards in our various side gigs as well. At its core, it’s simple, note-card style design works especially well for many of the more visually focused members of our team.
Price: Free basic plan forever, Business plan: $9.99/user/month
or Enterprise plan: $20.83/user/month
As work culture is becoming increasingly freelance-driven and there’s more talk of the “gig economy” every day, tools specifically geared towards the manny-hatted, self-employed freelancer are sparse, but in greater demand. Bonsai takes these shifts into mind providing a range of resources, tools for tracking time, invoices and expenses, and savvy methods for getting paid by difficult clients. Like many of our other favorites, it has one of the cleanest dashboards available, where freelancers can see their proposals, projects, invoices, expenses, and time tracking in one place.
Price: 14-day free trial. 16$/month or 24$/user/month for premium package
At Wemark, like many other companies, Slack has nearly eliminated g-chat style communication. It’s not technically a task manager, but its multiple channels and neatly designed communication threads help us quickly communicate, share project drafts, updates and more than a few cat gifs, from Tel Aviv to San Francisco more effectively than most tools. In a way, it’s a lifeline to all of the other tools we use.
Price: Free basic plan. Standard plan: $6.67/user/month, Plus plan: $12.50/user/month
We kept this list to a clean 5, but we’d love to hear what you’ve been using to keep yourself organized. Let us know in the comments!