One of my favorite articles in People is always the “What’s In Your Bag” feature. I like to see the must-haves and go-to’s of celebrities, and finding out what we do (and most often do not) consider our essentials. Along those lines I started thinking about my must-haves as a marketing professional– while most of these don’t fit within my purse, there are so many things I find myself obsessed with for my daily productivity that I wanted to share. So cheers to the weekend, and I hope my list of “favorites” is helpful, comment below with some of yours!
- Canva– My saving grace is Canva. I am by no means a professional designer, but it has single handedly enabled me to create quick, easy graphics for FREE. I use this often for social media and blog posts, as well as for creating 1 pagers and infographics. They even offer free stock images and layouts for inspiration, it’s every marketer’s dream.
- MOO Business Cards– Every time I give out my business card, I get a compliment. This is all thanks to the brilliance of MOO. Yes, they are more costly than Vistaprint, but as a marketer your business card is your calling card, and you need it to stand out. I have used MOO for business cards as well as stickers and postcards and I can’t recommend them enough. Their soft touch cards are the things business card dreams are made of, they offer spot gloss and foil, you can punch up the thickness or choose one of their custom sizes to create a truly unique card for your business.
- Google– Anything and everything Google– Google Search for researching, Google Drive for storing and sharing files, Gmail for keeping up with messages, Google Voice for business calls, Google Analytics for monitoring my campaign results, AdWords for digital advertising…wherever would I be without thee, Google?
- Spotify– One of the first things I do after booting up my computer in the morning is turn on some tunes. Which kind depends 100% on what I am working on, and what kind of mood I find myself in. If I am deep in writing/content creation mode, I usually like to play something without lyrics as it can be distracting, my go-to is Chopin Nocturnes–definitely relaxing and helps me to get in the zone. Early morning as I am going through my list of to-do’s and starting my day I try to ease into the day with something chill, currently I am obsessed with the new Kasey Musgraves album, Golden Hour, it’s hippie country at its finest. Towards the end of the day is usually when I am in the need of a good boost, that’s when any 90’s or early 2000’s playlist or Taylor Swift goes on and up to round out the work day.
- Book Of The Month– I am an avid reader, and always find its a bit meditative to take a 15-30 minute reading break if I get stuck, or if I just need a break in general. It always helps to get your eyes away from a screen and for me it usually boosts my mood and gets the creative juices flowing. While I am definitely more of a fan of fiction (I deal with reality enough in real life), I like to have a non-fiction business/marketing book handy as well to help generate ideas. At the moment I am reading City of Brass, a Book of the Month club pick that I can best describe as Aladdin meets Harry Potter, and Ogilvy on Advertising, an oldie but a goodie that outlines Ogilvy’s advertising learning lessons and tips. Despite the fact that it was written in 1983, there are so many principles that I have taken from it that I feel still apply to this day.
- Checklist– As much as the digital age has gotten us to the point where we no longer need to write out to-do lists…I need to. There is nothing more satisfying than crossing off an item on my checklist. I have also found the ultimate checklist (for me at least) from Amazon that allows you to write down weekly to-do’s which helps me to get a sense for my upcoming priorities as well. Call me crazy but this works wonders for keeping me organized and planning out the week.
- Sketchpad– Sometimes lined sheets of paper just won’t cut it. A lot of times I have ideas I just need to sketch out– for example when I put together automated or nurture campaigns, it’s helpful to have an open space to write out all the logic, block out an outline of how I want the emails to look and show the time lapses & content visually. Same with graphics, sometimes it helps to just draw it all out and then I can begin to organize it and write the content and design the creative digitally. I keep my small Strathmere sketchbook with me at all times, just in case I have an idea or inspiration to jot down while I’m on-the-go.
- My Office– One of my favorite things about working from home is my office. This is the first time in my life I have had an office entirely to myself and I am oh so proud of it. I set up my space to surround myself with creativity, my paintings and art supplies are close at hand in case the mood strikes to create, I have a desk space with all of my favorite marketing books to use for reference or inspiration, and I invested in an oh-so-comfortable spinning chair for when I need to pull long hours. It’s a place I genuinely enjoy being in, which is so important in my daily motivation. I am also lucky to have a screened in porch, so whenever the weather is nice (as I write this blog, for example) I take my laptop outside and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air while working.
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