5 Treasures for Your Toolkit

pearls-1208868JGAs communications professionals, our toolkits are critical to our success. We have our crisis plans (and bags) in our trunks, our lists of trusted professional organizations, our event planner kits (also in our trunks), our bags of brainstorming supplies, as well as our Rolodex of media and community relationships.

So I’m always looking for new tools that make my professional life easier, and here are five gems I swear by:

  1. Waze. This FREE app is amazing, incredible, and my favorite one. I am in the car constantly – I have a long commute and I go to multiple meetings most days; traffic is not my friend. Not only is Waze easy to follow and to use, but it has cool features that make it essential and fun. I literally leave meetings downloading this app on other people’s phones.
  2. theSkimm. I am a firm believer that all communications professionals need to have an understanding of what’s happening in the world. What people are talking about, how they are feeling. Having said that, thanks to the internet, it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole of information. Enter, theSkimm. This FREE daily email condenses the news into easily understandable nuggets. It’s just enough to get you up to speed, and it provides additional resources if you want to go deeper. And it’s super fun to read.
  3. AppsGoneFree. Another FREE app that I love. It’s an app that literally has free apps every day that you can download. The apps that it offers usually have a cost, but when they are featured on AppsGoneFree they are free. I have been able to get some really cool work-related apps for no cost. My favorites tend to be tools I can use to enhance photos. And yes, you can get fun games, fitness apps and more, too.
  4. Audible. Did I mention I’m in the car a lot? And I never seem to find time to read all the business-related books that I need to read. Honestly, “Breaking into the Boys Club” and “Imagination First” have been on my desk for more than a year. Thank goodness for Audible (an Amazon company). Now I can download these books and listen to them while I’m in the car.
  5. Evernote. OK, so get rid of the Rolodex. This app takes all those pesky business cards and automatically feeds them into your contact list and LinkedIn. It does lots of other great things, too. And it’s free for the basic level (which includes the cards feature).

What treasures are in your toolkit? I’d love to hear your favorites, too!

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