Being a marketer — or entrepreneur, designer, engineer or salesperson, for that matter — is a tough job.

Between putting out the latest fire, creating content, tracking the results of your work, meeting with teammates, clients, partners, and vendors, staying on top of industry news, and actually blocking out time to think strategically about the big picture, it seems like the days and weeks can blur together. Time is always slipping away.

Just as technology has transformed how people communicate, discover products, and make purchases, it’s also transforming how we work.

We’re proud of how much time our software saves for brands and agencies, and we’re constantly working to make our clients more efficient, effective, and successful. And in the spirit of our mission to help the people we care about do more in less time, here are 17 simple tools that will help you do anything — and everything — faster.

Note: Percolate does not recommend or endorse these products and companies in any official manner.

Desktop Apps

1) Keep your passwords secure and fill ’em out fast with [1Password] for Win/Mac or [LastPass] for Win/Mac

After perhaps the worst security flaw in the history of the internet, everyone, especially marketers because we usually have accounts for a lot of services, need to make sure they use strong, unique passwords. CNET calls 1Password [Win/Mac] the “best software available to keep your logins secure”. For those who’d like to avoid the $35 price tag, LastPass offers similar features and has a freemium product that can be upgraded to $12/yr for additional features.

2) Manage your windows with [BetterSnapTool] for Mac or [WinSplit] for Win

Hopefully your company has seen the productivity value of having large monitors (if not, here’s a paper to forward to your boss). The key to actually getting value out of a big screen is making it easy to work split screen – like when you monitor social streams in one half of the screen while drafting an email on the other half. These low cost tools ($1.99 and free, respectively) make it easy to create keyboard shortcuts or hotspots to maximize, split or otherwise wrangle those windows,.

3) Supercharge your clipboard and have copy+past history with [ClipMenu] for Mac or [Ditto] for Win

Have you ever wanted to copy and paste more than one thing at a time? Or overwritten something important on your clipboard by accident? Then you want a clipboard manager – these tools save things you copy into the clipboard so you can retrieve them later. Super helpful when writing emails, drafting blog posts and much more.

4) Find and open files or apps faster with [Alfred]  for Mac or [Launchy] for Win

The built in tools our operating systems provide for searching and opening files are pretty weak. With Alfred or Launchy, both free, a quick global keyboard shortcut opens “launchbar” where you can perform a variety of functions: search and open a specific file, launch applications, even perform basic calculations.

5) Write faster by automating common phrases with [AText] for Mac or [PhraseExpress] for Win

Everyone’s got certain words, phrases or boilerplate text they use over and over again. Maybe it’s your brand’s tag line, or the URL to a certain page, or an introduction to your major products. Now you can type something short like “.percolateis” and get “Percolate is a thoughtful technology company. Our mission is to help brands create content at social scale.” Once you get started with text expansion, you’ll never look back.

6) Quickly take, annotate, and share screenshots with [Monosnap] for Win/Mac

Whether your offering quick design feedback, highlighting something on a competitor’s website, or reporting a bug, you want a fast, free screenshot tool. And that’s exactly what you get with Monosnap.

Web Services

7) Discover what content is trending with [BuzzSumo]

Every marketer has a set of topics they know they need to keep on top of. And whether that’s breakfast food, mens personal care, or fashion trends, it helps to make sure you’re reading what everyone else is reading. At Percolate, we’ve built some powerful monitoring tools directly into the platform, and another service offers some of this functionality is BuzzSumo, where you can look for the most shared pieces of content in any given category.

8) Find out how popular a piece of web content is with [Sharedcount]

Do you ever find yourself reading an article or looking at a landing page and wondering whether just how popular the post really is? Then you’ll like Sharedcount – a free tool that allows you to see engagement on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, and Google+ for any URL or list of URLs.

9) Stay on top industry news with [Digg Reader]

When Google Reader was shuttered last summer, it was a blow to every news obssessed marketer. A number of challengers emerged to win the “best RSS reader” title and we happen to be partial to Digg Reader but Lifehacker has a few other great options.

10) Quickly produce images for social with [Canva]

Well over 1 billion images are shared every single day on Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat and Instagram, and smart marketers know they can’t always wait for their design team to fire up Photoshop to make pixel-perfect images. Our clients love the built-in image editing tool we’ve built that can quickly shoot out social-ready images. Another option is Canva, a freemium tool that allows you to build posters, make collages, edit photos, add stock images and more.

11) Make a cluttered page easier to read with [Readability]

With all the ads, sidebars, popups and sign up boxes on content sites these days, it can be easy to get distracted from the actual article. Readability strips out all the non-essentials, leaving you with clean, well-formatted text. You can also save an article for later, good for long subway rides and waiting in line.

12) Proofread your work faster with [Hemmingway]

Short on editing time? Hemingway makes any writer more productive by quickly highlighting long, complex sentences and common errors. It also tells you the reading level of your content so you can make every story and message you share clearer.

Chrome Extensions

13) Deal with your tab hoarding ways with [OneTab]

Are you a marketer who always has a million tabs open all the time? We open don’t want to close our browsers because we haven’t read everything we’ve opened, but having all these tabs gets untenable. OneTab collapses your tabs into a single list of URLs that is saved, making your computer faster, and reducing tab clutter.

14) Get super quick stats on a URL with [Webquantified]

With one click, see a domain’s Alexa ranking, Compete traffic, and Pagerank. This extension is a great resource when you’re doing competitive reconnaissance.

15) Stay focused and relaxed as you browse the web with [Momentum]

With this extension, every time you open a new tab, you are greeted with a beautiful piece of photography, the time, a personal greeting, and a place to remind yourself of your top task(s) of the day. It was a runaway hit last year and it’s not hard to see why.

16) Get the lowdown on someone using just their email address with [Full Contact for Gmail]

Whether you’re trying to find the Twitter handle of the user who just emailed you, or you want to view the LinkedIn profile of a contact based on their email address, you’ll want to use Rapportive FullContact’s new awesome Gmail plugin. Load it up, and it displays a sidebar with a person’s face, data and their social channels (if they’ve synced their email up with those accounts).

17) Have a GIF for every occasion with [Giphy]

It’s official. GIFs are cool again. From Buzzfeed to Reddit to Tumblr, they’ve taken over the internet. Giphy allows you to search a library of GIFs tagged with different emotions or topics and you can drag an image you like directly into Gmail or Twitter.

18) Know how much time you have till your next meeting with [Google Calendar Checker]

As a marketer, you’ve often got to juggle focused creative time, with meetings interspersed throughout the day. This simple extension lets you know how long until your next appointment, so you don’t have to check your calendar as frequently, which means you stay in the zone for longer.


Added 1: Quickly stop getting unwanted email with [Unsubscribe Button]

We’re marketers. We get it. Sending email is a great way to get your message out there. But not if the audience doesn’t want to receive it. Usually unsubscribing is a straightforward proposition but some marketers hide their links so it’s very difficult to actually remove yourself from the mailing list. This Chrome extension takes care of that for you.

Added 2: Add events to your calendar lightning fast with [Fantastical] for Mac only

While many of us live on web-based calendars, there’s something to be said for the speed of a native desktop calendar app. Fantastical allows you to use keyboard shortcuts to quickly open the app, add an event, and get on with your day. However, for marketing, even Fantastical doesn’t speed up your work as fast as Percolate’s marketing calendar.

Added 3: Track every version of your writing and collaborate with others using [Draft].

For the marketer who wants more fine-tuned control over their writing, including the ability to individually accept editing changes from reviewers, direct publishing to multiple platforms like WordPress and MailChimp, Markdown abilities and much more, give this clean, powerful word processor a shot.

Added 4: Get professional quality video production at a fraction of the cost with [Videopixie]

Video is becoming one of the great differentiators for great brands, but it presents new challenges: who has the time or the budget to take your footage and edit into something professional-grade? Videopixie is a marketplace of 500+ editors and motion graphic artists who can help you get it done.

Get another few hundred marketing and analytics tools with [Annie Cushing’s Must-Have Tools]

In case these tools weren’t enough, here’s a monster list of tools courtesy of Annielytics which help marketers with SEO analysis, keywords, tracking, social media, data visualization, and other efficiencies. It will take you some time to wade through this, but it is a treasure trove for marketers who want to use technology to enhance their outputs.

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