Automation equals impersonal.
That is how I used to feel about automating actions.
But that is complete nonsense.
Yes, it IS bad to automatically send a ‘Welcome’ DM on Twitter when someone follows you. That IS impersonal, because you automate something that should be a real interaction.
But that doesn’t mean some forms of automation aren’t a great idea. Having things automated may free up time, so you have time to be personal, get in touch with people and interact with them.
That is why I wanted to talk to you about my favorite tools that automate some things for me and made me feel completely different about automation.
The first tool I want to talk about it Toodledo. It is a fancy ToDo list application.
What I do is write every task down, either on the website or via the app. I add the folder (I have a folder per project), the due date, the priority (so when things have the same due date the one with the highest priority is first) and whether or not it will be repeated.
Then Toodledo can sort it all by ‘Priority’, which means the action with the highest priority and due date is on the top of the pile.
All I have to do now is to just start on top and work my way down. I can add tasks, tick off those that are done or delete obsolete tasks. Toodledo will sort my list on Priority every time I click the button.
You might feel it’s not really an automation tool, but it takes the pressure of me. Making the sorting automated means I don’t have to spend (a lot) of time thinking about what the next action is. I know it is the next item on my list. And not needing the time to make new ToDo lists every day and think about what needs to happen next saves me tons of time I can spend on other things.
Ps. It is a good idea to take some time every week to make sure the Toodledo is still up-to-date. In the beginning I sometimes forgot to put all my tasks in there.
Next up is my reading habit. I follow a lot of blogs on different subjects. Marketing, social media, business, websites. It would be a nightmare to remember all the links to those blogs and to check each day if they have new posts.
Instead I use Feedly.
Feedly imports all new blogs from those I follow so I can read them when I have time. I even have them sorted in different categories so I can decide to just read the folder ‘Marketing’ if I don’t have that much time.
I can also tag articles or save them for later.
Mailchimp is a newsletter tool. I use it to write the newsletters my subscribers get every week (Want one too? Subscribe now).
But the great thing about Mailchimp is that I can write the newsletter on Friday afternoon and schedule it for Monday afternoon. That way I do not have to remember to mail it on Monday afternoon. Having that security in place gives me great peace of mind.
Tweetdeck is a tool for Twitter. I use the Tweetdeck plugin for Google Chrome.
With Tweetdeck you can make multiple columns with certain tweets you want to receive, but you can also schedule tweets. I use this when I know I want to post something on a time that I am otherwise engaged.
IfThisThenThat is a tool that does things for you. If this happens, it automatically does that for you.
I have a recipe where articles I give a certain tag on Feedly automatically get saved to Evernote.
And another one to add my Toodledo tasks to my Google Calendar so I can see how much tasks are planned for that day, and if it will fit with the amount of appointments.
Most rules you can think of (and those you can’t think of) are already in a huge database with possible rules you can use. And if it is not there yet, just make your own!
Lovely tool that can save loads of time.
But the tool I use the most intensively when it comes to automating tasks is CoSchedule. CoSchedule gives me the opportunity to schedule social media posts with each blog post I make.
This way I can schedule two tweets for the day the blog comes out, one for the next day, a Facebook post and LinkedIn post for the day the blog comes out and one about a month later.
You can add a Twitter account, Facebook profile/page, LinkedIn profile/group/page, Tumblr or Google+ page. The only thing I really miss is the possibility to add a Google+ profile.
CoSchedule is great for anyone that blogs a lot and wants to make marketing their blogs as easy as possible.
I don’t have to remember to make a tweet when my blog comes out. CoSchedule does that for me. I don’t have to remember to repost the blog later that month. CoSchedule does it for me. It saves me time but also a lot of brain activity 😉
Sometime soon I will be adding Premise to my tools. It will automate selling my e-course for me. People can buy, pay and get the course without any action from me! So I can use my time to help them if they email me with questions.
So as you can see automation isn’t all that bad in the end. As long as you keep away from autoDM 😉
What tools do you use to automate certain process in your business?