Aly's Favorite Productivity Tools And Apps
Hi friends, happy Saturday!
Sometimes, people ask me how I juggle working for so many outlets with such varied content (and so much of it!). I often joke it’s normal for me in the average day to have six documents open, and they may range in content from cooking to lifestyles to travel to a relationship story.
The secret, honestly, is that I stay hyper organized. I’m a big fan of structuring my day. I try to treat freelancing like a normal staff job, in that I am at my desk from 8 am to 5 pm every day. By doing so, my editors know they can count on me for quick-turnaround breaking news assignments. (Or, what passes for breaking news in my world, which is most often that there’s a new a fast food chicken sandwich or a one-day deal on an air fryer on Amazon.)
I also utilize a ton of great productivity apps. These are useful in everything from scheduling to time management. In today’s paid newsletter, I will share a bunch of my favorites — why I love them, and why they can be useful to you too, whether you are in media, PR, or another field entirely.
One quickie I’m going to share before I delve into the paid content. This is a productivity helper that will specifically be useful to publicists. You know how you guys are always following up asking if a story has published yet? Obviously, it’s a big part of your job! Always bookmark a journalist’s MuckRack page. It’ll update pretty instantly with most of a writer’s new content - here’s mine for instance. Every writer has one, and while MuckRack doesn’t always update ALL their content, it sure does get a lot of it!
This can also be useful in a lot of ways. I won’t mince words…From the perspective of travel writers, we can all tell you we’ve all been on trips with writers who will go on and on about how prolific they are, and then never write about the trip.
A quick Google (or visit to their MuckRack!) would have revealed they write a lot less than they say they do, or are saying they currently write for outlets they haven’t written for in years. A service like MuckRack (or googling the writer and filtering according to a specific time range, say the last week or month), can show how current and relevant their content truly is. The same can be said for that writer asking you for, say, a mattress or hair dryer to review, claiming they write for an outlet they actually wrote for once in 2016.
If you are a publicist, if you are an editor, or if you are in any other field that utilizes freelancers or the self-employed, ALWAYS make a process of vetting. People aren’t necessarily as accomplished or prolific or as honest as they appear to be and checking them out can save you a lot of stress down the line.
Now, enough about that!