This week’s Spring Cleaning posts have covered planning and optimizing content creation for your site’s blog and social media platforms. While this week hasn’t included as many cleaning “tasks,” we felt that content creation is important enough to devote an entire week to helping you evaluate your current content strategy — and to make sure you have a content strategy in place.
When it comes to content creation at WebDesign.com, collaboration and repurposing content across multiple platforms has been key for us.
With multiple team members writing blog posts and (our newest pursuit) organizing information from webinars into eBooks for the iThemes eBook library, we’ve found a few workflow tools that are crucial to our content creation process (and team collaboration).
We’re recent converts, but we’re firm believers in 37 Signal’s online project management system, Basecamp. The UI was recently updated, making the system incredibly easy (and even fun) to use. It just makes sense.
Basecamp has definitely streamlined our workflow and helps us keep multiple projects organized. Because we have team members working on multiple projects (each with different tasks) in different physical locations, Basecamp has become an excellent collaboration tool for our team.
When it comes to content creation, we use Basecamp specifically to keep a birds-eye-view of our schedule of content (in Basecamp’s great calendar feature) and to assign posts to different members — all based on larger on-going projects. Since projects have multiple to-do list options, we always know where we are in the process of creating content and new resources.
Tip: Not working on a team? Use Basecamp for client work and sharing updates on projects.
2. iChat (or Google Chat)
IM’ing is a way of life at iThemes and WebDesign.com. Because of the nature of development, staying focused and keeping our environment quiet is an office priority. Because we’re constantly sharing updates, links, and screenshots, chat is far superior (and faster) than emailing back and forth.
Most of us use iChat (since we’re Mac users), synced with our Google accounts. Here’s a great tutorial for configuring iChat for Google Talk.
Tip: Offer your Google Chat contact info when working with clients for speedier interactions and collaborations.
3. Awesome Screenshot
We take a LOT of screenshots and share them on our team. You always have the option of using your system’s built-in screenshot operation, but adding the Awesome Screenshot add-on to your browser give a bit more flexibility – with options for capturing the entire web page, built-in cropping to get the right dimensions and more.
Tip: Screenshots are an important element to the “how-to” tutorial post. Using Awesome Screenshot makes it easy to get the right screenshot, every time.
4. Cloud App
As mentioned above, we share files and screenshots like crazy. We recommend CloudApp (over Droplr, mostly for dependability reasons), a Mac app that makes sharing files a breeze. Drag and drop files into the “cloud” in your toolbar – and you get an instant (shortened) HTML link for sharing with others in iChat or via emails.
5. Tweet Deck
We’re always working to connect and share content via social media, and TweetDeck has been awesome for monitoring Twitter activity over multiple brands. Use it to schedule tweets, see real-tip updates from people you follow and to see what people are saying about certain Twitter handles, hashtags and keywords.
6. Clear App
Clear App, a “list app” for iPhone, got a lot of much-deserved positive attention several months ago for its innovativeness in the design of the user interface. It’s brilliant.
We use it to keep ideas for blog posts, eBooks and webinars — whenever they pop up “on the go.” It’s well worth the $2.99.
Have any other tools you’ve found helpful for content collaboration and workflow? We know there’s a ton, so share them in the comments below and how they’ve been helpful to you.
Also, make sure to check out all of this week’s posts on the Spring Cleaning page for ideas on the types of content everyone can manage – from sharable, interesting content, to powerful tutorials, and finally to webinars (just stay tuned for tomorrow’s post!).