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BigWheel Thanksgiving tools blog post
21 Nov

The 9 Best Marketing Tools to Bring to the Table

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we're sharing some tools to make your job easier and marketing better. From development to design and beyond, here are nine tools that we’re grateful for.

1.    Parker Frost (President)

Phone -  Before it was used for texting, Snapchat, Instagram, or surfing the web, the phone was used to call somebody (imagine that?!).  So many times I hear “I’ve sent them three emails” or “I pinged them on LinkedIn.”  My response is, “Did you call them?” Nothing is better than a conversation with a client.  Things aren’t taken out of context, you can ask about things other than work, and you can just continue to build that relationship which can be tough via email.  So the next time you need to send an email, trying punching some digits instead.

2. Meghan Echols (Project Manager)

Yext - An online brand management tool that we use to help our clients have CORRECT information throughout web directories (business name, contact information, images, etc.), Yext suppresses duplicate information across the internet. With Yext, we can make sure that when a user looks for business information, they aren't confused on which listing to pull from. It also allows us to update a client's featured content (promotions, calls to action, new service lines, etc.) on a regular basis. Having consistent updates to your directory listings keeps your business content and SEO fresh. 

3. Philip Kirkham (Developer)

AWS Elastic Beanstalk - Back in the days of old, to deploy a new web application you needed to set up your own environment completely by hand. The process required setting up web and database servers, a load balancer, monitoring tools, etc. It was always a hugely tedious undertaking to build and maintain everything you needed.  Elastic Beanstalk automates all of those steps so that we don't have to re-invent the wheel over and over. I couldn't begin to count how many hours it's saved us over the years.

4. Lori Robbins (Designer)

Analog Notebooks - Mine are the best kind: free thanks to surplus from an order BigWheel placed on promo items about five years ago, with sturdy kraft covers and about 200 sheets of unmarked recycled paper. They are the perfect place for to-do lists and meeting notes—which sometimes consist of actual words, or many times are just doodles, scribbles, or sketches only I could ever decipher. But rather than typing into my laptop (boring!) or phone (really?!?) and later having to search by keywords, folders, and filenames I can just flip open my trusty notebook and flip straight to the page I’m looking for. Soooo easy!

5. Dan Alton (Creative Director)

My Big Fat Grade School Pencils -  Too often designers begin their work going straight to a mouse or tablet. I’ve always encouraged the old-school approach of a pencil, a sketchpad, and thumbnails. There is a tactile sensation and a freedom that comes sketching that computers can’t match (no matter how fancy your tablet is.) And among pencils, I like the heavy feel of the kindergarten classics. 

6. Mariell Utsman (Designer)

Music Streaming Services - I remember back in the day when I had to carry around all the CD's that I wanted to listen to while at work (totally shows my age). Now, I just open an application and I have anything and everything that I may be in the mood for. It really helps drown out distractions and help me get in the zone.

7. Kelly Wuenstel (Sales)

Google Chrome - Because how would I know anything about anything?

8. Bill Harper (Project Manager)

Trello - I’m thankful for Trello.  What a simple, yet powerful tool!  It allows you to use it to suit your needs, from a Kanban board, to a product roadmap, or as a to-do list.

9. Sara Myers (Designer)

Visual Thesaurus -  It's a great way to visualize words when brainstorming

Typecast - A great tool for putting together CSS style guides for web type - it previews all the major Web foundries!