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October 21, 2022

Our Favorite Digital Tools

Our Favorite Digital Tools
October 21, 2022
Ellie Templeton
Junior Copywriter

If you are a digital marketing agency or even a solo business owner in the marketing space, you know how important tools can be. They can help you to streamline your processes, improve communication, manage clients, and so much more. As a digital agency, we know that finding the right tools can be tough, as there are so many options out there with differing functions and reviews. In this post, we are going to walk you through our favorite tools here at Diamond Hook.

1.  Webflow

Webflow is the bread and butter of our agency. It is the tool we use to build most of our websites. Not only have we been able to create beautiful sites with it, but the ease of use is beneficial to all members of our team. You do not have to be an expert front-end developer to get the hang of using this application quickly. 

There are a few specific features that we find ourselves using frequently. The Webflow symbols feature allows us to be efficient and neat within our website layout process. We use this to create identical parent and child layouts to duplicate across the sites that we are building. Another component that we utilize often is CMS Collections. This allows for the types of content that are on a site or scheduled to go live to be grouped into categories, keeping the website structured. We love this tool so much that we used it to build our Diamond Hook site!

“I really like Webflow for the seed that it gives you. You can develop a project without knowing how to code and I like how far you can take the customization to create unique layouts.” – Adrian Andrade, UX Designer

 

2. Slack

Slack is the communication center for our agency. We use it to collaborate on projects, share ideas and keep on top of what’s happening across the business. The ability to create different channels for different teams makes it easy for us to work together both internally and with our clients. Slack has made it so much easier to swiftly schedule brainstorming sessions, scan archives for past conversations, and share photos of our ongoing projects for approval.

The advantages of this tool are extensive. Not only does it allow us to directly link out to Notion, Figma, ClickUp, and more, but it is also extremely efficient. Sending direct messages is so much quicker than sending an email, and it provides a more casual way to talk to your team. Slack is also the place where we have some fun with each other, mainly through sending funny pictures of the Diamond Hook team members’ pets to see what they are up to while we work from home.

“As a words-woman and communications-lover, Slack is one of my favorite tools to use daily. It is an absolute necessity for remote work and asynchronous discussion for both our internal team, project groups, and our clients. While email is still helpful in certain scenarios, Slack provides a space for real-time conversation about anything and everything at hand.”
- Ally Toto, Senior Copywriter and Brand Manager

 

3. Figma

Figma is a design tool that allows us to create mockups of websites, emails, and more very quickly. There are built-in features like guides that let you align elements on the page, layers that allow you to add content such as text or images, and art-boards that allow you to hop on and brainstorm an idea with your team. At Diamond Hook, we are avid Figma users and love how collaborative it can be. Figma is an open-source design tool, meaning there are no limits on what we can create or how many of our team members can use the same library at once.

This is another space that houses client and Diamond Hook-specific information. On any given day, we could be having an impromptu social media meeting that involves jumping onto a Figma board and throwing out ideas, or meeting with a client to walk through the final stages of an email campaign. Branding for our company and collaborating with clients has been very easy since we have had Figma in our wheelhouse. We know it’s a good tool when our designers are always raving about it.

“Figma is very easy to use and it has an intuitive interface. My favorite part about it is that it allows you to make vector graphics in the workspace. I prefer it over other tools because it is cloud-based, easy to receive feedback through comments, and has a lot of convenient tools for web design.”
- Natasha Navasardian, UX Designer

 

4. ClickUp

As a digital agency, we're always looking for new marketing tools to help us grow our business. ClickUp is a newer tool for us, and we have been using it for all of our project management needs. We transitioned Notion from our project management app to our client hub, and ClickUp took over.

One of the most appealing parts about ClickUp is that there are so many different ways to visualize projects, so we were really able to cater to our organizational needs. The workspace feature allows our team to quickly bounce back and forth between task lists and calendar systems, so that they can compartmentalize their tasks in a way that suits them. The sleek, vibrant layout provides an elevated, colorful vibe that fits perfectly with our love of design. Bibi Moghani, one of our project managers, loves the addition of ClickUp:

“ClickUp is great for specific project management. I like the way it's organized. It feels structured and like it is meant for project managers.”
- Bibi Moghani, Project Manager

 

5. Hootsuite

There are so many benefits to using Hootsuite at your agency. Our social media channels are able to run smoothly due to the awesome pairing of Hootsuite and our amazing social media manager, Sasha. Essentially, this app allows you to streamline all things social media, from multiple social media platforms to extensive analytics. When we started heavily using Instagram and LinkedIn for our company, we knew that we wanted to do it efficiently, which is definitely made possible by Hootsuite.

We no longer have to be hyper-alert and constantly on our devices when we want to post on one of our platforms. Our social media strategy has become so much better since we have been able to schedule our posts in advance, while using analytics regarding the optimal times to post based off of our followers. Hootsuite has so many amazing metrics right at your fingertips, and we are definitely glad that we chose it.

“I prefer Hootsuite because of their in-depth Analytic Reports! And they make it so easy to compare and contrast metrics!”
- Sasha Carmichael, Social Media Manager

6. Pastel

Pastel is another great tool that focuses on collaboration, and is used frequently by our web designers. It streamlines the process of feedback between both Diamond Hook and our clients, since clients do not have to worry about creating accounts, logging in, and searching around for the page in question. Instead, we send them a link to open, and they can see everything that is in progress, old comments, and even leave comments themselves. 

Ultimately, Pastel helps us out with consolidating all important website design and feedback and saves so much time, as everything is all in one place. The creation of canvases on pastel will automatically result in a notification sent to the team, so everyone is on the same page at all times. In addition to desktop, it also is very easy to use if you need to open it on your phone. This is super important for both us and our clients, since quickly checking something on mobile can sometimes prove to be more efficient.

“Pastel is such a powerful tool for website projects because it eliminates the need for endless screenshots, long descriptions of bugs, and needless back and forth between the developer, designer, QA, and manager. It is also extremely helpful for getting client feedback on builds, as its intuitive UI makes it easy for even non tech-savvy people to use. Need to set a deadline for feedback? Pastel can freeze commenting after a certain date, ensuring that your project is hitting its milestones on time.” Dani Jacobson, Project Manager

7. Harvest

At Diamond Hook, we use Harvest as our time-tracking app. Although this is not the most interesting tool that we use, it is certainly one of the most essential. We love using Harvest because it allows our team to be specific about the hours that they are working, which is helpful when looking at time spent across projects. When we log hours, it is split up by client, and then further segmented by project or type of work within the client category. This ensures that the correct amount of hours are being spent on tasks for clients. It also allows us to pinpoint what may be taking longer than expected so that we can pivot accordingly. 

Harvest is just as easy from the administrative perspective, as well. We are able to assign our team to the tasks and clients that they are working with, making it much less overwhelming and much more foolproof. We don’t have to worry about anyone accidentally logging time for the wrong client, and the team does not have to search through every single client in order to log. All of these features also make invoicing and payment extremely efficient. Since all of the time is already split into projects that are invoiced and those that are not, payment is quick and easy.

“Harvest, while definitely not the sexiest, is absolutely one of the most useful tools we use. Among other things, it gives me a clear snapshot into how my team spends their time, and how projects are progressing against set budgets. Most importantly, this historical and real-time data allows me to project our team’s resources when scoping out a new project.”
- Michael Tucker, Co-Founder and CFO

8. Airtable

Airtable is one of our favorite tools to use across various phases of development. First off, the platform is easy to use, as it had templates available for us to start using as soon as we bought it. As we have stated before in this post, we absolutely love collaboration and think that it really speeds up our processes while keeping everyone in the loop. We use Airtable as both a spreadsheet system and a database. 

Upon pairing this tool with ClickUp, we find ourselves more organized than ever. The collaborative aspect is super powerful, especially when we are working on brainstorming meetings. We have started pages from scratch and used their templates, and both make it easy to fill everyone in and get the team started on client content. The automations are also convenient, as it saves us time that we would have spent on repetitive flows.

“If one were to inject PEDs into Google Sheets, it’d look something like Airtable. Between the delightful user interface and limitless capabilities to view/export/integrate information, this tool makes data entry something I genuinely look forward to.” – Alex Levy, Web Designer

As a successful digital marketing agency, we know that the right tools with the right mix can really help elevate our product and efficiency. The tools and services that we use are the best for our business, workflow, and specializations. We want our tools to be as accessible and approachable to as many of our team members as possible, even if it would not normally be in their niche. These tools have been doing the job for us, and we highly recommend trying them out.

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