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8 productivity tools we're thankful for this year

Posted by Ethan Hawkes on Dec 20, 2016 9:22:09 AM
Ethan Hawkes
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Around the halls of SurveyMe, we talk a lot about creating wow moments for customers. We're customers too. "Wow, that's cool!" is something I frequently finding myself saying every time I find a program that saves me time.

I love saving time. 

This is a list of some of the everyday productivity tools we love and use nearly every day working at SurveyMe. These tools are fast and flexible, but most importantly they save us time and make our job easier in our ever-changing work environment.


The problem marketing and sales specialists face is they have to use a variety of different tools to get their job done. Hubspot condenses mass email sending, lead lists, social media planning and blogging all into one platform. 

It's a jack-of-all-trades master of none. Sure there might be better email clients , but having everything in one place is invaluable. Luckily, Hubspot is constantly gathering feedback and updating their software to meet their user base's demands.

Hubspot also creates a unified platform between our sales team and marketing and is great for staying on the same page. 


Speaking of staying in touch, we use Hipchat when a message is more suited to a quick blurb instead of a long email. A global team has its challenges, but Hipchat has helped keep our British development team awake when the pesky American sales team bothers them. 

It has video chat, screen sharing and a ton of integrations into other apps. It's weird how old-school style messaging apps are coming back, but sometimes email is just too cumbersome for the quick question or silly picture.


Personally, I've been through so many to-do apps, but never really stuck with one until Wunderlist came along. I find most to-do apps are either too complicated or too simple, but Wunderlist straddles this line perfectly.

It has an exhaustive list of extra features, but none of them get in the way of simply adding something quickly to a list. The ability to share lists with a team is invaluable. It makes it easy to see if anyone is working on anything important and if it's appropriate to bother your graphic designer with a blog graphic you need to be created.


Creating invoices and contracts can be a pain, but PandaDoc makes it as easy, especially if you have your contact in Hubspot (or most CRMs) already. It also makes it easy to create price quotes as well.

I don't work with it personally, but our Vice President, Penelope, works near me and constantly exclaims, "I love Pandadocs," so it's an obvious inclusion on this list.


Back when I worked at a college newspaper, we'd have a total of five people read over each story and it'd still have grammatical errors in it. Now, only one person reads my work before it gets sent off and no one is perfect, so it's time to call in the robots.

Grammarly is a Chrome extension that corrects your grammar as you write. Its corrections are right 90% of the time and even when it's wrong it at least calls attention to weirdly constructed sentences. 

I've heard mixed opinions about the paid version, but the free version is good enough for our needs. Every little bit helps when you're writing blog posts or social media blurbs.

Adobe Creative Suite

Okay, so this isn't a web tool, but it's pretty much impossible to do half the work in the marketing department without Adobe Creative Suite. Our favorite tools from the suite include Illustrator for graphics, Premiere for videos and InDesign for all of our printed out collateral.

The wide variety of different tools you get with a subscription is invaluable. The amount you can do with each program is staggering. I read an Adobe Premiere tutorial every day and still feel like a novice.


Most of the employees at SurveyMe are salary, but some are hourly, and for keeping track of them there's Boomr. Boomr is a relatively new company but it brings the process of clocking in and out of work into modern times with a mobile app. It even shows employees how much money they make each shift! (Pre-taxed of course)

It's easy to keep track of employees' time and submit time cards to our payroll company. It helps us not spend so much time on the boring stuff and instead keep us worrying about the task ahead.

Amazon Prime Now

Sometimes we need a large stapler ASAP. Other times we need headphones to shut out all the Christmas music our co-workers are playing. 

Amazon Prime Now has our back with free deliveries within 3 hours. Of course, this is only possible because we work so close to an Amazon warehouse and we are already Prime members. One of the perks of working in Irvine, CA.

We could go to the FedEx express downstairs, but their selection is limited and it takes time! You know what they say, time is money!

Of course, we make a tool that'll make business owners lives easier and save time.

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