Sometimes it can be hard to find that extra dose of #MondayMotivation, especially when you’re faced with myriad emails first thing in the morning and your to-do list becomes longer than your arm. And when you’re working at an agency, you often end up doing other people’s jobs as well as your own!
But fear not, there’s plenty of tech to help you take control of Monday Mornings so you can sort out your admin first thing and face the day with a smile. We’ve tried and tested plenty of apps, platforms and plugins and found these were the best to help anyone working in the agency world to manage their Monday workload and remain productive for the rest of the week.
Trainline for Business
You’ll likely have plenty of pitches and meetings lined up for your week, so you’ll want to arrange tickets in advance to save any last-minute scrambles for when you need to guarantee a seat on the train to that all important face-to-face meeting.
It’s easy for travel expenses to build up at an agency and it can be hard to keep track of spend when there are multiple directors and account handlers who need tickets. Having a central dashboard to manage spend and booking can be seriously beneficial and save you time as well as money.
The Trainline for Business dashboard lets you track your spend and save 33% on tickets booked in advance through the platform. All your colleagues can then use the trainline app on their phone to get live journey updates, share expense receipts, collect their tickets or even book tickets themselves. They can even use smart e-tickets to skip the queue altogether, which means less time standing in line and more time to nail your pitch.
Last week you took a client out for lunch and then went to interview a candidate over a coffee - now you need to expense it. But it’s so hard to keep track of those pesky receipts and then you end up having to pay for business expenses out of your own pocket.
Expensify is really handy app that all agency employees can have on their phone to submit expenses on the go. All you do it take a picture of receipts, add a note to say what client the expense is for and click submit. Done! This not only makes it easy for everyone to claim their expenses, but also easy for accountants and managers to get the whole picture of spending within the business.
To make things even easier, Expensify also integrates with other booking apps and automatically imports the receipts and submits them in a report for reimbursement. So for example, if you went away to a conference and booked a train through the Trainline for Business app, then got an Uber to the conference and booked to stay in a hotel overnight using HotelTonight, Expensify would automatically submit all your expenses for you. Easy.
It goes without saying that project management software is a must-have for any agency. On a Monday morning, you’ll likely have your team meeting to discuss the plan of action for the week. Having a project management system to back you up will help everyone work smarter together, putting resource scheduling and sharing information at the front of everyone’s minds.
There’s hundreds of studio management systems to choose from, but we’re advocates of Basecamp. The tool was established way back in 2004, so as well as being a slick system itself, it integrates with plenty of third party tools to let you do pretty much anything including time tracking, invoicing, accounting, reporting, roadmap planning, creative approval – the list goes on.
One of the best advantages of having a project management tool is it means that you can see what everyone else is doing, and you spend less time in weekly meetings, which leaves you with more time to actually get on with your work.
First things first, at the beginning of the working week, they’ll be lots of things vying for your attention. Try using Momentum, a personal dashboard that eliminates distractions and helps you to focus on your priorities, all while adding a bit of beauty to your desktop.
The dashboard-come-productivity app, which appears on your browser every time you open a new tab, provides you with a to-do list and highlights your focus/priority for the day. It also has customisable link widgets to help you quickly navigate to your favourite pages and display what matters to you, such as weather and calendar updates.
As well as being beneficial to your organisation and focus, it is also surprisingly calming and let’s face it, we all need some mindfulness on a Monday morning. It comes with an inspiring, beautiful background photograph that changes daily, along with motivational messages to help you be positive as well as productive.
When you have an overflowing inbox it can be easy to see an important message and think, “Oh, I’ll just reply to that later” – and then even easier to then forget to follow it up.
FollowUpThen is a handy tool that you can add to any email system on any device that reminds you reply to emails and generally helps makes your inbox a more organised place. If you receive an email that you don’t need to respond to straight away, you can send a BCC email to FollowUpThen that reminds you to reply at whatever interval you decide from 5 minutes to a year later and anything in between, including specific time and date.
As well as general follow up reminders, it can automate email follow ups with prospects, remind you to wish someone Happy Birthday or even send your future self a boarding pass ahead of a fight or text yourself conference call details for when you need to dial in if you’re out and about.
With these top productivity tools in your arsenal, you’ll get that extra dose of Monday Motivation and be able to sort out all your admin in record time, so you can spend the rest of the week getting on with what really matters.