Sometimes, the trickiest part of an SEOs job is project managing all the different aspects of the role and bringing it all together. To run a successful campaign, you need to balance a range of different skills and resources – and keep control of all of them. I use several different methods that have been honed over the years, and now I am confident that there’s no end of to the amount of information I can gather, digest and utilise without collapsing under the weight of it all. After much trial and error, I now use the following on a day to day basis, to manage my clients, projects, business and career:
1. Evernote (to capture it all)
2. Remember The Milk (to remind me of short and long term tasks)
3. My trusty Moleskine notebook (client notes, conference notes and stick drawings of cats – a speciality of mine)
4. A one page a day 2010 diary (to plan things out from day to day)
5. Intervals (online project management tool, essential for recording the work done on a campaign on a daily/weekly/monthly basis)
6. Kashflow (bookkeeping, invoice raising and credit control software)
I could probably write a blog post on all of the above (and perhaps I might one day) but the one tool that really holds everything together for me is Evernote, an essential (perhaps the essential) tool I’ve come to love and totally rely on. There are 3 ways of accessing Evernote (desktop app, web and phone) but I tend to use the desktop app more than the others and it’s installed on all the PCs I use for easy access (albeit behind a password for security). Whichever application you use, you just synchronise the data and it updates your account on each of the others immediately.
As a ‘capture’ tool there’s no end of things you can save or record, but for SEO I tend to use Evernote for the following:
Industry Updates / News - There seems to be a thousand new articles, blog posts and tweets everyday about some aspect of internet marketing and while it’s vital to keep up, the noise can be absolutely deafening. However, if I come across something I think will be of interest then I ‘clip’ it to my ‘To Read’ notebook to look at later that day, or sometime in the future. Then, rather than try and remember what I’ve saved, I use the search box to find specific articles based on keywords. This is particularly helpful when I’m looking for info on a specific subject (like email marketing) as I know I’ll have a good selection of resources that I’ll have saved over the previous weeks.
Client Information - Each client has their own notebook in which I save all information relating to the account and the campaign such as goals, contact details, contracts, emails, business cards, screenshots, reports etc. Again, I use the search tool to find specific documents as each of my client notebooks holds a phenomenal amount of data.
Content - Each client has a ‘Content’ notebook where I store articles and blog posts relating to their keywords. This is super handy for when I come across an opportunity to place some content for them. I also keep a ‘resource box’ here for link data should I also come across a chance to place a link (it means I get the HTML right every time).
Templates – I keep template copies of seo audits, proposals etc here which can be adapted for future client work.
SERPS - Although I use AWR (and the inhouse software at Bronco) I still like to manually check keyword rankings and each client (and each of my own sites) has their own spreadsheet with a list of the top keywords currently being targeted. I find this really handy for a quick way to check SERPs history and it only takes a few minutes to update.
Schedule - I keep a spreadsheet of hours needed each month for every client, for my own sites and for Bronco. This info is fed through to Remember the Milk and my 2010 Diary so I know exactly when to schedule in time for everything.
Link Building - Each client has a spreadsheet record of links acquired/requested and this is updated immediately so I always have an up-to-date record.
Links Ops - When I come across a potential link opportunity, it’s recorded here for use later in the week/month.
Images - I save images here for use on blogs etc. Often I’ll just capture them because they make me smile:
There are another million different things that I use Evernote for, including (deep breath):
- Storing photos, Flip videos, Jing Videos etc
- Accounts software backups and copies of invoices
- Business plans
- Records of timesheets
- Website database backups
- Expense & purchase receipts
- Log in details for Domain Names, DNS control panels etc
- Keyword ranking reports, other software reports
- Important emails
- Information relating to past or prospective clients
- Domain Name renewal records
- Lots of other stuff I can’t think of right now.
I’m a huge fan of Evernote and it really helps me to keep control of my working day. It may look like I record everything that moves but believe me, having a system like this in place saves me literally hours in admin time each month. I have everything I need, at my fingertips, on any PC that I’m working on or when out and about with my iPhone. I’m very excited to see how Evernote looks and acts on my iPad too