Digital Tools & Resources for Business

Technology is changing quickly. You are busy running your business and you don’t have the time to stay on top of all of the updates that are happening constantly. I am compiling all of the most relevant changes that you need to know about here in a single post - bookmark it and check back monthly!

Heads up! This post contains affiliate links, marked with an asterisk(*). If you sign up through one of those links you won't pay anything extra (sometimes you’ll even get a discount!), but I'll get a small commission or credit that helps me to keep delivering this awesome free content to you! I only recommend tools that I use and trust. Read my affiliate disclosure here.

Jump to:

  1. Social Media Scheduling

  2. Video Creation/Editing

  3. Graphic Design/Image Editing

  4. Link/URL Tools

  5. Productivity

  6. Online Course & Membership

  7. Document & Presentation Design

  8. Email Marketing

  9. Online Appointments & Booking

  10. Livestreaming

  11. Screen Recording

  12. Websites

  13. Podcasting (new section!)

Note: new updates are indicated below in bold.

Technology is changing quickly. You are busy running your business and you don’t have the time to stay on top of all of the updates that are happening constantly. I am compiling all of the most relevant changes that you need to know about here in a single post - bookmark it and check back monthly!
Technology changes fast. Get the latest updates for the best digital tools you should be using for your business

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Social Media Scheduling

Note: Tools/Apps listed alphabetically

Buffer

  • Instagram: choose a cover photo for your videos (paid plans).

  • Instagram: direct scheduling for videos now available. Full details.

  • Tailored Posts: craft a single message but then customize the images, hashtags, character length, etc. for each network you want to post to. Currently only available in the browser extension. Full details.

  • Facebook: tag other business pages when posting to your business page. Full details.

  • Instagram: Geotag your posts within the Buffer composer, post a gallery of up to 4 images when posting via notification, and the default setting for accounts is now notification posting, which you can switch to direct posting on a post-by-post basis.

  • Instagram direct scheduling is available inside Buffer for single-image posts. Full details.

  • New composer makes it easier to create your posts: tag Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, customize your posts for different accounts at the same time, you can only schedule posts to 1 Twitter account at a time (due to the recent Twitter policy changes).

  • Buffer has enhanced how it's Instagram functionality works. You can now preview your scheduled posts as a grid, just as they'd appear in Instagram. You also get multiple reminders to post your photos in case you miss the first one. Full details

  • If you use Buffer for Business, you now have an easy way to manage all of your team members, their permissions, and your social media accounts. Full details

Get Buffer* | Free & paid account options

Hootsuite

  • LinkedIn Pages: you can now @mention other LinkedIn pages in your page posts as well as publish video to your page via Hootsuite.

  • Publishing to Google+ stopped January 28, 2019. Full details.

  • Instagram: changes to the API mean that Hootsuite can no display hashtag search or location search streams for Instagram, or a stream of your @mentions. You also cannot use a personal Instagram profile to engage with posts via Hootsuite. Full details.

  • Boost Facebook posts directly from Hootsuite, available on all plans. Full details.

  • Hootsuite now has built-in Pinterest publishing and scheduling! Full details.

  • Due to the changes to Facebook’s API (because of the privacy concerns), Hootsuite will no longer have access to a number of features including user name & profile pictures in search streams for both Facebook and Instagram, page messaging, engaging with Instagram posts, and more. Full details.

  • Instagram direct scheduling is now available for all plans. Full details.

  • Some new apps added include Trello* (paid), PromoRepublic* (free), Salesforce (free), and Google Translate (paid)!

  • Now share content directly from your mobile device without having to hack together a javascript bookmarklet. As long as the app you're using has a sharing feature, you can now post/schedule content directly to Hootsuite.

  • They made some updates to the navigation, simplifying things and removing access to areas that your plan doesn't allow.

    They also updated the Hootsuite Syndicator app, removing some of the save options and the 'mark as read/unread' feature.

  • New App integrations Added

    Slack, OneDrive, AdEspresso, PromoRepublic, JIRA Service Desk, WeChat.

  • ‘Suggestions’ Feature is Gone

    To be honest, it wasn't very good at giving me relevant info (though I did LOVE how it scheduled things into blank spots in my calendar).

  • Updates to Enhance App

    You can edit filters, stickers, text, etc. at any point of the design process (no more starting over from scratch!). Full details.

  • Hootsuite had already introduced their new analytics reporting for Twitter and Facebook Pages, and now it's available for Instagram as well.

    Note: the new analytics reporting is currently only available for paid Hootsuite accounts.

  • Enhance is a photo editing app (only available on iOS for now) that integrates with Hootsuite so that you can schedule a post with a photo to any connected network. The app itself also has a bunch of pre-sized templates for different networks (ala Canva) that make sizing a breeze. The app has filters, basic adjustments, you can add text, shapes, social media icons AND . . . you can save logos to always be able to brand your images. Full details

  • Instead of uploading your posts, scheduling them, and then having to go through and review you can now review them all before they get scheduled. The Hootsuite Bulk Uploader will also generate errors if something is wrong with a message, allows you to add photos to your posts, and customize the link previews. Full Details

  • New app added! Slack for Hootsuite allows you to select a social media post, add a comment and send it directly to a Slack Channel within your team. Full details

Get Hootsuite | Free & paid account options

 

Later

  • Instagram Stories: visually plan and schedule Instagram stories (paid accounts only). Full details.

  • Changes to the Instagram API mean that search & repost features can only be used with connected business profiles, you can no longer search by user or location, hashtag autocomplete no longer works. Full details.

  • Instagram: improved analytics for paid plans. Full details.

  • Instagram: direct schedule videos. Full details.

  • Filters available when editing your photos before publishing. Full details.

  • For Business plans you can now tag locations and users in your Instagram posts. Full details.

  • For Business plans there is a new contributor feature where you can give people a link where they can upload their photos - those that you accept will be added to your media library. Full details.

  • Later has introduced Hashtag Suggestions on it’s paid plans. Just add a single hashtag to your post and then access the suggestions menu which will pull up related hashtags. Full details.

  • Later now allows you to direct publish single-image posts to Instagram. Full details.

  • Manage your Instagram comments right inside Later (paid plan only). Full details.

  • Later now has the 1 big feature that was missing - the ability to schedule to Instagram Stories!

  • If you use Later to schedule your Instagram posts, you can now schedule carousel posts! Full details.

  • One of the features that was missing from Later than other tools had was profile preview - basically see what your profile will look like when all of your scheduled posts are complete. Later now has this, as well as drag & drop capability for changing scheduled posts.

 

Loomly

  • Loomly 3.0: overhaul to the entire platform to make it more user friendly and lays the groundwork for more features (coming soon). Full details.

  • Interactions: reply to, like, hide/unhide and delete comments for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and soon LinkedIn. Full details.

  • Publishing to Google+ will stop on Feb 28, 2019

  • To save you a bit of time, when you type # in a post composer, a full list of all of the hashtags you’ve used in Loomly will appear so that you can easily select them without a lot of retyping. Full details.

Get Loomly* | 15-day free trial, plans start at $12/month


Planoly

  • StoriesEdit: a template tool to help you make beautiful IG Stories. Full details.

  • Autopost videos to Instagram business accounts (paid plans only). Full details.

Get Planoly* | Free & paid account options

PromoRepublic

Get PromoRepublic* | Free & paid account options

 

RecurPost

  • Google My Business integration is now available (with Google+ gone!).

  • Has a fresh new look, and you can now view more of your upcoming scheduled posts in the ‘Future Calendar Preview’

  • You can now add team members to your paid account. Full details.

  • Recurpost has added a Smart Queue: a calendar of all of your future queued posts (previously you could only see what was coming up in the next 24 hours).

  • Recurpost now has integrated with Pixabay, Unsplash, and Giphy to bring you GIFs and stock photos to add to your social media posts.

  • If you only started using Recurpost and you are on a paid plan, you can now import old posts from your social media networks to save the time of manually adding them to your content library. Full details.

  • Recurpost (a social media scheduling tool with evergreen functionality) now supports Instagram!

Get RecurPost* | Free & paid account options

SendPilot

  • Zapier integration, curate content, image library with the ability to upload your own images or choose from free stock photos. Full details.

Get SendPilot* | 7-day free trials, plans start at $29/month

 

Social Aider

  • Keep your dashboard tidy with the ability to now delete projects you no longer need. Full details.

  • Instagram: direct scheduling now available. Full details.

  • Instagram scheduling with notifications is now available. Full details.

  • Content curation added as keyword search, and you can edit/schedule that content directly from the search results. Full details.

  • You can now individually select which Facebook and LinkedIn profiles you want to add to your project.

  • SocialAider has been updated with an image editor. Note that these images will not automatically be uploaded to a post - you will have to download your image and then upload it into the composer. Full details.

Get Social Aider* | Plans start at $5/month

SocialBee

  • Post previews available for all networks. Full details.

  • LinkedIn: you can now post photos as actual photos - not as a link to a photo! Full details.

  • Pinterest: scheduling is available. Full details.

  • Twitter: to reduce the appearance of spammy messages and behaviour as Twitter cracks down again, SocialBee has made some changes to its Twitter grow & engage tools: you must have at least 20 new follower templates, you can only follow/unfollow 100 people per day, and auto-DM functionality has been removed. Full details.

Get SocialBee* | 14-day free trial, plans start at $19/month

 

Socialdraft

  • Socialdraft, and social media scheduling tool, now has a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox that lets you add content to your posting calendar plus a bunch of other features. Full details.

Get SocialDraft | Free & paid account options

 

SocialPilot

  • @ mention users on Facebook and Twitter posts. Full details.

  • Create a single post and then customize it for different networks. Full details.

    SocialPilot can now post to your Google My Business profile! It’s only 1 of 2 tools I’m aware of that can do this, so it’s a big deal (email me if you want to know about the other one!). Full details.

Get SocialPilot* | Free & paid account options

 

Tailwind

  • Auto post videos to Instagram.

  • Set your Instagram posts to automatically share to your Facebook page (note: I don’t actually recommend automatic crossposting like this).

  • Improved hashtag generator for Instagram posts. Full details.

  • Tag users when posting to Instagram. Full details.

  • Smartloop launched, and introductory pricing (50% off!) available until Feb 28, 2019. Full details.

  • Smartloop (evergreen or repeating posts) is now in beta and you can request access for free - this feature will automatically pin your best stuff. Full details.

  • Tribes Insights added, which is an awesome way to see which of your Tribes is giving you the most ROI, and which Tribemates are saving the most from you. Full details.

  • Facebook page cross-posting is now available. And as long as your link or landing page contains an image that’s sized best for Facebook (i.e. square or landscape) your post link preview won’t look like it’s been awkwardly cross-posted from Pinterest.

  • Instagram direct scheduling is available. Full details.

 

Video Creation/Editing

Animoto

  • Animoto now has built-in access to over 1M Getty stock photos for you to supplement your videos. Full details.

Lumen5

  • Lumen5 has added the ability to make vertical videos, so if stories and IGTV are your forte, this app could be a great investment (as this feature is only available on paid plans). Make a new video or convert your existing videos to vertical. Full details.

  • They’ve recently added a ton of GIFs to the stock library, added additional themes and customizations for your videos, and added speed controls.

Get Lumen5 | Free & paid account options

 

Ripl

  • If you have been loving Ripl for your mobile device, they now have a desktop version that syncs to your mobile account, as well as mew metrics and insights.

Get Ripl iOS Android | Free & paid account options

 

InShot

  • InShot has added a bunch of new filters and adjustments

Get InShot iOS Android | Free & paid account options

 

CutStory for Instagram Stories

  • You can now post directly to your Instagram stories from within the app (no more downloading to your camera roll)

Get CutStory iOS | Free & paid account options

Graphic Design/Image Editing

 

Crello

  • Crello now has free Instagram video story templates. Full details.

  • Crello has launched ‘Animation Maker’ for it’s paid users which allows you to make graphics containing animations - this includes both animated backgrounds and animated. If you are OK with a ‘Created in Crello’ watermark, you can use some of the animated designs for free. Full details.

  • Crello has introduced a Resize feature, which is available in it’s free plan! Full details.

  • You can now ‘favourite’ the elements, photos, and templates that you use most in order to find them more quickly. Full details.

  • Crello (a free graphic editing program similar to Canva) now allows you to create animated images using a variety of animated backgrounds and templates that you can customize with filters, shapes, elements, and text. Full details.

Get Crello | Free & paid account options

Link/URL Tools


Fuzed.link

  • Less clicks: if you add just a link to a post then the link will open up as soon as a user taps on the photo

  • Links tab: if you have links that you always want to promote without being linked to an individual post there is now a links tab that you can set up

  • There are now specific spots for your Etsy shop, Amazon shop, and Yelp profile


Linktree

  • Customize your profile picture: you can now upload another photo for your profile (it automatically defaults to your Instagram profile) (paid accounts). Full details.

  • Customize your links: add thumbnail images to make your links more engaging - choose from your instagram photos or upload from your computer (paid accounts). Full details.

  • Customize your background: upload your own background or choose from the Unsplash library (paid accounts). Full details.

  • Customize your fonts: make your account more closely match your branding by choosing from 15 new fonts (pad accounts). Full details.

  • Priority links: make links stand out animations (paid accounts). Full details.

  • If you use Mailchimp* you can now integrate directly with Linktree to add an email signup button to your profile. Full details.

  • Linktree is an awesome tool when you need to link to multiple places from your Instagram bio. They have added the following feature to their Pro Plan: remove the LinkTree logo, add social and email accounts as icons instead of plain links, enhanced analytics, more visual customization options.

Get Linktree | Free & paid account options

 

Google URL Shortener

  • The goo.gl URL shortener is going to be shutting down in the wake of more popular services like Bit.ly and Ow.ly. Existing shortened links will continue to work. Full details.

 

ClickToTweet

  • Updated dashboard to allow you to sort, search, and more easily compare your CTT links. Full details.

Get ClickToTweet | Free & paid account options

Productivity: Tasks, Calendar, Email

 

Asana

  • Forms: create forms to capture important info you need for your project (including custom fields). Forms can be shared with non-Asana users, so perfect for internal and external use.

  • Add project milestones (paid plans) to help keep your team on track. Full details.

  • Boards: sort and filter options have been added to cards to make it easier to manage your board. Sort by assignee, due dates, custom fields, and more, and filter by assignee, due dates, and custom fields. Full details.

  • Asana now integrates directly with Outlook so you can turn your emails into tasks (note this integration also exists for Gmail). Full details.

Get Asana* | Free & paid account options | Did you know I’m an Asana Certified Pro?

Trello

  • Teams: the free Trello plan now only allows you to have 10 boards per team (does not apply to ‘personal’ boards. Full details.

  • Butler for Trello is now fully available within Trello - automation capabilities vary depending on your plan level. Full details.

  • Sort your lists by due date, card name, date created, and more. Plus create a new card anywhere in your list, not just at the very top or very bottom. Full details.

Get Trello* | Free & paid account options

G-Suite

Gmail

  • Schedule emails to send later. Full details.

  • New add-ons for Evernote and Dropbox

  • Several helpful add-ons for your inbox, such as Asana, Trello, Zoom, QuickBooks, and more. Full details.

  • If you need to filter out some of the noise, you can now set your Gmail mobile app to send a notification ONLY for high priority emails. Full details.

Google Calendar

  • RSVP to forwarded event invitations. Full details.

  • Indicate when you are Out of Office and Google will automatically decline any event invites during that time. You can also set your availability on a day-to-day basis. Full details.

Google Docs

  • Embed MP3 and WAV files from your Google Drive directly into Google Slides. Full details.

  • Use the Explore feature to quickly find files to reference or insert. Full details.

App Maker

  • Quickly build an app to use within your business. Some examples include team on-boarding, track office inventory requests, or project collaboration. Full details.

 

Planyway (Trello Extension)

  • Add milestones to your timeline view to keep your project and team on track. Full details.

  • Google Calendar Sync: if you are syncing your cards to your Google Calendar, you can now set these cards (on a system wide setting) to either show as busy or available - useful if you share your calendar with people to book appointments. Full details.

  • Creating new cards from the calendar: you can now specify a default list for new cards. Full details.

  • Previously the defaults for card duration were in minutes, forcing you to select a time. Now you can set the default to be ‘all day’. Full details.

  • You can now adjust the calendar so that you can view the calendar and your boards all on one screen without having to switch back and forth. Full details.

  • When you need to move more than one calendar item, you can now multi-select calendar items to reschedule. Full details.

Get Planyway | Free & paid account options | Get Trello* | Free & paid account options

Evernote

  • Evernote for Gmail Add-on is now available in the G Suite Marketplace. It works for desktop, iOS, and Android. You can easily add emails to your Evernote account, or alternatively, insert links to notes inside an email.

Get Evernote* | Free & paid account options

Todoist

  • Reschedule all overdue tasks at once to be due today, dark theme available. Full details.

Get Todoist* | Free & paid account options

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Online Course & Membership

 

Kajabi

  • Enhancements to the Premier theme: add offer cards to any page, even your homepage; add anchor links within a single page (awesome for long-form landing pages); add accordion sections (perfect for FAQs). Full details.

 

Document & Presentation Design

 

Canva

  • Yes, traditionally used for image design, but Canva is also helpful for creating pdf documents - and they have been adding great templates that will be useful for your business. Think opt-ins: worksheets, infographics, guides, and more!

  • Canva is also getting into the print game! Full details.

  • Use Canva to easily make GIFs so you can add another engaging type of content to your social media feeds. Full details.

  • Canva is moving into the print world! You can create your designs and set them to be printed and shipped to you (like VistaPrint). Full details.

  • New formats available: recipe cards, bookmarks, story boards, Twitch banners, comic strip, class schedule, seating chart, and social story.

  • The image editor has been redesigned and is much more user friendly! They've also added a couple of new image formats, like snapchat geofilters or story designs, and photo collages.

  • Add charts (bar, line, pie graphs, venn diagrams and more) to your graphics. You can customize the colors, values, and sometimes the labels of the charts. Great for reports or infographics! Charts are found under Elements.

  • You can now generate a unique URL for your design that can be displayed as a website. Great way to create a temporary landing page or sales page if you don't yet have a website or can't get a fast enough turnaround with your current website. Full details

  • If storage space on your website is a problem, you can now create a design in Canva and then embed it on your website (instead of uploading it directly). And because Canva designs can be interactive it ads another layer to your website. In addition, any changes you make to the design in Canva will be automatically updated on your website - perfect if you can't code but need to make regular changes! Full details

Get Canva | Free & paid account options

Beacon

  • Formatting updates, including column sizing, font preview, header/footer for all pages. Full details.

  • 14 new lead magnet templates added for those with paid accounts. Full details.

  • Uploaded images will now be saved in an image library so they are easy to add any time without re-uploading; Google Analytics integration added; new font formatting added. Full details.

Get Beacon | Free & paid account options

Email Marketing

 

ActiveCampaign

  • Create custom reports to get the exact data you need. Full details.

  • Number based automation actions are now available. You can adjust custom date field dates based on actions, add up page visits, and more. Full details.

  • Square now integrates directly with ActiveCampaign. Full details.

  • More options available for segmenting, like ‘date created/updates’ and ‘has not been sent’. Full details.

  • Preheader text is now available for all emails (studies show that inserting preheader text can increase open rates up to 30%!). Full details.

  • Improvements to CRM, more segmentation options, and task assignment for multiple users. Full details.

Get ActiveCampaign* | Free & paid account options

Mailchimp

  • Mailchimp and Shopify are breaking up. If you are a Shopify user you can still connect the two using services like Zapier, Automate.io and ShopSync. Full details.

  • Lists are now ‘Audiences’ with better insights and reporting. Full details.

Get MailChimp | Free & paid account options

Online Appointments & Booking

 

Book Like a Boss

  • Additional customizations to appointments & services (checkboxes, links) - perfect for GDPR disclaimers. Full details.

  • Use a custom domain with your BLAB account. Full details.

Get Book Like a Boss* | Free & paid account options

Livestreaming

 

Belive.tv

  • CTA feature for your videos on all plans. Full details.

  • Photo Share: bring photos from your Facebook page on to the screen.

  • Be.Live is a great solution for Facebook Live broadcasting from your desktop (while we wait for Facebook to come out with it's own solution). You can display a lower third for your name, notes, or questions, and you can have 2 people broadcasting at a time which is great for interviews or collaborations. Full details.

Get Belive | Free & paid account options

Screen Recording

 

Zoom

  • Updates to Zoom Rooms: virtual background automatically enabled (unless you’ve previously turned it off), auto-delete cloud recordings after a set period of time, it’s now easier for people to rejoin a meeting if they lost connection. Full details.

Get Zoom | Free & paid options

Loom

  • Loom Pro has launched and gives you features like HD/4K recording, unlimited video storage, CTA buttons and custom thumbnails, and more. Full details.

  • The video page has undergone a makeover to make it easier to share your video.

Get Loom | Free & paid options

Websites

 

Squarespace

  • Unsplash integration added, so you can search for and add beautiful stock photos right in your website. Full details.

  • Zapier integration now available. Full details.

  • Squarespace now has built-in email functionality with manual and automated solutions. Full details.

  • A mobile app is available, allowing you to update pages and blog posts, add images to gallery blocks from your camera roll, and view your analytics. Full details.

  • You can now link your Squarespace online store to create shoppable Instagram posts. Full details.

Get Squarespace* | Accounts start at $12/month

Podcasting

Anchor

  • iPad App and New Features: Anchor has now introduced an app for the iPad and a bunch of new features: touch-enabled editing, import your existing audio from almost anywhere, drag-and-drop files from other apps into Anchor, plus better audio quality.

  • Anchor has been completely revamped to focus on podcasting without having to have any fancy or expensive audio editing software. Full details.

Get Anchor

Here's the heads up on some of the best digital tools & resources you need to rock your business (updated monthly!)

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