5 Free Digital Tools You’re Foolishly Overlooking
by Isaiah E. Bailey | on 5 June 2021
Everything and everyone is going digital. That means, whether you like it or not, so do you have the responsibility, regardless of your age, income, ethnicity, or gender, to embrace digital change.
People are working with remote teams that ignore geographical boarders and operate on a more global scale. The need to collaborate, feel connected, and keep organized while working in a digital world is paramount.
It’s as if everyone could use a personal assistant to help with the continuous flow of information and to sort of streamline our lives.
Luckily, there are tools that most people (or at least I know I fall into this group) don’t use as much as they should. Not to mention, they’re all free to use.
Take a look at these 5 digital resources available to make your life easier.
Stop Bothering People
It happens to me all of the time. I’m off the clock, but there’s just one more thing I need to send out by email. It’ll just take a few minutes to send, get the item off of my to-do list, and move on with my day.
The problem is that now you’re bugging someone else while they're hanging out with friends, spending time with the kids, or in the middle of meditating.
Stop doing that. It’s rude and insensitive.
Instead, use the schedule send feature. This way you’re still able to free your mind of that one additional item while at the same time not interrupting the flow of your coworker’s day. We call that a win-win situation.
It shows you are respectful of others, acknowledge workplace boundaries, and value the need to maintain a healthy balance of self-care and mental stability.
Stay Organized and Digitize Your Tasks
Trust me on this one. You definitely want to sign up for Trello. I’m saying this receiving no benefit, reward, or compensation from Trello. I’m just a regular paying customer, and I cannot even begin to tell you all of the amazing things about this digital organizer - but I’ll try.
Trello basically took those sticky pads we love and made them digital, and then allowed sharing with team members, and then allowed customizations to better sort, organize, and prioritize the digital sticky pads, and then made it cloud and app-based so you can access your notes from anywhere, and then, actually I’ll stop there and let you see the rest for yourself.
Just trust me. You’ll be much more organized. You’ll also cut down on a lot of emails by using this free digital resource. Thank me later.
Keep Your Information Safe
Hip hip hooray! Companies finally realize it’s okay to work remotely and still be equally as productive and effective at your job.
Wait just a minute though. Did you consider the safety of your home internet and IT setup? If you’re anything like me, probably not. But you need to.
Introducing the Virtual Private Network – or VPN for short. This is supposed to keep your data and information safe. I say “supposed to” because I’m an accountant, I don’t know how this VPN stuff works really. I just know it’s necessary to have one.
My personal recommendation (which I’m not getting paid for), is ProtonVPN. It’s simple and easy to use, and best of all it’s free. I personally use the paid version and purchased the annual subscription, but I don’t think there’s any less security with the free version – maybe just less features and options.
Do yourself a favor and protect your stuff, asap.
Keep Sharpening and Updating Your Toolbox
Make Deloitte Dbriefs and EY Webcasts your new best friends - I already have. With today’s growing digital workforce, competition is fierce. More specifically, with the new norm of work from wherever you please, you are now competing for jobs with more than just the folks in your geographical area.
I currently live and work in New York for a company based in San Francisco for example (with 99% of the company living on the west coast).
The best way to prepare for combat is to keep sharpening and updating your toolbox, or more accurately, your skillsets, in order to compete and find success in the job market.
Your college degree isn’t enough anymore. Everyone has one of those. By everyone, I mean everyone you’ll be competing with as we know there are millions who are not privileged to have access to a college education.
But you need more than just your degree. You need add-ons that speak to your expertise, ambition, and value-add as a prospective employee or candidate for promotion.
Get The Data You Need
Are you responsible for sending out emails throughout your organization? Do you ever wonder who opened your email? Or if recipients click the links you provide?
I have the answer to all of the above. Oddly enough, I’m not getting paid for this recommendation either, but it’s been so good to me I must tell you about MailChimp.
MailChimp tells you who opened your email, how many times, when it was opened, and tons of other useful information you can use to enhance and update your messaging. This data allows you to better reach and serve your audience.
Data is King/Queen, and MailChimp provides the data you need – for free.
My life is much easier and decisions more strategic since implementing the 5 digital tools listed above. It's like how did I foolishly overlook these cool resources all along. Don't be like me. Give your digital life a free upgrade, now.
You may also like to read:
Isaiah E. Bailey
Founder, Black Accountants Talent Network (BATN)
I am passionate about creating constructive conversations aimed at improving and implementing actionable and impactful diversity and inclusion strategies applicable to all industries. I am also a dedicated mentor to high school and college students across the Greater New York City and Philadelphia areas.
I am an experienced accounting and auditing professional with over 5 years experience auditing financial statements and documenting, validating and assessing financial systems, strategies, and controls that significantly improve business operations. I have a strong ability to analyze and organize data and communicate results across all levels of an organization both verbally and written.
I have experience providing financial statement audit, carve-out audit, single audit, audit of internal controls over financial reporting (ICFR) and IFRS quarterly reviews for engagements both domestic and international, ranging from start-up to billion dollar companies both private and public.