When you think about apps that help you as a financial professional, your first thought may be about tools like stock market apps. These are useful, but not life-changing.
Reporting the fluctuations in the market in real time is very helpful, but Id like to suggest that the most important function you play in your clients lives is not reporting financial information, but interpreting it. In other words, your understanding of the marketplace and the economy is the basis of the trust your clients have in you. To increase this understanding and to communicate your insights effectively, you need get yourself, your information and your insights organized. Here are three great apps to help you get your tech stuff together like never before.
No matter how tech-savvy we all get, for me there is nothing like scribbling my ideas on paper when I am brainstorming. Im not a speedy typist, so the keyboard hangs me up when the ideas are really flowing. I love Penultimate because it allows me the freedom to use my tablet like a yellow pad and write, doodle or draw with my stylus as much as I want. Like Evernote, the app allows me to create notebooks for my different ideas or projects. Then, using the unique email address that comes with my Evernote app, I simply email those notes to the appropriate Evernote location. That way, the notes I take in a development meeting land in the same area with the research I am doing on that project. Penultimate also allows me to add pictures or other images to my notes, enabling me, for example, to send some ideas to my assistant along with images that illustrate what I am talking about. Its a yellow pad on steroids, and lots more fun.
How many times a week do you stumble across a great piece of information that you want to use later in conversations with clients, in a newsletter or on your website? And how many times does that information disappear before it finds its ideal application? Evernote is a great way to curate information and have it ready when you need it. It is an elegant, intuitive app that allows you to simply hit the icon whenever you find something you want to keep, whether it is an article, a quote, or any other type of content. To store this content, you create an unlimited number of notebooks and then simply drop your tidbit into the appropriate notebook with one click. Later, when you are ready to write that blog post or client letter - on tax law changes, for example - you simply go to the appropriate notebook and pull all of the interesting articles that you found. Your sources are there, ready for you, and there are lots of extra features to help you. (I like the Web Clipper feature, that allows me to clip a web page that I like for later reference.) If you arent using this app, give it a try. Penultimate and Evernote work so well together that Evernote bought Penultimate last year.
David Allens book, "Getting Things Done," is a best seller for a good reason. Allen teaches us to approach the daily tasks of life in a unique and creative way, and I recommend the book if you havent read it. But whether you have read it or not, you can benefit from one readers creation of an app to apply its principles. Web developer Michael Sliwinski was so inspired by Allens book that he created his own system for getting things done and called it Nozbe. Like Evernote and Penultimate, Nozbe is very intuitive and user-friendly. You will find it easy to understand as soon as you dive in. The driving idea here is that each action item need only be touched once. Once you have recorded that task it can be placed in a context and even becomes a part of projects that are stored in your Evernote app. Everything works together beautifully, and you will find that you get more done with less stress every day.
How Getting it All Together Boosts Your Business
You have a unique approach and your own special way of doing business. The key to greater productivity is to spend more time with clients and reach more prospects with your message, and the key to that is a more focused approach to your craft. As you organize your tasks, your ideas and your information, you will find that you have greater influence in the lives of your clients, and that your strategic advantage grows. As you position yourself as the source of insights and information, your clients will turn to you more often, and refer their friends and family. And that will definitely change your life, for the better!
Craig Faulkner is CEO ofFMG Suite, a company dedicated to creating digital marketing tools for today's financial professional. For more ways to make the most of your marketing efforts, check out his free online video course,The Art of Digital Marketing. You can also follow him@fmgsuite on Twitter.