Why I started Work Daily, and a peek into how I work (daily)

Hello world! My name is Daniel, and I am the guy behind Work Daily. Don’t be fooled by my stern expression, I’m actually more jovial in reality (I hope).

Work Daily is my attempt to find the best-in-class products and services that can help people from any profession – marketing, business development, sales, accounting, and so on – to get their job done well.

And what better way to do that than to ask the most successful people in the business?

Why I started Work Daily

As a former tech journalist, I was deluged by pitch after pitch about how this guy’s product was going to save the world, and how that guy’s service was going to revolutionize its industry. Needless to say, I became numb to, and skeptical about, their promises.

Service marketplaces, food delivery apps, lost-and-found hardware devices – there were just too many similar ideas trying to win already saturated markets.

All I wanted to know was this: Which are the products and services that are actually being used to achieve great things by successful people?

So I started Work Daily to scratch my own itch, and answer this question.

I’m far from the most successful person at any table, but do allow me to humbly get the ball rolling to give you a small taste of what’s to come. Enjoy!

The tools I use

daniel tay writer marketer tools

As a marketer and writer, most of my time is spent on a mix of marketing and content-related apps that I’ve curated over the past six years. Here they are:

Social media and email marketing

marketing tools buffer tweetdeck mailchimp
My social media and email marketing setup is pretty straightforward. I use Buffer to craft and schedule my Twitter posts, and Tweetdeck to monitor various lists and keywords.

I prefer to Buffer to Hootsuite because it is far simpler to use – the latter has many additional features that I wouldn’t actually touch, ever.

Pro tip: For brands whose content I trust, I like to hook their respective RSS feeds up to my Buffer account via IFTTT. Whenever they post fresh content, it’s immediately locked and loaded into my Buffer schedule, and automagically spread out to prevent spamming. Here’s the recipe.

As for Facebook posts, I feel more comfortable scheduling them directly on my Facebook pages.

For email marketing, MailChimp is my weapon of choice because it is easy to use (sensing a pattern here), and I haven’t seen the need for other newfangled features that other apps offer just yet. It doesn’t hurt that it’s one of the most talked-about brands in this space.

Content marketing

content marketing tools

Here’s where things start to get interesting. Content marketing is usually my weapon of choice going in.

To find the best topics to create content around, I usually head to Buzzsumo. Just type in the keyword of choice, and Buzzsumo will generate a list of the most shared content on the web. From there, it is easy to pick out what type of content – videos, infographics, articles, images, and so on – works best for your industry and competitors.

Naturally, it is impossible for me to immediately peruse all the content that I had sifted out from Buzzsumo. Thankfully, Pocket ensures that there is a place that I can toss these webpages to for later reading.

Pro tip: Use Pocket’s Chrome plugin for maximum efficiency!

Similarly, keeping up-to-date with the latest news and articles every single day, while important, takes up a lot of time. Feedly helps me to aggregate content from all my favorite websites in real-time. Plus point: it automatically pushes trending content to the top of the page, which is nice.

Over to content creation. WordPress is my publishing platform of choice because it’s so powerful. From setting up ecommerce stores to publications, it has a bunch of themes and plugins out of the box that can make almost anything happen.

Before my pieces hit WordPress, though, I like to do my drafts on either Hackpad or Google Docs. These two are my top choices because they allow for collaborative writing, allowing me or my clients to peruse and edit content instantly. It also saves the trouble of saving documents to my desktop, attaching it to an email, and sending it off – simply save and send the link instead.

For my own writing (that doesn’t require collaboration), I enjoy using Markdown editor Mou. So the saying goes, once you go markdown, you never go back. I picked it up back when I joined Tech in Asia, and it makes the writing process so much smoother and enjoyable.

Finally, I use Canva to whip up stunning visuals quickly and easily. Visual content is pretty much a must in marketing these days, and with tools like Canva, there’s simply no excuse not to make them.

Pro tip: If you know that you’re going to stick with Canva for visual-making in the long-term, then I suggest you take the plunge and go pro with Canva for Work. One of its excellent features is the ability to save customizable templates, which will save you a whole lot of time.

Communication

daniel tay communication tools work daily

Most of the companies that I’ve worked with use Slack as their central platform for communication. The main reason why Slack is so awesome is because it can literally replace almost all other communication tools, such as email or messenger services, that you were using previously.

There are three features that help Slack to do this:

  1. A huge list of possible integrations to other services
  2. The ability to search all content from the search box
  3. Quick file-sharing

As awesome as it is, Slack hasn’t quite replaced email completely for me yet. Because there isn’t any email app in the market right now that has impressed me yet, I use Gmail directly in-browser.

Outside of Slack, I actually communicate with several clients via Line. The Japanese messaging service is actually very popular in Asia – even more so than Whatsapp in several countries.

Productivity

productivity tools apps work daily

I’m a huge fan of working smarter rather than harder (yes, some people call that lazy, but I beg to differ), and am always on the lookout for new productivity apps to streamline my workflow. Here are the ones that have stuck with me over the years.

Todoist is the task management app that stood out to me above the mess of similar tools. I’ll be honest – I was won over mainly by its beautiful, simple design. The ability to break tasks down by projects is another feature that appealed to me, and is the only way that I can juggle my workload daily.

Besides that, I use Sunrise Calendar to get a bird’s eye overview of my schedule for the month. Its integration with Google Calendar is extremely helpful, and saves me the trouble of shifting appointments back and forth the two.

Pro tip: I hook up my Todoist account to Sunrise so that I can view all my scheduled tasks directly on the latter. Just go to Settings > Accounts, and enable Todoist. Hello, one-step productivity!

When working with a company on its content, Trello is my tool of choice to manage ideas and posts that I’m working on. I usually set up a card that serves as my idea dump, and then create weekly cards to drag-and-drop these content ideas as and when I begin work on them. It’s a great way to keep clients up-to-date with what’s being worked on as well, as you can add people to the respective cards.

Last but not least, I use Spotify to listen to music while working. As a musician, I’m pretty fussy with the type of music that I listen to while working – those that make me tap my feet and hum along are definitely not in the hit list.

Instead, I usually peruse Spotify’s curated “Focus” playlists that help me to concentrate and focus. ESM | Electronic Study Music and Acoustic Concentration are my top two choices.

Want to be featured on Work Daily, or have someone in mind who you would love to read about? Click here, or contact me directly at daniel@workdaily.xyz or Twitter.