Digital Media Hacks

If there’s a word that always comes up in digital media, it’s “complexity.” That’s not just in the many ad tech companies on a certain slide. Simply executing daily tasks at agencies, publishers and tech providers is pretty difficult. Getting to “inbox zero” is seemingly impossible, and keeping on top of everything at times appears hopeless. We polled some top execs for their “hacks” that make their lives easier — and more productive. Please add your own hacks in the comments.

IOs from Anywhere: Richard Frankel, president, Rocket Fuel
My favorite digital media hack during the fast-and-furious last week of the quarter is Docusign. Anyone in the biz knows that, for a digital industry, we spend a lot of time scanning, printing and faxing around scraps of paper (insertion orders) to get deals done. Yuck! At Rocket Fuel, we’ve adopted Docusign to sign all documents — and with a Web app, an iPad app and an iPhone app, I can pretty much sign contracts wherever I am. My second favorite is Gogo — in fact, I’m writing and emailing this while flying cross country today! Now, if we could only figure out how AI could sign IOs for me ….

Ideas Everywhere: Eric Franchi, co-founder, Undertone
I got in the habit of using the “tasks” tab in Outlook a long time ago to jot down notes specific to recurring meetings or projects that I was working on. The problem with that is that ideas and thoughts generally happen when I am not at my laptop. I would be constantly emailing myself with ideas or writing things down on a sticky pad. With the latest iOs and iCloud update, the “reminders” app syncs with Outlook’s tasks perfectly. Small hack, big help.

Surviving the CC: Avi Savar, chief creative officer, Big Fuel
One of the best things I ever did to help manage my extraordinary volume of emails is to create a rule that automatically moves all emails where my name appears in the CC (not the to field) into a separate “CC folder.” This eliminates tons of email clutter and allows me to focus on emails that are directed at me first rather than all the noise — then once a day I scan my CC folder to make sure that I am looped into everything else and have not missed anything. This is one of several “rules” that helps me focus on what matters most – for example, I have rules that color internal emails gray and emails from clients red. I also use “smart folders” that show me emails in my inbox that are more than a week old, two weeks old, a month old, internal, external and so on. Lastly, I use a terrific service called OtherInbox that automatically organizes newsletters, web receipts, confirmations and pretty much anything else you need – and then sends you a daily digest for review. Happy emailing.

Go to the Cloud: Jeff Hasen, CMO, Hipcricket:
Living in Seattle, I’m always looking for sunshine on a cloudy day (someone should write a song about that). My sunshine actually comes from the cloud. With two Macs, a PC, an iPad, and a smartphone, I’m invariably starting something on one piece of technology and picking it up on another – sometimes even more than one. Dropbox and Evernote are more important to me than an umbrella.

Taming the Email Monster: David Berkowitz, vp of emerging media, 360i
One favorite service is Boomerang for Outlook. It allows me to get an email out of my main inbox and then return it at a later date. Often, I do this when I want to remind myself to follow up scheduling a meeting with someone, or I want to review something in greater detail once a deadline is completed. When used selectively, it then allows me to keep more time-sensitive messages in my inbox.

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