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Do you find it hard to resist a new social media management app? Or some other shiny new app that promises to save you hours on your content? It’s super easy to waste time and money on something new and shiny. But, it’s not always necessary.

In this blog post, I’m showing you how how I decide what is a good app to use and what I can do without. I walk you through what basic tools you need to have in your content management suite plus how to make a decision on whether to try something new.

The 3 basic tool types you MUST have

Here are three things you can do to become a better wielder of said tool and save your own content game.

What basic tools do you ACTUALLY need to create, schedule and deliver your content? What’s in your toolkit?In my mind, tools can be grouped broadly into 3 different groups –

  1. An organiser of some sort – e.g. a calendar, diary, spreadsheet
  2. A place to create – could be a word processor – e.g. GDocs, Evernote, MS Word
  3. A publishing or scheduling platform – e.g. WordPress, Facebook, Podcast Host. OR, a scheduling app like Hootsuite, Buffer etc. You will probably have a few different publishing tools in your toolkit.

You can lose HOURS and HOURS trying to learn, trial and possibly DUMP an app because it just didn’t end up being what you needed.

So, here’s how we work out if we should try something:

  1. Determine what you’re currently using and what it does. When it comes to content creation and delivery, there are three main tool types – is it an organising tool, a creation tool, or a publishing tool? Some apps can have multiple tool types.
  2. Write down all the things you need it to do. For example, if you’re looking at a social media scheduler – you would ask – does it schedule to all the platforms that I use? How easy is to upload photos? Do I need to be able to track statistics? Do I want to be able to interact with comments on my posts through the scheduler?
  3. Check this list against the features. Does it have those features listed?
    Trial and test. If the list of features looks like it fulfills your needs – or most of them, it might be worth trialing the app. Go in and test specifically for the things you want to do.
  4. Weigh it up. Does it tick all the boxes? Does it go above and beyond your current system?
    Decide. If no – dump it. If yes – do you have it in your expenses budget?
  5. Now or later? If you can afford it – take it up. If not – put it on a wish list.

So, my main message to you don’t get lost in the idea that a shiny new app will save your content game. You are the master of your tools, they are not the master of you.