As a marketing team spread around the world — from the West Coast in the US to the East Coast in the US to Canada, to the UK and Singapore, we always keep an eye on the latest marketing and productivity tools to help us stay connected and do our best work.

Our team also covers a range of marketing disciplines from social media to community building, to press relations, to content marketing. So we use many different tools to get things done and work towards our goals.

We’ve written about the best free marketing tools and the most popular tools used by content marketers. Today, as a collaboration with Product Hunt, we’d love to share our marketing team’s favorite tools! We hope that you’ll be able to find a few tools that can help you.

To make it easier for you to find all these tools, we created a collection on Product Hunt. Feel free to read the rest of the article to find out how we use the tools or hop over to Product Hunt to check out the tools!

The Remote Marketers Toolbox: The 60 Marketing Tools We Use at Buffer

The Top 10 Tools Used by Buffer’s Marketing Team

1. Trello for organization

I can’t imagine what we would do without Trello!

We use Trello several times a day to track our projects’ progress, organize our blog editorial calendar, and more. We also often have asynchronous discussions about specific project or blog post on the respective Trello card, which provides most of the context we need.

Trello

2. Grammarly for mistake-free writing

As marketers, we write a lot — blog posts, social media posts, conversations with community members,  press outreach emails, and more. Grammarly, a handy Chrome extension, instantly checks for spelling, grammatical, and punctuation mistakes as we type to ensure that our writing is free from errors.

Grammarly

3. Discourse for discussions and announcements

As a remote team working in different time zones, we try to communicate asynchronously as much as possible. Discourse is a place for all our most important discussions and announcements.

Discourse

4. Zoom for video calls

While we try to communicate asynchronously as much as possible, sometimes it’s better to jump onto a video call to chat face-to-face. And it’s also great for connecting with teammates.

The reliable and fast Zoom is our tool of choice — it can smoothly handle our full team All-Hands meetings (more than 70 people).

Zoom

5. Looker for data

We want to back as many of our decisions as possible with data. Looker has enabled us to collect, explore, and analyze all our data and make informed decisions. Most of us are able to use Looker to answer our data questions without having to know how to code (once our data analysts set up the infrastructure).

With Looker, we are also able to create dashboards for key metrics and monitor them closely.

Looker

6. MailChimp for email campaigns

MailChimp is a key part of our marketing efforts. We use it for our RSS campaigns, weekly digests, email courses, and more! Besides its intuitive interface, we love its smart automation as it has saved us a lot of time and effort.

MailChimp

7. Sketch for design

All of us on the marketing team are part-time designers. We design social media images, blog images, email templates, and more. Recently, several of us bought Sketch and learned how to design custom images with Sketch. We quickly fell in love with how intuitive and powerful it is.

Sketch

8. Slack for real-time messaging

Slack is our “office” with “hallways”, “water cooler”, and all the cool places in an office (maybe less pantry for now). It’s where we “meet” one another when we come to work every weekday and where we have quick back-and-forth discussions.

Slack

9. Buffer for social media management

We use Buffer to help us plan and publish relevant, engaging content at the best times. We also use Buffer analytics to inform us about our social media performance so that we can constantly refine our social media strategy.

Buffer

10. Dropbox Paper for collaboration

For document collaboration and team note-taking, we use Dropbox Paper to jam on ideas together either in real-time or asynchronously. Dropbox Paper has packed many powerful functionalities into its simple, clean interface — such as comments, change log, to-do lists, reminders, notifications, and more.

Dropbox Paper

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50 More Marketing and Productivity Tools We Love at Buffer

We’re so grateful for the amazing tools available to help us work smarter, not harder. Here’s a list of the other tools we love and use — many of them are free!

For a quick overview, here’re the categories of tools we’ll be covering below:

  1. Social media
  2. Content
  3. Multimedia
  4. Research
  5. Data
  6. Organization
  7. Productivity

Feel free to use the anchor links to jump to your favorite category of tools!

Social media

We use several social media tools to help us maintain a strong online presence and engage our community on social media. Here’re just some of them:

  1. Twitcher
  2. Tack
  3. Giphy
  4. Chatfuel Bots
  5. Respond

How we use Respond: We are grateful for the countless Twitter and Facebook conversations we have with our customers and community members. With Respond, we are able to automatically pull out non-customer support conversations and efficiently reply them as a team — often with a GIF from Giphy. (Our amazing Happiness Heroes also use Respond to help our customers with any questions they have.)

Respond

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Content

Writing tools

Written content is a big part of our content marketing — and even marketing — strategy. Each of us on the team has different preferences for our writing tool, and these are a few that we use.

  1. Ulysses
  2. Marked 2
  3. WordPress.org

How we use WordPress.org: Besides using WordPress.org as a writing tool, we also use it to host all Buffer blogs. It’s a robust and simple-to-use platform where we manage all our blog post drafts and comments. It’s also flexible enough for us to easily experiment with new design and plugins without needing a lot of technical know-how.

As a team, we often help look through and edit one another’s drafts. WordPress has a neat feature which prevents you from making any changes when another teammate is in the draft.

WordPress.org

Curation

We love content. And we consume a lot of content as a team. Fortunately, there are many content discovery and curation tools to help us find the best content to share with our community and generate content ideas for our blogs.

  1. Pocket
  2. Refind
  3. Zest

How we use Zest: I discovered Zest near the end of last year and have been using it regularly — almost daily. It is a Chrome extension that shows you the latest and the best marketing content whenever you open a new Chrome tab. The content is manually curated and assessed by the Zest team against six criteria: actionable and full of takeaways, insightful, in-depth, fresh, not too branded, and free.

Zest

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Multimedia

Graphics

While we love written content, we found that our multimedia content complements our blog posts and has been doing amazingly well on social media for us. Graphics and videos are the two main types of multimedia content that have been performing on social. (We now have a podcast, too!)

  1. Placeit
  2. Keynote
  3. CloudApp
  4. Draw.io
  5. Eye Dropper
  6. Canva

How we use Canva: While we are experimenting with custom images made with Sketch, Canva is the tool we rely on for making great-looking social media images quickly. We usually use the ready-made templates, icons, and illustrations to make our images look professional without having to do much of the actual design work.

Canva

Videos

From our State of Social Media 2016 survey results, we concluded that video is on the rise. 83 percent of marketers surveyed would love to create more video content if they had more time and resources. We’re glad to have found several video creation and editing tools to help us keep up with the trend.

  1. Filmora
  2. Adobe CS (Audition, Premiere Pro, Photoshop, After Effects)
  3. Loom
  4. Animoto

How we use Animoto: Brian Peters, our digital strategist, has been creating short videos for our social media profiles with Animoto. (You can check out some of the videos on our Facebook Page.) Brian would usually extract three to five key takeaways and tips from our new blog posts, convert them into short social videos, and share them on social media.

We recently partnered with Animoto and spent $1,500 testing the difference in the impact of square and landscape videos. You can read our findings here if you are curious.

Animoto

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Research

We have learned a lot from our community, and we’re very grateful to them for being willing to share insightful feedback with us. We use tools like Qualaroo and Hotjar to easily create simple surveys and put them on our websites.

  1. Qualaroo
  2. Hotjar
  3. Appear.in
  4. Typeform

How we use Typeform: Typeform is amazing for creating beautiful forms. We usually use Typeform to create surveys such as our State of Social Media 2016 Survey and our regular Buffer Slack Community surveys.

Typeform

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Data

We are always keen to find out how well we are doing — both qualitatively and quantitatively. We get qualitative feedback through tweets, NPS comments, and emails while we use data tools to inform us about the quantitative side of things. Apart from Looker, here’re some of the other data tools that we use:

  1. Google Data Studio
  2. Google Tag Manager
  3. Google Analytics
  4. Post Reach

How we use Post Reach: Post Reach is a simplified version of Google Analytics that extracts the essential data for us. We just had to connect our blog to Post Reach, and Post Reach will regularly send us the key metrics of our blog posts such as traffic, engagement, and shares. (Post Reach was built by Ash Read, our blog editor, and his friends.)

Postreach

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Organization

Scheduling

Being in seven different time zones around the world can make scheduling of meetings a little tricky. The scheduling tools below save us so much time and mental energy in finding the best times to meet.

  1. Google Calendar
  2. Fantastical 2
  3. Timezone.io
  4. World Time Buddy
  5. Calendly

How we use Calendly: Calendly is a great tool for scheduling meetings without having the usual back-and-forth conversation to find the best time to meet. Calendly takes into account of my existing calendar events so people cannot book a time slot when I’m not available. Instead of looking at one another’s calendars, we just have to pick a time slot from one another’s Calendly.

Calendly

Notes

Having a single place to store notes and collect ideas can be great for marketers (and possibly anyone). Tools like Dropbox Paper even allow multiple team members to work on the same note at the same time.

  1. Google Sheets
  2. Apple Notes
  3. Evernote

How we use Evernote: I believe everyone on the team uses their note-taking app differently. I use Evernote for several purposes: collect great articles and ideas, prepare for syncs, and jot down any useful thoughts that come up during the day.

Evernote

Security

Since we were hacked in 2013, security has become one of our top priorities at Buffer. We learned many valuable security lessons from the incident, and we’re hoping that secure password management is a good measure to prevent future breaches.

  1. 1Password
  2. Okta

How we use Okta: We use Okta (and two-factor authentication) for the apps used by several people (or everyone) in the team so that we don’t have to share the passwords through unsecured means.

Okta

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Productivity

To-do lists

Having a to-do list can be helpful for planning our days and prioritizing our work. As each of us gets things done in different ways, we each gravitate towards our preferred tool for recording and tracking our tasks. Here are some of our favorite to-do list app:

  1. Todoist
  2. Asana
  3. Omnifocus

How we use OmniFocus: OmniFocus is my preferred t0-do list app. I try to record everything I have and want to do in the respective lists.

One of my favorite things about OmniFocus is its review feature. There’s a tendency for to-do lists to get longer and longer over time. With the review feature, I’m encouraged to go through and clean up my lists on a weekly basis so that my lists are up-to-date and I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed.

Omnifocus

Focus

A conducive environment can help us focus and be more productive. Since we are always working on our laptops, we found several great tools to help us block out distractions, stay focused, and relax.

  1. Adblock
  2. Pixelblock
  3. f.lux
  4. Noisli

How we use Noisli: Some of us like listening to music when we work while some prefer having ambient sounds in the background. With Noisli, we can mix several sounds (e.g. rain, wind, train, cafe, and more) to create the optimal audio environment that we feel most comfortable in.
Noisli

Automation

Automation is such a time saver for us! Instead of manually repeating a task regularly, we try to find ways to automate it. While most of us are not technical enough to build scripts to automate tasks, we found several awesome tools to help us do just that with a few clicks.

  1. Boomerang for Gmail
  2. TextExpander
  3. Canned Responses for Gmail
  4. Zapier

How we use Zapier: We often use Zapier to pull relevant data to the most convenient places. For example, we have Zaps that pull our social media posts into a Slack channel so that we can stay on top of our social media posts conveniently within Slack. We also have Zaps that pull our blog posts into our general Slack channel to keep everyone at Buffer in the loop about new blog posts.

Zapier

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What are your top 3 favorite tools?

We’re always eager to learn about the tools people use to get things done. We hope you have found this big list of tools useful, and we’d love to hear from you!

What are your top 3 favorite tools? What do you like most about the tools?

If you have made a Product Hunt collection, feel free to share it in the comments below, too!

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Written by Alfred Lua

Content Crafter at Buffer. I swim, cycle, and run a lot. When I’m not doing all those, I love to read and try new things.

  • Would love to know about how you guys have set up Chat bots. Otherwise, great & informative article!

  • Joe Large

    Screencast-o-matic to capture computer screen and I use to highlight pics or videos taken. Camstudio on my phone, turn pics into pdf documents does great job enhancing image, that I can share. Also use mightytext where my texts show up on my computer, don’t have to scramble for my phone. Nice article appreciate the post.

    • That’s a great list, @joelarge:disqus. Camstudio sounds like a handy app to have for people who work on the go. Thanks for sharing your favorite tools. Thanks for the kind words, too!

  • My top 3 favorite tools are Calendly, Trello & Slack. BTW great article Alfred!

    • Thanks, @AkashSrivastavaSEO:disqus! Nice, those are amazing tools, isn’t it? 😀 What you like most about them?

  • Melissa

    Great article. I also wanted to comment that I love this blog! Thank you for continuing to post helpful content on a daily basis. It’s incredibly beneficial for marketers like myself.

    • Appreciate the kind words, Melissa 🙂

  • I have recently discovered and started using Airtable to track and manage projects/tasks. I highly recommend it.

    • Wow, Airtable looks amazing! It’s like an upgraded version of spreadsheets. Thanks for sharing that, @anthonywoodward:disqus. 🙂

      • Joan Bell

        Whoa! I just checked this out, looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing Anthony.

        • Karen Estrada

          Airtable is amazing. We use it for many functions in our wholesale bakery business (e.g. Placing orders, keeping track of our orders, adding new customers, social media info+scheduling, delivery calendar, and more! it also has Kanban.) You can also import .csv files from Quickbooks into AT as well! I also use it for doing website audits/inventories (another side business). It is so versatile and fun to use!

  • Great tips. LOVE how you all really boil them down. Who knew it would only take a few minutes to read about 60 ideas! My other favorite go-to tools: Pocket, PicMonkey and Google Drive.

    • Thanks so much for the kind words, @KevinKolbeDude:disqus! PicMonkey looks interesting. What do you like most about it? 🙂

      • For me PicMonkey is really easy to use. Has lots of just basic touch-up, enhance features to more complicated layering and fonts, but not as intimidating as say PhotoShop can be. Plus, if you do the membership it’s cheap – like $40 a year cheap!

  • Giray

    Great list with very useful tools! I haven’t heard a few of them. I’ll definitely try. Anyone who is interested in online useful tools like me, also can check out my side-project: http://startupcollections.com/

    • Thanks, @disqus_rrlkL9KzBS:disqus! Glad to hear that you found it useful. And that’s a cool side project! Congrats on the great launch on Product Hunt!

  • Yam Regev

    This is an outstanding artilce. Love your pragmatic approach, Alfred.
    And thank you SO MUCH for including Zest.is. We’re humbled and grateful 🙂

    • You’re very welcome, @yamregev:disqus! All the best with Zest!

      Thanks so much for the kind words! 🙂

  • Natalia

    Thank you, Alfred! This is such an amazing list of tools ?? I’ve bookmarked at least 10 of these to look into this morning ? Top 3 for me: Buffer – of course! – Respond and Canva. These are the ones I use every single day, most of the day! One that is not here but it seriously upgraded our internal communication because of all the features it has in one same place is Workplace (by Facebook). Happy Friday, Buffer Team!

    • Heya @natt_andra:disqus! You’re very welcome, and thank you so much for reading and commenting on my post! ? Have you managed to try the 10 tools you have bookmarked? What do you think of them?

      We’re grateful to you for using Buffer and Respond daily!

      Oh, awesome to hear that your team is enjoying Workplace (by Facebook). I have not heard much about it since its launch but it might be cool to try it out!

  • One thing I’m interested to hear about is the browser of choice for the Buffer team. It’s an often overlooked tool when it comes to productivity/work – but the browser is your window into most of the web-based apps listed, after all, and the functionality built-in can have a huge impact on the way you work (e.g. minimalist tendencies of Safari/Chrome vs a more comprehensive tool like Vivaldi).

    What’s your favourite browser for work?

    • Great question, @jonmccull:disqus! I believe most (maybe even all) of us on the marketing team use Chrome with lots of different extensions (such as Buffer, Grammarly, GIPHY, 1Password, and Zest).

      • Thanks for the reply 🙂 Interesting one. Full transparency, I work for Vivaldi (https://vivaldi.com) where we’re currently positioned as “the browser for power users”. Traditionally this is probably taken as meaning just devs, etc, but I think marketers these days are among the heaviest users out there, so a super interesting group to talk to as well!

        • Thanks for being transparent, Jon! I see; I think that makes sense. I customize my Chrome with many extensions so I can see how a more powerful and customizable browser would appeal to some marketers. 🙂

  • John Carlson

    We created a slack channel for #software_audits to get a group consensus on whether new apps should be written into our agency process. So far: Zoho (crm) and for basic interactive content: H5P and Webslides, but alas, most of our new finds are on here already 🙂 Great work. Oh, P.S. as a fun task managing app we’ve been using Habitica which is a RPG task tracker (nerd!). Thanks again.

    • Oh, I like the process you have there, @disqus_RpnMltX0BG:disqus! Wow, Habitica looks amazing! ?

  • Coleman Flynn

    Curious why I haven’t seen Onlypult on these lists for Instagram scheduling. I’ve been using it for years and it’s reliable and actually posts for you. Maybe I’ve missed a post about this in the past, but either way, it’s a great tool for Insta.

    https://onlypult.com

  • Joan Bell

    My faves are Buffer because of its simplicity and I need to use it more. Canva is simple, quick and user friendly and gives professional looking images which I can brand. And I LOVE Trello, thanks to Buffer for introducing that one to me some time ago with a demo. I use Trello for ‘everything’ and constantly find new uses for it. Aren’t we lucky to live in a time when so many people give so freely? Thanks for all you do guys, and this fabulous article.

    • “Aren’t we lucky to live in a time when so many people give so freely?” Yes! You are right, @disqus_lEKF0VLVBh:disqus! It’s so amazing to be able to use so many wonderful tools for free (or even at a low price).

      You’re welcome, and thanks for checking out my post, too! ?

      • Joan Bell

        My pleasure..

  • Nice tools used for website marketing.

  • Gabriel Jourdan

    Awesome article Alfred? Really great overview:-)

    Two more tools that might be worth looking at: Quip for knowledge management and team collaboration and GoodNotes for notetaking (in meetings for example) and document management. Can’t live without it anymore.

    • Thanks, @gabrieljourdan:disqus! Awesome, thanks for sharing Quip and GoodNotes with us! ?

  • John Tully

    Interestingly I see that you don’t use/recommend Pablo by Buffer for Graphics! When I need a quick image for an inspirational quote its my go-to app.

    • Ooo, that’s a great one, @disqus_QAuk7Knq9q:disqus! Appreciate that you are using Pablo regularly. ?

  • John Hardy

    Grammarly is one of my top 5 recommended tools, I also use Trello for client work and Buffer.

  • My top three would be, Buffer, all of Google’s Products, IFTTT (if this then that) https://ifttt.com/discover. Big mention for iView (360 photos).

  • Eyreka

    I am completely new to marketing (anthropology major, not graphic design…doh!) and I was wondering how all of these amazing designers and marketers do the things they do. This list is the perfect guide. If I get a raise, I promise to donate some your way… 🙂

    • Thanks for the kind words, @eyreka:disqus! All the best for the raise! ?

  • Curious why you guys link to the ProductHunt page for all of these tools, rather than linking directly to the sites….?

    • Yeah , same thing i want to know – product hunt link WHY?

    • Heya @nzerinto:disqus and @studentcover:disqus, great question! Sorry that I didn’t make it clear from the start. This blog post is a collaboration with Product Hunt to share the top tools that we use as a marketing team. So I decided to link to the respective pages on Product Hunt. I have updated the introduction of this blog post to make this more explicit. Thanks for the nudge! 🙂

  • Steve Bragato

    Had great luck with Unbounce for landing pages, embedded CTAs and on-site surveys. Another vote for Hotjar as well.

  • Kingston David

    Typeform is definitely the best (read as no-nonsense) research tool out there. Seeing a lot of Qualaroo integrations by big names recently. While user polls/surveys are alright I believe research should also include tools that help you gain insights on user behaviour. Hotjar, VWO and Zarget are good choices.

  • Just curious—would you care to share what the ‘Calls to Action’ plugin you’re using on this WordPress install (screenshot) is?

    • Hi @andre4s:disqus, sure. I believe it’s a custom tool built by Jump24, the development studio which built our WordPress theme. Sorry if this isn’t what you were looking for.

  • Canva & Grammerly are my favorite tools in the list. I also use Mailchimp in a week

  • sharmanandini

    My top favorite tools are
    ProofHub for project management & collaboration
    Pocket for content curation
    Canva for graphics
    Buffer for social media

  • Vishnu Ajit

    Amazing list of products. Really worth it..thank you

  • Great words…. It is very nice..

  • Paweł Nowak

    STOP THE CALL! Nothing on UTM management? 🙂 You need to create UTM links in almost all of these tools EVERY day 🙂 Check out this free tool we’re launching soon: https://utm.porn (yes it’s a pornographically good).

  • Dino

    Molto utile,mille grazie!

  • Ajay Pal Singh

    Thanks for the list.
    We also use many of these.
    You may also check sparkpost for sending emails.
    I love their reporting dashboard and easy to use api (with postman)
    Just a fan, not affiliated 🙂

  • Toni Toshic

    Great article Alfred, thanks a lot. For marketing automation I use Autopilot and Intercomm.

    Also, I will recommend EmbedSocial.com and their plugin for displaying Facebook, twitter or Instagram photos in a blog posts or any other website content.

    Check out the free plugin: https://embedsocial.com/marketing-apps/facebook-gallery-plugin/

    Hope it helps

  • Amazing post @alfredlua:disqus , thank you for sharing this list!