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Six Secret Nerd Tips for Life Control

Six Secret Nerd Tips for Life Control

In addition to being a Digital Technology and Marketing Guru, Tod Maffin is a self-proclaimed “nerd” who goes above and beyond the ordinary internet tools we have all heard of (such as Mailchimp, Hootsuite, and Buffer) to help simplify his life. Here he shares his secret weapons to digital success:


People mention your brand all the time on Twitter, and if you’re responsible for tracking it, you may have your hands full. RowFeeder does one thing very well — it simply logs every tweet mentioning your brand to a Google Spreadsheet. Once you set it up, it does all the work for you. You don’t need to do anything else! Just log in and view your stats.

It also logs the person’s location (as reported by their bio), the number of followers they have, and the number of people they follow. For a one-time fee, they’ll add the user’s Klout score to the spreadsheet.

You get a limited number of mentions logged per month but can pay for a premium account to get more.

FACEBOOK MARKETING: Edgerank Checker and PostAcumen

These are amazing tools for people who manage Facebook pages for their organization. Facebook’s Insights lets you download a massive spreadsheet full of raw datapoints about likes and engagement. But you’ll spend a day crunching those numbers to make any sense of it. These two tools do that heavy-lifting for you and help your brand’s Facebook posts make it to the coveted News Feed of your fans. This is a paid tool, but you can discover your Pages’ Edgerank score for free, track it over time, and get tips on how to improve visibility.

EMAIL: Boomerang

Boomerang is incredible. This one tool alone saves me about 20 hours per month. I am not exaggerating.

Used to be when I was emailing someone and wanted to make sure they got back to me, I made a little note for myself in my company’s CRM system then manually entered a task in my to-do list. Then on that day, I’d have to load up the email thread and see if there’s been a response.

Boomerang does that for me. Before I hit send, I just click “If nobody replies, return this to me in ____ days.” It works flawlessly. You can even schedule recurring email returns, track when people open your emails, and much more.

PEOPLE NETWORKING: Job Change Notifier

One of the great things about LinkedIn is that, if you add your colleagues, business partners, clients, and suppliers as Connections, you can track when they move jobs, get promoted, and so on. But to do that, you’ve got to log into LinkedIn manually (or use Nimble CRM) to check. Job Change Notifier is a completely free service that will email you once a week with a list of people you’re connected to who have changed jobs or got promoted. It’s a great way to reach out to past clients or colleagues and keep in touch. Simple but awesome.

TRAVEL: GPS Pal mobile app (iPhone / Android)

I do a lot of travelling for business. And maybe I’m just paranoid but I don’t trust cab drivers. I’ve been taken for a ride — literally — more than a few times. I’ll ask to go to the airport and I’ll get there, but by an unnecessarily long and expensive route.

Now, when I get into a cab, I launch GPS Pal. It tracks and logs the route the cabbie is taking me in real time, using satellite tracking. I can watch it as we go (so that if it’s clear we’re taking a weird route, I can ask them what’s going on) plus it will log the route the driver takes so that I’ve got proof to complain to the cab company if I’ve been ripped off. For the data nerds, it’ll also log your average speed, total distance, time the trip took, and elevation.

This should be a mandatory app for all business travellers.


I really, really hate voicemail. I hate seeing the little “You have a voicemail” light on the phone. I hate logging in. I hate listening to them. The world would be a better place if everyone just sent me an email. With Phonetag, you can get the best of both worlds. You tell your phone to forward all unanswered or out-of-range calls to a special number that Phonetag gives you, and when people land there it sounds like a regular voicemail. They leave a message for you and that’s where the magic begins. Phonetag sends that message to an actual human being who transcribes the voicemail and emails you the text. This is far better than services like Google Voice which relies on automated (and usually flaky) transcription. You can pay by the message (35 cents each) or a monthly plan.


Google Alerts used to be a great way to track web and blog mentions of your company name (or anything you want, like your credit card number, your kids’ names, etc.). But Google Alerts has been pretty much useless for the last month. It’s clear that Google has let it grow mould.

Luckily, Mention has stepped up and provides a better service anyway. With Mention, you can track text online but you can also tell it to ignore certain sites (some sites give lots of false positive), get smartphone notifications, and add users to your account. You get a couple of hundred of hits from a month but can get more by referring friends or paying them.

This should be in the toolset of everyone who manages a brand. Or wants to check up on what your kids are saying online.

By Tod Maffin