When I first started working at Nextfly I knew that there was a lot to learn and, for me, continuous education has always been important. So I took matters into my own hands when it came to enhancing my skill set with a handful of digital tools available online. From watching videos, to doing online programming tutorials, I have come a long way and I wanted to share a few of those programs with you so you can do the same.

  1. Lynda.com

When it came to search engine optimization (SEO), I got started watching video tutorials on Lynda.com. There is a huge variety of videos starting from SEO Fundamentals all the way to SEO for Local Visibility and even videos on how to write optimized marketing copy for your website.

Lynda is not limited to SEO, however. There are courses on everything from learning how to use Photoshop, to Career Development and Music Production.

Interested in getting started? There’s a 10 day trail, so get going TODAY!

2. Codecademy 

To be honest, I didn’t know much about website development when I started at Nextfly. I knew the basics such as you have to start with <> and end with </>, but not much more than that. As I started getting my hands into more and more projects, I knew I had to learn more than how to make a word bold or underlined. I soon discovered Codecademy and started taking in all the knowledge I could. I started off learning the basics of HTML and CSS, then dug into PHP. Now, there’s still a lot to learn, but I can tell you understanding and development problem solving has dramatically improved since I started taking the classes.

3. Toggl

One big problem I had when I first got started at Nextfly was keeping track of time spend on certain projects. I would use my phone to “start” and “stop” projects and Excel to track time and it was going well, but all of the spreadsheets were heard to keep track of.  Five spreadsheets later, I discovered Toggl. Toggl has been a life saver when it comes to long term organization and reliability. It gives us weekly time sheets, organizes time by projects and allows everyone to stay on track.

Want to learn more about Toggl? – read our extended blog here.

4. Highrise

Next, I want to talk about Highrise. Highrise is our CRM (customer relationship management) tool that helps us keep organized. We use it to store all of our clients information, from email addresses to GoDaddy account information and more! We can also copy Highrise on each email we send out and assign it to a specific client so you can keep track of all communications you have had together throughout the course of your project. Think about it like this: Emails can get deleted, but Highrise is FOREVER.

Highrise is not just awesome at managing your clients, but also keeping your staff organized. You can assign “to do” tasks and leave notes on certain clients to keep your team on track.

5.  Google Chrome

Now I know one might be thinking “A web browser helps you be better at life? how?!”

Well, Chrome has this awesome developer feature in their web browser that provides users the ability to inspect the code of a website in order to determine how that specific website is put together.

How does it help? That’s easy.

When a developer is able to break down the code that makes a website the way it is, it’s THAT much easier to make development updates to the website in order to get the website to look and function the way a client wants.

Google’s Developer Tools’ “Inspect Element” allows a developer the ability to add, edit or remove code and see the results of that change in real time rather than going through a CSS stylesheet or HTML/PHP page template.

With Google’s Developer Tools, new developers can have a hands-on training with existing websites without any implications on that site itself.

I still do have a lot to learn, but these tools have helped me become what I am today. I hope to still continue to learn and grow as a professional everyday and would love to hear any suggestions from other people on different digital tools they use that I should pick up. So…. PLEASE! Feel free to send me a tweet at @julieenelson with anything you’d recommend.