Efforts without tools do not work.

Efforts are just that. Best intentions. And while we all have the best intentions, we also have full-time jobs.

This is why we have tools.

To make things efficient and consistent.

Sometimes, our best intentions lead us to start a manual effort. For example, “Hey! Let’s document all of our important terms in a spreadsheet. That will be helpful.”


“Let’s set up our file server using this directory structure. That will help us organize!”


“Let’s make a list of our keywords so people can tag images to help us find them later.”

While people focus attention on these efforts, manual methods might work. For that while. But after another while, people get busy. They have jobs to do. Maintaining a folder structure or terminology, or memorizing the style guide, simply doesn’t work over time. 

Allowing content creators to tag images with free-text keywords introduces so many issues, it might be more efficient not to tag them at all.

And it doesn’t ever scale.

And this is why we need tools. Tools that allow us to forget the terms we need or where to put things because they force the correct usage upon us.

Which may seem constrictive, but is actually quite freeing. Tools help us get the job done. They minimize the number of things we have to memorize and help us avoid wasting thought on the same old routine decisions.

Tools allow us to scale our efforts and not have to work so hard. While you’ll often hear us say that a system without a strategy is a recipe for disaster, it’s also true that a strategy without a system can only get you so far.

Here are the three factors to consider when selecting software platforms. And if you’re thinking about upgrading your systems or don’t even know where to start, we can help. Use the Contact Form to let me know a little bit about your project and we’ll set up a time to talk.

This article originally appeared as the CEO Message in the Content Rules email newsletter. For more exclusive content directly from Val, subscribe below! We send about two issues a month and we never sell, rent, share, or otherwise show your email address to anyone.

Val Swisher
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