The Ultimate Agent Resource List Pt. 3: Staying Organized

Welcome to part three of The Ultimate Agent Resource List! Over three installments, we’re equipping you with everything you need to get clients, keep them, organize their info, and ultimately provide them with the best service possible. Read on and get connected to services and tools necessary to run your business.

We get it; there are a lot of tools and resources out there for agents. It can get overwhelming! That’s why we’ve researched and compiled the ultimate resource list all in one place — the Ritter blog. The fruit of extensive research, any resources we suggest here have been vetted by Ritter staff. In fact, we use some of these vendors ourselves! We’ve broken our list up into three installments to keep everything organized.

In part one of The Ultimate Agent Resource List, we discussed everything marketing. In part two, we covered resources handy for post-sale client communication. In part three, our final installment, we’re exploring all those behind-the-scenes tools you rely on in the everyday operations of your insurance business, those workhorses that keep you organized and productive.

Note: This post is longer than our usual blog posts. Take it in chunks! Stick with it, bookmark it, and come back to it, because we think you’ll find it’s full of useful information!

What Insurance Agents Need to Organize

Organization is important when running a business, especially when you have clients depending on you for a part of their livelihoods. As an insurance agent, what exactly do you need to keep track of? Here are some of the possibilities:

What Agents Need to Organize

We’ve broken down organizational tools into two categories — external (organizing your clients) and internal (organizing yourself and downlines).

Here’s your visual table of contents:

Organize Your Clients

Not only is organizing your client information imperative as a professional, but it’s also essential as an insurance agent who must follow HIPAA guidelines and CMS rules. You need secure, efficient solutions to transform your business from operating out of an old filing cabinet to humming smoothly on the cloud. Digital systems save you time and space, so we recommend utilizing cloud-based options as much as possible.

Types & Applications

When keeping track of your clients, you have two main considerations — information and time. Here’s a quick overview of what you can use to improve your organization of client details.

Types & Applications of Client Organizational Tools

TypeReplaces…Best For…
Client Relationship Management (CRM) SystemsPaper files
  • All agents and agencies
Online Appointment SchedulersPhysical planners
  • Any agent with 10+ clients
  • Agencies

Most of the tools we’ll describe are useful for practically any agent, but we’ll point out certain benchmarks for when we think you can’t live without them.

CRMs

If you could only choose one tool to improve your organization, a CRM wins hands-down. If you operate an agency, you’ll want an Agency Management System (AMS), which could be the same program as the CRM (depending on the robustness of the CRM). We’ll mention AMS’s later in this list under Organize Yourself and Any Downlines. When researching, you’ll quickly find that there’s a lot of overlap between a CRM and AMS.

You’ll also quickly find that there are many CRMs out there and all of them have their strengths and weaknesses. Many comment threads have “this is the worst” and “this is the best” battles. The important thing is to do your research, consider what’s important for you and your business, utilize free trials, and at the end of the day, make peace with the fact that there will never be a perfect CRM.

You’ll also quickly find that there are many CRMs out there and all of them have their strengths and weaknesses.

A CRM consolidates all your important client information, including names, contact info, addresses, and more, into one place, which you can access from a convenient dashboard. Additionally, when you select a CRM that’s tailored for health insurance agents, you’ll gain even more useful features, like a spot to enter hospitals, providers, prescription drugs, and relevant health details, the ability to assign leads, and more. We recommend CRMs created for health insurance agents over other general alternatives, even those geared toward insurance at large. While the more generic CRMs can be powerful and useful, they require more customization and setup than the plug-and-play options we list here. Here are our recommended CRMs for agents selling health plans.

ResourceProsConsBest For…
The Ritter Platform
  • Free to Ritter agents
  • Medicare and ancillary specific
  • Integrated online contracting
  • Built-in quote and enrollment engines
  • Integrated with Shop & Enroll
  • Built-in call recording
  • Built-in commissions tracker
  • Shared records with clients
  • Text/email SOAs from client record
  • Task list
  • Track drug info, doctors and hospitals, and health details in client profiles
  • Prefilled quotes and enrollment applications based off client info
  • Track application statuses
  • Compliant and secure
  • Lead management
  • Multi-faceted support from a powerful FMO
  • No mobile app
  • No VoIP
  • No third-party app integrations (importing data is possible)
  • No appointment scheduling or calendar
  • No built-in email marketing or client communications
  • Registered Ritter agents
  • Independent agents
  • Agencies
  • Agents or agencies who want a free option
Integrity’s MedicareCENTER and LifeCENTER
  • Free to Ritter and Integrity agents
  • Integrated Medicare-specific and life-specific platforms
  • Built-in quote and enrollment engines
  • Integrated with PlanEnroll
  • Lead management and integration with LeadCENTER
  • Built-in call recording for MA and PDP compliance
  • At-a-glance client tracking
  • Prefilled quotes and enrollment applications based off client info
  • Task list
  • Mobile app
  • Compliant and secure
  • Text/email SOAa from client record
  • Multi-faceted support from a powerful FMO
  • Digital assistant powered by AI
  • No online contracting
  • No VoIP
  • No third-party app integrations (importing data is possible)
  • No appointment scheduling or calendar
  • No built-in email marketing or client communications
  • Registered Ritter or Integrity agents
  • Independent agents
  • Agents who want a free option
Market AdvisorTM
  • Free to Ritter and Integrity agents
  • Medicare and ancillary specific
  • Built-in quote and enrollment engines
  • Mobile app
  • Compliant and secure
  • Multi-client quoting
  • View geographical enrollment data with Market Edge tool
  • Comprehensive Med Supp and ancillary quoting
  • E-apps for Med Supps, dental, and vision
  • Real-time underwriting
  • Not as powerful with MA and PDP quoting
  • No online contracting
  • No VoIP
  • No third-party app integrations (importing data is possible)
  • No appointment scheduling or calendar
  • No built-in email marketing or client communications
  • Registered Ritter or Integrity agents
  • Agents selling a lot of Med Supps and ancillary products
  • Independent agents
  • Agents who want a free option
Spreadsheet
  • Free (e.g., Google Sheets)
  • Straightforward and easy to use
  • Labor intensive
  • Very limited capabilities
  • Agents just starting out
  • Agents with only a handful of clients
  • Agents still vetting CRMs
AgencyBloc’s Plus Suite
  • Health and senior market specific
  • Powerful suite of tools, including CRM, quoting and enrollment integrations, VoIP, lead management, appointment scheduling, and more
  • Automate workflows and triggers for client communication
  • Task list
  • Compliant and secure
  • Free trial
  • Pricier option
  • No online contracting
  • No mobile app
  • Limited email marketing customization and features
  • Limited customization on client profile
  • No transparent pricing; may have to pay separately for each tool
  • May be too much for one agent
  • Agents or agencies with financial resources
  • Agents or agencies looking for an integrated suite of tools
Radius (AgencyBloc acquisition)
  • Powerful suite of tools, including CRM, quoting, commissions tracker, email marketing, VoIP, lead management, calendar and appointment scheduling, and more
  • Integrations with third-party apps, including Google, Microsoft, and AgentMethods
  • Task list
  • Import emails
  • Compliant and secure
  • Free trial
  • Costs money
  • No online contracting
  • No mobile app
  • Limited emailing features
  • Complaints on functionality with data management
  • Agents or agencies with financial resources
  • Agents or agencies looking for an integrated suite of tools
NextAgency
  • Powerful suite of tools, including CRM, AMS, commissions, email, texting, and calendar
  • Integrations with other apps for quoting, VoIP, and more
  • Integrates calendars and emails from Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo
  • Automate workflows and triggers for client communication
  • NextMail and NextText to keep in touch
  • Task list
  • Paid NextConcierge service to set up and migrate data
  • Free trial
  • Discount for NABIP members
  • Compliant and secure
  • Pricier option
  • Some features and app integrations cost more as add-ons (additional email accounts, NextText, commissions tracking, emailing marketing, quoting)
  • No online contracting
  • No mobile app
  • May be too much for one agent
  • Not just health insurance-specific
  • Agents or agencies with financial resources
  • Agents or agencies looking for an integrated suite of tools
MedicarePRO CRM
  • Medicare specific
  • Intuitive and easy to use
  • Integrations with SunFire
  • Built-in quote engine
  • Track drug info, doctors and hospitals, and health details in client profiles
  • Calendar integration and appointment setting
  • Lead management
  • Advanced analytics with renewal chain calculator
  • Task list
  • Send emails and draft letter templates
  • Compliant and secure
  • Free trial
  • Costs money
  • No online contracting
  • No VoIP, call recording, or texting
  • No mobile app
  • No automation on emails
  • Agents or agencies with financial resources
  • Agents or agencies looking for an integrated suite of tools

All these insurance-tailored CRMs offer basic client management with additional built-in services. What those services are and whether they cost money depend on the system. If you’re looking for a comprehensive option and have the resources to pay for it, consider AgencyBloc or NextAgency. Contemplate Radius or MedicarePRO CRM if you’re on a budget but still want some integrated tools, like appointment setting and emailing.

Utilizing FMO offerings, like the Ritter Platform, Integrity’s MedicareCENTER, or Market AdvisorTM, is free and gives you access to additional services, like prefilled quotes and enrollments, call recording, and even online contracting (Platform only). All you have to do to access these CRMs* is register with Ritter, which is also free.

*Newly registered agents with Ritter must speak with their sales specialist to unlock online contracting through Contract Now.

Some of these CRM options may be too much for the independent agent and better suited for agencies. It depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re an independent agent, however, don’t be scared off by a CRM advertising itself mainly for agencies. You can still utilize a large toolbox effectively, even as a business of one, but perhaps, you’d prefer to try the free options offered through your FMO first. These CRMs are still extremely versatile and valuable, especially considering they don’t cost you anything. They may end up being all you need or the perfect complement to other resources you’re using (like those in Pt. 1 and Pt. 2 of The Ultimate Agent Resource List).

Utilizing a CRM is best for…
All agents. It’s essential! The extra features will depend on budget, size of client base, preferences, and priorities.

Online Appointment Schedulers

Your CRM may do double-duty as a CRM and online appointment scheduler, but what if it doesn’t? While you might very well make most of your appointments by phone, it’s useful to offer an online scheduling option to your clients that you can send over quickly by email or text or include on your website. Then they can make appointments online, saving you time and avoiding email or phone ping pong. Here are our recommended resources for online appointment scheduling.

ResourceProsConsBest For…
Capabilities housed in your CRM
  • Integrated into your other CRM tools
  • No additional cost
  • May not sync with personal calendars
  • May not have team scheduling features
  • May not have automated workflows
  • May have limited integrations
  • Agents or agencies already using a CRM with this capability
  • Agents wanting comprehensive consolidation of insurance-specific tools
YouCanBookMe
  • Embed scheduler into your website
  • Automate texts and emails to clients before and after meetings
  • Automate workflows
  • Customizable scheduling page display and client notifications
  • Single-use bookings links
  • Custom booking form
  • Third-party app integrations (sync calendars from Google, Microsoft, iPhone, etc.)
  • Team scheduling features
  • Booking page translation options
  • Free base tier
  • One flat price with every feature included
  • Only integrates with generic CRMs (not any of our recommended CRMs)
  • Doesn’t integrate with Apple’s iCloud
  • Agents or agencies using a CRM without a scheduling capabilities
  • Small- to mid-size agencies
  • Agents on a budget
  • Agents just starting out
  • Multilingual agents
Acuity
  • Embed scheduler into your website
  • Automate texts and emails to clients before and after meetings
  • Mobile app
  • Custom intake forms
  • Third-party app integrations (sync calendars from Google, Microsoft, iPhone, etc.)
  • Client profiles
  • Different tiers for different budgets
  • More advanced features on higher tiers
  • Free trial
  • More expensive option
  • Only integrates with generic CRMs (not any of our recommended CRMs)
  • Agents or agencies using a CRM without a scheduling
  • Agents or agencies who want some customer management capabilities with their scheduler
  • Agents or agencies with a healthy budget
Calendly
  • Embed scheduler into your website
  • Automate texts and emails to clients before and after meetings
  • Automate workflows
  • Mobile app
  • Third-party app integrations (sync calendars from Google, Microsoft, iPhone, etc.)
  • Team scheduling features
  • Free basic tier
  • Different tiers for different budgets
  • Free trial
  • Only integrates with generic CRMs (not any of our recommended CRMs)
  • Agents or agencies using a CRM without a scheduling capabilities
  • Agents and agencies that schedule team meetings with clients
  • Agents or agencies with a moderate budget
Appointment scheduling with Google Workspace
  • Integration with other Google apps
  • Automate emails to clients before and after meetings
  • Shareable booking page
  • No additional cost to Google Workspace account
  • No team scheduling features
  • No integration with third-party apps
  • No automated workflows
  • Agents already paying for Google Workspace
  • Agents with simple scheduling requirements (e.g., one-on-one meetings)
  • Agents who have predictable availability for appointments
Microsoft Bookings
  • Integrated into other Microsoft apps
  • Automate emails to clients before and after meetings
  • Some team scheduling features
  • Customizable booking page
  • No additional cost to Microsoft 365 account
  • No integration with third-party apps
  • Limited team scheduling features
  • No automated workflows
  • Agents already paying for Microsoft 365
  • Agents who usually only schedule one-on-one meetings
  • Agents who have predictable availability for appointments
Fantastical Openings
  • Automate emails to clients before and after meetings
  • Also a powerful calendar app with useful features
  • Beautiful design and easy to use
  • Easily set up times you’re available and share a schedule link
  • Option to quickly send openings when texting
  • Team scheduling features
  • Mobile app
  • Free trial
  • Budget option
  • Only natively syncs with Apple devices (syncing with Google and Microsoft calendars is possible)
  • No CRM integrations
  • No automated workflows
  • No embed option for website
  • Agents wanting multiple calendars to show up in one place
  • Agents wanting appointments and calendar as the same app
  • Small agencies
  • Apple users
  • Those on a budget
Morgen
  • Embed scheduler into your website
  • Automate emails to clients before and after meetings
  • Also a powerful calendar app with full productivity stack (to-dos, time blocking, etc.)
  • Beautiful design and easy to use
  • Available on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS
  • Open invites, scheduling links, and personalized booking page
  • Smart team scheduling (auto-rescheduling)
  • Automate workflows with Morgen Assist
  • Mobile app
  • Reasonably priced
  • Free base tier
  • Discount for switching providers
  • No CRM integrations
  • No texting
  • Agents wanting multiple calendars to show up in one place
  • Agents wanting appointments and calendar as the same app
  • Agencies
  • Those on a budget

These options run the gamut of features, from robust automated workflows, customizations, and integrations to simpler pages for booking one-on-one appointments. When deciding which one works best for you, consider your existing tools, budget, and how you’d utilize this software. Have an unpredictable schedule and want your scheduler to work around your daughter’s basketball tournament? Perhaps an option with automatic syncing across calendars would work best. Just starting out and only have a few clients? Get your feet wet with a free option. Dead set on CRM and appointment integration? Consider a CRM with built-in scheduling and calendar functions.

Signing up for an online appointment scheduling software is best for…
All agents, especially those who have many clients, communicate often through email and text, and have a website.

Organize Yourself and Any Downlines

Besides organizing your clients, you need to organize yourself and any downlines. This means keeping track of downline info, commissions, tasks, special projects, and your personal calendar. When possible, we recommend using tools that are housed within your existing platforms to reduce cost and the mental load of learning to navigate something new.

Types & Applications

There are many ways to categorize organizational tools for yourself and your downlines, but again you can generally approach them by thinking about organizing information and time.

Types & Applications of Internal Organizational Tools

TypeA Must-Have?Best For…
Agency Management Systems (AMS’s)If you operate an agency, yes
  • All agencies
Commission TrackersYes
  • All agents and agencies
Calendar AppsIf you have a lot of clients, yes
  • Agents with busy schedules and lots of clients
  • All agencies
  • Keeping track of tasks
  • Integrated calendars
Productivity ToolsNo
  • Agents and agencies struggling in certain areas
  • Scaling business
  • Streamlining processes
Project Management SoftwareNo
  • Agencies
  • Independent agents with big plans
  • Collaboration on special planning and projects
  • Managing complex or multi-step workflows

We believe some of these tools are essential to your business. The others are nice to have but may not be necessary or a good fit, depending on your style, budget, and business size.

Agency Management Systems

AMS’s and CRMs can be easily confused, but one is specifically for client info and the other for downline management. What CRMs are for clients, AMS’s are for downlines. When choosing an AMS, consider how it will track hierarchies, commissions, and overrides, assign leads, function for your whole team, and what it will cost. Our recommendations for AMS’s are essentially the same as CRMs, since we advocate consolidating your tools when possible and because most high-quality CRMs are also AMS’s. We’ll point out the unique agency features here. If you want a refresher on the general pros and cons of the platforms, refer to the section on CRMs.

ResourceAgency Features
The Ritter Platform
  • View hierarchies
  • Register downlines and define the relationship of downlines to the FMO
  • View commission amounts for producers withing your hierarchy
  • Lead sharing
AgencyBloc AMS+
  • Built-in meeting scheduler
  • Automate lead routing and assignment
  • Automate agent task assignments
Radius Agency (Basic)
  • Lead distribution rules
  • Assign agent tasks
  • Screenshare
  • Brand with agency logo
NextAgency
  • Agency library of sharable links
  • Agent profiles where you can view notes, tasks, and sales
  • NextGA tool to promote growth
  • Powerful reporting tools
  • Contact list
MedicarePRO CRM
  • Agent profiles and custom invite links
  • See policies sold by downlines in real time
  • Lead sharing and assignment
  • Built-in messaging system
  • Assign agent tasks
  • Brand with agency logo
  • comprehensive dashboard
  • Depository of useful links to share downlines

Your downlines depend on you to be organized and professional, and a comprehensive AMS makes that a lot easier.

An AMS is best for…
All agencies. It’s essential!

Commission Trackers

Tracking your commissions is an extremely important task as an insurance agent. Insurance companies pay commissions to many agents and it’s imperative for your own financial planning and goal setting to accurately match your earnings to your enrollments. You don’t want to spend too much time on this administrative task and lose out on more appointments and sales. That’s where commission-tracking software enters.

As with CRMs, we generally recommend choosing a commission tracker that’s either built into your existing technology or selecting one that’s specific to the insurance industry. There are many useful generic commission tracking options, which you can certainly utilize effectively, but you’ll spend more time customizing and setting up these trackers up front.

Here are our recommended solutions for tracking commissions.

ResourceProsConsBest For…
Integrated Tracker in CRM
  • Potentially free (FMO options) or no additional cost
  • Integrated with other CRM tools
  • Easy access and consolidation of carriers
  • May only show commissions from certain carriers (e.g., policies sold through the FMO only)
  • May have limited features
  • Agents already using or wanting to use the CRM
Carrier Portals
  • Free
  • Time consuming
  • Must log in to each individual portal
  • Limited extra features
  • Any agent
Spreadsheet
  • Free (e.g., Google Sheets)
  • Straightforward and easy to use
  • Labor intensive
  • Have to remember to update
  • Agents just starting out
  • Agents with a small number of clients
AgencyComp
  • Can calculate commissions for almost any type of policy
  • MA and PDP compensation module
  • Robust reporting including pending business, analytics, revenue projection, missing payments, and more
  • Can consolidate commissions from all your policies and carriers
  • Videos and step-by-step instructions for easy setup
  • Free trial
  • Different tiers for different budgets
  • Costs money
  • Learning curve
  • Time-consuming initial setup (must add carriers, create compensation plans, import maps, etc.)
  • Agents or agencies selling lots of different types of policies (MA, PDP, Med Supp, ACA, ancillary)
  • Agents or agencies with complicated commission payment structures
  • Agents or agencies using a free CRM who want more comprehensive commission tracking
  • Agents or agencies with financial resources
Commissionly’s Insurance Tracker Tool
  • Paid managed setup and implementation
  • Free trial and demo
  • Bulk upload policy details with custom carrier templates
  • Match policies to commission schedules
  • Unlimited customization of discrepancy criteria
  • One-click discrepancy reports that you can export to send to carriers
  • Automate agent commission split reports
  • Pricier option
  • Learning curve
  • Time-consuming initial setup (must add carriers, import policies, etc.) unless willing to pay the $399 setup fee
  • Small- to mid-size agencies
  • Agents or agencies selling lots of different types of policies (MA, PDP, Med Supp, ACA, ancillary)
  • Agents or agencies with complicated commission payment structures
  • Agents or agencies using a free CRM who want more comprehensive commission tracking
  • Agents or agencies with financial resources

Third-party commission trackers that aren’t integrated into your CRM will come with lots of comprehensive features but at an additional cost. They will also require more time up front with setup (although likely so will your CRM if it’s not already integrated with your contracts!). Though, they’ll be able to handle all the different commission structures for you and your downlines and provide extensive reporting capabilities. FMO commission trackers, like the one in the Ritter Platform, will already be set up with the contracts you have through the FMO but won’t include commissions paid on policies sold through contracts held outside of that FMO.

Commission tracking software is best for…
All agents. Software with more robust features is best for agencies and agents selling many kinds of policies with different commission schedules.

Calendars

We’ve already discussed schedulers for organizing your clients’ appointments, but it’s important to take that one step further and set up a calendar that shows not only your appointments, but also any other meetings with downlines or uplines, other business obligations, and even personal conflicts, like doctor’s appointments.

How much you sync your personal and business calendars is up to you. Some agents find it helpful to have everything in one calendar to avoid double booking themselves, especially if they have an irregular schedule or a lot of non-business responsibilities. It saves time cross-referencing between two calendars and ensures you don’t book a client during the time you’re supposed to take your son to the dentist. Other agents prefer distinct separation between work and home, even down to calendars. Here are our recommended calendars for organizing your daily life.

ResourceProsConsBest For…
Google Calendar
  • Free
  • Can share to sync with third-party calendars (iCloud, Microsoft, etc.)
  • Share calendars among team members
  • Easily add calendar events from emails
  • Integrated with Google productivity tools
  • Premium features cost more
  • Minimal customization options
  • Very limited third-party integrations
  • Agents or agencies already utilizing Google apps
  • Agents or agencies not needing lots of third-party integration
Calendar in Microsoft Outlook
  • Can share to sync with third-party calendars (Google, iCloud, etc.)
  • Integrated with Microsoft productivity tools
  • Minimal customization options
  • Limited third-party integrations
  • Agents or agencies already utilizing Microsoft apps
  • Agents or agencies not needing lots of third-party integration
Fantastical
  • Can double as your scheduler
  • Great reviews for functionality and design
  • Natively syncs with Apple devices
  • Can share your Google or Microsoft calendars
  • Built-in productivity tools like focus filters and task lists
  • Sometimes syncing issues arise
  • Could get expensive if paying for other resources (email, scheduler, CRM, etc.)
  • Agents or agencies wanting to utilize Fantastical Openings
  • Agents who utilize productivity tools
  • Apple device users
Morgen
  • Can double as your scheduler
  • Great reviews for functionality and design
  • Available on a wide variety of operating systems
  • Integration with nearly every calendar provider
  • Built-in productivity tools like drag-and-drop to-dos, time blocking, etc.
  • Could get expensive if paying for other resources (email, scheduler, CRM, etc.)
  • Agents or agencies wanting to utilize Morgen’s scheduling capabilities
  • Agents who utilize productivity tools

You may be wondering where the iCloud calendar is on this list, especially since nearly a quarter of smartphone owners use iPhones. While the calendar that comes on your iPhone (or Android) can be convenient for personal use, it doesn’t translate well to business use due to restricted third-party app integrations and overall limited features. More robust and comprehensive options with integrated tools are a better fit for businesses, especially if you’re an agency coordinating multiple schedules.

Calendar apps are best for…
All agencies and agents, especially those wanting to integrate multiple calendars and utilize productivity tools.

Productivity Tools

We’ve already listed several useful productivity tools that are integrated into some CRMs and calendar apps, like task lists, time blocking, and focus filters, and there are hundreds more we could vet and list.

When it comes to productivity tools, it’s easy to fall into the trap of overfilling your toolbox and never getting to the productive part. Each beautifully designed app is like a shiny new gizmo calling to you in the home improvement aisle. That’s why we recommend thinking through your typical week when wanting to increase your productivity, asking yourself:

  • What tasks do I complete in a given week?
  • What tasks take me a long time?
  • What tasks do I dislike?
  • Do I get distracted easily? When and why?
  • When do I work best?

Then, select a carefully curated list of apps to assist you. You use the tools to support your existing work style, not change your work style to fit the tools.

For insurance agents, increased productivity could look like:

  • More client appointments in a day
  • Less time spent contracting and submitting enrollments
  • Less time spent tracking commissions
  • Less time on paperwork
  • Fewer steps for your normal processes (e.g., no more filling out paper forms, typing the same info into a CRM, and then scanning and attaching them into a file)
  • Only updating your calendar in one place
  • Reminders for annual trainings and certifications all in one place
  • Your favorite resources all listed in one place
  • Simpler technology and fewer apps
  • Automated workflows (e.g., automatic appointment reminder via text or email vs. you stamping and mailing a postcard)

You can see there’s a lot of overlap between tools. You might streamline contracting, enrollments, and commissions with your CRM, text or email SOAs with your CRM, set AHIP certification reminders on your calendar app, scan and upload a document to your client’s profile all from your phone, and send your booking link to clients instead of emailing 10 times. Take a look at your processes and consider how you can make them more efficient. It’s easy to get stuck in our ways, even if they take extra steps and time.

When reviewing our recommended productivity tools, keep all this in mind. Take the ones that support your work style and leave the rest.

The ProblemThe SolutionPossible Tools
Needing to scan a document but not always near your printer/scannerScan documents on your phone into PDFs or DOCX files
Spending too much time stamping reminder postcardsDon’t send postcards; automate texts and/or emails
Overwhelmed by too many sticky note to-dos on your deskConsolidate to-dos into a digital platform; set reminders to help you prioritize
Missed a certification deadlineSet reminders in your calendar; add it to your task list
Lost track of certification requirementsUse a platform with consolidated information
DistractedTrack your time; install an app blocker; adjust native phone settings
Form to a downline got lost in the mailUse a secure digital signature platform
Spending too much time updating business website and social mediaHire or use a website builder and social media manager
Spending all morning on the phone making appointmentsUtilize a scheduling software
Wasting time looking for information on a webpageUse a shortcut to locate info
  • Ctrl + F
A downline used an old version of a documentEmploy document collaboration software and shared document storage
Event planning to-dos are falling through the cracksUse a project management software
Piled up SOAs and enrollments that should have been shreddedUse an online platform with automatic records retention
Overwhelmed with what you should focus on and whenReview industry-specific resources

Don’t see your problem listed here? Contact your sales specialist and let us know! We’d love to research a tool to fit your needs.

Productivity tools are best for…
All agents, especially those struggling with distraction, inefficient processes, and low appointment availability.

Project Management Software

Although lower on the list of priorities than a CRM, AMS, and scheduling software, project managing software can be very useful to insurance agencies, especially when collaborating with other agents or staff on complex or long-term projects. Some uses may include:

  • Creating resources for internal training or for educating clients
  • General task management for yourself or downlines
  • Onboarding new employees/agents
  • Annual, weekly, daily planning and task management
  • Event planning
  • Marketing initiatives

Unless you’re an independent agent who really likes to be organized and plan complex projects, most of these types of solutions are better suited for agencies (although some work for individuals). A single agent may find a simple task manager built into a CRM or calendar app sufficient.

Here are our recommendations for project management solutions.

ResourceProsConsBest For…
Trello
  • Simple, clean, modern interface
  • Different project views available
  • Automation capabilities
  • Lots of third-party app integrations
  • Time tracking available
  • Different tiers for different budgets
  • Free base tier
  • No in-app proofing
  • Limited communication features
  • Limited project views
  • Not adapted to complex workflows
  • Individuals and small- to mid-sized agencies
  • Keeping track of projects and assignments
Asana
  • Different project views available
  • Automation capabilities
  • Lots of third-party app integrations
  • In-app proofing
  • Advanced features and abilities
  • Scales with your business
  • Different tiers for different budgets
  • Free base tier
  • Steeper learning curve
  • More expensive
  • Pricing not as transparent
  • Time tracking not available on every tier
  • Only one user can be assigned per task
  • Too many features for some
  • Small- to mid-sized agencies
  • Coordinating complex projects across teams
Basecamp
  • Very simple to use
  • Two simple pricing plans
  • Pro Unlimited plan with flat fee for unlimited users
  • No in-app proofing
  • No automation capabilities
  • No time tracking
  • Limited advanced features and customization
  • Individuals or small teams
  • Pro unlimited for large teams
  • Just keeping track of projects and assignments
monday.com
  • Different project views available
  • Automation capabilities
  • Lots of third-party app integrations
  • Proofing and collaboration in one place
  • Forms to collect and manage work requests
  • User-friendly design
  • Different tiers for different budgets
  • Free base tier
  • No Gantt chart view
  • Kanban board could be improved
  • Limited mobile app
  • Large agencies
Wrike
  • Different project views available
  • Automation capabilities
  • Lots of third-party app integrations
  • Proofing and collaboration in one place
  • Forms to collect and manage work requests
  • Different tiers for different budgets
  • Free base tier
  • Less user-friendly interface than monday.com
  • More expensive
  • No chat or note-taking options
  • Large agencies
  • Teams that like to customize everything, from project tasks to reporting

As always, when deciding whether to invest in project management software, examine your current processes, needs, and project plans.

Project management tools are best for…
Agencies (usually), especially those with tangible and regular project goals and plans.

Compliance

Although we haven’t dived as deeply into compliance with this installment as with the first two, we still want to highlight some resources you may find useful, especially considering you handle sensitive personal information in your CRM and AMS.

Check out these resources for staying compliant:

If you have any questions about compliance, our compliance department is available to help. Contact your sales specialist to get connected.

Further Reading

Looking for more checklist and organizational resources? Check out these eBooks and blog posts:

Your Next Move

As we recommended in the first two installments, take it slow when implementing change into your business. It’s easy to get to the end of a long list like this and feel so overwhelmed you end up not changing anything. What’s one thing about your business you wish was more efficient? Start there.

Thanks for sticking with us through The Ultimate Agent Resource List! If you missed them, don’t forget to go back and check out Pt. 1: Market Yourself and Pt. 2: Keeping in Touch with Clients. Have a resource you love? We want to know about it! Let your sales specialist know, and we’ll look into it.

Ritter Insurance Marketing is always here to help your insurance business flourish. Register with Ritter for free today and access tailored sales support, technology, and more!

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