Coolest Tools I Use

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I love productivity tools, and love sharing them with friends and colleagues. I got to thinking the other day that I’ve never actually compiled a list of those tools and posted it. So here ’tis: some are old friends, some are brand new tools. All of them help me do what I need to do with my online and offline world.

So…in no particular order or preference (all links open a new browser window)…

Online:

  • Freebinar.com: Do free webinars for unlimited audiences, follow-up with attendees and registrants. Download data from the webinars.
  • Freeconference.com: Ditto for teleconferences.
  • FedEx print online: Only had to use this a few times as I can usually print elsewhere, but on those occasions this service has knocked me out with how easy it is to use. Upload files, tell ‘em what you want and when you want it, and go pick it up.
  • Photoshopsociety.org: I realize that my Photoshop skills are lacking – but this membership site has proven to have the goods with tons of tutorials, downloads, web and WordPress templates and more.
  • Bluehost website hosting: All my sites are hosted by BlueHost.com. Unlimited bandwidth, unlimited domains, thousands of e-mail addresses, one-click WordPress install and updates, and more bells and whistles that you can every use. All very easy. Great customer service when needed. And dirt cheap.
  • Aweber and Ratepoint e-mail marketing: I’ve used Constant Contact, which is a solid service. But they didn’t have a few items that AWeber did. I was pitched RatePoint one day and checked it out. I use it for my Tradeshowguyblog.com newsletter; I use AWeber for everything else (CommunicationSteroids.com, DigitalAudioWorld.com and others).
  • Eventbrite.com: Got a live or online event and want to track attendance, sell tickets, mine data? It’s all here. I’ve used it a couple of times and was very pleased. Looking forward to using it again.
  • Feedburner: If you have a blog, be sure to burn your feed with Feedburner. Tons of additional stats and tools with this free Google tool.
  • YouSendIt: Need to send a large file to someone that doesn’t have an FTP site? YouSentIt.com does it for free for most files.
  • WordPress: The best (in my humble opinion) blogging platform around. Tons of customization options.
  • Google Chrome: Chrome has taken over Firefox as my favorite web browser. It’s faster; the search-in-address-bar feature is easy, and there are more and more themes, plug-ins and extensions available all the time.
  • Google plug-in page rank status:  check the Alexa ranking of any website you’re on with a single click.
  • Carbonite back-up plus iPhone app to access any document at home or work from anywhere. My favorite new cool tool!
  • Google Calendar (and syncing to home and work PC’s); with Google Calendar iPhone app. No matter where I update a calendar from, it populates across all calendars. I also use ACT! which syncs with my Outlook calendar at work, so I see everything on all calendars no matter where I input it.
  • HARO: Peter Shankman’s HelpAReporter.com is tops in connecting sources with news (and blog) outlets. Free.
  • GoToMyPc: remote access to your computer from anywhere you have a ‘net connection. Just remember to leave your computer ON!

Software:

  • Software995 to create and edit and combine PDFs. They have a free version, but if you spring for the few bucks you don’t get sent to their website after each PDF you print.
  • Camtasia screen capture program: Version 7 kills. So many different ways to use it. I produce video, screen captures and more with this intuitive, easy-to-use tool.
  • Filezilla: free FTP software, easy to use.
  • Adobe Audition: multi-tracking audio recording software with more effects than I’ll ever use.
  • Photoshop / Picasa: Both are great for manipulating photos; Picasa has an online storage and sharing tool; PhotoShop is the king of photo manipulation.
  • ALZip for creating compressed files for emailing or uploading.
  • AudioShell and MP3Tag for editing MP3 ID tags. I’ve used AudioShell for years with Windows XP. With my new Windows 7 box, it doesn’t work, so I found MP3Tag which does the trick. Not as neat and unfussy as AudioShell, but workable. I only hope that the folks at SoftPointer make it work with Windows 7 64Bit soon!
  • Skype: I’ve used it off and on for years, and with my new Windows Life Cam (below) it’s becoming more of a regular thing.
  • iTunes: when iTunes first came out I was a big Winamp fan. Years later I can hardly recall Winamp.
  • UltraEdit: A super-powered notebook text editing tool. On steroids. I’ve used this for a few years and can testify it’s a great program. Not for everyone; you have to get used to how it works, but for creating simple text-only copy for copying and pasting to other documents it’s a great tool to avoid the underlying coding issues you often get with MS Word.

Hardware:

  • Flip Video camera: bought this a couple of years ago and love it. Easy to care, easy to use with a single stop-start button; it creates digital files that are easy to edit and post on YouTube or your blog.
  • ScottEVest coat – high tech clothing. Ran across this thanks to Peter Shankman. The best travel clothing. More pockets than I can use. Even lost my wallet in my coat once. Knew it was there, couldn’t get it out for five minutes until I found the right zipper.
  • Microsoft Lifecam (hi-def): My friend Tony Marino turned me on to this cool webcam which I’ve had less than a month and love it. Great quality, easy to use, powerful microphone built-in. About $55 if you look around.

What cool tools do you love? Please share!

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3 comments

  1. Just thought of another one: Wufoo – if you need a custom form on your website, this is an easy to use site that helps you set up a web form. There’s a free version if you only need to create a few forms, and a premium version.

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