9 Tools I’m Using Every Day

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Ian Lurie Jan 7 2009

Hard to believe, but I’m not much of a tools guy. I tend to use a text editor, an image editor, an outlining tool and a Moleskine. So, when I use a new tool more than four times, it’s worth writing about.

To all the folks who send me tools for reviews and stuff, please, do not take it personally. I’m a Luddite in geek’s clothing.

Here are the current winners:

  1. Evernote makes me smile every time I use it. It’s a fantastic note taking platform. If I find a useful web page, I click my Firefox Evernote add-in and bingo, it’s saved and tagged. I can also write notes, upload audio and a bit more with their premium service. Just try it!
  2. Drop.io is a universal drop box for anything you can deliver via e-mail, voice mail, a Firefox add-in, manual upload or their nifty API. Then I can share the same content via RSS feed, Facebook, e-mail or SMS. Want an instant podcast? Leave voicemails and then provide a link to the Dropcast.
  3. Smush.it is a Firefox add-in that helps you optimize images for fastest downloads. Visit a web page, click the Smush.it button and get a nice, neat report showing which images can be better compressed. Even better, they compress the images for you.
  4. The Firefox Web Developer’s Toolbar Add-in lets me test web pages, outline headings and other page elements and test pages a dozen different ways. It’s nerdvana in less than a megabyte.
  5. Jott.com lets you call and leave voice mail messages. Jott will then e-mail you the message (as text) right away, or as a reminder later. You can also forward the message to Twitter or your blog.
  6. The Moleskine Notebook goes with me everywhere. It never crashes, doesn’t require batteries, can be fed into a shredder and weighs less than a laptop. Plus, my kids can doodle in it on long plane flights.
  7. Tweetdeck is what really made me understand the value of Twitter. It makes the service usable, searchable and generally accessible to an old fart like me.
  8. Google Reader is a great tool to help me manage all the information I have to sift through every day.
  9. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my Blackberry. In an iPhone-crazed world, I just gotta point out that this little phone rocks. It lets me handle e-mail, twitter and instant messaging. I can use GPS plus Google Maps and get great directions, too (I now navigate NYC subways like a champ).

Nifty stuff. Together, these tools help me solve problems. Give ‘em a look – if they help me, they can help anyone.

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13 Comments

  1. I signed up for Evernote and just never got into it. I’ve dabbled here or there in similar tools and only a few have stuck. Google Reader, the Web Developer Toolbar (freakin awesome), Tweetdeck and my iPhone among them.
    I think I have the problem of tool overload. And I don’t just mean the unsavory characters I must deal with on a daily basis here on Long Island.

  2. You said it! Tweetdeck is the killer Twitter app. It enhances the Twitter experience in so many ways. I couldn’t imagine going back to the standard web interface. Thanks for sharing your tips.

  3. Matt

    That little blackberry also helps you navigate downtown Detroit, no small feat. Especially with your driver going the wrong way down a one-way street…. :-D *walks away whistling*

  4. Dana

    I think I’ve lost all respect for you after #9 ;)
    What are your top daily SEO tools? Do you have a must-have list you use every day?

  5. Ian

    @Dana We have our own in-house stuff, but Adwords Keyword Tool, Web Developer Toolbar are two I always seem to use.

  6. SmushIt is GREAT! thanks mucho.
    How do you like the quality of their compressed images?

  7. drop.io seems cool. kind of like google docs but from a different angle?

  8. Just for fun, I ran SmushIt on the SmushIt home page. Their images are already compressed. What a surprise.
    I tried it with some of our images. It works well. This will be a time saver. Thanks again.

  9. Ian,
    Take a look at Tweetgrid.com. It’s not as slick looking as Tweet Deck, but it lives in the browser–so nothing to download. You can watch up to a 3×3 grid of searches; you can save each grid with it’s own URL so you can come back to it.
    Somehow, I like it better than Tweet Deck.

  10. Mark

    Thanks for the heads up on TweetDeck, I have looked at some of the other apps for Twitter, but TweetDeck beats them hands down.
    Mark

  11. I really need to check out TweetDeck! Besides from that I’m always in trouble with all the tools and add-ons. I just forget to use them because for years I never had them. I’m ashamed when, for example, I lookup the name of a javascript file in the page source and copy/paste it in the address bar :o !! lol
    This happens to often. Just can’t seem to get rid of those bad habbits…
    Google reader same story… once signed in but never used it. Just stick to my ‘offline’ reader.
    Great article though! ;-)

  12. md

    TweetDeck is fantastic thanks for sharing it, Can Jott be used in the UK?

  13. Talking about your Blackberry, that’s a must-have tool these days. Sadly, they want Obama to be without his as he enters the White house, :) I guess they will create a special “White”Houseberry for him, :) Anyway, thanks for sharing your top tools with us.

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