I work on the computer the majority of my day between work and my own projects at home. Over the years, I’ve picked up a wide variety of tools which I’d call my “essentials” in order to get things done and now I want to share, with you, these same tools.
Gmail (really, a lot of Google stuff)
Gmail, by far, is my most important asset. It lets me keep in contact with everyone. I think you more than understand what it does. I do use some other Google products like the Calendar and RSS reader – need to stay up on productivity and new blog posts.
I use Gmail for everything from contacts to sending files to myself. The other Google products have proved useful in my online projects as well but Gmail is at the heart of it all.
Dropbox, for those that don’t know, is a handy tool that lets you sync files between computers and, basically, back up files into the cloud. Dropbox has saved my ass time and time again – there’s been times when I’ve completely forgot to send over design work on “the big day” but luckily I remembered to drop it in the box right before leaving as a backup – this eventually turned into my main file that helped me from getting chewed out.
I used Dropbox for a lot of my online projects and to help stay organized – mostly with my writing (I have folders called Published, In Queue and Unfinished).
Here’s two things that are years upon years apart but have been equally important for contact. I prefer AIM over Skype any day simply because I’ve had it since the late 90’s – it’s a hard habit to break. Skype though has been fun for video and audio calls – protip: try to talk to Alex sometime, his accent will throw you off guard.
I use Aim and Skype to keep up with everyone online, it’s usually the best way to contact me – even over my phone.
I’ve played around with a lot of Twitter clients but I always come back to TweetDeck – mainly because I could care less about all those other features packaged with other programs. TweetDeck is simple and lets me stay active on Twitter despite sometimes going a little overboard with too many Tweets – sorry bout that.
I use TweetDeck to aimlessly banter about technology, blogging, online business and any other stupid thing that comes to mind – I’m probably not helping my brand with this.
Evernote is actually a recent addition to my toolbox but it’s already blown me away. This little tool is free and works a lot like Dropbox because it syncs files between computers but more along the lines of documents.
I use Evernote to keep track of my projects, ideas for new blog posts and articles and even to set future project plans – works great so I don’t forget things unlike carrying project folders on a USB stick (which I’ve lost time and time again).
People want to use all kinds of other programs for audio but ya know, buzz off. I’ve been using Winamp longer than you’ve probably been online and it’s not going to change.
Besides streaming music from DI.FM, I use it for just about any audio I have on my computer (I’ve been digging iTunes but I hate the sync and organization features).
Yup, I go old school with my writing – I hate all the additional formatting that gets placed into your text when you’re trying to write a post; I keep it simple and light-weight – notepad is boss (and sometimes notepad++ too).
I use notepad for everything from articles and blog posts to keeping quick ideas for projects (which eventually go into Evernote).
Eh? That’s It?
I know what you’re thinking – but Murray, you’re so busy all the time how could you not have all these tools with a million features and derp derp derp!
Look, don’t over complicate things; if you have programs that work well or if you have a long history of you using them, you don’t have to rush out and jump on the newest thing just because other people – use what works for you, what won’t slow you down and get in the way from taking action and achieving your results.
Anyway, that’s what’s in my toolbox, what’s in yours?