Posted: Tue 7th Aug 2012
In his newly-published book, 50 Top Tech Tools and Tips, author David Sandy (left) offers an easy-to-read guide to making technology work in your small business that covers everything from buying the right technology to communicating and networking. Here are his seven recommended productivity tools to help you work efficiently. Please feel free to add your own in the comments areas below!
Website: Â www.dropbox.com Purpose: A secure online storage tool for your files, allowing you to access your files from any computer and synchronise between them. Tip: Need your Dropbox documents with you on the move? Then check out their free mobile app for iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry which synchronises your documents onto your mobile devices too. However, edits made to documents on your mobile device will generally not be synced back up to Dropbox, unless specified by the app in question.
Website: www.google.co.uk Purpose: Internet search engine Tip: Why not see how your own website (if you have one) has been indexed by Google? Simply go to google.co.uk and enter (excluding brackets): site:www.yourwebsitename.co.uk. This will return a list of web pages which have been indexed by Google. You may find from this that you want to tweak some of your web pages title, descriptions and content so that other people trying to find your site can do so with greater ease.
Website: www.ifttt.com Purpose: Making the internet work for you with automated tasks.Â ifttt (pronounced 'lift' but without the 'l') allows creation of tasks with a bunch of popular apps such as Dropbox, Delicious, Facebook, Twitter, most Google products and many more (some of these are featured in this eBook). Tip: The SMS and phone-call triggers of the app are neat and will work in the UK and some non-US countries. But be aware that the service currently connects to a US phone network, so you may incur phone charges if you are sending messages or calls to the service. No charges should be incurred for receiving SMS messages from the service.
Website: Â www.worksnug.com Purpose: Helping the mobile worker find a place to work on the move via a website and free phone app. Tip: You'll need a smartphone that has an internet connection, camera, compass and GPS to make use of the augmented reality feature of the app. WorkSnug is very much built on community engagement, so if you use a location that isn't featured, add it to the site and share it with your fellow mobile workers.
Website: Â www.pixlr.com Purpose: Online photo editing offering a functionality similar to Photoshop with no software download or cost. Tip: If you work from multiple devices and locations, Pixlr works in tandem with Google Drive where you can store images to work on. Alternatively, keep your files in Dropbox (above) for accessibility. You can also download the Pixlr-o-matic app for use on mobile devices.
Website: www.evernote.com Purpose: Capture your thoughts, ideas and notes, grab snippets of text, photos, web pages, sounds and videos and store them all in an easily searchable place. Tip: Evernote can also be used as a powerful collaboration tool by sharing your notebooks with other people. You can setup your notebooks to be completely open so anyone can view them, or be more selective and give named individuals (by email address) either read-only or write access.
Website: www.portableapps.com Purpose: Take your desktop applications with you wherever you go. Tip: If you are going to be saving any documents to your memory stick whilst using PortableApps, you might want to consider installing Toucan (portableapps.com/apps/utilities/toucan), a good utility for synchronising and backing up your content when back at your main machine.
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Photo credit: Nadya Peek