In thinking about this week’s topic, I decided to highlight the tools I use nearly every day to get my work done or to make getting my work done more fun. In no particular order, here they are:
Tree Style Tabs
This is a browser add-on – for Mozilla Firefox users only. You can click the link to read about all the features of this great add-on. I got it because it neatly puts all my browser tabs on the left side of my screen (you can put it right or on top too, your choice). The names of my windows/tabs are all right there and they are easier to see and locate than when I had the ‘old-fashioned’ tabs at the top of my screen before this add-on. When I didn’t have it, then my tabs would become too scrunched up and messy-looking at the top of my screen. It seemed difficult to locate what I was looking for. Now, they flow down the left side of my screen and sub-tabs will automatically open under a main tab, i.e. if I have Facebook open and click on something, the tab will indent and keep it all very orderly. I just love it and wish all browsers had this feature.
Evernote is a great web-based tool that does so many things and stores them for you. I use the free version, but if you’re a power user, there’s a paid version for you. I’ve used it for storing software keys, receipts, research, pictures, even some blog posts with great information in them. Of course, there’s a portable version for your Blackberry, iPhone, Android and other phones. There’s great help videos and Evernote suggests many uses for its product.
The best thing about it (besides being free), is that Evernote organizes all the notes you throw up there and makes them searchable. For example, I grabbed some information I wanted on flights and using my Evernote icon in my system tray, quickly saved it to my space. Then later, all I had to do was to go back and type in a couple words in the search box and it found it right away – no tedious searching through pages of information. If you’re the ultra-organized type, you can type in your own tags and make notebooks from within Evernote. Great software.
This is for Vista & Windows 7 users only. Perhaps Apple has a version of it, I just don’t know. If you have the aforementioned OS, you’ll want to pin this one to your start menu. I find myself using it nearly every day. There are so many times I need a screenshot, a logo, or there’s something I need to show someone. It just takes a moment to start the tool and capture the image or text I need. You can snip anything from a small section to the entire page. Then you can annotate it before cutting and pasting into your email, or whatever. Read about it.
Pandora is your internet music source – at least it is for me. I found it a few years ago and find myself pulling it up nearly every day to use. You do have to set up an account and then you’ll get 40 free hours of music a month. Once I went over my limit and for .99, I could listen for the rest of the month – paid via PayPal. You can pay $36 for unlimited and ad and commercial free listening per year. There are portable versions for different phones and there’s information on the site about different appliances that will stream Pandora (Roku, Sonos, etc.). I used to see them advertise a free standing radio-type device that worked with broadband or wi-fi, but I don’t see it advertised on their website.
Never pay for phone information again! I’ve got 1-800-GOOG-411 programmed into my cell phone and use it as my 411 source now. Just dial the number and it’ll ask you city and state and then it’ll ask for a business name or category, (pizza, movie theatre, etc.). It may return more than one result, just listen carefully and press the number of the one you want and it will connect you for free. I think it will also send you a text of the number in case you want to store it in your phone for future use. Right now, it only has business listings – no personal/residential listings. Put it in your phone, or read more about it.