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Another List of Cool Tools

20 Sep

Many of the tools I’ve shared with you in the past are available on both Windows and Mac machines but today, I’ll be sharing some Mac only programs. I apologize to all you Windows users out there and if I knew of Windows comparable apps, I’d share those. Unfortunately, I don’t. But if you do, please post them in the comments.

StickyWindows. This is a cool little program. It makes the edges of your screen “sticky” – and you “dock” open programs there when you aren’t using them so they’re not taking up space on your desktop. Now, you can basically hide open apps with the dock, but this takes a bit further so they’re open and very easily accessible. I love this program and I use it everyday.

Skim. If you read or use a lot of PDF docs, this app is a must-have. It allows you to make notes, comments, and much more on your PDF’s for future reference. It also has a bookmark feature, snapshots feature and even allows copying and pasting quite easily. Skim is like Preview on steroids.

PTHPasteboard. Where Skim is Preview on steroids, PTHPasteboard is your clipboard on steroids. It will remember 100’s of items you’ve copied and allow you to insert any of them with just a few simple clicks nearly anywhere you want to paste them. I copy and paste A LOT in my writing and design work and this little app speeds up that process so much, it’s not even funny. It doesn’t have a lot of fancy bells and whistles but it powerful nonetheless and like the other tools I share, I use it daily.

So, there you have it! Another segment of the cool tools series. I hope you find these useful. And please do post any Windows apps you use that are similar to these. I’ll be back soon with another Product Creation post, though I am still feeling under the weather so it might be late today or possibly not until tomorrow. We’ll see what the day brings!

~Annie
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Another Set of Useful Tools

10 Sep

I wasn’t going to post my next in the Useful Tools series until later in the week, but as I’m sitting here brainstorming, I came up with another set of useful tools I use often, if not daily. So, I thought what better time to share them with you than now.

NovaMind. An awesome MindMapping software, available for both Mac and Windows users. The power of this program is amazing! And I’m sure I don’t even know a miniscule portion of what it’s capable of. But it’s awesome and I love it. Until I began using NovaMind, I wrote/drew my MindMaps by hand because nothing worked the way I wanted it to. And if you don’t do MindMapping yet, you owe it to yourself if you’re serious about your business endeavors to give it a try. There’s a GREAT book by the creator of MindMapping, Tony Buzan. Go to Amazon.com and get it, too.

Bluehost. Seems everybody who’s been online for any length of time has a favorite hosting company. And, mine is Bluehost. I’ve been with them for going on 2 years now and I’ve never had an issue. I keep adding domains to my account and it all just keeps running smoothly. It’s about $100 if you pay annually and $10 for new domains. You can even transfer existing domains free.

Adobe Creative Suite. Though CS3 is now on the market, I am currently using CS2 and will probably upgrade here soon. In any case, it’s a suite of Adobe’s best design products and I highly recommend them. I’ve been using them since the early days of PageMaker – which at the time, was produced by a company called Aldus. (Yes, I’ve been around a while in the design market! 😉 ) And yes, CS3 is expensive if you’re looking at it from a financial perspective. At the least, learn to use Adobe Acrobat so you can produce PDF documents that are both Mac and PC friendly as well as Photoshop or Photoshop Express for making your pictures look spectacular. You can buy those 2 products separately from the Suite.

So – those are my best tools for this time. Let me know if there’s something you use every day or regularly that I haven’t mentioned yet. Perhaps I’ll take a look at it. 😉

~Annie (lsandrsn on the forum)
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Still More Useful Tools

7 Sep

Some of the most popular posts on this site have been my Useful Tools threads so I’m back again today with another post on those tools I use in my business that make things easier.

And the big one for today is something I just started using – MarsEdit.

MarsEdit. It’s a Mac app for posting to your blog or blogs straight from your desktop. No need to login. No need to open your web browser and go to your admin panel. Just type and send! It’s that easy. And I’m loving it! If you use a Windows based computer, I’m sorry – I have no idea if there’s an equivalent application for you but if someone knows of one, please feel free to post it in the comments.

UPDATE I read yesterday after posting this that Windows Live Writer can do the same thing for Windows based systems but I have no idea what blogging platforms it is compatible with.

Bloglines. It’s a feed reader for all those blogs you love to keep track of but don’t have the time to check every day. Now you can. Subscribe using Bloglines and it’ll tell you every time a post is added to your favorite blogs. You can read it from there, save the ones you like and more. And it’s free, too.

Scrivener. This is one fabulous piece of software! I’ve been using it for several months and love it. I can write everything there, complete with formatting and all kinds of cool stuff. It’s Mac only, sorry. But there is a cool app for Windows called KeyNote (not to be confused with the Apple program of the same name) that is very functional and I used it all the time on my Windows laptop. It’s no longer in development, but it still works great.

That’s all for now. I’ll write another post in the series probably next week.

~Annie (lsandrsn on the forum)
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Rant: Partial Feeds

6 Sep

Ok – here’s my currant rant – partial feeds. I hate partial feeds! It’s annoying. I mean, I use a feed reader to make it easier and faster to read all the blogs I love and enjoy. But ya know, when you only offer a partial feed, I have to break my momentum to go to your page and finish reading.

Small annoyance? Hardly. My time is just as valuable as yours. If you’re going to take the time to write the blasted thing, have some respect for my time too and allow full feeds.

Really. It’s gotten to be that I’m deleting feeds from my Bloglines because even though I love the blogs, I just can’t take a bunch of extra time to go surfing all over the place to read them. That *IS* why I use a feed reader to begin with – to save time so I can read all the blogs I like. Not just yours.

So – please. Do your readers a favor and allow full blog feeds so those using a reader can be as efficient as they need to be. I doubt you’ll lose any readers over it.

But I bet you WILL lose readers over partial feeds. Like me.

~Annie (lsandrsn on the forum)
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Quicksilver

30 Aug

This is not what I intended to write about today, but I just had to share another cool tool – Quicksilver. Now, if you’re not on a Mac, this will mean nothing to you but read on anyway. 😉

I have had Quicksilver installed for months but never really knew how to use it. Just hadn’t had the time to figure it out or look at any tutorials for it. Anyway – I saw Ed use it a week or so during one of the 30dc videos and thought I really should learn how to use it.

Well, let me tell you – it’s really cool. I can find any THING on my computer, launch any program on my hard drive with just a few keystrokes. Very cool.

Here is a good intro video – enjoy!

And if you want to learn even more, here are two good websites –

VJArmy – QuickSilver – A Better OS X In Just 10 Minutes
The Apple Blog – Screencast: Quicksilver for Beginners

~Annie (lsandrsn on the forum)
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Get Reminders via Twitter . . .

10 Aug

Did you know . . . ?

Twitter can now send you reminders!

twitter-timer.png

Yep, just direct message the timer user on Twitter: something like “d timer 45 Call mom” and you’ll get a private message back in 45 minutes that reads “call mom.”

If you direct messages to your cell phone, this is a really nice way to set up reminders on the fly. Twitter is quickly transforming from a way to broadcast what you had for lunch to a robust personal mobile command line with Remember the Milk and GCal integration.

Original article on Lifehacker here.

PS > Here’s the help section for this on Twitter’s site – http://help.twitter.com/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=15

~Annie (lsandrsn on the forum)
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More Useful Tools

9 Aug

A couple of days ago, I wrote a post about some of the tools I use daily that I am also using during the 30 Day Challenge and I promised I’d add more later.

Well, it’s now later! Here are some additional tools you might find useful –

Basecamp – the ultimate collaboration and project management tool! I use it to help my clients and I keep track of all our projects and to keep everyone on track. Both free and paid accounts available.

Highrise – from the same folks as Basecamp and Backpack, Highrise helps you remember who said what, when, what to do next, who to call back, when to follow up and more. Both free and paid accounts available.

Neooffice – an alternative to Microsoft Office for Mac users, it includes a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation program, and graphics program. It’s also free.

This is all I’ll list for now – don’t want to overwhelm you. There are many more tools that will be beneficial to you and yes, I *do* actually use these programs. I won’t share any with you that I don’t use myself. However, since I am on a Mac, some of these tools may be Mac programs and I’ll try to note that if that’s the case.

~Annie (lsandrsn on the forum)
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