As more and more of our business is done online, time-saving tools become increasingly valuable. Let’s face it: There are simply way too many “bright, shiny objects” out there when it comes to online tools. It’s tough to keep them all straight – but here are five that you shouldn’t be without:
Dropbox – You’ve got digital stuff that needs to live somewhere. Your colleagues have stuff they want to share with you. What do you do with all that stuff? That’s where Dropbox comes in. Dropbox is a cloud-based digital file storage and sharing system for your documents, photos and videos. You can save and share from anywhere, since your stuff is always there. Plans include a free plan, along with premium plans beginning at just $9.99 per month. www.Dropbox.com
YouSendIt – Let’s say you’ve got a file to send. A really big file. If it’s too big to email, YouSendIt is the perfect solution. You can send a 50MB file for free, or send much larger files starting at just $9.99 per month. You can also share files and folders, and you can sync your content across all your devices. www.YouSendit.com
Contactually – There are loads of CRM resources to choose from, by my favorite “keep in touch” tool is Contactually. This fab relationship management tool organizes and automates your email and social media contacts and communications, so you can do your outreach strategically. You can organize your contacts into “buckets,” so you can better manage and follow up with your contacts. Contactually also reminds you when a relationship needs a follow up. Try it for free; premium plans start at $19.99 per month. www.Contactually.com
TimeTrade – Organize and automate your appointments with TimeTrade, a user-friendly appointment scheduling solution that makes it easy to set up meetings without playing phone or email tag. Just give your colleagues or prospects a link, and the rest is done with a few clicks. There’s a free version, and paid plans start at $49 per year. www.TimeTrade.com
Sanebox – If you’re drowning in email (and who isn’t?), Sanebox gets your inbox under control with “smart” filtering. There’s nothing to download or install, and it’s easy to set up. You can also get follow-up reminders, so important emails don’t fall through the cracks, and there’s even a one-click unsubscribe feature, to forever ban those spammy emails. Plans start as low as $2.04 per month. www.Sanebox.com
Along with these five top tools, here are three slightly more frivolous online resources – just for fun!
Quozio – Quozio.com turns your quips or quotes into art – or at least into something that’s usually compelling enough for people to share on Facebook. Take your plain text and create an instant , colorful graphic with this free tool. www.Quozio.com
Photofunia – Want to splash your face on a billboard or a stadium scoreboard? Photofunia lets you put any photo into elaborate settings, just with a few clicks. This free tool is perfect for creating fun and unique Facebook profile pictures. www.Photofunia.com
Portent’s Content Creator – This brilliantly simple idea generator is a fun, fast and free way to generate ideas for articles, headlines, blog posts or just about anything that needs some sizzle. Just plug in your “keyword,” and the content idea generator does the rest. No more writer’s block! www.portent.com/tools/title-maker/
Experiment and enjoy these helpful online tools, and let us know below about some of your own favorites!
Lou Bortone is an Online Marketing Consultant and Video Marketing Strategist who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners build breakthrough brands on the Internet. Lou has over 25 years experience as a marketing executive in the TV and entertainment industries. He’s an author, speaker and online video expert. Learn more at www.LouBortone.com