’10 Apps That Make Me More Productive’

We’re becoming an app happy world. Apps that run on our laptops, apps for mobile, apps for iPads and tablets—even better are the apps that sync across all of our chosen devices, keeping us on track in an increasingly online world.

Below are 10 applications that I use on a daily basis to get more done, manage more information, communicate more ideas and generally keep the plates spinning.

1. TweetDeckThis is my primary social media dashboard. It’s a desktop application that runs on Adobe Air and while there are lots of alternative choices, I’ve just always stuck with TweetDeck. (I do however use the Twitter app for my iPhone.) I have groups, lists and searches set up at all times and use the scheduled Tweets feature to meter out content I want to share throughout the day.

2. Evernote. This is my brainstorming, idea clipping, bookmark storing powerhouse. Evernote syncs beautifully across all devices and allows me to outline my life in many ways without having to commit anything to memory. I’ve stored everything from ideas for my books to wines I want to remember.

3. Dropbox. This is my online backup and file storage tool of choice. I probably overuse this tool, leaning on it as a file server for my team as well as a backup for important files, but it just works well. I also use it to share large files and grant conference attendees access to my PowerPoint presentations.

4. Reeder. This is an app that turns my chosen RSS reader, Google Reader, into something much more functional and much more attractive. I do most of my blog reading on my iPhone or iPad and the Reeder app gives me a ton of functionality. I can easily share a post on Twitter, clip to Evernote and bookmark to Delicious right from the post—great time saver.

5. Dragon Dictation. This iPhone app (at least that’s the only version I use) allows me to speak a memo and have it converted to text. I haven’t really tested this out, but I think I could compose a blog post using this tool. The app then allows me to e-mail the text or manage it in various other ways. I use this tool whenever I get a flash of brilliance while driving or think of something when trying go to sleep and want to capture the idea right away.

6. HelloFax. This app is billed as a fax machine replacement, but I don’t really use that function. What HelloFax allows me to do is receive a document—like a contract, agreement, vendor form or non-disclosure—that need edits and my signature. Instead of editing, printing, signing, scanning and e-mailing back, I simply download the document, upload it to HelloFax, make my edits, drop in my stored signature and e-mail it back.

7. Text Expander. There are dozens of snippets of text that I need to use frequently. Text Expander allows me to write chunks of copy once and then paste those chunks whenever I need to with a couple keystrokes. I have entire e-mails that I send in response to certain requests, e-mail signatures, blog sponsorship messages and even HTML code  that I use frequently committed to short, time saving keystrokes that are easy to recall.

8. Pixelmator. This is my replacement to Photoshop. Now, I’m not a graphic designer, so I don’t have major league design challenges, but I’ve used Photoshop for years and for $29 this tool does everything I need it to do and is much easier to use than Photoshop. I’m sure Adobe would challenge this statement, but this tool is at least on par feature wise with the $99 Photoshop Elements.

9. Adium. I use Adium for all things related to IM. This Mac-only client allows me to converse with folks via instant message regardless of the IM platform they use—Facebook, Google Talk or AIM.

10. Transmit. This is my file transfer tool. It’s lightening fast and allows me to upload and manage files via FTP to my websites. I also use it to access my Amazon S3 file storage as I use Amazon’s cheap hosting and streaming for my videos and other larger downloads that I make available on my sites. I also use Transmit to move files around on my laptop. Instead of using two instances of the Finder on my Mac, I use a split window in Transmit that allows me to drag and drop files more easily.



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