Today I’m going to show and tell what I use and why I use it. This may be brief or it may take a while. Here goes.
To begin; Recently I like to use gmail (gmail.com) for my email. Even company email (hm-associates.com) is pushed through gmail. It’s easy to sort, filter and best of all, it’s ONLINE. This is useful when people start saying “Charlie, you have a virus because I got an email from you saying blah-blah-blah.” That would be an incident of spoofing where an PC based email client (Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.) got infected and is using any email addresses it finds to pretend to be me (or you). Web based email doesn’t have that problem. Google scans the heck out of what is uploaded to it.
Next, I use Evernote. It’s not just useful for making a note, but keeping notes on EVERYTHING! I use it mostly for clipping web pages (homework stuff, hacks, interesting articles, recipes, etc.). REALLY USEFUL. There’s an installed version for my main PC, an app for my iPhone/iPad and a web version for everything/everywhere else. Which by the way brings me to my third item:
Google Chrome! This is a very cool browser that has extensions for allowing right-clicking to add items to Evernote. Really cool. There’s also a Huntsy (huntsy.com) extension for adding job pages to your employment search, a buffer (bufferapp.com) extension to allow me to populate a post to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn at the same time. There are literally HUNDREDS of extensions that I haven’t even explored yet.
(If This Then That) IFTTT.com. This is a REALLY useful site! At present, I have rules (called recipes on this site) that perform many different functions. Some examples: If someone likes the HMA Facebook Page (via Facebook RSS Feed), then an email will be sent to me saying “Someone liked the HMA Facebook Page”, allowing me to respond and thank that person promptly. If I want to post something to the HMA WordPress Page, I send an email with a keyword in the title to myself, IFTTT looks at my inbox, sees the post and posts it to WordPress. Bufferapp then sees the post and puts it in the buffer for posting according to my pre-defined schedule. Any RSS post that Seth Godin posts will immediately be posted to my “Seth Godin” notebook in Evernote. The recipes go on and on!
http://www.netvibes.com While looking for a replacement for the Google Reader (Google announce that they will shut Google Reader down on July 1, 2013), I came across netvibes. It’s pretty easy to add feeds. I have tabs with feeds for: Daily Reading (Seth’s Blog, Instructables, LifeHacker, Mark’s Daily Apple, How-to-Geek, Hack-a-day, Quotesdaddy.com), Small Business Podcasts, Interesting Podcasts, Investing Podcasts, Old Time Radio Podcasts, National News, International News, Local News.
Really useful for keeping the media in one place, again ONLINE.
Google Calendar. Online and useful. I can add an appointment from email with a keyword (picked up by IFTTT) that populates a gcal event. I have one calendar for private use and another for the business and can see them both simultaneously. Cool!
Microsoft Office. Well, YEAH! We are Office Automation Experts you know! MS-Office is the standard, but we’re also trying out Google Docs, LibreOffice (for Linux), OpenOffice, etc. Not every business can afford the ~$400 (per machine) that MS-Office Professional demands.
VIPRE Internet Security 2013. What’s that? You aren’t using any antivirus because you DON”T SEE THE NEED? Get out. No really, get out. You can’t be serious! And you are just opening every email that comes to you and click on the links inside? Well. And you wonder why your PC is slow and your friends are all shunning you. Hmmm.
That’s enough for now. I was thinking of putting in some screen captures, but changed my mind. The post is running large enough for now. I’ll likely post more later.
Charles McCrumb, Office Automation Expert
Visit us at http://www.hm-associates.com
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