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12 Online Productivity Tools I’m Using and Loving


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by Summer Kelley

This post contains affiliate links. If you follow a link and purchase something, it benefits this site and my family without affecting your price. Thank you!

1. Evernote

Elephant

photo credit: VinothChandar via photopin cc

 

Evernote is an online application designed to help you “remember everything.” You can put anything you want to remember in a note, group notes together in notebooks and stack your notebooks to keep track of information.  An Evernote note could be a post clipped online, a picture, a pdf, or an audio file. The notes and their contents are searchable and tag-able. Even words inside images and pdf files in a note can be searchable with Evernote Premium.

How do I use Evernote? I use it to keep track of my kids’ information, home projects, clients information and so much more. Thanks to the smartphone Evernote app, I can access all my information anytime, anyplace.

 

2. LastPass

Last Pass stores all your passwords in one place. It will even generate really complicated passwords, which you don’t have to remember. Last Pass is a free service, but you can pay a monthly fee for premium use, including a mobile app.

Last Pass has saved me many times, holding a password I’d forgotten. It’s also allowing me to keep unique passwords for all my services and use more secure passwords.

You can also safely share passwords within Last Pass if there are other people you need to access an account.

 

3. IFTTT (If This, Then That)

IFTTT is a very simple but incredibly useful tool that allows you to automate tasks between services. After opening an account you create recipes. For example, one recipe might be IF I star an email in gmail, THEN send it to Evernote. IFTTT will do this automatically for you once you activate the recipe.

I’ve just begun to access the tip of the iceberg with this service, but with over 70 channels, the possibilities are pretty mind-boggling!

Financial and Accounting

Financial and Accounting photo credit: ansik via photopin cc

 

4. File This

File This is a free service will fetch monthly statements and store them or put them wherever you specify, including Dropbox or Evernote. No more logging into all your utility and financial institutions to download statements! File This fetches them and puts them all in one place! You’ll need to pay a small fee if you want to connect to more than 6 services, but less than 6 is free!

 

5. Freshbooks

Freshbooks is a cloud accounting service. It has features for billing, time tracking and expenses. There are free and paid premium options available.

My favorite feature is that my invoices practically create themselves. Freshbooks has cut my time spent on invoices drastically. For a small business, this is key because time spent accounting is time not earning revenue!

Bonus Tool: I use a service called Zapier, which is similar to IFTTT but a bit less user friendly. However, IFTTT does not have a Freshbooks channel, and Zapier does. I use Zapier to automatically send copies of my Freshbooks invoices to Evernote.

Storage and Backup

File Cabinets to the sky

photo credit: redjar via photopin cc

 

6. Dropbox

Dropbox is a storage and sharing site. Users upload files to access on other devices via the mobile app or share with others. It works great when you need to share multiple files that would be tedious to email. Its also helpful if the files are too large to email. Unlike Google Drive, Dropbox works with photos.

I use Dropbox professionally to exchange photos to be used for posts and articles I write for my clients. I also use it to back up the pictures I take on my phone. The dropbox app for my phone is set to automatically upload the photos I take on my phone into my dropbox.  Every once in a while, I can easily download them into my photo organizational system.

I love that I don’t have to remember to do this. It’s automatic. And I love that my photos are immediately backed up, just in case they get deleted from my phone.

 

7. Crash Plan

I have so many photos and videos of my kids. I store them on a Time Capsule. I’d be crushed if I lost them. I was desperately searching for a service that would back up an external drive for a price I could afford.

Crash Plan did it! What a lifesaver! The peace of mind is so, so worth the $5/month. Now all my photos and videos are now safely stored in the cloud and I can rest easy!

I also appreciate that they have telephone customer support, unlike some of their competitors. When you have a crash and need your data, you just want to talk to someone. And fast!

Reading and Email

People Reading Newspaper

 

8. Feedly

Feedly is quickly becoming my favorite app to open when my phone battery is charged and I have a minute to relax. It’s a reader, but I have my quickly growing list of favorite blog feeds ready and waiting for me.

Feedly lets you group feeds, so I can find the ones I feel like reading quickly and easily. The aesthetic display keeps me motivated for return for more.  I can also set up feed groups for clients’ niches, so I can keep current and catalog topics relevant to their brands.

I can also easily save content to Pocket, Pinterest or Evernote or send it to Hootsuite, Facebook or Twitter for sharing.

 

9. Pocket

That brings me to Pocket. At first, I thought Pocket was too repetitive. Between Feedly, Evernote and Pinterest, do I really need another place to store content?

Pocket is a super clean and simple and is actually the easiest place to send things quickly. It comes in handy when I’m reading something and get called away before I can finish. If you close an article in Feedly before doing something with it, its gone.

I often see interesting links in my Facebook or Twitter feed when I don’t have the time or energy to read them. So with one tap I can send it to Pocket. When I’m done reading I delete or save it wherever it fits – usually my Pinterest account or Evernote.

 

10. Kindle for Mac and Android

Kindle for Mac is an app that turns a device into a reader. And it’s free. I have it on my Mac as well as on my Android phone, but its available for quite a few devices. 

I love having a Kindle on my smartphone. Before I had a smartphone, I loved having Kindle books available on my computer. Both have helped me read more, which is always a goal of mine. With this app on my phone, I’m never without something to read!

 

11. Unroll.Me

I was skeptical of the Unroll.Me service at first. I thought it might not fit into my email process.  I tried it because I could see how it would help me lump like tasks together, which I know is always a time saver. Now instead of “subscription” email cluttering my inbox, I only glance at it once per day and click through if I’m interested.

Here’s how it works: I get an email at a time of day that I set from Unroll.Me. When I open that email, it shows tiled images of all subscription emails I received since the last email from Unroll.Me.

I also like seeing tile images of the emails in my daily roll rather than half of the title in my inbox. Unroll.Me is very customizable, and I can choose which subscriptions are in my roll.

The bottom line is that Unroll.Me has helped me keep my inbox clear and that saves me time and mental energy. Yay!

12. Boomerang for Gmail

Boomerang for Gmail is a nice little add on for Gmail that allows you to send something out and specify when it comes back to you. You can schedule emails to be sent later, or resent again at a later date. You can also tell something in your inbox to come back whenever you want. Boomerang for Gmail offers a basic plan for free.

I use this to schedule future emails, but also to keep my inbox clear of stuff I don’t need right now but know I’ll need at a specific time in the future.

What are your favorite online tools? Please share!

by Summer Kelley
This post contains affiliate links. If you follow a link and purchase something, it benefits this site and my family. Thank you!

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