Tags Posts tagged with "Evernote"

Evernote

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Conferences and industry events, such as Practical Ecommerce’s upcoming Ignite 2015, are not only opportunities to learn from the experts, but also ideal places to network with peers. Loading your mobile device with the right apps will help to ensure you get the most out of your new connections.

Here is a list of mobile apps to enhance your networking at events. There are apps to exchange contact information, schedule meetings and lunches, take notes, discover who you need to meet, and even to help remember someone’s name. Most of these apps are free.

Apps for Networking Events

Intro. Intro is an app to send your About.me page as a digital business card. You control the information you want to share. Keep track of the people you’ve shared your card with, and cards you’ve received. Contact people directly through the app, or save the info into your address book. Price: Free.

Intro App.

CamCard. Use CamCard to capture all your business cards and manage your contact info. Exchange e-cards, manage your cards by adding notes and tagging, access your cards anywhere. Batch scan all your paper cards to cut the card clutter. Price: Basic is free. Premium plans start at $5 per month.

CamCard App.

Namerick. If you’re bad with names, this is an app for you. Namerick improves your memory of people’s names using repetition and mnemonics modeled from memory “athletes” and studies of the human memory. Price: $0.99.

Namerick App.

Evernote. Evernote is an app to capture information on the go. Easily gather everything important. Capture handwritten notes, and snap photos to record physical and digital details. Collaborate on ideas, and easily create presentations. Price: Basic is free. Premium plans start at $24.99 per year.

Evernote App.

CityHour. CityHour helps you arrange face-to-face meetings with nearby professionals, or around other commonalities such as industry or shared objectives. CityHour syncs with your LinkedIn profile to locate contacts both in and out of your current network that are open to scheduling in-person meetings. Price: Free.

CityHour App.

Contxts. Contxts enables professionals to share their contact information and more via SMS. Exchange all of your professional information with a single text message. Rid yourself of “old school” business cards. Price: Free.

Contxts App.

Twitter. Twitter is the platform for real-time news. Use a conference or event as an opportunity to provide real-time tweets, photos, and video to your followers. Price: Free.

Twitter App.

Facebook Messenger. Facebook Messenger is an app for mobile conversations. Start a group chat, name your group, and add a photo so everyone can get back to it easily. Have video calls. Send a map of any location for a meeting spot. With a built-in camera, Messenger lets you snap and shoot moments as they happen. You can even add drawings or text. Price: Free.

Facebook Messenger App.

Periscope. Periscope lets you broadcast live video. Going live will instantly notify your followers who can join and comment. Shoot live streaming content for your followers who couldn’t make it. Price: Free.

Periscope App.

GroupMe. GroupMe is a free group messaging app that gives you a private chat room for your small group. Coordinate with your peers, and keep in touch throughout an event. Price: Free.

GroupMe App.

Salesforce1. Salesforce1 is a tool to experience Salesforce from any device and brings your Chatter, customer relationship platform, custom apps, and business processes together. View and edit files from Sharepoint, OneDrive and Google Drive. Price: Free.

Salesforce1 App.

Lanyrd. Lanyrd is an app to find professional events and conferences. See events your Twitter contacts are attending and speaking at. Catch up on slides and videos from events you’ve attended or missed. Price: Free.

Lanyrd App.

Spotcard. Spotcard is a close-proximity business networking app. Discover LinkedIn members nearby, view their LinkedIn profile and send them your digital Spotcard. Export your cards from networking events into a CSV file for use in Excel, Salesforce, and numerous other applications. Price: Free.

Spotcard App.

Foursquare. If you’re traveling to a networking event, you’re going to need places for power lunches and meetings over drinks. Foursquare gives you the best places to eat, drink, shop, or visit in any city of the world. Access reviews from local experts. Price: Free.

Foursquare App.

Google+. The Google+ app lets you connect and network on the go. Automatically back up your pictures, video chat directly from your phone, talk about the stuff you’re interested in with Communities, create events, and more. Plan get-togethers with Events. Discover places with reviews and photos. Price: Free.

Google+ App.

Bizzabo. Bizzabo is an event networking app for conferences. Connect with fellow attendees, speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors before, during, and even after events. Get suggestions for people you should meet. Interact through in-app messaging. Access event materials, and leverage social media materials. Price: Free.

Bizzabo App.

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Bloggers can spend a lot of time selecting topics and researching and writing the posts. Here are four tools I use to speed up the research process. Used in the proper sequence, they also provide an easy-to-follow workflow.

1. Feedly
Feedly aggregates content in a visually-oriented interface.

Feedly aggregates content in a visually-oriented interface.

Since Google announced its decision to discontinue Google Reader, users of that service have scoured the web to find suitable alternatives — see “6 Alternatives to Google Reader,” my previous post.

After experimenting with several readers, I chose Feedly due to its visual orientation, ease of use, and intuitive interface. The fact that it is web-based and is a Chrome Extension also won me over.

Feedly is my first stop when preparing to write a blog post or article. I use it to amass content from a variety of sources on topics such as social media, Internet marketing, and small business.

I can see at a glance the featured news of the day picked from those and other topics, and then scroll to see additional content by topic or by source.

2. OneTab
OneTab reduces multiple browser tabs to a single list.

OneTab reduces multiple browser tabs to a single list.

Once I complete a cursory review of several pieces of content inside Feedly, I open those that interest me, in new browser tabs. Often, I have as many as 30 tabs open in a browser window.

In the past, I used my browser’s bookmarking capability to save the tabs for later reading. But it was less than optimal.

That’s why I was pleased to find a Chrome Extension called OneTab. Simply click the OneTab icon and it converts all the tabs into an editable, web-based list. Lists can be shared as web pages and list items can be sorted using a drag-and-drop process. Fewer tabs also reduce my computer’s memory use by 95 percent.

OneTab reduces multiple browser tabs to a single list.

OneTab reduces multiple browser tabs to a single list.

I wish OneTab would allow organization of articles by topic rather than just by date, which is the current structure. But it beats the browser’s bookmarking capabilities hands down.

3. CruxLight
CruxLight summarizes the important points of an article.

CruxLight summarizes the important points of an article.

The third step in my research process is to use CruxLight, a Chrome Extension that scans and summarizes the important points of an article, then highlights the summary on the page itself. It also lists important keywords contained in the article, which can help in optimizing the article for search engines.

CruxLight example summary.

CruxLight example summary.

Users can select a particular keyword and view the summary from that point-of-view and change the length of the summary based on the level of information required and the time accessed.

Click the “Change Mode” button, which is located in a toolbar CruxLight inserts along the bottom of the browser window, to pull the highlighted summary into an excerpt that can be shared via social media or saved using the last tool in my list, Evernote.

4. Evernote
Evernote archives clipped content as "notes."

Evernote archives clipped content as “notes.”

The final step is to take the highlighted content and move it into Evernote, a web-clipping application. CruxLight integrates with Evernote, which makes the process seamless.

I save each summary as a “Note,” and then group the summaries into “Notebooks.” This provides a library of curated content that I can reference when writing blog posts or, when appropriate, cite as a quote.

Evernote can be used as a cloud-based application. Downloadable desktop versions are also available for PC and Mac.

Conclusion

Every blogger has a process for creating meaningful content. Using these tools in the order I’ve described can save time and facilitate organization — creating a functional workflow.

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Whether you’re starting a small business or you’re just thrifty, you can likely benefit from some free online productivity tools.

Here is a list of online productivity tools for small businesses. There are apps for collaboration, accounting, scheduling, development, customer management, general office tasks, and more. All of these tools have free plans, and several are entirely free. If I missed your favorite free application, be sure to include it in the comments below.

Wave

Wave offers online accounting and finance applications for small businesses. It includes invoicing, accounting, payroll, payments, receipts, and personal finance software. Price: Accounting, invoicing, receipts, and personal finance applications are free. Payroll application starts at $9 per month, payments application is 30 cents + 2.9 percent per transaction.

Wave website

Square

Square is a payment-processing app for iOS on iPhones or iPads. Square offers a Wallet app for mobile transactions and a Register app for a modern take on the cash register. Square offers tools to track sales, tax, top-purchasing customers, and more. Pay only when you sell. Square does not require a contract. The card reader attachment is free when you sign up. Price: 2.75 percent per swipe or online sale and 3.5 percent + $.15 per manually entered transaction.

Square website

Google+ Hangouts

With Google+ Hangouts, turn any gathering into a live video call with up to ten friends or simply call a contact to start a voice call from your computer. Enhance your call with Cacoo for online drawing, SlideShare for sharing presentations, and Conceptboard for whiteboard collaboration. Price: Free.

Google Hangouts

Dropbox

Dropbox is a cloud-storage service that lets you access and sync files across all your devices. While Dropbox only offers 2 GB of initial free storage (Google Drive and SkyDrive offer more), it expands free storage up to 16 GB free for referrals. Dropbox offers native support for Linux and Blackberry, as well as Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android. To supercharge your Dropbox, utilize the many third-party apps, which offer enhanced file syncing with Dropbox’s new Datastore API. Price: Free for 2 GB. Pro plans start at $9.99/month for 100 GB.

Dropbox website

Appointlet

If you make appointments with customers, you may need Appointlet, an online appointment-scheduling app for Google Calendar. Add it to your website and let your clients do the booking. Confirm, decline, cancel, or reschedule any appointment right from the comfort of your Google Calendar. Easily gather all the information from your clients that you need to fulfill the appointment. Price: Free for unlimited appointments. Premium plans start at $10/month for custom branding, payment processing, and enhanced technical support.

Appointlet website

Trello

Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. Trello tells you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process. Trello uses boards, lists, and cards to create projects and develop your workflow. Price: Free.

Trello website

Mural.ly

Mural.ly is a visual-collaboration whiteboard app. Drag and drop images, links, and documents to organize your ideas. This simple visual tool can keep your team in sync through brainstorming, planning, or designing a project. Features include private murals, auto-save and backups, comments, activity feed, and chat. Price: Basic plan is free. Pro plan is $10 per month.

Mural.ly website

KeePass

KeePass is a free password manager to help manage your passwords in a secure way. Put all your passwords in one database, which is locked with one master key or a key file. Remember one single master password or select the key file to unlock the whole database. The databases are encrypted using secure encryption algorithms (AES and Twofish). Price: Free.

KeePass website

Evernote

Evernote is an app to remember everything, from lifelong memories and vital information to daily reminders and to-do lists. Everything you store in your Evernote account is automatically synced across all of your devices, making it easy to capture, browse, search, and edit your notes everywhere you have Evernote. Price: Free. Premium plan is $5 per month.

Evernote website

Rapportive

Rapportive shows you everything about your contacts right inside your inbox. Immediately see what people look like, where they’re based, and what they do. Establish rapport by mentioning shared interests. Record thoughts and leave notes for later. Price: Free.

Rapportive website

Boomerang

Boomerang for Gmail lets you write an email now and schedule it to be sent automatically at the perfect time. Write the message as you normally would, then click the Send Later button. Tell Boomerang when to send your message by using the calendar chooser or the text box that understands language like “next Monday.” Price: Basic plan is free. Premium plans start at $4.99 per month.

Boomerang website

Streak

Streak is a customer relationship application for Gmail. Track your deals from your inbox. Group emails from the same customers together, utilizing spreadsheet view right inside Gmail. Use the mobile app to keep track of your customers, make calls, and send emails. Share selective parts of your inbox. Schedule emails to send later. Price: Free.

Streak website

HelloSign

HelloSign is an application for getting documents signed. It includes tools to facilitate document signing, tracking and management. Notifications keep you appraised of the signer’s activity. Signed documents are securely stored and always accessible. Sign an unlimited number of documents for free. HelloSign has mobile apps and a Gmail extension. Price: Free accounts allow you to request up to three signatures from others every month. Premium account is $12.42 per month per user.

HelloSign website

HootSuite

HootSuite is a social media dashboard to manage and measure you social networks. Manage your messages, get custom analytics on your social campaigns, and communicate internally without leaving the HootSuite dashboard. Access a single interface to monitor Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ Pages, WordPress and more. Or add more social networks with the HootSuite App Directory. Price: Individual plan is free; Pro plan is $8.99 per month.

HootSuite website

NutshellMail

NutshellMail takes copies of your latest updates in your social networking accounts and places them in a snapshot email. The NutshellMail update is then sent to your primary email address. NutshellMail supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yelp, MySpace, YouTube, Foursquare, and Citysearch. Receive updates as often as you wish. Price: Free.

NutshellMail website

Gmail

Gmail is a Google’s email application, which includes 15 GB of free storage (across Gmail, Google Drive, and Google+ photos). Gmail also lets you communicate via SMS, voice, or video chat. See who’s online and connect instantly. See your contacts’ profile photos, recent updates, and shared docs next to each email. Price: Free.

Gmail application

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One Tab combines multiple tabs into an easy-to-follow list.

A Chrome and Firefox browser extension, One Tab complies all those tabs into an easy-to-follow list, greatly simplifying the research process.

As I come across what appears to be relevant content, I open it in a new browser tab. Once a set of tabs is open, I commit them to One Tab and then visit each in greater detail. If I determine that a piece of content lacks relevance, I can delete it from the list, further refining the process.

One Tab allows groups of tabs to be combined into a single list, which can be labeled by topic or category to aid in organization and exported as a web page in the event I need to share them with others. When I’m done with a list, I can delete it.

3. Twitter

No better tool exists for finding information than Twitter. Use Twitter Advanced Search to filter information by keyword, hashtag, @username, and more.

Twitter advanced search enables you to filter results by keyword, hashtag and @username.

Don’t be surprised if you find several people linking to the same URL in their tweets. That gives you insight as to its importance and possible relevance for your post.

4. LinkedIn

Being a B2B blogger, I find that LinkedIn provides a wealth of content either written or referenced by those with whom I am connected. Since many of my connections share the same interests as me, it’s not difficult to find plenty of content to draw upon.

5. Notepad and TextEdit

Over the years, I have found that using a barebones tool like Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac) provides a blank document, enabling me to gather information and jot down notes, which I later refine into the finished product.

By selecting the plain text editing mode, I can strip away any concern over formatting, which might accompany the use of a blogging platform or Word doc, and focus strictly on the words themselves.

6. Evernote

Though I have never become a dedicated Evernote user, many bloggers rely on it as a primary source for research and basic blog post construction. Therefore, I it deserves a place on this list.

Evernote can become your blogging workbench.

Evernote saves clipped content into individual notes, which can be combined into topically relevant notebooks.

Michael Hyatt, a well-known leadership consultant, calls Evernote his “blogging workbench,” and uses it to store blog post ideas, collect post components, and then write the post itself.

7. Microsoft Word

Once I have formed the collection of information and notes into a first draft using the text editor, I copy and paste it into MS Word. At that point, I further refine the text, and format it using category headings, sub-headings, paragraphs and lists. I also embed hyperlinks into anchor text and properly cite sources from which I excerpt content.

8. Grammarly

The final stage of the editing process involves the use of Grammarly, a grammar checking software platform.

Grammarly is a web-based grammar-checking tool.

Grammarly finds mistakes such as the use of passive voice, incorrect vocabulary, verb-tense errors, and much more. It also comes with vocabulary enhancement and plagiarism features that help ensure the post is well written with sources that are properly cited.

9. Pixlr

Not being a Photoshop expert, I rely on a cloud-based tool, Pixlr, to do basic image editing. Using it, I can reduce the image size, crop photos, combine multiple images into layers, and even add some cool filters, similar to those in Photoshop.

Pixlr is an easy-to-use image-editing tool, similar to Photoshop.

Pixlr offer three different versions.

  • Pixlr Editor. A robust version that offers the most complete set of editing features.
  • Pixlr Express. A useful for quick fixes.
  • Pixlor-o-matic. Adds retro and vintage effects, similar to Instagram.
10. WordPress

Only after completing these steps do I commit the post to WordPress., my blogging platform.

A majority of my posts are long-form and often formal in tone, and I find that WordPress is best suited to that approach. Depending on your blogging style, other platforms may better fit your needs.

One of the reasons I prefer WordPress is its ability to interpret content copied from Word and strips out the extraneous HTML and CSS code that often bloats a Word doc. Plus, WordPress comes with many rich-text editing features all its own.

Finally, before hitting the “Publish” button, I save the post in draft mode, and then preview it to ensure that it meets my standards.

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