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My 5 Favorite (Mostly) Free Web Tools

There are so many great, and free, tools out there.  But here is a list of my 5 favorite web services that I use almost daily to help with business communication. 

HootSuite- This service allows you to schedule Tweets, so you don't actually have to be at your computer to send them.  Say for example you are having an Open House this weekend, you could write all of your Tweets about the event at one time a week prior, and just schedule one to go out a day.  Or each morning you could find 5 cool articles and schedule them to go out at various times during the day, making you look connected, while out with clients.  HootSuite has a Hootlet that you can install into the IE Browser window, so when you are reading something you'd like to Tweet, all you have to do is hit the Hootlet and schedule it!

Tweetdeck- I don't even know how someone would begin managing Twitter without this tool?  It helps you catorgorize your followers and topics you'd like to follow into neat columns.  For example, I have a column for about 40 of 950 people I follow, so I am sure not to miss any of their Tweets in the noise.  I also follow the name of my company and my neighborhood.  TweetDeck also helps you know when someone mentions you in a tweet, or sends you a direct message.  You can also use TweetDeck to post to not just Twitter, but sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, at the same time.  Lastly, if you downloaded TweetDeck awhile ago, be sure to go get the latest version - it rocks. 

ScreenR- This site will record up to 5 minute videos of you navigating your computer and talking, and turn them into a video.  Image you want to do a short video on how to sign up to recieve property alerts on your website.  You just launch the site, walk through step while navigating (I recommend using a headset with mic) and then hit stop when you are done.  The site will process the video, give you a URL to Tweet and to upload to sites such as YouTube or Vimeo.

SnagIt- This is the only one on the list that isn't free, it is about $40 for a one time license fee, but they do have a 30 day free trial.  I love, love, love Snagit.  It allow you to easily take screen shots and turn them into useable images.  You can grab just a portion of the page, such as a logo, or it will scroll and grab the entire page.  Once you've grabbed the image, SnagIt had cool editing tools to allow you do things like cropping or make cool borders.  I use SnagIt a lot for images in my blog posts. I had been using an old version and recently upgraded, definitely worth the $20!

YouSendIt- I send a lot of big files, files that my typical email service won't send because of the size.  So when I have to send a big attachment, I use YouSendIt.  One of favorite things about this service is that there is an application you can install right into Outlook.  I have it set up so that every time I send an attachment, it asks me if I'd like to use YouSendIt to send, and I simply say yes or no.  There are no additional steps, nothing for me to download or upload.  You have to pay if you want to send more than one file at a time, or if you have excessively big files. 

I know there are a ton more great services out there, but these are the 5 that I use most.  What ones do you use?

 

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Comment balloon 16 commentsSara Bonert • July 07 2010 11:24AM
My 5 Favorite (Mostly) Free Web Tools
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