If you are online as a business person or an entrepreneur I thought it would be interesting to come up with a must have productivity tool kit (there's option or two). The following collection are tool that I utilize to keep my productivity high.
Email is critical in today's business world, and a smart, intuitive and easy-to-access tool is key. Microsoft Outlook is used by most businesses and in some way may be integrated with your iphone or Blackberry. Google and Yahoo offer free email services (Outlook has to be purchased) that are easily accessible from your desktop, laptop or handheld device. Even though the most prolific browser is Internet Explorer from Microsoft I believe that Firefox is the only current choice for the truly dynamic user. It is Open Source and has dramatically more functionality currently with more being added daily by volunteers.
Those of you who follow me understand that I'm a proponent of online networking for your professional life as well as personal. The best avenues in my opinion are LinkedIn and Twitter. I'm leaving Facebook out on purpose and you will understand why in a future article. A wiki is a collection of web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content, using a simplified markup language. I spend increasingly more time in Wikipedia as it is a great starting point for many types of research.
Good presentations, intelligent book marking, and the ability find information on your computer are self explanatory. The proper tools to make it happen make your life easier and more productive.
EMAIL Microsoft Outlook. It isn't the only email interface but in the PC world it's the best desktop client to use. gMail (or Google Mail as it is known in the UK) is one of the many services offered by Google. Totally web-based email service with megabytes of storage space for archiving mail threads. Also, it can't be beat for its integrated Google Calendar function.
Yahoo Mail is a web-based email system from Yahoo with unlimited storage. The new version of yahoo mail is great. Email in general is an indispensable for business, education, and increasingly personal life. The integrated feed reader is an excellent tool for business and online activities such as eLearning. Also don't forget the great Instant Messaging.
Firefox is an open source browser and is now available in its third version, Firefox 3. There are also thousands of add-ons that turbo charge its functionality. One feature I really love if your browser crashes or you close it prematurely you have the option of restoring the last session. Wow! ONLINE NETWORKING
Twitter is your mini blog. It only allows only 140 characters but when you "get it", like I did, you will love being able to keeps dozens of people and vice a versa. Oh yeah and you can go mobile with it. is for staying in touch and keeping up with friends no matter where you are or what you're doing. You can have more than one if you want one or more for personal and business reasons. There is a widget you can use to let others know you twitter which can be placed on your blogs and other online networking communities such as MyBlogLog. LinkedIn is a social network aimed at the professional community and my favorite tool for electronic online networking. You can manage your account online, and add a widget to identify yourself as a member of the community on your web or blog page. It is an excellent way to keep up with other professionals without pesky phone calls and emails. ONLINE RESEARCH
Wikipedia is the largest free multi-national encyclopedia in the world. Volunteers around the world have authored it collaboratively, and the vast majority of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the Internet. PRESENTATIONS
PowerPoint, presentation software is part of the Microsoft Office suite. Of course you knew that but experiment with its features and it will explode in its usefulness. Embed video, audio, photos, etc. I even use it as a whiteboard.
Google Search – use it to search the internet. In combination with Firefox it's a phenomenal tool. Try it and see.
del.icio.us is a free social bookmarking tool. It allows you to store your bookmarks online, tag them and share them with your colleagues and students. Easy to use to search for other bookmarked resources and speeds up your prep time to do research for presentations and writings.
Notepad is simple text editor – useful for writing HTML or other code for techies. For the rest of us a great way to write your blog offline or other simple stuff when you don't need MS Word.
Copernic Desktop Search is a search engine for your PC. Easily search your entire hard drive in less than a second to pinpoint the right file, email, music or picture. Ever try to find a file on a computer you have been busily using for awhile? I have. Use this and put away the aspirin for the headache.
By Theodore Henderson, DTM – Distinguished Toastmaster
THJ Associates, LLC
Plan Communicate Prosper