“Get in the mindset to recognize what you need, and avoid being distracted by shiny new tools,” said Shannon Myers, from Walton Search, talking about technology tips and tools yesterday at the fall ERE Expo.
But she did list some of the sites, applications, and services she finds interesting. Here’s a sampling of those services to manage your time, life, contacts, and information online (and in the comments section, add any you find valuable):
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- Babelwith.me. As you send a message to someone, it translates it into another language.
- ReferenceUSA. Research information on millions of businesses in the U.S., Canada, and internationally.
- Evernote. Bookmark parts of the Web for yourself with your own little virtual sticky-notes.
- Contact Caputure from Broadlook. Find a contact on the Internet, and quickly and easily save it to your contact list.
- FriendorFollow. Previously in beta, you enter your Twitter name to see who’s following you, who’s not following you, and so on (explained briefly here). By putting in your competitor’s Twitter name, you can see the same about them. You can also export into a CSV file. Other Twitter tools include TwitterGrader, Twiangulate, Twellow, Twingly, Follower Wonk, and InboxQ. InboxQ, for example, helps you decide the best Twitter users to answer a question for you.
- fefoo. Search multiple search engines at once.
- Best Vendor. In beta, by invite only, a place to see how others are rating products and providers.
- Gist. A way to manage your contacts. Another tool in this genre is Xobni.
- Social Text and Mango Spring. Two different places to build better, social-media driven intranets.
- Meebo. A messaging tool that works with AOL, Yahoo, and other services.
- Seesmic, cotweet, MarketMeSuite, and PeopleBrowsr. Like better-known tools such as Hootsuite and TweetDeck, these help you manage your social media life, search social media, schedule posts, see where and when you’re mentioned, and more.
- DownThemAll. A plug-in to your Web browser so that you can download more quickly. OutWit Docs is one of the other browser plug-ins Myers likes.
- TinEye. One of a few sites excellent for searching for images.
- Radian6, Viralheat, Crowdbooster, and other monitoring tools. More analysis and monitoring of your social media.
- Diigo and StumbleUpon. “Social bookmarking” tools to keep track of your favorite sites and see what others like.
- “Forms” from Google Docs. A way to create an online form, such as if you want a job candidate to fill something out online.
- Know em?. See if the username you’d like to use on social media is available on different networks. Also use it to find a job candidate: their Yahoo or Gmail address, for example, may be similar to their social media handles, so if you can find them on a social site, it may help in finding their contact info.
- Focus Booster. A time-management tool to help you break down your work period into 25-minute increments, separated by breaks. Also, for people wanting to focus better, Myers suggests separating your desktop out into two different users. As an example, you’d set up one RSS feed for your celebrity gossip, and another for work. When you need a break, you look at the celeb feed, but by keeping it out of your main work feed, you don’t get distracted.
- Social Mention. Like Google Alerts, but for social social media.
- MeetingBurner. One of the newer tools for hosting online webinars.
When it comes to all these tools, Myers says, “it’s not always how many or how new the tools are, but how well you know and use them.”