Do you remember what you used to do before you had a mobile phone? It’s a conversation that comes up in pubs, coffee shops and chats over and over again. I can remember what I did, I was a bit more organised, I was always standing around waiting for people indefinitely and I didn’t miss the web because it was still in it’s infancy. However I was without my smart phone for a few days last week and I soon became confused and lost.
There are other items I’ve got used to too, email for example and there are applications I use every day without fail that have embedded themselves in my life the same way the mobile phone has. Here are three that I don’t think I could live without.
Hootsuite (affiliate link) is a social media management tool with so many essential features I often wonder how I got by without it. You can schedule, shorten and measure click throughs on links, easily see your Twitter @ replies and DM’s, search for specific terms, feed RSS feeds to your social media accounts.
It’s not just for Twitter either, you can add Facebook accounts (both profiles and pages), foursquare, Linkedin… and more. I have it open all day on a tab so I can monitor hashtags and search terms, if it disappeared I’d be utterly lost. There’s a free version and a feature heavy paid version, give it a go on the free version and you will never go back.
This runs on auto on all my computers and my phone. It’s become so familiar I often forget that I use it but it’s brilliant in so many ways.
Dropbox (affiliate link) allows you to share files with other computers. For someone like me who operates from several machines this is amazing. Install Dropbox on your computer and save the files you access the most to the folder on your desktop. When you update the files it automatically updates them to your Dropbox account. You can install Dropbox on multiple computers giving users access to specific folders or if like me you switch between laptop, netbook and phone you always have access to your files. I find this particularly handy when I’m working with clients on Facebook pages, we open a shared folder and can share images and large files through it.
You get generous space for free and if you invite others to Dropbox and they join you and they get extra space, hence the affiliate link above.
3. Google Reader
I’ve been talking about this a lot on my podcast recently. It really is a fantastic way of researching and keeping up with your favorite websites and blogs. I mine it for information, cool links and other stuff to share on my social media channels every day. It’s also a great way to monitor what people are saying about you, your company and your industry. If you want to learn more about it follow the series I’m broadcasting on my YouTube channel.