This hot-mess of a panel is aimed at giving you some quick overviews of some cool tools you might want to try out. We’ll also be answering questions and using this space for links to many of the things we talk about. This post is a collaborative effort of fish, Gina Setser, Lily Casura, Gwyneth Doland and Terri Langford…
Evernote is a cool, free productivity program that you can use on your computer (PC or Mac), your phone (iPhone, Android, Blackberry and more) and your iPad. You can take notes, but you can also take photos or audio recordings with the program on your phone. Then no matter what device you used, it syncs with all the others. So take a recording with your phone and it’ll be on your laptop for editing.
Dropbox is another free tool for file sharing. The beauty of Dropbox is that it allows you to share files across platforms, on and off the internet, and with other people. You drop a a file, photo, folder into Dropbox and it is immediately available everywhere you work (home, office, PC, Mac). It is also available to people you may want to share the project with.
Firefox is a great web browser not only because it’s more secure than most others, but it has loads of cool add-ons. A couple of recommendations: ScreenGrab, because you need to get a copy of that crazy page a politician’s put up and you know they’ll want to take down. If you do any programming, from HTML to PHP and more sophisticated languages, Firebug is a great tool. And if you want to xx capitalism, try Ad Block Plus. It does that.
Teambox is collaboration software used at the Houston Chronicle to keep track of phone lists, police blotters, etc. Hope to press it into service during breaking news events, as a whiteboard/bulletin board area to cut down on email traffic. SAPStreamwork is another collaboration program on the web, as is PBWorks.
Twitter is maybe the CB-Radio of the 2000s. It’s a great way to exchange information, promote your work, follow links of people with similar interests. Make sure you use hashtags to get attention – for instance, #tcot stands for top conservatives on twitter. #dwts is Dancing With the Stars. You can go to Hashtags.org to look up a hashtag you’re interested in.
Use Tweetdeck to manage more than one Twitter account. It’s an Adobe Air-based desktop applications that also syncs with your iPad, smartphone etc.
Have you explored all the apps on your phone? Other useful iPhone apps include the native voice recorder, which allows you to e-mail your recordings back to the office. The Ustream broadcaster allows you to stream live video from your phone. With Scanner 911 you can hear police and fire scanners in cities all over the country. With the Public Radio player allows you to listen to public radio stations across the country. There’s a WordPress app that you can use to update your blog from the field and a ChartBeat app to track your traffic.
Snag-It is screen-capture software. You can also do a screen capture using Grab under Applications>Utilities on a Mac, or by using Command-Shift-4 to capture a specific area or Command-Shift-3 to get the entire screen (these both save to your desktop). On a PC, you can hit the PrintScreen key, then paste it into a file (the prtscn key sends it into the clipboard) in an image editor.
Storify is a new social media tool where you can cull tweets, video, on a subject in one place. San Antonio Express-News reporter used it today on the celery recall at a San Antonio food processing plant.
Google Desktop indexes your hard drive so you can do quick and easy searches and find e-mails, documents, photos, etc.
Password management: Wendy Norris offered this site for Mac users.
Do you have ideas to share or more questions to ask? Add them in the comments area!