These tools, ideas, software, blogs and online services are my top ten for you to consider making your life, business and technology work a lot harder for you this year, and beyond! I say ‘our’, as I can not take credit for all of them, as many readers and other blogs I regularly read have pointed out several of these! On that note… Thank you to LifeHacker, Chris Brogan, Seth Godin, Tim Ferris & Deb Raven! ( All blogs I highly recommend you add to your personal reading list!)
Here they are:
Many of our precious digital memories or business related digital documents are considered irreplaceable. If you don’t take the time to back them up, you are at risk of losing it all if your computer crashes ( I speak form experience :). Make this the year you sleep soundly at night knowing that your data is backed up via a back up drive, and or you have utilized a free or paid online storage service.
Gone are the days of frustrating mobile devices that make using the internet and other online services painful. I recommend that everyone have either an iPhone or at the very least an i Touch so that you can; unwind anywhere and rediscover the power of music, use abundantly available free WIFI to play games with friends, and or connect with business colleagues and create the next Google, even if you aren’t on the same continent.
Here are my Top Ten apps; WordPress, Skype, Google Apps, Dragon Dictation, Facebook, Echofon (Twitter), LinkedIn, Scrabble, PS Mobile (Photoshop), & PayPal
After recently teaching my parents to use Skype while they travel for two solid months, they were astonished that they could call any phone number in North America for less than the cost of one Star Bucks Latte a month. I’ll say that again in case you missed it… for about 3$ a month they have unlimited long distance to any phone!!!! So if you have been hiding under a rock until now, and haven’t downloaded Skype, what are you waiting for? Skype is so much more than just cheap long distance, as its great for free video chatting, instant messaging and real time business collaboration.
7. Windows 7
Finally, Microsoft has hit the mark with their new operating system. If your PC is still running XP or Vista then it is well worth the effort to upgrade. Here are just a snippets of the 100′s of improvements you could experience; very simple Home Networking (easy to connect all your PC’s to a home group), faster boot up & down times, and vastly improved user interface even if the changes feel ever so slight! Either way, it’s worth the upgrade!
This little free APP saves me time every day, and helps me keep my often cluttered desktop more organized. If you have too many icons on your desktop and want an easier way to get acces to your most frequently used programs, then this is the ticket. The price is right (free), but if you do like it consider donating a little cash to the developers, as they have been nice enough not to charge.
Ok, so this one is definitely not cheap, but if you are in business and need to conduct super effective remote meeting(s) with one or more people then Citrix has this market locked up. I have used GoToMeeting for several years and highly recommend it to anyone. Some of my favorite uses for this service are; giving remote presentations, white boarding ideas with partners, connecting to a friends computer and helping, and so much more.
Although I wrote about this back in 2007 (here), I still use GoToMyPC when I am on the road to work off of my main super computer Again, this isn’t a cheap service, but if your business life depends on you reliably accessing your main computer RIGHT NOW to help you close a deal, then this other Citrix product is for you. There are other alternative free services out there for sure, but I have never found anything as reliable and robust.
After reading Tim Ferris’s book (The 4 Hour Work Week) I was reminded of this outsourcing service, and finally took the plunge to get a few side projects completed. On Elance you can virtually post almost any type of job or project you can think of and experts around the world will bid to get the work. For often very reasonable prices you could have a script ghost written, hire a programmer or web designer, have a database expert create you the perfect database, hire a virtual assistant, and so much more. Make this the year that you truly act on delegating those tasks you need done, but really know you don’t have the time or desire to get to.
When it comes to typing I had two choices. Either spend the time to truly teach myself how to type or accept my limitations and use technology to my advantage. What do you think i decided? I finally bought Dragon Naturally Speaking and now talk to my computer, and watch as my words are magically typed out on the screen. No word of a lie, this has probably saved me a 100+ hours in the past year. I have found Dragon to be 98% accurate, and it works on any program I have on my PC that accepts typed text like Word, FireFox, gMail, etc.
I think I have saved the best for last, but you can be the judge of that. I know in my heart that there is NO technology on the planet that can truly make our lives better like other human beings can. Yes, software and online services can save you time & money, of which can be applied to the other areas of your life that mean the most to you. Let this be the year that you consider hiring an executive or life coach to assist you in making this your best year ever. I use & highly recommend Deb Raven.
I hope one of these Top 10 saves you time & or money! Please let me know what tools you use and I truly look forward to hearing your comments. All the best to you in 2010!LeeRaito.com