The way internet entrepreneurs use applications has changed over the last couple of years. The use of different applications to make our lives easier has increased exponentially. In a typical day, I will use a minimum of 15 different applications. And I’m not just talking about desktop applications, either. A great number of apps that I use, I use on my mobile phone, as well.
This guide is a celebration of the applications that I use. Some of the applications you’ve heard of. Some of them you may not. But I dare you to walk away from reading this guide and not take away something from it that you will use. Just looking at my desktop, without digging too far into my computer, there are dozens of applications that I use regularly.
As a budding entrepreneur, or an established one, this guide is dedicated to you. I hope you come across something that you will use that makes your life easier or more productive. Let’s get to it.
Dropbox is one of those useful applications where, if you don’t have it, you’re lost without it. Dropbox is basically a free service which gives you 2GB (gigabytes) of storage space online. You install the application on your computer and it creates a “Dropbox” folder on your computer in the “My Documents” folder. Anything stored or moved into this folder from then on, is saved instantly. The best part about it you can access the folder from anywhere and you can install Dropbox on as many computers as you want. There’s no limit. Here’s just some of the things you can do with Dropbox:
- Sync your iTunes music across multiple computers
- Sync your To-Do lists
- Store and run applications from your Dropbox folder
There are many more uses of Dropbox. If you find more uses, feel free to let me know! I’d love to see what others are doing with it.
I love Jing . In fact, I love Jing so much, All the screenshots included in this guide were done with Jing. But it is so much more than just a screenshot tool. You can also do screencasts! Yes, screencasts and video.
With Jing, you’re able to record 5 minute screencasts and video that you can upload straight to YouTube or Facebook. It’s a great alternative to Camtasia for Mac users. Very simple, very easy. This is an awesome tool that allows people with Macs and PCs to do video through their computers all for free. There is a Pro version of Jing for $14.95 per year. You really need to have Jing in your toolbox, even if you don’t use the screencast feature.
“Never forget again” is one of the mottos for Springpad and it is definitely a lifesaver. Because I’m an Android user, I’m constantly using Springpad on my phone. I know a lot of people swear by Evernote. It is a great product, but in my opinion, Springpad is the way to go. When I first started finding applications for my Droid Incredible, Springpad was one of the first applications I came across. You can save your stuff on your phone or on the web and access on both, as well. It is a application that you should have on your phone, iPod Touch, iPhone and on your computer. It is such a well organized application and also organizes information well.
A good blogger usually has dozens of different ideas swarming around in their head at one time. A great blogger takes those ideas and writes them down in some semblance of order. That’s where Mindomo and FreeMind come in. Both of these tools are mindmapping software that helps you organize your thoughts and ideas. Mindomo lets you do several things like:
- Organize your ideas and work
- Plan and track projects
- Define goals and objectives
- Teach and learn visually
Mindomo is a browser based minmapping tool and it comes in three tier pricing. There is the free version which is Mindomo Basic. You’re limited, however to only 7 private maps and basic import and export functions. Mindomo Desktop Premium (touted as the most popular plan) is the next step up. With it, you pay $6 a month and get all of Basic, but you have unlimited private maps. You also get 350MB of storage space for your maps. There are other features included, like spell checker and topic filters.
If you get Mindomo Team, you get everything included in Basic and Desktop plus a custom subdomain, a branded homepage, shared team folder and a team administration interface. All that will run you about $9 a month. (Please be advised that subscription fees for Premium and Team are billed semiannually/annually in advance.) I love the look and feel of Mindomo and I wish they had a standalone option. On the plus side, however, since it’s browser-based, you can access the tool from any PC, Mac or Linux machine. (Awesome!)
Freemind basically lets you do the same things as Mindomo. The major difference with FreeMind is that it’s open-source and free. Also it is not limited to creating mindmaps in the browser.
Once you download the FreeMind software on your computer, you can create as many maps as you like. I like both solutions for developing everything from blog post ideas to putting together this guide. I definitely recommend trying out both and see which option is better for you. Every entrepreneur should have mindmapping software on all of their computers and laptops.
That’s all for now. I’ll introduce more tools I use next time. Try some of these tools and let me know what you think. If you already use these tools, tell me how they help make your life easier everyday.