During 2012 I used a lot of different tools, some were really useful, but some I found made things more difficult. I like to use tools if they help, make things more efficient or provide value to the project that I am working on, but there are plenty of tools that I am currently using that need to be reviewed.
Below are 3 tools that I will be using a lot more of in 2013.
1. Google Drive
For those of you that haven’t heard of Google Drive, where have you been? Google Drive is the renamed Google Docs. All the functionality has been retained, plus the addition of some nice features including, the ability to add documents to your Gmail account directly from Google Drive.
I have been an avid Dropbox user for a long time now, but with the issues they have had recently, I wanted to find something more secure and reliable. I looked around for a long time, and found nothing that was suitable, so I continued with Dropbox. Since the relaunch of Google Drive, Google have introduced the ability to drag and drop files into your cloud storage, either directly into your browser or to folder located on your device.
With this simple but effective addition, Google Drive was an easy replacement for Dropbox, whilst retaining the same usability. I think Google Drive will be the biggest change to the toolset that I use in 2013.
If you are like me, you can distracted pretty quickly! For me the main culprits are BBC Sport and Twitter. You know I love my sport, therefore I check BBC Sport regularly, looking for the latest sports news. I use Twitter to keep up to date with the fast paced industry that is online marketing, and have found it an essential tool in finding content that I might not of otherwise come across.
This can become a problem especially when you have a deadline to hit, this is where procrastinator comes in. Using the Procrastinator Google Chrome app, you can block websites from being visited during a certain period of time.
Procrastinator allows you to enter the websites that you want to block yourself from, and the times that you don’t want to visit. Once you have set your times, and you visit a blocked site, you are given a slap on the wrist and politely asked to go back to work. This tool has saved me a considerable amount of time, stopping me from visiting the sites that distract me the most. If you are not using something similar, then I highly recommend it.
With any tool/app you can always get around it, and in this case, it is by using a different browser, or checking your mobile phone. If you are looking for a way to stay focused during certain times of the day, then this browser app is great.
I became a big fan of Trello towards the end of 2012, mainly due to using it more often in-house. I became such a fan, I started to use it for some personal projects as a free resource for managing projects, and giving clients access, and full transparency to the project.
Trello allows you to create tasks that can be assigned to associated to chosen members. It includes filters such as comments, votes, to-do lists, labels and due dates to make managing your project as easy as possible.
What I really like about using Trello, is the ease of usability. Some questions that I have when using basecamp, is how do I use it? Since using Trello, I haven’t had that issue. For our internal process at SEOptimise and own personal project Trello is going to be an amazing asset.
For my personal projects I have been using Trello alongside Toogl to measure the amount of time that had been spent on each task. I find that Toogl compliments Trello extremely well with the use of the desktop application it makes it extremely useful. I am just hoping that the guys over at Trello or Toogl will edit the tool to allow integration.
Do you use Trello? What other tools do you use alongside Trello to make the tool even better?
So there you have it my 3 tools I will be using a lot in 2013. Do you use any of these tools? What other tools/apps do you feel are invaluable to you? What tools do you recommend that I look at in 2013? I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below or on twitter @danielbianchini.