There are a million free and practically-free tech tools for making your life simpler, and as a very busy person, I’m always trying to find the magic combination of essential tools that will work best for me. When they work just right, it’s hard to live without them. They simply make life so much easier, more efficient and fun. And when these essential tools are gone for whatever reason (server outages!) it can seem like the end of the world. I’m always curious to know what other people like to use, so I’ve decided to share my list of essential tools with you.
1. Flux – Adjusts the brightness of your screen to the environment you are in. A good reminder that it’s time to leave the office!
2. LastPass – For people like me who never remember passwords. It is literally the LAST Password that you need to remember. It also lets you share private accounts with others without giving them the actual password (and revoke sharing privileges later, if you want).
3. ActiveInbox – One of my favorite essential tools for Gmail, awesome for email organization; they have adapted principles from the book “Getting Things Done” by David Allen.
4. Jing – A screen capture program & screen recorder, which I use to provide visuals to go with instructions (which means I can send one email instead of three).
5. Rapportive – A plug-in for Gmail that lets you to see the details (LinkedIn profile, Tweets etc.) of an email sender/recipient. I save so much time when I don’t have to google every person who sends me an email!
6. Sticky Notes – These are just the simple sticky notes that come with Windows. Handy for immediate stuff that you’ll need in the next couple of hours, or one weird piece of information you have to reference over and over, like your new office address.
7. SwiftKey – This is one of my favorite essential tools when it comes to keyboards for Android. SwiftKey is available in many languages. It lets you type faster by suggesting different words and phrases. I couldn’t do without this one.
8. Evernote – The name speaks for itself – it takes care of all kinds of notes. I use it for meetings, private notes, writing etc.
9. Google music – I just started using it and it is unbeatable. I love the UI, the selection and suggestions are great, and the unlimited plays are a definite bonus. Great for brightening up the office atmosphere! Probably the most fun entry on this list of essential tools.
10. Whatsapp – A cross-platform mobile messaging app that lets you to exchange messages without paying for it. Great when messaging with friends who live abroad.
11. Grocery IQ – I always forget my paper grocery list so Grocery IQ is my thing. And I can share the lists with my husband and have him do the shopping. No more excuses.
13. Mint – A web application that combines all your financial data and displays it nicely in colorful graphs. Very simple to understand – when you see a lot of red that typically means you’re running low on money!
14. Asana – Globalme’s preferred task/project management application. I use it widely at work and home, and it’s great for collaboration and just generally keeping on top of what needs attention and when.
15. Pocket – This is my latest discovery and I already have +30 blogs articles saved for reading. It is a simple app that lets you save articles and blog posts to read them later.
What are your favorite essential tools that make your life better? Share them with us in the comments!