Someone the other day asked me, "What do you use on your computer?" At first I thought, "I use all sorts of things, pretty much all of the computer." The person knows that I am fairly computer savy and wanted to know what software/programs that I use.
It got me thinking (which usually yields a blog post)
If you could build a software toolbox for everyday use, what would you put in it?
I limit it to software because we can add all sorts of gadgets and gizmos to our already complicated understanding of getting things done. What are your go to programs to get work done? To entertain yourself? To learn?
My natural way of learning, especially when it comes to technology is to play around with the program and see if you can make it work for you. Yes, this usually means doing a quick Google search to answer some FAQs, but nonetheless, I end up making it work for me. That being said, there could be plenty of you that look at this Toolbox and say, "I would use this instead." GREAT!! Comment below as to how this works for you because it may work for someone else in a very similar way!
I also am ruling out the tools everyone should be using like word processors, internet service, minesweeper... The following are the tools that are in my technology toolbox:
CutePDF Writer - This free program installs a "printer" that allows you to convert any document of any type into a PDF document. This means that those recipes for the online purchases that you physically print and stack up on your desk could be easily converted into a digital copy that stores neatly in a folder on your desktop. This can severely reduce your paper consumption (I think practical versus environment).
PDF Merge/Scissor - While talking about PDF files, I have two sites that are great when working with them. If I need to combine multiple PDFs into one, I head to PDF Merge. If I receive a PDF, especially a chapter of a book with two pages of text on every one page of the PDF, I head to PDF Scissors. These two tools let me control the documents, rather than the documents controlling me.
Google Drive - As my good friend just recently tweeted, "It pains me to see people email a document to themselves." Comparable, and I too use this, it Dropbox. These cloud storage programs allow you to save documents, access, and edit (Dropbox does with the installation of the desktop client), all without having to email 40 revised versions to yourself. In addition, by using a cloud storage program, you can aid yourself in operation inbox zero! A win-win situation if you ask me!
Social Media - Yes it is cute to see the photos of your nieces and nephews, but I have a much larger purpose with my social media. This is where I get to do a great deal of learning, which heavily influences how I work. My site of choice is Twitter, but LinkedIn can be just as powerful. By being able to connect with other professionals, or connect with professional organization accounts, I am able to obtain tons of articles, fun facts, and have conversations with people. I constantly find new ways to do things and share my ideas with others.
Prezi - I leave the most controversial selection to the end. I am an advocate of Prezi. When you think of being a dynamic presenter, you want a visual aid that is just that, visual. Do not get me wrong, there are great things being done with PowerPoint, but to escape the long tradition of poorly designed slides that lack the creativity we all have inside of us, I urge you to try Prezi. Just as much as there are things you do not do to a PowerPoint, there are things you do not do to a Prezi. The biggest deals with dramatic zoom and rotation. It may be fun for you to flip your presentation, but it is not fun for those watching. However, with the increasing large amount of templates and organizational charts being added to the program, I think Prezi captures a better snapshot of the presenter's brain and transfers it into a visual representation of the presentation.
And there you have it. 5 (technically 6) tools to add to your technology toolbox. What would you add? I hope one of these are new to you as the reader and I hope you end up trying it. Let me know how it goes by commenting below! Thanks for reading!
Bonus Material!!!! (I did mention entertainment)
StumbleUpon - My entertainment when I have time to do so is to let the internet take be away via StumbleUpon. The ability to focus on one area or literally anything has lend itself to be very useful. I would not have found Lifehacker, my favorite meatball recipe, or my favorite Ipad case if it were not for that handy website.