Tools To Die For

It’s the halfway point of 2012, and I have one extremely important question for everyone.  What services, apps, or websites are still on your “can’t live without” list?

I’m not sure when the Social Media boom officially hit, but I know for me I really started to pay attention in 2008.  I think when Twitter got hot, this whole movement became very real.  However, in the four years since I started paying attention, some have gone by the wayside, but some have remained and are still important.

Google Reader
Remember The Milk
Google Voice
Google +
Google Drive
Google Talk
You Tube
Google Alerts
Google Bookmarks

SocialMedian (before XING)

Gist – this one is the most difficult for me.  I love when they came out.  I loved the fact that I used to find past email conversations with any of my contacts with ease.   But for over a year, I have had error messages whenever I try to do that.  And their Android app is terrible.
CircleBack – when it was DubMeNow, it worked better, IMHO.  It’s still a great place to put all of your contacts.  But with Linkedin Card Munch, CardCloud, and Hello by Evernote coming on, it’s only a matter of time before this disappears from my phone.
Pandora – still a great service, but with Spotify on the scene, I find myself logging in less than once a quarter.


I would be very interested to hear which ones you are still using and which ones you have discarded.  I also want to know about great tools that I didn’t mention.


Update Contact Lists With WriteThat.Name

Are you a GMail or Google Apps user? Are you bad at updating your contact list? Is keeping in contact with your networking contacts important to your business?

You need to look at WriteThat.Name.  It is the perfect business networking and relationship building tool.
What does it do?

When you receive an email that has a signature, WriteThat.Name will update your contact list.  It has to do with semantic engines and what not.  All I know is that it keeps my contact list for business and personal use up to date. You also get an update from the service every day to let you know which contacts were updated, and if any of the info is redundant or incorrect for some reason, you can correct it from the daily email.

They are offering 30 day free trials for this service, and they will keep giving you free months for every friend you get to join. After your trial periods are up, you can continue using the service for as little as $3 per month.

I have been using it since June 15 and I must admit it is nice having someone else constantly updating my contact list.

If my layman explanation doesn’t do it for you, read a more technical review from this link from Gear Diary.


No More Battery Pulls

I love my Blackberry, but the one thing that pales in comparison to the others is the hard drive space.   And if you network like me, your contact list is sizable and important.  Try operating your Blackberry with an address book of 4000 contacts.  Multiple battery pulls per day, right?  And yes, I have discussed it before.  It is a pet peeve of mine.

I have also discussed Dub aka  I have a love/hate relationship with them since the summer of 2009.  Dub is a mobile app that sends your digital business card to anyone’s email address.  An extremely useful service if you run out of traditional biz cards or you want people to have access to information that is not on your biz card (or you just wanna go green).  At some point in 2010, whenever I would send my Dub card, it would not get received, it would just disappear into the ether. Customer support tried to help, but on their end everything looked normal.  So I stopped using it.

In mid-January, I received an email about new features and updates.  So I checked it out.  Big improvement.  Like Gist, Dub can take all of your email and social media contacts and spit it out as one comprehensive address book.  At the site, you can print it out as a spreadsheet.  On Blackberry, the app lets you access all of your contacts with extreme quickness.  I have almost 7K contacts on Dub, and searching through the list takes little time.  Another plus: I went to the website to see if a Dub card I sent a few days ago reached its intended audience.  It hadn’t, but it saved the email address.  When this was happening to me before,  the email address would not save.  This is a big change. And now Dub also offers the opportunity to resend the card.

Bottomline, if you want to have your entire contact list on your Blackberry, without crashing your phone, load the free app called Dub. Think about that.  No more waiting to get back to your office to find a number or email address.  Or no more printing out a contact list to stuff in your pocket or briefcase. Or no more battery pulling because searching for a phone number froze your Curve (especially when you’re on deadline to reach that particular person).

Serious networkers and folks with large contact lists need to load Dub.

It’s also available on iPhone/iPod (for those that like to play with toys).

Keep networking.

Increase Your Connections With Rapportive

UPDATE: Rapportive has this video on YouTube.

One of the easiest and quickest ways to increase your social network numbers (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) is to install Rapportive in Gmail.  If you are not up on Rapportive, where have you been?  I mentioned it briefly last summer. Once installed, every time you receive an email, it will pull up the sender’s social media networks in the sidebar where the ads are (unless that email address is not registered with any social networks). If you link your LinkedIn and Facebook accounts to Rapportive, it lets you know if you are connected to that person.  Two clicks later, your request to be connected is on its way.  Their job titles, last few tweets, last few Facebook updates, and an image also appear. You can also update your Facebook status update from the app.

So, if your goal is to get to 1,000 Facebook friends before Tax Day or 500 LinkedIn connections by July 4th, install Rapportive ASAP.  You must have Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Mailplane for this free plug-in to work.