This article — or one like it, for fill in the blank freelance profession is written everyday by some blogger somewhere. Heck, probably more like 20 bloggers somewhere everyday…but I’m the only blogger I know for the VO business who writes a blog 5-days-a-week, and I haven’t seen this one pop up lately.
The list below is neither exhaustive nor mutually exclusive. They’re not all essential, but some of them should be…I can’t say which, because I don’t know how you work. Just take a look, and tell me if one of them doesn’t hit the mark for you.
- Evernote or OneNote. Pick one. I use ’em both, but I’m an insatiable geek. Both seamlessly let you copy from the internet, compose original content, share anywhere, available on just about any platform/device/app, categorize, and integrate. Both of these programs can be linked/shared with TONS of other utility programs. I use Evernote for web-clipping, info storage, sign-ons, OMG…it’s my digital brain. OneNote is incredibly powerful and more so every day. It’s something MS has really done right. I use it mostly for list-building. Both availabale on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
- GDrive. You probably already are using it and don’t even know it. Got a Gmail account? Then you have Google Drive. Install the desktop version to enable this powerful storage and file-sharing utility, and it will seamlessly integrate directly into your computer’s drive structure.
- DropBox. I know you probably think if you have GDrive, you don’t need DropBox. Technically you’re right, but GDrive stands alone due to its Google family of apps…and you really need something outside of that. I’ll add in Box.net, MS Onedrive, SugarSync, and about a dozen other proprietary online storage apps and programs out there. iCloud from Apple is another. They keep dropping their prices…as do all the others. Online storage is cheap cheap cheap. DropBox is doing a lot of smart development for sharing and online collaboration right now. They also finally just took control of their own server farm. I think it’s the market leader right now in this sector.
- Snag-It I just can’t say enough about this program. It’s technically not an online program, but is best installed on your computer. There IS a Chrome Browser Extension that works pretty good, but it’s not as full-featured. Snag-It is from TechSmith, the same company that makes Camtasia, Jing, screencast and other products. I’m sure it began as a screen-capture utility, but it’s become so much more that it almost defies description. It’s an incredibly powerful photo touch-up, mark-up, and filter tool, an art design tool, captures videos, and stills. Shares anywhere to any program, is incredibly configurable, and its newest version is fast. Really fast.
- Vimeo. Sure, sure, everyone uses YouTube, but Vimeo just seems more elegant, configurable, reliable, higher-quality, and does a great job of storing/sharing your videos. If not Vimeo or YT, then try the above-mentioned ScreenCast. Similarly, you should be using an online storage/sharing program for photos, like SmugMug, Imgur, or Photobucket. Believe it or not, some places still demand an image URL instead of just uploading the picture directly into the profile you’re completing.
- Online Bookkeeping. I use XERO…but plenty of people like Quicken.com, Mint, Wave, and many many more. Find one that works for you…has the features you need, and be sure to use 2-step verification log-in. This is your financial data! You don’t want anyone else getting into it!
- Gif-builders. You might think this frivolous, but I think it merits inclusion in the list. These darn snippets of video are getting so popular and powerful that you almost can’t be left behind in using them as a tool to be seen. GIFYT is a good one (creates Gifs from YT videos). The new Snag-it mentioned above makes Gifs in a jiffy. Gyazo and Giphy are two more.
Honorable mention: A CRM (customer relationship management) program of some sort. There are a quite a few good ones. FreshBooks, ZoHo, Cloze, Nimble and many more popping up all the time…but that’s a topic for an entire blog article on its own.
Honorable Mention – Part 2: Milanote. Think of it as a visual representation of your brain. An easy-to-use tool to organize your ideas and projects into visual boards.
Honorable Mention – Part 3: Bublup. I used to use Instapaper to file away all the great stuff on the internet I want to save for later reference. Now I use Bublup. It has an easy-to-use Chrome extension, and kinda reminds me of having my own Pinterest.
Just one more: Carbonite – online automated backup.
Oh, and big- file sharing utilities…gotta have one of them. DropSend, SendBigFiles, Ge.tt, HighTail, WeTransfer…sheesh, there’s a bunch. I use VoiceZam’s ZamFusion, myself.
OK…gotta stop there. Hope you can find something that piques your interest, there. Let me know if you have any questions about any of ’em!