3 Software / Web Tools to Fall In Love with
I am in the process of returning to blogging on a more regular basis again (two boys under the age of 2 can really tax your schedule!), but for the moment I wanted to at least share a few productivity tools that I have found and fallen in love with over the past year…
And not only are all 3 tools very useful, they also have basic, fully functioning versions that are completely free!!
1) LastPass – http://www.lastpass.com
This password-memory tool appears to be the industry leader. It bills itself as the “last password you will ever need” — you do, in fact, log in once and then worry no more about remembering passwords. LastPass is smart– when you are in a website sign-up page asking for a username, password, etc., Lastpass offers you the choice to have it generate a unique, secure password that it will remember in its database. If you decline and enter one on your own, as you successfully hit submit/continue/etc on that page, it gently prompts you at the top of your browser to ‘Save site’ if this a site whose username/password you would like to retain.
LastPass has a lot of different features- AutoFill, AutoLogin, and even multiple form-field profiles to save common sets of information you may find yourself entering on websites of all kinds (think ‘home address’, ‘business address’, even payment info, etc.). There are plug-ins for multiple browser types, and even an iPhone version. Though I’ve not yet tried the iPhone plugin, I imagine that it will be immensely helpful. Not only is entering usernames/passwords in iPhone’s Safari often cumbersome, it’s an even more grueling process if you have to go through a Forgot Password routine! LastPass helps you avoid both scenarios.
2) Adolix split and merge PDF – http://www.adolix.com/split-merge-pdf/
Talk about a paperless office has been almost constant now for the last 10-15 years — and yet, from my own experience, it has just been the last 2-3 years that the mainstream business world is really grabbing hold of this concept. True, digital signatures have not yet taken over as a preferred method of signing over a signature, but on the few things that still require signatures, the printed and then signed document quickly becomes digital again for the purpose of emailing over to a colleague, customer, vendor, or other party expecting the quick arrival of the signed document. In this new world of electronic documents – largely dominated by MS Word format documents in the sphere of ‘editable’ formats, and especially in the world of imaged documents dominated by the Adobe PDF file format, there is need for easier management of not just files, but also PAGES.
How many times have you needed to pull out pages 3-4 of a 20-page pdf contract to email to someone? What do you do? You probably either email them the whole file and hope they can find the sections you need to emphasize to them, or you laboriously print out the relevant pages out of the larger PDF, scan them back into your computer, and email the new, smaller PDF file. Painful, eh?
Enter Adolix. They have created a very helpful utility that allows you to quickly split out pages of a PDF document.
How about combining PDF’s? Or combining pages 1-2 of one PDF file, and then pages 7-10 of the next file? You can use the utility’s split tool to first pull out the relevant pages, and then use its MERGE tool to combine the two newly formed PDF’s into one new file. And, if you use this tool in conjunction with a PDF creator such as Adolix’s own “PDF Converter” utility, or my personal favorite CutePDF (http://www.cutepdf.com/), you can easily take a number of files in different format (a Word document here, an Excel document there, a PDF document there), convert the non-PDF files into PDF’s, and then combine them withoT Adolix!
3) Mikogo - http://www.mikogo.com/
After being tired of essentially being tied to GoToMyMeeting, GoToMyPC, or WebEx for years, I finally spent some time googling around about a year go to find a free solution for screen sharing and web conferencing. I was very happy to come across Mikogo. Mikogo was developed by a company that sells high-end virtual conferencing solutions — a company that now appears to have moved into the GoToMy____ space.
Again, the Mikogo product is FREE, and I have found works just as smoothly as any of the other solutions out there– additionally, I found that the app that runs resident in the system tray does not bog down your computer’s memory or processor, and the features that come in Mikogo are equal to or even better than those found in comparable and more popular utilities.
Now if they could only change their name to something less nonsensical…
I hope that this review of these tools has been helpful!